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Ryan's guide to: Halogen bulbs

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  • Ryan's guide to: Halogen bulbs

    Bulb choice, lens condition, voltage and aim make the biggest difference.

    General Advice

    -For bulbs that do not have an upgrade size, or are already upgraded do not get over-wattage bulbs. They are dangerous to the housings and your vehicle and perform worse than a high performance bulb of the correct wattage.

    -Tinted bulbs (except for those listed), 55w=100w, or any other brands of bulbs should be avoided at all costs.

    -Lights should always be aimed correctly, http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html

    -Oxidized, yellow, or cloudy lenses severely limit output. They should be refinished or replaced. https://www.autogeekonline.net/forum...lant-idea.html

    -Check voltage droop between the battery and the bulb. Anything more than 0.2V requires a relay harness.

    -Aftermarket (non retrofitted) headlights are a shitshow of bad output. OEM lights are a must, nothing else.


    Some bulb sizes share optics, but have different output specs. This is a incomplete list of how to upgrade a lower tier bulb.
    9005 --> 9011
    9005: 1,860lm +- 12 %
    9011: 2,500lm +- 15 %
    Potential max increase of 75.6% more lumens
    Best bulb: regular Philips



    9006 --> 9012
    9006:
    1,095lm +- 15 %
    9012: 1,875lm +- 15 %
    Potential max increase of 131.7% more lumens
    Best bulb: Vosla +30 HIR2



    ​H4 --> Philips Racing Vision H4
    Potential max increase of 20-30% more lumens
    ​No modifications necessary.
    Best bulb: only 1 choice


    Update: Osram has discontinued the H7 Rallye. Until a replacement bulb is made Philips Racing Vision H7s are the best choice.
    ​H7 --> Philips Racing Vision H7
    Potential max increase of 20-30% more lumens
    ​No modifications necessary.
    Best bulb: only 1 choice

    Old (ignore this):
    H7 --> Osram H7 Rallye

    H7: 1,500lm +- 10 %
    H9: 2,100lm +- 10 %
    Potential max increase of 71.1% more lumens
    ​No modifications necessary.
    Best bulb: only 1 choice



    H8/H11 --> H9
    H8: 800lm +- 10 %
    H11: 1,350lm +- 10 %
    H9: 2,100lm +- 10 %
    Potential max increase of 90.1% more lumens
    Best bulb: regular Philips




    IF YOU DIDN'T SEE YOUR BULB SIZE LISTED
    All bulb sizes have a legal range of plus or minus 10 to 15%. Tinted, eco, long life, etc bulbs will be at the bottom of this range. Maximum performance bulbs will be at the top.
    That means that comparing a bottle of the shelf blue coated bulb to a high performance bulb such as one listed below could net you up to 30% more light.
    Not all of these come in every size, please keep googling each type until you find one of these in your size.

    Tier 1 (+150): Philips Racing Vision
    Tier 2 (+130): Philips X-Treme Vision <-- Osram Night Breaker Laser <-- GE Nighthawk Xenon
    Tier 3 (+100): Osram Nightbreaker Unlimited <-- GE Nighthawk Platinum
    Basic bulbs: Philips/Osram clear "standard/original".




    Edit 1 11/9/16: Added Philips racing vision suggestion and warned against over wattage bulbs.
    Edit 2 1/11/27: Added NBL suggestion and talked about voltage.
    Edit 3 2/19/17: Updated "other" section.
    Edit 4 5/25/17: Added GE bulbs, updated H7 section, fixed some typos.
    Edit 5: 7/25/17: Fixed photos
    Last edited by rdriggett; October 29th, 2017, 11:33 PM.

  • #2
    I don't do halogens but this is nice!
    *CLICK BELOW ON WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE*

    2014 Nissan Sentra Quads w/ XB Fogs

    DSC_9349 by Sam Colt, on Flickr

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    • #3
      Nice write up, been considering swapping my high beam bulb for A 9011.
      Last edited by Pklemm; August 19th, 2016, 11:42 AM.

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      • #4
        This should come in handy! Thanks a ton!


        Nathanael Carriere

        Facebook l Instagram l Website l Blog

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        • #5
          Great write up! I really hope people on HJ actually learn something from that

          Originally posted by Pklemm View Post
          Nice write up, been considering swapping my high beam bulb for A 9011.
          I have 9011's in my garage waiting for me to swap them. Just been waiting for a night that I actually have time to so I can get comparison shots lol
          2006 Chevy Cobalt - SRX Bi-xenon/Denso 35w
          2011 GMC Terrain V6 - 4TL-R retrofit

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          • #6
            Great writeup! Now people don't have to go to CPF to find out this info
            Custom shield service not available at this time.

            PM is not a great way to reach me. Email me at imagioX1@outlook.com

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            • #7
              HIRs are a nice upgrade, I love mine.

              Nice write up.
              Anthony
              2011 Ford Fiesta SES Hatchback
              2008 Wrangler Unlimited FX-R Retrofit
              2011 Fiesta Retrofit Number 2

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              • #8
                Have you gotten the bulbs yet? Waiting to see the results.
                *CLICK BELOW ON WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE*

                2014 Nissan Sentra Quads w/ XB Fogs

                DSC_9349 by Sam Colt, on Flickr

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HK45 View Post
                  Have you gotten the bulbs yet? Waiting to see the results.
                  Been driving around with h9s and 9011s for a week now, I have a pretty solid subjective impression. I have to go drag myself out to a testing wall and get pictures.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rdriggett View Post
                    General Advice -All halogen bulbs should be Philips X-Treme vision, Osram Nightbreaker unlimited, or standard clear if those dont exist in that size, in that order.
                    How did you come to that determination? I currently have Sylvania Silverstar Ultras for my H1 high beams. The glass is blue tinted like you mentioned and they're about 5 years old so I was thinking of replacing them. I've seen other people recommend Philips X-Treme vision but I'm having a hard time finding hard data as to why?
                    2015 BMW X5 xDrive35d
                    2006 Acura TSX 6MT w/ Nav

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Velocifero View Post
                      How did you come to that determination? I currently have Sylvania Silverstar Ultras for my H1 high beams. The glass is blue tinted like you mentioned and they're about 5 years old so I was thinking of replacing them. I've seen other people recommend Philips X-Treme vision but I'm having a hard time finding hard data as to why?
                      Unfortunately the hard data is all behind a paywall I can't afford. For some sizes the GE nighthawk platinums tie the X-treme vision for performance, but in general the X-Treme vision is the brightest bulb in non swappable categories.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rdriggett View Post
                        Unfortunately the hard data is all behind a paywall I can't afford. For some sizes the GE nighthawk platinums tie the X-treme vision for performance, but in general the X-Treme vision is the brightest bulb in non swappable categories.
                        Roger. I bought and installed the "+130%" version of the Philips X-treme Vision for my H1 highs.
                        2015 BMW X5 xDrive35d
                        2006 Acura TSX 6MT w/ Nav

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                        • #13
                          Anyone have any idea how decent GE halogen bulbs are? Want to do an H11 to H9 bulb mod, but the only bulbs I can grab locally are GE.
                          2013 Grand Caravan. LS460s + RX350s.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lowfat View Post
                            Anyone have any idea how decent GE halogen bulbs are? Want to do an H11 to H9 bulb mod, but the only bulbs I can grab locally are GE.
                            GEs top end bulb is a smidge under the X-Treme Visions, so their regular bulb should be decent too.

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                            • #15
                              Very happy w/ the standard GE H9s. 2100 lumens according to the GE website for the standard H9. Pretty substantial difference between the H9 and H11 output. $15CAD each locally, which is dirt cheap. $10 less than the Philips H9s.
                              2013 Grand Caravan. LS460s + RX350s.

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