How to Change Xenon Lights

by Alibaster Smith

Also known as a "high intensity discharge" bulb, xenon lights employ xenon gas and high voltage (15,000 volts) to initially create an arch between two electrodes that lights the bulb (since there is no filament in these bulbs). After the bulb has been lit, it only requires 80 volts to power the bulb. Xenon lights are said to last two to three times longer than halogen lights and provide more uniform intensity in lighting. But still, xenon bulbs will eventually fail, in which case you must change them.

Disconnect the negative cable from the battery terminal. To do this, use a socket wrench to turn the retaining nut on the cable clamp counterclockwise until the clamp loosens enough for you to slide the cable off the terminal.

Open the hood and locate the high intensity discharge box for each light. There will be one located behind each light bulb.

Remove the top cover on the box. To do this, push in on the clip on the side of the cover and pull the cover off.

Rotate the bulb ignitor counterclockwise (about one-quarter turn) and remove the electrical connector by pulling straight up on it.

Remove the ignitor by pulling back on the ignitor (towards the firewall). When it comes loose, you can pull it up and out of the way.

Rotate the bulb retaining ring counterclockwise. Then, pull the bulb towards the firewall (after you've rotated the retaining ring to unlock the bulb from the housing) and negotiate the bulb out of the housing.

Install the new bulb. Installation is the reverse of removal.


  • close Do not touch the glass of the bulb as the oil from your fingers could cause the bulb to explode. Since xenon bulbs are under pressure, use caution not to break the glass when you are removing the bulb as personal injury could result.

About the Author

I am a Registered Financial Consultant with 6 years experience in the financial services industry. I am trained in the financial planning process, with an emphasis in life insurance and annuity contracts. I have written for Demand Studios since 2009.