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Aftermarket HID bulb shootout

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  • Aftermarket HID bulb shootout

    I decided to do an H11 HID bulb shootout with a few different brands of HID bulbs. Some I bought, some I was sent. All bulbs are brand new unless stated. All tests were done in a Koito H11 halogen projector (which is standard on many Camry, Prius, Lexus and other models).

    I want to give a huge shoutout to those who were willing to send me some products. XenonDepot supplied their own bulbs (including a fresh 5000K for testing because mine were well used in the Lexus) and Lightwerkz who were kind enough to donate the NHK bulb and the projector itself. The projector is a massive help to my tests and to the community, so big big thank you to Lightwerkz for the support.

    All photos were taken at 15 feet with a 10-20mm Sigma wide angle lens on a Nikon D7200 body at 15mm f/5 ISO 800 at 1/60, 1/400, and 1/2500 seconds with the color balance locked to 5000K to get relatively true to life colors. Of course they aren't perfect, but they’re as close as I could get them.

    If others want to send me fresh bulbs for testing, these were tested in a controlled environment and I can come back and test the new bulbs for a relatively comparable number. On with the testing!

    NHK 5500K:







    XenonDepot 5000K:







    XenonDepot 5000K (with 6 months of winter driving and 5000 miles on them on an OEM Denso ballast):







    XenonDepot 4300K (Philips rebased):







    Diode Dynamics high grade CNLight 5000K #1:







    Diode Dynamics high grade CNLight 5000K #2:







    Philips H11 halogen:







    Philips H9 halogen:







    Here are the lux figures collected. All figures are peak figures, not in the same spot but rather in the brightest spot. Many were retested for accuracy.

    NHK 5500K: 2530
    XenonDepot 5000K: 3090
    XenonDepot 5000K used: 2220
    XenonDepot Philips 4300K: 3320
    Diode Dynamics high grade CNLight 5000K: 1640
    Diode Dynamics high grade CNLight 5000K #2: 2300
    Philips H11 halogen: 761
    Philips H9 halogen: 1261

    A few notes.
    The NHK was had a very mild shade of green, not nearly as bad as the photos suggest but visible.
    The XenonDepot 5000K runs warm compared to its competition but emits a very warm, OEM-like color with no tints.
    The Philips rebased bulb is an absolute beast. Pricey, but worth it.
    Of the pair of CNLight bulbs I got, one was defective. This is visible in the testing. It shouldn't necessarily reflect poorly on Diode Dynamics, but I previously posted a low number for this bulb, so I decided to test the second of the pair and it performed predictably. The color is cool but without much tint.
    The halogen H9 is a massive upgrade over the H11.
    HID moves the hotspot up and concentrates it nicely, making a HID a surprisingly good choice for this projector. The halogen hotspot hangs low. You will still get a lot of foreground though.
    HID bulbs lose lumens fast! Change your bulbs every few years, people.

    Let me know what you want to see next!
    Last edited by Haloruler64; March 1st, 2018, 05:27 AM.

    2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
    2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

  • #2
    Hmm. The images are probably hosted on a site that is blocked by some firewalls (like from where I am now).

    Interested to see it though.
    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

    3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

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    • #3
      Great write up! I used your review of the Xtreme LED Pro kit from XD and persuaded my dad to buy some for their ‘13 RX. He loves them and so does my mom (she actually likes it better than I anticipated).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by satrya View Post
        Hmm. The images are probably hosted on a site that is blocked by some firewalls (like from where I am now).

        Interested to see it though.
        They're hosted on Postimg, wonder why it's blocked. Every review I've posted recently has used the same host. Is this at work or at home?

        Originally posted by Zac. View Post
        Great write up! I used your review of the Xtreme LED Pro kit from XD and persuaded my dad to buy some for their ‘13 RX. He loves them and so does my mom (she actually likes it better than I anticipated).
        Thank you!! Glad to hear that I helped in some way.

        2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
        2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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        • #5
          Solid test. Interesting results.

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          • #6
            Nice job. I would recommend using a fixed light point for all comparisons. And then record the location of the brightest point.

            The fixed location could be right at the outside corner as the step begins its inclination as this is the point of light which will reach the farthest at the centerline of the road. Because a bulb that may record the highest lux of the bunch near the right side of the far seeing road, may not necessarily be the better bulb for one that has higher lux near the fixed location.

            Just figured this would give a more accurate representation of the performance between them all. Because its easy for someone to automatically chose the bulb with the highest lux and not consider all the factors.

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            • #7
              Also, how wide was your test wall? At 16 feet my 11 ft wide test wall is still not wide enough for the entire beam of any projector I have. Either your wall is twice the size of mine, or the Koito H11 projector is not wide at all.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                Nice job. I would recommend using a fixed light point for all comparisons. And then record the location of the brightest point. The fixed location could be right at the outside corner as the step begins its inclination as this is the point of light which will reach the farthest at the centerline of the road. Because a bulb that may record the highest lux of the bunch near the right side of the far seeing road, may not necessarily be the better bulb for one that has higher lux near the fixed location. Just figured this would give a more accurate representation of the performance between them all. Because its easy for someone to automatically chose the bulb with the highest lux and not consider all the factors.
                Yeah I somewhat agree. I compensated for not using the same spot by providing severely underexposed photos to show the position of the hotspot. Problem is, in this projector, the hotspot kinda hangs low so measuring right at the step would not be ideal. Also, the halogen hotspot hangs even LOWER which would give slightly misleading results. I guess both ways are compromised.

                Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                Also, how wide was your test wall? At 16 feet my 11 ft wide test wall is still not wide enough for the entire beam of any projector I have. Either your wall is twice the size of mine, or the Koito H11 projector is not wide at all.
                Very very wide wall! I had to grab my wide angle 10-20mm though. It's in a business building so it's a very large space length wise (long wall) but I couldn't go further back than 15 feet because it's a bit narrow.. Also the Koito H11 was not very wide.

                2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
                2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Haloruler64 View Post
                  They're hosted on Postimg, wonder why it's blocked. Every review I've posted recently has used the same host. Is this at work or at home?
                  At work. I suspect many companies' firewalls are quite conservative.
                  Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                  3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Haloruler64 View Post
                    Let me know what you want to see next!
                    I'd like to see a D2S shootout. Philips vs whoever can donate a test bulb. I'm especially interested in seeing XD's in-house D2S, if it produces similar results as their in-house H11 vs Philips rebase they're a bargain for a little over $50/pair. Also NHK since they're easy for me to get (Lightwerkz is minutes away from my work LOL)
                    Originally posted by HK45
                    I don't even look to see what Eddie writes anymore. I'm too busy staring at his avatar.

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                    • #11
                      Unfortunately the only two D2S bulbs I have are XD 5000K and Philips Xtreme Vision Gen 2. No CBI or base Philips. They'd have to be brand new too.

                      That being said, I will be doing that comparison with those two bulbs!

                      2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
                      2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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                      • #12
                        XV Gen.2 gimme gimme

                        I have some brand-new Philips 85122 bulbs, they've been in storage for like 8-10 years but I doubt they'd go "stale". If LW can't send you a tester I can furnish a 5500K NHK D2H (other than the AMP connections it's the same bulb as the D2S as per Caesar)
                        Originally posted by HK45
                        I don't even look to see what Eddie writes anymore. I'm too busy staring at his avatar.

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                        • #13
                          I'm honestly not sure Lightwerkz would send me a D2S bulb. Makes no business sense pitting a solid but budget aftermarket bulb against the best of the best OEMs. Only XenonDepot was cocky enough to do that hahaha. But I think the base 85122 would be the most important, second being CBI.

                          2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
                          2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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                          • #14
                            True, the NHK test is just for my own selfish desires LOL. I'll start packing that 85122 for you
                            Originally posted by HK45
                            I don't even look to see what Eddie writes anymore. I'm too busy staring at his avatar.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That would be really kind of you. Will be interesting if the ratio of H11 XD Philips rebased:XD 5000K will be the same to Philips 85122:XD 5000K D2S.

                              2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
                              2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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