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I have been doing research for retrofitting my headlights to HID and projectors. On different forums people are talking about how 55w ballasts tend to wash out the color of the bulbs.

What would a "washed out" bulb look like? Would it be more yellow, or blue? Or what?

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Washed out means you lose some of the perceived intensity, clarity and sharpness - usually this means the colour temperature of the light drops so you move more towards the yellower end, losing those high intensity blue aspects.

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So if I want to get a nice 4300k temp - should I buy something like 5000k for the bulbs, if I'm expecting the color to be "washed out?" – Sponge Bob Jan 2 '13 at 17:43
Or go for a higher wattage ballast if that is the recommended size. – Rory Alsop Jan 2 '13 at 19:14

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