Pink Car Headlamp bulb

One of my Xenon headlamp bulbs has gone pink. Rang the BMW dealer and was connected to their parts department who had never heard of this problem.

Looked it up on t’interweb to discover that Xenon bulbs are like fluorescent tubes, and will gradually dim with age, eventually changing colour to indigo, violet or pink.

I had thought that my night vision was beginning to go, but now it seems that it was just ageing bulbs.

Booked it in for replacement bulbs (well, they’re all the same age, so the other ones will be going soon, I suppose). Expensive - >£200 each! (sigh)

Not confined to BMW.

Last week my brother-in-law with his Land Rover (or Range Rover ?) bought a pair (he only needed one but, like you, felt replacing a pair would be better) of (ordinary) replacement headlamp bulbs from Halfords only to realise they were the wrong type. Main dealer only had one Xenon in stock. So, without any need for embarrasment, he made do with just the one for £150 - which seems cheap compared with yours !!

Gosh. I had no idea they were so expensive. The Xenon bulbs in my 1998 SL are still going strong with a blue/white light, though they don’t get much use so I presume the deterioration is use related rather than age.

Lucky you can replace the bulb when Xenon headlights first became available most were a sealed unit costing around £500 each.

A friend recently had to pay over £800 for a Jaguar headlamp, and that was much cheaper than the main dealer. I hate to think how much these fancy led screen dashboard displays will cost when they fail.

Yep. But not everything has become more expensive. For instance, I remember buying a Finlux 24" (I think!) colour TV back in the early eighties. Cost £500 IIRC. My son-in-law has just bought a 55" Sony TV for £600. Allowing for inflation, those items have become MUCH cheaper.

It’s not inflation that has hit your Xenon headlamp bulb. My H4 replacement bulbs can be had for £20 a pair.

Think “electric” and think “shock !” and far as cars go, I think you won’t go far wrong !

HID (high intensity discharge) lamps can give a near-natural white colour spectrum at high conversion efficiency, and were adopted by some car manufacturers. I used myself at home about 13 years ago for a crystal chandelier where I wanted a bright point-source white lamp much more energy-efficient than standard tungsten halogen lamps. I believe life is a function of both on burning time and frequency of ignition, and it is well known that colour can shift towards end of life.

These days of course LEDs have developed to the point where they offer similar efficiency, and are (Or can be) less costly. They don’t change in colour, And have long rated lives - however whether they achieve that depends a lot upon whether they are mounted with adequate cooling, and on having good regulation of voltage/current.

Never thought inflation was the cause of the Xenon bulbs being expensive. I was just pointing out that some things have become much cheaper in real terms.

I wouldn’t change both at once, I’d change them as they die.

My car is 12 years old. One of the front xenon bulbs died at about 7 years old and, when I changed it, I also thought the same way, to change both, for the other should go hand in hand, I thought; but at the dealership I was told it wasn’t worth changing until it died. And, indeed, it still works at full capacity more than 5 years later. I’m touching wood, because, indeed, they are not cheap at all, although mine are in the order of about 250 €.

I remember, back in the 70’s, when you had a colour TV delivered the telly cost more than the delivery van!

I suppose this is why everyone rented their TV from rediffusion… well we did any anyway.


Now I thought they were just a different halogen bulb i.e. normal filament with halide gas in the envelope. Didn’t know they were gas discharge technology.

You can buy conventional halogen bulbs that have a bit of Xenon in there to give a bluish-looking light but they aren’t any brighter than conventional halogen. Whereas proper Xenon lights are a lot brighter.



Ah ! It was just the way you prefaced that post with “But not everything has become more expensive” made me think that way.

I agree. Some things are still expensive, whilst others do seem to come down in price.

Radio Rentals our came from.

I could catually here the ‘ultrasonic’ remote signal - bet I couldn’t these days!

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.