Suggestions on Replacing the Low-beam Headlight Bulbs

Joined
Jan 25, 2007
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So my driver's side low-beam bulb died today. Any suggestions on what to replace it with? Being as uneducated as I am about headlights, I will just say that I would like to replace the bulb(s) with something much brighter.

Ideas?
 
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Aug 21, 2003
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Does it use HB4(or5)?

If so, can you get your hands on HIR's?

Good luck!
 

bluecruiser

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go to danielsternlighting.com...email him with your question, he sent me a lot of info and he does have HIR's
 
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Easy and cheap: get an HB3 (9005) instead of the HB4 (9006). HB3 are what you have in the high beams, and they are noticeably brighter (65W instead of 55W). You will have to cut an inner tab of the bulb socket that prevents it from fitting into the HB4 connector, but it's easily done with an x-acto cutter or a soldering iron.
 
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i got myself some 9005 superbrights from walmart (the very white 65w bulbs). much better upgrade. did this while up at school using a pair of plier snips and the file and knife on my leatherman. works great
 
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Daniel Stern all the way. Very knowledgeable and good prices. He will give you all the info you need on HIR's, as well as lighting in general. I replaced the high's and low's with his bulbs and have been very happy.
 
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I have decided to go the DainelStern way.

The email with the information he sent was very informative. If you are interested:

Your best upgrade path is to replace the existing 9005 (high beam) and/or 9006 (low beam) bulbs with Toshiba 9011 and 9012 bulbs . The new bulbs are not some tinted or overwattage version of 9005 and 9006, but rather employ a relatively new technology called HIR, Halogen Infrared Reflection. The mechanical dimensions of the bulb are all identical to the 9005 and 9006 bulbs, but the bulb glass is spherical instead of tubular, with the sphere centered around the filament. There is a "Durable IR Reflective" coating on the spherical glass. Infrared = heat, so the coating causes heat to be reflected back to the filament at the center of the sphere. This causes the filament to become much hotter (producing more light) than it can by passing electricity through it, *without* the shorter life or greater heat production that comes with overwattage bulbs (to say nothing of overwattage bulbs' incompatibility with stock wiring.)​
Here's the comparison:
Low beam stock: 9006, 12.8V, 55W, 1000 lumens, 875 hours
Low beam compare: 9006+50, 12.8V, 55W, 1090 lumens, 300 hours
Low beam new: HIR2, 12.8V, 55W, 1875 lumens, 875 hours
High beam stock: 9005, 12.8V, 65W, 1700 lumens, 320 hours
High beam compare: 9005+50, 12.8V, 55W, 1830 lumens, 175 hours
High beam new: HIR1, 12.8V, 65W, 2530 lumens, 320 hours

So you're looking at 88 percent more light from the low beams and a grand total of 137% more light (49% of which from the high beam units, 88% of which from the low beams, which may be wired to remain on with the high beams) on high beam. The beam pattern will not change, but there will be considerably more light within the beam pattern.​


These bulbs are spendy - $27/ea - but their cost is worth considering in context: Any number of companies will charge you more than this for a tarted-up 9005 or 9006 with blue colored glass (PIAA and Sylvania Silverstar come to mind) that doesn't produce more light and has a very short lifespan.​


The HIR bulbs have a double-wide top ear on the plastic bulb base, to comply with the law requiring different bulbs to have different bases. The extra-wide plastic top ear is easily trimmed or filed to make the bulb fit your headlamp's bulb receptacle. Once that's done, they go directly into the headlamp, and the existing sockets snap on.​
 
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A number of us w/ LX's got HID retrofit kits since the LX has projector lamps, excellent peripheral vision compared to halogens. Output is something like 3000 lumens for the 35w HID. You have to either use rebased HID bulbs (cost more than normal HID's, but it puts the light at the focus of the halogen projector) or change the projector to a HID type to match the focal point of the bulb to avoid spraying light inefficiently all over the place and blinding oncoming traffic. You can also get 55w HID's w/ ~5000 lumens in Japan, but if you have that much output, you might get pulled over by the light cops!
 
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I went with the PIAA Xtreme Wite Plus in the 9005's and 9006's. Very pleased with them. :cheers:

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ok - I went with HIRs for both low and high beam from Daniel Stern... put in the right side first but not the left, both low and high and drove for a few days so I could enjoy the difference - BUT - to be totally honest here, I didn't see much difference at ALL... ok, maybe 5-10% brighter - MAYBE - and that is while driving, looking at them on my garage door, staring right into them etc etc... and I did this several times over 3 consecutive nights... I was TOTALY underwhealmed.... but maybe that's because everyone's been saying these HIRs are the bomb, but for me they were a total waste of $100.....

Just my 2 cents

Fish
 
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That does not sound very cool.

I should be getting the bulbs sometime this week. After putting them in, I will report my observations too.

ok - I went with HIRs for both low and high beam from Daniel Stern... put in the right side first but not the left, both low and high and drove for a few days so I could enjoy the difference - BUT - to be totally honest here, I didn't see much difference at ALL... ok, maybe 5-10% brighter - MAYBE - and that is while driving, looking at them on my garage door, staring right into them etc etc... and I did this several times over 3 consecutive nights... I was TOTALY underwhealmed.... but maybe that's because everyone's been saying these HIRs are the bomb, but for me they were a total waste of $100.....

Just my 2 cents

Fish
 
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That does not sound very cool.

I should be getting the bulbs sometime this week. After putting them in, I will report my observations too.

Interested in your outcome. Maybe you can snap a picture of before and after or do the same thing of only doing one side and taking a comparison shot at night.
 
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Sounds like a good idea. It will be a very fair comparison as well because I had to replace the driver's side lamp on Friday before leaving on my six hour night driving trip. This way I can put HIRs on the passenger side and compare the light output with a brand new 9005 bulb on the driver's side.

I will take night pictures and post them here.

Interested in your outcome. Maybe you can snap a picture of before and after or do the same thing of only doing one side and taking a comparison shot at night.
 
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I ordered some Toshiba 9011's from ebay and should be getting them very soon. My high beams are bright enough already.

I'm using the Phillips bulbs you can get from Europe right now and they are brighter than stock. I'll post my impressions of the HIR bulbs asap.
 
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I fitted Toshiba HIR's from eBay, changed one side in garage and shone on wall and was definetly brighter than stock, but I didn't have time to do any checks on the road and changed other side and left it as that. Looks good on road, but not sure how much better without doing a proper test with a light meter.
 

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