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Is there a specific name for a automotive headlamp controller that when energized, will start at , say 3volts & ramp to 12volts? This would usually be used for HID or high intensity halogen lamps to prolong lamp life.

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HID lamps are completely different from halogen lights- they use a ballast with a a state machine to control the startup current profile after discharge is achieved. They operate around 100V so your 3-12V makes no sense. Here is what start-up looks like (from this site):

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As to halogens- there is no evidence that ramping voltage at start-up will substantially extend the life of halogen bulbs (the fact they tend to fail at startup is not evidence), so I would say the appropriate name for such a controller would be 'scam'.

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