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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 01-22-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
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Headlight Bulb Brightness

I'm curious if anyone knows of anyone doing Lux tests for various headlight bulbs you can buy. One of my headlight bulbs (Motomaster special) blew the other day so I've temporarily replaced it with a PIAA Superplasma GTX that came with the car when I bought it. It wasn't until I was parked, idling in front of a building wall when I realized that, subjectively at least, the PIAA bulb seemed to throw off far less light than the Motomaster... even though the PIAA allegedly is higher wattage.

I know the whole thing about colour spectrum and lighting temperatures and whatnot affecting the total usable light, but I'm just curious if anyone has come across an article or DIY'er actually taking a lux meter and actually measuring different bulbs.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:00 AM   #2
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This site has some nice articles:

Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

Not exactly sure about their test method of measuring the brightness though.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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Any tinted bulbs claiming to provide higher light output is just a gimmick. Human eyes perceive white light better than yellow light, leading to the impression that the tinted blue bulbs are brighter when they are not.

The JDM blue tinted bulbs i.e. MTEC, some PIAA, Nokya etc. usually have a terrible cut-off and throw light everywhere and way too high with tons of glare. I've been through two sets of MTEC Super White H4 bulbs on my Element and the beam pattern would always change after a couple months as the bulb itself melts and deforms (but strangely still works). They're bright and white and do burn very hot as a result of the increased wattage, but I'm sure drivers hated me for having them as they had tons of glare.

The brightest halogen bulbs on the market now are the Osram Nightbreaker Plus which I've been using for the past few months or so, and the Philips X-treme Vision. Both bulbs have very similar light output but drivers claim the Philips bulbs have a slightly better beam pattern.

Will probably be making the switch to HIDs soon though. Apparently the VVME kits on the Element have a very sharp cut-off without any glare. Not going to dish out hundreds and hundreds on a projector retrofit.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by akinari-kun View Post
Osram Nightbreaker Plus which I've been using for the past few months or so, and the Philips X-treme Vision.
Did you buy these bulbs locally? If so where? I have been wanting to try them forever and can’t find them anywhere.

Lomac, might be due to age, that my CRV headlight design is Bullshit, or that my eyes have just always sucked, but I have been searching for the best night/bad weather bulb for a while now. Haven’t been able to do any testing with equipment, only from my own vision, so take this with a grain of salt.

I have tried more than a few bulbs for the last few years. From what I have found, while in dry conditions you can move to a pretty white light and still get good visibility, as soon as the roads are wet, if the bulb is too white the light just seems to scatter.

A good mix of white and yellow light from what I have found is the GE Nighthawks (NOT the nighthawk platinum’s!). They really seem to well in both situations, and last a while.

As per above, anything with any kind of “blue” coating at all, I just won’t use as it doesn’t work for me in the wet, and doesn’t do well in a “usable light” situation.

I really want to give HIRs a try, but haven’t ponied up the cash just yet. I also want to try the PIAA ION yellow lights in my headlights, just to see. I have them in a set of fogs and they work great, but Im sure I would be getting pulled over pretty quick if I use them in my headlights as well.

As for actual scientific testing, you’re probably going to have a hard time finding that on line. The Daniel Stern page seems to have the best info I have found on line.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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Will probably be making the switch to HIDs soon though. Apparently the VVME kits on the Element have a very sharp cut-off without any glare. Not going to dish out hundreds and hundreds on a projector retrofit.
very sharp cut off or not, the surface area of your reflector housing is what's going to glare people.

for the love of god, do a retrofit. it's not "hundreds and hundreds" that people think of it to be. i bought my minid2s projector from retrofitsource for $55 (ask them for one of those ones with scratches/imperfections on the outside, they like to keep only shiny ones lol) for half price.

the rest is just your the same cost for HID bulb+ballast. the whole thing cost me $125 to get performance better than my parent's e46. $55 projectors, $40 morimoto bulbs, $30 generic ebay ballast (gonna upgrade these soon).


to OP, as said above, those tinted bulbs are made to trick your eye to "see" more because it's white, but in reality, the actual lumens being shot into the street is the same or less. i've found GE nighthawks to be really worth the ridiculous amount for halogen bulbs. they were great for cutoff, and great for visibility. but then again, i swapped over to projector/hid for double the price...
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lomac View Post
I'm curious if anyone knows of anyone doing Lux tests for various headlight bulbs you can buy. One of my headlight bulbs (Motomaster special) blew the other day so I've temporarily replaced it with a PIAA Superplasma GTX that came with the car when I bought it. It wasn't until I was parked, idling in front of a building wall when I realized that, subjectively at least, the PIAA bulb seemed to throw off far less light than the Motomaster... even though the PIAA allegedly is higher wattage.

I know the whole thing about colour spectrum and lighting temperatures and whatnot affecting the total usable light, but I'm just curious if anyone has come across an article or DIY'er actually taking a lux meter and actually measuring different bulbs.
The PIAA is only standard wattage 55/60 it appears brighter because of gas mix and colour. PIAA shows what their color temperature is in their catalog.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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Did you buy these bulbs locally? If so where? I have been wanting to try them forever and can’t find them anywhere.
Nope, they're not for sale in North America as far as I'm aware since Sylvania is the North American subsidiary of Osram. I got them from a legit seller on eBay from the UK.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:09 PM   #8
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I really want to give HIRs a try, but haven’t ponied up the cash just yet. I also want to try the PIAA ION yellow lights in my headlights, just to see. I have them in a set of fogs and they work great, but Im sure I would be getting pulled over pretty quick if I use them in my headlights as well.
.
I have been driving with PIAA ion yellows in hella h4 housing for over a year now. When looking at them from eye level they look almost white. Lower down below is where they are yellow. They are great in the fog and on the highway in the spray from other cars.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:40 PM   #9
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I've always bought my bulbs from powerbulbs.

Headlights, Car Lights, Headlight Bulb, Car Bulbs, Car Light Bulbs | PowerBulbs
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chris walter View Post
I have been driving with PIAA ion yellows in hella h4 housing for over a year now. When looking at them from eye level they look almost white. Lower down below is where they are yellow. They are great in the fog and on the highway in the spray from other cars.
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Thanks, gives me more incentive to try them out!
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:47 PM   #11
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These PIAA Ion yellows intrigue me. Where did you buy them Chris?
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:11 AM   #12
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These PIAA Ion yellows intrigue me. Where did you buy them Chris?
Overseas Auto has PIAA Ion Yellow
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:47 PM   #13
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Hmm...upon further discussion with Entrax, I may be doing a retrofit on my mom's Focus.



Retrofit mini-meet?
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:34 AM   #14
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I remember when I was in high school, I bought Sylvannia Cool Blue bulbs and thought they were super cool!
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