Since rallying began drivers have fitted extra lights to the front of their rally cars in order to punch through the darkness, light up the night and get to the end of the stage faster.

In world and national championship rallies of the modern era, night stages are few and far between, but in state and club level events, the need to see into the night is still of the utmost importance.

Over the years, famous driving light brands such as SEV-Marchal have disappeared, but others, such as Hella and Cibie, have continued on the tradition.

Automotive technology has advanced over the past few years, and rallying has been one of the beneficiaries, both in the performance stakes and, for want of a better term, driver aids.

One major technological improvement has been the change from standard Halogen lights to High Intensity Discharge bulbs, or HID as they are better known.

When they first appeared on the market, HID lights were way beyond the reach of most competitors, but over time the prices have reduced and now they are a very cost-effective way of not only lighting up more of the road, but of improving your stage times as well.

But what is HID, and what does it do? For an explanation, we turned to modern day experts Wiikpedia (

“A high-intensity discharge (HID) lamp is a type of electrical lamp which produces light by means of an electric arc between tungsten electrodes housed inside a translucent or transparent fused quartz or fused alumina arc tube. Compared to other lamp types, relatively high arc power exists for the arc length.”

If you’re not technically minded, you’re probably none the wiser, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss.

It’s now possible to buy HID kits that will fit into your current driving lights, turning them into the best lights you’ve ever driven behind. And, most importantly, they’re cheap to buy and simple to fit.

We recently received a couple of HID conversion kits from Predator Performance Lighting that enabled us to perform a HID conversion on our 20-year old Cibie Super Oscars.

The 55W HID kit has the equivalent output of a 400W Halogen bulb, but it only uses about 4 Amps and is colder running than a 100W Halogen bulb.

Without going into great detail and giving a step by step description on how the HID kits were fitted, let us just say that it was a job that can be undertaken by just about any backyard mechanic.

Instructions that come with the kits explain how to set up the wiring, and for the most part you can use the wiring that you already have fitted to your car.

The ballasts themselves can either be fitted to the car, or you can use Sikaflex or a similar product to stick the ballast inside the shell of the light, which still leaves plenty of room for the globe and the wiring (see pictures for more detail).

The official paperwork that comes with the kits boast that “during testing of this product we managed to get a road sign to light up at a distance of 3.5 km, and the visible usable light to about 1.8km down the road.”

These are pretty bold claims and we are yet to prove or disprove the figures, but it’s suffice to say that once fitted, the HID lights make a huge difference. If you thought that your current ‘Old Skool’ driving lights were the bee’s knees, flicking the switch on the HIDs is like turning night into day.

In the bush, with two HID lights ignited, the difference when turning two more “normally aspirated” Cibie Super Oscars on was virtually negligible. In all honesty, you could hardly see any difference.

The kit includes 2 x 55W ballasts, 2 x 55 HID bulbs, 2 x 600mm HID extension wires, mounting brackets, cable ties and instructions to complete the job.

It also comes with a 12 month full replacement warranty against faulty manufacturing. Kits are also available for other popular driving lights, such as Hella’s Rallye 4000, Lightforce and IPF.

If your eyes aren’t what they used to be and you’ve been tossing up whether to part with your hard earned for a set of HIDs, this article will hopefully make the decision for you.

After all, it’s cheaper than rebuilding your engine, and it could have a similar effect on your stage times.

For more information and to purchase your HID conversion kits from Predator Performance Lighting, visit their eBay store.

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