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What is a good headlight bulb?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 soobmater

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 12:12 PM

So im going to get some new headligh bulbs, and which is a good kind? are the silver stars good? thanks.

#2 loyalewithcheese

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 12:36 PM

So im going to get some new headligh bulbs, and which is a good kind? are the silver stars good? thanks.


i did the PIAA extreme whites on my motorcycle and was very happy with them.

here's my bikes OEM high beam...
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here's the bike with the PIAAs...
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here's OEM low beam...
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and PIAA low beam...
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note these pics were taken with a digital slr with a fixed 4 sec exposure and manual white balance. so the color and brightness diffs should not be from the camera. the low beam pics shows only one h4 bulb since my dual light motorcycle had one low beam burnt out. so when i took the pics to compare i did the PIAA with only one bulb as well.

i am very pleased with them, they are no xenons, but i knew that. they are way better than what i had and when i have some extra cash i plan on getting some for the soob.

#3 TROGDOR!

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 01:23 PM

I forget where, but there's an excellent article somewhere on the net about headlights and why the gimmicky ones are no good.

In a nutshell, the article says this- don't use ANY bulb with a blue tint on the glass. The blue tint will make the beam LOOK white, but it's actually full of scattered blue light, which is the absolute WORST light to have. Blue light scatters very easily, which means in any condition where there's something in front of the light or something to reflect off of, your vision will be severely limited. This means in rain, snow, fog, on a wet road, etc- when you need your lighting the most- you're drastically limiting the performance of your lights.

Silverstars are not worth the high price IMO. If you want something cheap, long lasting, and bright- the best one to go with is a Halogen Xtravision. DOT law requires that headlight bulbs shine at x lumens plus or minus y lumens- most of the gimmicky "superwhite" bulbs naturally shine at the high end of the limit, and the blue coating brings them down to the low limit. Or they aren't legal at all! The Xtravision bulbs are a pure, clear bulb, which burns at the upper end of the limit. Best bulb you can get, IMO.

FYI- don't buy ANYTHING with greater wattage than stock. Your car is not designed to handle this wattage and will most likely melt the headlight wiring harnesses.

#4 samo

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 06:32 PM

Another vote for Xtravisions. I run them in all 8 of my forward facing lights. They're a nice yellow-white and very intense, making them great for rainy conditions.

#5 Meeky Moose

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 07:56 PM

i vote for silverstars... put them in all my cars when i run out of spare freebie bulbs i snag at junkyards, lol..

of course in my prelude i had to buy the sealed beam silver stars.. worth the extra $4.00 and since i deliver pizza mostly at night i need the brightest light i can get.. :)

#6 subyrally

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 08:31 PM

the best bulbs i have used were actually jdm blue "ultra white" bulbs. they were very much blue, but i never had any issues with visability, they were great in rain and fog as well.


i second the vote for the silverstar head lights, they are bright and clan light and they last quite a while, ive had mine in the rx since i got it and the impreza for the last year almost.

#7 NuclearBacon

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 10:06 PM

When i had my crazy-saturn... i ran PIAA ultra whites and PIAA fog bulbs.... They were SO AWESOME. i loved them....

i could see EVERYTHING!!! including (in the middle of the night) people coming at me in the opposite lane, shielding their eyes from my brightness......

but.... they're 90 bucks per set. ouch.

i'm a bit of a night-lighting whore though.. Night lighting to me is my favorte easy upgrade, so it was an easy choice.

I VOTE PIAA!

p.s.... and in the 3 years i owned them *including a collision* they never burnt out. fyi ;)

#8 simple monkey

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 10:11 PM

I would suggest koito. While i still have the stock bulbs in my car, my brother has koitos on AE86, and they are consistently brighter. The side markers on his car are all koito, same with my mom's camry, so maybe they have been around for a while? But they might be different for subarus....

#9 85Sub4WD

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 10:22 PM

I use the Sylvania high brightness - whatever the actual name is of the bulb they make. It seems like I never have to replace them (over 4 years with them so far... and I drive with them on - no noticible fade either) and they have a reasonable low beam, and a REALLY bright high beam, so in town I am not blinding anybody, but if I am driving in the country I get to see everthing ahead of me, plus a fair amount on the sides (like deer). Best of all, there is NO BLUE TINT to them. They are pretty cheap too. Blue is actually a very irritating color to the eye, particularly on the wavelengths of the cheezy aftermarket blue bulbs (and the Xenon lamps newer cars have). It causes glare issues, and many other issues both for you and other drivers - remember RED is the color used on most tinted flashlights because it does not cost you your night vision!! Yellow has a closer wavelength to red, so a yellower bulb would be kinder to your eyes than a bluer bulb. I actually read in the newspaper recently that the DOT is looking at revising required headlight specs because of the glare issues with blue bulbs, as they are disorienting to other drivers (not a good thing at night), not to mention annoying.
Ditto on the wattage issue, fried wiring harnesses are not fun to mess with!!
Experience an MG, and you will know what I am talking about!!!

Headlight alignment is also critical - and for some reason, I have had difficulty getting a shop to align my headlights correctly - I did a rough alignment in the driveway, and had a shop check it - and it was right!!
Mainly my local shops try to cross the beams really close to the front of the car (like 5 feet) for some reason instead of the required ~25 feet in front of the car; this causes obvious issues

Loyales/GL's also have glass/chrome headlights which can be washed and cleaned internally - this would be a VERY good thing to do, and offers a definite improvement. Just make sure they are COMPLETELY dry inside before you install your headlight. using something like Windex helps too

Whatever your choice, consiter yourself and other drivers in your decision, as your safety depends on your ability to see at night as well as theirs.

#10 nkx

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 11:17 PM

im putting another vote in for the silverstars. very bright, and not nearly as expensive as PIAA.

#11 soobmater

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 11:58 PM

ok...the top 2 are Xtravisions and silver stars, which wons are brighter? btw i will have to wash the lens cause it is really dirty.

#12 NuclearBacon

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 01:52 AM

im putting another vote in for the silverstars. very bright, and not nearly as expensive as PIAA.


i installed silverstars in my friends altima....

....which sucked SO BAD.... dont ever volenteer to replace headlights in a new nissan.....

i'm good with a wrench.... and it took me over 3 1/2 hours... i kid you not... lol

....but i put in silverstars....

they were sweet! i like my piaas..... lol, but they're WAY too expensive

so i vote silverstars as well ;) *thumbs up*

#13 subyrally

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 10:02 AM

nissans do suck to work on. try changing a power steering pump on an altima.




i installed silverstars in my friends altima....

....which sucked SO BAD.... dont ever volenteer to replace headlights in a new nissan.....

i'm good with a wrench.... and it took me over 3 1/2 hours... i kid you not... lol

....but i put in silverstars....

they were sweet! i like my piaas..... lol, but they're WAY too expensive

so i vote silverstars as well ;) *thumbs up*



#14 NuclearBacon

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 12:17 PM

nissans do suck to work on. try changing a power steering pump on an altima.


.... im sorry.. i just threw up a little .... i'll be fine.

lol

#15 subie94

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 01:13 PM

the silverstars,if you don't mind paying $30-$34 bucks for a set.

myself i went with the xtravisions,of course being cheaper.

and if i need some xtra lighting i just flip on my aux lights

#16 soobmater

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 01:21 PM

the silverstars,if you don't mind paying $30-$34 bucks for a set.

myself i went with the xtravisions,of course being cheaper.

and if i need some xtra lighting i just flip on my aux lights


ya me to but mine arnt street legal :( but then, why do you have to go on the street. i can take the logging roads home easily :)

#17 nkx

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 01:46 AM

what kind of bulbs do the single lense lights use? (like the kind in my av) 9004? i ask because there are silverstars on clearance at summit.

#18 soobmater

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 01:47 PM

ya 9004 is the bulb, there are some on clearance, ill go check out there web site.

#19 soobscript

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 02:31 PM

PIAA.
I'll get my before and after pics up sometime.
"cheap" source here Options Auto Salon

#20 gcleeton

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 04:42 AM

Autozone sell a sealing grease to stop moisture getting past the bulb holder to the bulb itself, which shortens the life.




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