What is the difference between xenon and bixenon and which is better?

The fact that a car is a means of increased danger is known, perhaps, to everyone, but this is especially pronounced when driving a car at night or in conditions of limited visibility. When driving at night, in fog, during heavy precipitation, it is very important that the car is equipped with really powerful and reliable light sources.

Today these are modern gas discharge lamps, which are usually referred to simply as "xenon" or "bixenon". Now we will talk about what xenon is, how it differs from bi-xenon and what is better to choose for your car.

What is xenon

The operation of xenon lamps is based on that an electric discharge is formed in them, accompanied by a rather powerful radiation in the range of the visible spectrum. The main difference between these light sources and traditional incandescent lamps is that there is no filament in them. Light is emitted by an inert gas, in the medium of which a high-voltage discharge takes place.

It is important that it never changes its direction and always remains constant (or, to be more precise and technically competent, its state is stable in the presence of a certain voltage and an appropriate gas environment). Unlike conventional incandescent bulbs, xenon bulbs need to generate a high-voltage pulse to operate. This is done by a special electronic ignition unit, which is available in every headlamp designed to use this type of light sources.

Xenon lamps have a significantly longer life than incandescent lamps, but they are more expensive. However, they also have one rather serious drawback. In fact, it is the "flip side" of such an advantage of this device as a high degree of radiation stability. The fact is that it leads to the impossibility of obtaining from xenon a greater or lesser luminous flux than that for which it was originally designed. In practice, this means that such lamps in car headlights are used only to provide dipped beam. For this simple reason, xenon headlights actually have two lamps: xenon for the low beam and a "halogen" for the high beam. To correct this deficiency, bi-xenon lamps were developed and successfully introduced into production.

What is bixenon

The physical principle by which they function is exactly the same as that of xenon lamps: the formation of an electric discharge in an inert gas, accompanied by light emission... The only difference is that bi-xenon lamps combine the functions of low and high beam. Strictly speaking, this is exactly what the prefix "bi" testifies to.

In order to "get around" the limitation associated with the stability of the luminous flux, the designers of this light source went to a small, but ultimately very effective trick. Inside the lamp, they placed a specialized device, which is a so-called screen lamp. It is a luminous bulb that can be moved under the control of a special magnet. As a result, it turns out that in different spatial positions the screen-lamp provides a different luminous flux. Thus, the bi-xenon switches from low beam to high beam.

What is the difference between xenon and bixenon

The main difference between xenon and bixenon, as already described above, is the organization of the focusing of the light flux. For all steel technical and operational parameters (brightness, reliability, efficiency), they practically do not differ from each other.

There is, however, an economic aspect, which for many domestic motorists plays a very significant role. The fact is that, due to the peculiarities of their design, bi-xenon lamps cost significantly (at least 50%) more expensive than xenon lamps, and often this very circumstance becomes the key in choosing the latter.

Among Russian motorists, the most popular is the combination in which xenon is used to provide low beam headlights, and halogen lamps are used for high beam. By the way, the majority chooses this option also because they operate their cars mainly within cities, where high beam is almost never required.

Read also :Methane or propane - which is better for a car?.

What is better than xenon or bixenon

Considering all the above, it turns out that it is simply not possible to answer this question unambiguously. At the same time, it is quite simple to decide which of these two headlights is preferable in each specific case.

If a motorist is not very tight on money and, moreover, often travels on country roads, then it is best for him to opt for bi-xenon light sources for headlights. They will provide both low and high beam, they will work for a long time and without problems (provided, of course, competent operation). If you rarely go out of town, then ordinary xenon in combination with a "halogen" is quite suitable.

In any case, it must be borne in mind that xenon and bi-xenon lamps are high voltage light sources. Therefore, if any problems happen to them, it is necessary to contact a specialized service center as soon as possible to eliminate them. Otherwise, there is a risk of fire.

See also : Antifreeze G11 and G12 - what is the difference.

Video on the topic