Abbreviations & Definitions

In the world of vehicles, there is a lot of strange terms thrown around. This can make comparing and understanding certain parts difficult and confusing. Luckily we have our handy definitions and abbreviations guide to give you a deeper understanding of the world of cars.

  • HID - High Intensity Discharge
  • Xenon - An inert gas used inside bulb capsules
  • LED - Light Emitting Diode
  • W - Watts
  • V - Volts
  • A - Amps
  • Wedge - A bulb made completely of glass or with a plastic base that pushes into the holder
  • Bayonet - A bulb with a metal portion on the bottom that slots into the holder
  • Canbus - A computerised wiring system on cars. Important in lighting as blown bulbs will give errors on the dash. Any of our LED bulbs listed as "canbus" will not give errors on the dash. (The first car to have a canbus system was the 1989 BMW 850i)
  • Polarity - The direction of current flow in a circuit. Most LED bulbs can't reverse their polarity, so have to be turned around in their socket.
  • AC - Alternating Current. Electricity that flows back and forth in the circuit. HID bulbs run on Alternating Current
  • DC - Direct Current. Electricity that flows only one way. A cars battery and electrical supplies are Direct Current
  • 12V - The Voltage supplied from 99% of cars batteries, much older cars will use a 6V system. All electrical components on a 12V car will run on, or convert from 12V
  • 24V - The Voltage system lorry & trucks run on.
  • ECU - Engine Control Unit
  • LCM - Light Control Module
  • LCI - Life Cycle Impulse (a BMW term for a facelift)
  • Flat Beam Wiper - A wiper blade made from one piece with no metal frame
  • Aerotwin - Boschs' brand of flat beam wiperblade
  • OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer. The factory parts, or replacement parts for your car that are made by the original manufacturer. Phillips, Osram, Bosch & Hella count as "OEM's" as they are suppliers to the cars factory floor.