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PIAA Glossary

(A or Amp)

The unit of measure for electrical current. Basic formula for finding Amp draw (Amps = watts volts)


The part of the lighting system that generates the output. A bulb consists of the following parts; a glass tube to contain the filament(s) and the gasses, the filament(s), the gasses, and the base.


A glass reflector and bulb assembly that allows heat to dissipate through the reflector and away from the bulb thus increasing bulb life.

D.O.T. Approved Technology

Driving Light

A lighting device mounted to provide illumination forward of the vehicle and intended to supplement the high beam of a standard headlamp system. It is not intended for use alone or with the low beam of a standard headlamp system.

Dual Lamp System

A PIAA innovation that places two types of auxiliary light systems into one housing, usually a driving light and a fog light.


A metallic coil inside the glass tube of a bulb with enough resistance that when an adequate electrical current flows through the coil, it glows and produces the light output.

Fog Light

A lighting device providing illumination forward of the vehicle that enhances visibility in fog, rain, snow, or dust. Fog lights are intended to be used in conjunction with standard headlamp low beams.


A standard SAE designation of wire sizes, expressed in AWG (American Wire Gage). The larger the gage number, the smaller the wire.

Glass Tube

The part of the tube that encases the filament and the gasses in an airtight environment.

High Intensity Discharge (HID)

A light source in which light is produced by a stabilized arc that burns at a much higher color temperature which creates a whiter light output than a standard halogen bulb. This arc is generated with an igniting system and ballast.

Ion Crystal

A proprietary coating applied to a bulb or lens that transforms the light output to amber with much higher efficiency than conventional amber colored lenses.

Kelvin Scale
Color temperature is a unit or measure for the color of light. It is not necessarily related to the heat of the light source. A higher color temperature represents a color closer to actual sunlight.

Lens Fluting

A process in lamp design that molds the lens to control the beam pattern by deflecting the light to the desired point in the beam. Lens fluting usually looks like vertical cuts in the lens.

Multi Surface Reflector

MSR, A reflector designed to control the beam pattern with a computer designed surface to project the light precisely to the desired point in the beam without the use of fluting.


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation. Sets the laws and guidelines for the preservation of safety on public highways.

Pencil Beam

A narrow beam of light that has a very long range with minimal side to side illumination.

Plasma Blue

A proprietary process applied to a bulb or lens which transforms conventional halogen light output to a bright blue-white color similar to the look of H.I.D. lamp systems.

Projector Lens

An ellipse shaped lens that concentrates a beam of light coming from a set back bulb and reflector. The beam is usually controlled with a shield to give the beam a very sharp cut off point. This makes a great fog light or headlight low beam.


An electromagnetic device that opens or closes the flow of current in a circuit. Normally used to reduce the amount of electricity through a switch.


Society of Automotive Engineers. Publishes the recommended practices, design specifications and testing procedures for all automotive systems.

Meets S.A.E. requirements

Street legal in all 50 states and Canada

Super White

A proprietary process applied to a bulb or lens that transforms the light output to a brilliant white that is closer to natural sun light than a standard bulb.

Wiring Harness

A system that contains switch, relay, fuse, and the correct gage wire for the intended application.

Xenon The gas used in HID systems that produce the extreme white color. Xenon gas is also used in some halogen bulbs to produce a whiter light and to keep deposits off the glass tube.


A PIAA term used to designate high efficiency bulbs that are designed to produce greater light output than its rated power consumption. (Example 55watts = 85watts of light output)

Xtreme White At 4150 Kelvin, Xtreme White technology is the
closest color to H.I.D. lamp systems

Headlight Bulb Cross Reference


An H4 bulb is also referred to as a 9003 or an HB2.


A 9004 bulb is also referred to as a HB1.


A 9005 bulb is also referred to as a HB3.


A 9006 bulb is also referred to as a HB4.


A 9007 bulb is also referred to as a HB5.


H.I.D. bulbs are referred to as 9500, D2R, and D2S.


H1, H2, H3, and H7 bulbs are usually referred to as such.

Notice to Consumer

PIAA lamps are intended for use solely as auxiliary lighting. PIAA lamps are not intended to be used for headlight purposes, nor are they certified for headlight usage. Lighting laws vary from state to state. PIAA makes no representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, as to the legality of its products for street use on any vehicle or in any location. PIAA lamps are designed to improve visibility during night time motoring and inclement weather conditions. However, irresponsible use of any auxiliary light can be dangerous and illegal.

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