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Am I going crazy? Lights look great on start up but eventually dim.

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  • Am I going crazy? Lights look great on start up but eventually dim.

    I'm not sure if it's the lights or just my eye's adjusting to the light, but I feel like when I first start my car my lights look nice and bright. But after driving I feel like they get dimmer. I'm guessing the weak link in my set up is the DDM ballast but before I switch them out I want to know if anyone has heard of this or is there any way to check current ballasts.

    My current set up is mh1 mini 6.0's with 35watt morimoto 3five 5k bulbs and DDM raptor ballast.

  • #2
    Best answer may be to get some objective measurements. Set your camera to manual mode and have it somewhat underexposed. Find a place whose ambient lighting can be controlled (say, your garage), and take a picture of the beam. Drive around until you feel it looks dimmer, and when you get back to the garage, take another picture with the exact camera setting.

    Upload and compare.
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    • #3
      could be ballast going bad

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      • #4
        Originally posted by satrya View Post
        Best answer may be to get some objective measurements. Set your camera to manual mode and have it somewhat underexposed. Find a place whose ambient lighting can be controlled (say, your garage), and take a picture of the beam. Drive around until you feel it looks dimmer, and when you get back to the garage, take another picture with the exact camera setting.

        Upload and compare.

        That's what I'd try too, that way you can rule out your eyes playing tricks on you.



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        • #5
          Mine do the same. They get a really nice bright white with a hint of blue. Bright output..then a couple minutes latter settle out to pure white.

          It seems after awhile they dim out. I noticed this last night especially and it was pretty cold last night too..

          These are with.. you guessed it!! 5Five ballasts!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BrokenVisaCard View Post
            Mine do the same. They get a really nice bright white with a hint of blue. Bright output..then a couple minutes latter settle out to pure white.

            It seems after awhile they dim out. I noticed this last night especially and it was pretty cold last night too..

            These are with.. you guessed it!! 5Five ballasts!
            Does outside temps affect them?? I just wondered the same thing with mine. Some days they seem pretty bright white(5000k) other days (maybe on the colder nights) they seem to be kinda dim almost yellow. Have had mine for almost a year now. Morimoto 3five 5000k xb35's (with metal base)...

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            • #7
              Mine too are the new XB35 bulbs. 5000k

              They were super bright/white this past summer. But seems this past month they aren’t as “wow” bright as they were.

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              • #8
                ^^^ you're probably just used to them lol. All new stuff loses that "wow" factor after a while

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gold94corolla View Post
                  ^^^ you're probably just used to them lol. All new stuff loses that "wow" factor after a while
                  Well that’s just it. They are super bright when they fire up. Then they level out and are still really bright. Then after awhile (say, 20 minutes) they dim out a bit.

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                  • #10
                    Idk. I could swear it. Even a passenger noticed it. Although, I have had an led light bar that puts out 10k lumens and is crazy bright white, that I use quite often, every night as I live in a desert area where there's not much traffic. But still, I installed some new ones in my brothers truck and his appear a lot whiter and brighter than mine. Now I do know that they do actually dim over time and change hues, but I assumed it took a lot longer period of time for that and not within a year. What about the deal with them "flickering" like when you turn them off and on too quickly? For example I try to make sure and turn them off before I start the vehicle, but forget and they flicker when cranking over. Or when I'm taking pictures or turning them off an on for whatever reason.. Also i ran my battery dead one night with them on and they ended up shutting off at like 10volts or something i dont remember... Would any of that affect them and to what extent?

                    Edit: when I ran the battery dead I didn't know what was going on at first, but the passenger side was igniting off and on super fast. Like it wasn't getting enough power. It wasn't till after I realized my battery may be going dead, then the driver side went out and finally nothing in both. Not sure if maybe that damages them or not to effect the brightness, maybe the lifespan of the bulb tho.. Someone clarify what all effects bulbs and brightness??
                    Last edited by to_endanger; December 25th, 2013, 12:28 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I can say for a fact that from all the ballasts (Denso, Bosch Gen 2, Matsu Gen 4, Hylux, 'Original' 3five) I've tested so far (with CNlight bulbs however), the output does dim ever so slightly and slowly after the initial warm up.

                      Not sure if you'd notice it when driving but I was taking photos on my DSLR, at set intervals and if you compare the brightness from 1 min after ignition to 5 mins the output is dimmer on the 5 min shot.

                      Not sure if it's the aftermarket bulb or what, but yeah. I have yet to try it with my 85122s.
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                      • #12
                        I'm wondering if these 5k and 6k kelvin bulbs just dim back down to a range closer to that of the 4300k's too after a while. Boosted to be brighter but eventually fall back down to its original rating? Idk I don't really know very much at all about the actual bulbs, as I'm sure that's apparent to some of you. Ha.

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                        • #13
                          By 'dim back down to a range closer to that of the 4300k's' are you talking about the temperature or the brightness.

                          Because when you boost a bulb they get warmer in colour temp, not cooler.

                          The way they get a cooler temp is with the ratio of materials in the salts.
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                          • #14
                            Yeah in whatever way they are modified to be that specific color temp. Wondering what the rate is for them to dim. Because I know they do dim a bit over time, but at what rate? Like are we talking months/years? Or a set amount of hours? I know these bulbs are rated for like 2000 hours or something, but that's just the lifespan of the bulb. What about the brightness? Will they dim any given amount within those 2000 hrs? Or are they supposed to be full color temp and not change the full life? I always heard that they DO dim over time. I suppose the best way is to figure out is to test new and used bulbs. I may do this with my brothers bulbs that have probly only a few days worth in hours of use compared to my years worth of use for mine. But they are different bulbs. Mine are the older metal base xb35 and his are the newest ones with the plastic base. Idk, I still could swear that its not me, or the lifespan of use, it just seems that some days they are brighter than others. Some days they look bright as hell like the first day I installed them. Other days they look like they are dimmer and a bit yellowish rather than bright white..

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                            • #15
                              Well... I don't think I'm crazy. I found a dark alley and decided to do a little experiment.

                              First picture, at initial start up.


                              Second picture, after about 10 minutes or so...


                              I know it's not much, but I can definitely tell it's dimmer.

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