I agree with djnrg. The HID setups use only 35 watts like he said. Before or after the ballast, it's all the same. The voltage goes up, wattage stays the same, and the amperage goes down. 12 volts before the ballast at 35 watts is 2.91 amps. The 20,000 volts is just the starting voltage. Most of the time it's between 7,000 and 15,000 volts. After that it goes down to 300-400 volts to keep the bulb going. 300 volts at 35 watts is .11 amps, notice the amperage went down. That isn't much power... you can touch that 300 volts with one hand and you won't be injured much if any... definitely not killed. As a comparison, a camera flash is about 300 volts. That comes out of one or two AA batteries. I've even been shocked by 1200 volts before and it didn't even hurt or leave any burns. It was low current (amperage), but so are HID lighting systems. As for melting the wires... there's no way that would happen. HID lights DO only use 35 watts... if they used any more, they wouldn't be legal because they'd be way too bright. Each headlight bulb uses ~55 watts... A lot of those PIAA superwhites or HID simulation lights use about 85 watts per bulb. If anything is going to fry your headlamp circuit, THOSE would. That's over 7 amps per bulb... which is quite a bit for the stock wiring. Anyways, enough of my rambling... I think HID systems are safer than halogens since they don't produce as much heat and are more efficient. Not to mention the better lighting of the road. It is pretty expensive though... I'll wait till the price comes down lower.