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TESTING the new Philips X-tremeUltinon Gen2 signal bulbs

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  • TESTING the new Philips X-tremeUltinon Gen2 signal bulbs

    The next gen signal Philips LED bulbs are here and their dubbed the X-tremeUltinon LED gen2. In the US, some years back we received the Philips Vision LED bulbs which were a nice upgrade to the incandescent bulbs. They provided a near perfect match to the beam pattern as well as similar light output. Which was a good and bad thing, depending on your perspective. If you expected brighter bulbs with the Vision line than you would be disappointed. The new X bulbs use the same rear-firing design as the Visions but have upgraded LED chips. They also offer more applications, as well as finally offering an amber turn signal bulb, which wasnít offered under the Vision line. And while technically the X line is not being offered in the US, as of this writing, its only available to other markets.

    The X-tremeUltinon line is *supposed* to be Philips top dog. The tier levels from bottom up go like this: Vision, Ultinon, X-tremeUltinon. So these X bulbs should be the best right? Letís take a quick look and see.

    Iíve got the 7440 amber turn signal bulb. Rated specs are 180 lumens @ 1.8w. The chips being used are the Lumileds Luxeon 3535L Color Line in PC Amber. A quick look at the datasheet says that at 100mA it produces an average of 29.5 lumens. So if we multiply by 6 chips than we get to roughly 180 lumens which is the rated flux. On my bench power supply these bulbs were drawing 0.13a @ 13.7v. It matches up to the specs.

    I donít have any tail lamps for testing but I have plenty of headlamps. And while the 7440 (single filament) application is specifically for the rear, I decided to test them in a 7443 socket (dual filament). Optical properties are the same though since both bulbs use the same specs for its major filament. Some light shaving with a mini file to remove the fitment tabs on the X bulb allowed them to slide into the headlamp socket. First test lamp was a 15-18 Ford F150. I also tried them in a 17-18 Nissan Rogue headlamp *but did not take photos*.

    My final thoughts on results in NEXT POST...

  • #2
    I had a chance to do a little more testing. The aforementioned Nissan Rogue headlamp (with images now) and a Honda Accord headlamp.

    The test results were taken at 10 feet from the measuring screen. I took 3 readings at the lower plus marking on the wall and then 4 degrees left and 4 degrees right. There is a photometric test point grid specifically for turn signals in the FMVSS 108 standard but I donít have those points setup on my wall yet so I decided to use these points which are sort of center in the incandescent beam, just to get an idea of what kind of illuminance is being projected.

    Measurements are listed as LEFT/CENTER/RIGHT and in lux units.

    Ford F150 headlamp
    89/89/92 lux = avg. 90

    Philips X-LED
    31/44/36 lux = avg. 37

    NET GAIN/LOSS = -58.8%

    Nissan Rogue headlamp
    45/72/42 lux = avg. 53

    Philips X-LED
    19/26/20 lux = avg. 27.6

    NET GAIN/LOSS = -59.2%

    Honda Accord headlamp
    54/95/70 lux = avg. 73

    Philips X-LED
    34/29/27 lux = avg. 30

    NET GAIN/LOSS = -58.9%


    • #3
      Oooh Philips could have had a winner here [SMH]. The design concept is sound but the power is just too low! I get it. They donít want to overdrive these bulbs and have them crapping out early in their life but they may have just been a little too conservative in the power levels on this one. All they needed to do is take a look at the Japanese spec X-treme Ultinon with the Luxeon Rebel and made sure the light intensity was a match to that.

      So unfortunately the reign of power continues with the current King of Amber T20 BulbsÖ


      • #4
        Same old modern Philips crap it seems. What a shame.

        2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
        2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport


        • #5
          So the application for these are when you need dimmer turn signals?
          2000 Celica GTS 'slowest gts evar'
          1998 Mazda 626 FS-DE/CD4E 'mom-mobile'


          • #6

            Well, I can't say that I'm surprised given the much lower power draw of the Gen2's compared to the Gen1's. I guess I was hoping the improved efficiency of the new emitters would help offset the power loss, but I see that's not the case at all. Well, on the bright side (har har har), at least they're still better than those gawdawful Ultinons we got here in North America. Right?

            I have higher hopes for the Reds since they're similar in power to both the Visions and the Gen1 X-Treme Ultinon Reds (which I still find impressive, if somewhat less impressive than the ZEVO Reds and especially their Amber siblings). I don't expect them to match the raw intensity of the Gen1's, but they should (in theory) out-perform the Visions. The Philips product page says they're 2.1W (compared to 1.8W for the Ambers, what the...?) and 100 lumens, which is a healthy increase over the 2W and 50 lumens of the Visions, and 1.97W and 75 lumens of the Gen1 Reds. I just hope those numbers translate to the real world.

            I'm still waiting on my Gen2's to arrive in the mail. After seeing this, I'm probably just going to sell the Ambers on Ebay or something without even testing them. I do, however, look forward to trying out the Reds and comparing them against the other bulbs that I have on hand. Maybe we'll have a ZEVO-like situation where the Ambers are a massive disappointment while the Reds are a pleasant surprise? I guess we'll see...

            Now that I think about it, maybe it's a good time to pick up an extra set or two of the Gen1 XU's while they're still available. I'd hate for mine to die one day and be left without a worthy successor to replace them. Powerbulbs is already out of stock, which leaves Amazon Japan and Ebay as the only places to get them online right now (that I know of).

            Thanks for the write-up, evo! Very informative, as always. I just wish I'd waited to see your results before blindly placing my order. Oh well.