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Update- Thoughts and Information on Headlights

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by cary, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. cary

    cary

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    So here is some updated information on headlights, prompted by another users comments to stay away from HID conversions from mrjung (he was correct).

    1) HID retrofit kits are no longer legal for sale as of August 2003. Sellers may be fined $5000 per day for offering them for sale. Aside from that, there are some real problems with conversion kits, even those that have the filament in the proper position. Essentially, HID lamps emit light in a different radiation patter than regular incadecent bulbs. This leads to sever spotting in conversion lamps that were not designed for HID bulbs in the first place. Also HID lamps that are designed for the bulbs from the start are designed for a broader flatter beam (mind you I am ignoring the superior Europeon lighting standards and focusing on the US standards). For some great information, check out these two websites www.hidforum.com and http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/216460 . The bottom line is the consensus is to forget doing an HID conversion using the stock lenses.

    2) Lights like piaa Ultrabrightblindyoublues, are a waste of money. Any blue bulb is a waste of money and there is no such thing as 55w=110w, all this is playing with the filament and measurments, the bulbs do not have higher lumens output. BTW, ALL FACTORY HID LAMPS are 4100k lights. HID lamps are only manufactured in 4100K and 5000k (for replacement). Any other color temp HID lamp is either tinted or falsely advertised.

    So what do you do?

    1) As others have said, first get voltage to your bulbs. Get the Slee wiring harness. Here is an explanation from Daniel Stern Lighting as to why:

    "In many cases, the thin factory wires are inadequate even for the stock headlamp equipment. Headlamp bulb light output is severely compromised with decreased voltage. For example, normal engine-running voltage in a "12-volt" automotive electrical system is around 13.5 volts. At approximately this voltage, halogen headlamp bulbs achieve 100 percent of their design luminous output. When operating voltage drops to 95 percent (12.825v), headlamp bulbs produce only 83 percent of their rated light output. When voltage drops to 90 percent (12.15v), bulb output is only 67 percent of what it should be. And when voltage drops to 85 percent (11.475v), bulb output is a paltry 53 percent of normal! [Source: Hella KG Hueck AG, Germany]. It is much more common than you might think for factory headlamp wiring/switch setups to produce this kind of voltage drop, especially once they're no longer brand new and the connections have accumulated some corrosion and dirt."

    2) Upgrade the Bulbs. Stock the lamps on the LC put out the following light (these are max numbers):

    HB4 (9006) 55watts 1100 lumens
    HB3 (9005) 65watts 1900 lumens

    For comparision here is the spec for all HID lamps:

    D1S ~35watts 3200lumens


    So what are the options for upgrades. First, you can get the 9006 80 watt bulbs and 9005 100 watt bulbs from rallylights.com. I spoke with them recently and they informed me that Hella has stopped the manufacture of the high output bulbs in Korea due to quality issues (no crap!!!!) and they are awaiting deliverly of German bulbs (thank God). I have been unable to find output listings for the 80/100 bulbs but would estimate with the wiring harness they are about 2000-2500 lumens.

    Say you don't want to do the wiring harness (or like my Wife's BMW, she won't put up with it), or you don't want to replace bulbs all the time, what are your options? They are called HIR bulbs as other have discussed in the past. There are sold by John Deere and Slee Off Road has them under the IPF brand. You can also get them from daniel stern lighting for $39 each. The information on the HIR bulbs from Daniel Stern is:

    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. The mechanical dimensions of the bulb are all virtually
    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
    Low beam new: HIR2, 12.8V, 55W, 1875 lumens

    High beam stock: 9005, 12.8V, 65W, 1700 lumens
    High beam new: HIR1, 12.8V, 65W, 2530 lumens

    So you're looking at nearly 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.

    Now, it's not a problem to use HIR1 in any high beam that takes 9005. High
    beams are by definition difficult to make too intense. If there's anyone
    in front of you to object to glare, you should be using LOW beams. There
    is a low-beam HIR bulb, but it must be used with discretion. The HIR2 (low
    beam bulb) produces 1875 lumens. That's about 88 percent more light than a
    9006, so it must only be used in low beams that have, as part of their
    design, excellent control of upward stray light. If the low beam pattern
    doesn't have a sharp horizontal cutoff at the top of the beam, if there's
    appreciable upward stray light above horizontal, you will produce
    excessive glare and get excessive backdazzle with HIR2s.

    These bulbs are spendy - $39/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 comes 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, this is
    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.


    More information on the HIR bulbs can be found at:

    http://www.gelighting.com/na/litlib/hir1techsheet1.html


    I am awaiting a pair of these for my Wife's BMW and will report back how they work with the stock harness.


    Finally, a personal note. Remember it is not how much light you need under good conditions but under bad conditions. Last night was I driving back from Reno to the SF Bay Area on Hwy 80. It was raining hard and dark up in the mountains. I have 80/100 bulbs with a harness (well right now 1 80 and 1 55 due to bulb burnout). I was going around a sweeping turn, and suddnely, I could not see where the road was going, the line or anything else due to paving lines being worn off, road spray and heavy rain. I hit the high beams, and I could see everything. It is when this happens that the investment is worth every penny. Bottom line, you need light when it dark, wet and crummy conditions.


    Cary
     
  2. Jomama

    Jomama

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    Any links to the John Deer or Daniel Stern stuff?
     
  3. Landpimp

    Landpimp

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    A few of my observations

    100 series stock 9006 are 51watt

    I have HIR's in my low beams on my 80 series, they are not much better IMOP than the standard 9006's, I also had no issues with fitting them.

    I checked the voltage drop in my 100, there is no drop from the battery to the lights, this is the 1st cruiser I have found not to have a drop. I don't have my FSM yet but its possible the OEM wiring is wired different then 97 and before.

    But I must say.........good info Cary :)
     
  4. cary

    cary

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    [quote author=Jomama link=board=2;threadid=11659;start=msg106213#msg106213 date=1077038889]
    Any links to the John Deer or Daniel Stern stuff?

    [/quote]

    Can't find any info on the John Deere stuff, but daniel Stern is: http://www.danielsternlighting.com/


    As a note, the lights in the 80 series are much better than many US spec lights. They still don't touch E-code lamps thought.


    Cary
     
  5. Jomama

    Jomama

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    The Daniel Stern link is either wrong or down.
     
  6. bkgiii

    bkgiii SILVER Star

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    His site is migrating elsewhere...should be up shortly
     
  7. uzj100

    uzj100

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    Hey guys,

    I have the john deere hir2 low beams and they were $28 each from the john deere dealership. You have to file down one plastic knub and took all of 1 minute with a leatherman file. These are quite an improvement over stock. The seat of pants test, stock low beam you could stare straight into the light all day llong, with the HIRs your eyes start to hurt immediately. Boy was that stupid. This mod was discovered about 3 years ago by an aussie who works at a JD dealership in Australia.

    I also have the hir1 IPF high beams, these were more expensive, $65 each. They are advertised as 130w however on the bulb case, it says 65w 9011. They make quite a difference also.

    :D
     
  8. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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    Jeebus Cary... This is as good as one of your oil threads! I guess lighting is a fetish of yours as well. ;)

    Here's my 411, and observation.

    After reading all the lighting posts and using the search function, (Not to piss off Junk :flipoff2:), I figured that I'd go with the Slee upgraded 9006/9005 harness and auxilary harness. I have tried the PIAA bulbs and Hellas, with mediocre success, and alot of burned out bulbs. Especially the PIAA's in my wifes New Beetle, cause they're a B!tch to change.

    After plenty of reading, I decided to buck up and get the IPF HIR bulbs from Slee for both low and high beams. They weren't cheap, but DAMN they're awesome! Japanese made, and very high quality. I love the service from Christo and Ben at Slee, and decided it would be worth a few extra $$ to support those guys. They said they've got quite a few out there, wheeling, and haven't had any problems at all. That pretty much decided it for me, I really trust their opinion.

    I made sure that I had the housings aimed so that I wouldn't blind everyone with the additional light. They're very precise, and there's not alot of "stray light". I haven't posted a review, because my right side housing is very dull inside. Their is a crack in the housing somewhere and the reflective material is degraded badly. They STILL work great. They'll be excellent once I replace the bad housing on the right. I'm very pleased with the outcome.

    Here's a link to my pix of the harness install, incase anyone wants to see that. The instructions were excellent, and even I was able to do the install without "welding" or fire. (2 things that occur quite a bit when I attempt electrical work) This would be about a :banana: :banana: job for a skilled dude. I'm an electard, and pretty retentive... so it was a :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: for me.

    http://public.fotki.com/GoKart3/landcruiser_stuff/slee_upgraded_headl/

    Here's a pic of the HIR bulbs, incase you haven't ever seen one. Neat technology.
    [​IMG]

    I wired in the Aux harness and left the wiring stowed in the grill for the addition driving lights. Think I'm gonna use the Hella 4000's on that, witht the European beam.

    Anyways... a serious thumbs up to Slee and this upgrade. Very happy with it! :cheers:
     
  9. uzj100

    uzj100

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    The ipf lights pictured above are the high beams I have in the 100.

    :D
     
  10. cary

    cary

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    [quote author=Shortbus link=board=2;threadid=11659;start=msg106263#msg106263 date=1077045723]
    Jeebus Cary... This is as good as one of your oil threads! I guess lighting is a fetish of yours as well. ;)

    Here's my 411, and observation.


    After plenty of reading, I decided to buck up and get the IPF HIR bulbs from Slee for both low and high beams. They weren't cheap, but DAMN they're awesome! Japanese made, and very high quality. I love the service from Christo and Ben at Slee, and decided it would be worth a few extra $$ to support those guys. They said they've got quite a few out there, wheeling, and haven't had any problems at all. That pretty much decided it for me, I really trust their opinion.

    [/quote]


    Glad to hear some feedback. I will post back my thoughts on the HIR bulbs compared to the 80watt low beams. If they are good, I will order a pair for the Cruiser. I bought them for my Wife's 525i because the lights have a nice beam but really need more lumens. I really miss H4 lamps.

    BTW, I do have a light fetish, but mostly, I tend to research things carefully because there is so much wrong information about products. Areas of fetish are Bikes, Audio, Cars in general, oil and lights.

    Cary
     
  11. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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    [quote author=cary link=board=2;threadid=11659;start=msg106311#msg106311 date=1077052473]
    Glad to hear some feedback. I will post back my thoughts on the HIR bulbs compared to the 80watt low beams. If they are good, I will order a pair for the Cruiser. I bought them for my Wife's 525i because the lights have a nice beam but really need more lumens. I really miss H4 lamps.

    BTW, I do have a light fetish, but mostly, I tend to research things carefully because there is so much wrong information about products. Areas of fetish are Bikes, Audio, Cars in general, oil and lights.

    Cary
    [/quote]

    Hope you like them as much as I do. The highbeams are spectacular, IMHO. Would be nice to have some old school H4's.... :-\

    I find the same with product info, etc... The only bad thing about overresearching is getting crap from your buddies. ;)
     
  12. shocker

    shocker

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    [quote author=cary link=board=2;threadid=11659;start=msg106207#msg106207 date=1077038129]
    First, you can get the 9006 80 watt bulbs and 9005 100 watt bulbs from rallylights.com. I spoke with them recently and they informed me that Hella has stopped the manufacture of the high output bulbs in Korea due to quality issues (no crap!!!!) and they are awaiting deliverly of German bulbs (thank God).

    Cary
    [/quote]

    I've had both the 9006's and the 9005's on backorder since 1/30 from rallylights.com. I just got off the phone with Dave at Susquehanna who said Hella had stopped having the Korean manufacturer do any work for them altogether. According to him, Hella stated that the Korean bulbs had misplaced filaments; basically many of the bulbs had filaments that were off-center leading to poor beam patterns, etc. Dave also said, however, that Hella did not have another supplier ligned up at the moment and were still looking; neither he, or Hella for that matter, had any idea when new bulbs would be available.
     
  13. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    I got 9005s and 9006s from Dave in the fall and a low beam burned out after Christmas. Considering the light use of the vehicle and that we were gone for a month, that's pretty bad life. I also spoke with Dave who gave me the same scoop on the misplaced filaments. Interestingly, I'm an anal light guy and saved the original OEM bulbs to use in comparing each and every aftermarket light I've ever put in, and these seemed to have the filaments correctly placed. So I'm hosed on getting a replacement, and we're driving to Utah on a ski trip at month's end. I'll be checking with my previous source on bulbs. I switched to Dave last year as his prices were so compelling. But it's worth pointing out that my previous high powered halogen bulbs were made in Japan or Germany and they lasted a long, long time - something like 8+ years. I'll report back with what I find and those prices. I like the HIR lights, but kinda spendy for me as there are not many out there with longevity data yet. Nice to hear Christo and Rob check in on them, however - good start.

    DougM
     
  14. cary

    cary

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    If anyone has information on German or Japanese 80 watt 9006 and 100 watt 9005 bulbs please post it to the board. I have been unable to find any source for these and like all the others remember the old German bulbs that lasted years, even in high power applications.


    Cary
     
  15. Shortbus

    Shortbus

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    [quote author=cary link=board=2;threadid=11659;start=msg106364#msg106364 date=1077060460]
    If anyone has information on German or Japanese 80 watt 9006 and 100 watt 9005 bulbs please post it to the board. I have been unable to find any source for these and like all the others remember the old German bulbs that lasted years, even in high power applications.


    Cary
    [/quote]

    Cary, try giving these people a call. Found out about them on my NSX forum. They've been in biz for a long time, and are supposed to be good to deal with. I know at one time they had bulbs made by Flosser in Germany. The phone number is on the front page of their website. I'd try that way for contact.... I think they're kinda oldschool.
    http://www.hioutputbulbs.com/
    Click on "Home page" to get to their bulb stuff. Some of it's gonna be Korean "Bling lighting", but think they have access to the good stuff also.
     
  16. Landpimp

    Landpimp

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    I ordered from some ricer place, Fastmods.com some Hella 80 watt 9006's..........they sent me a korean Heliolite............damn asshats! told me the bulbs didnt even come from them but from Nuespeed........WTF I didn't order from them? Oh well they were cheap, $6 each. I ordered 2 extras which I am sending back(at no cost to me) or maybe I should keep em for when the ones I installed blow up ;)

    But yeah I can't find quailty 9006's :(

    John H

    [quote author=cary link=board=2;threadid=11659;start=msg106364#msg106364 date=1077060460]
    If anyone has information on German or Japanese 80 watt 9006 and 100 watt 9005 bulbs please post it to the board. I have been unable to find any source for these and like all the others remember the old German bulbs that lasted years, even in high power applications.


    Cary
    [/quote]
     
  17. Landpimp

    Landpimp

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    I do see(and Rally Lights has em) the Hella/Optilux Xenon 80 watt 9006s but I dunno about them.
     
  18. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    Cary-

    Glad you read my warning on Jung - he's pushed a lot of sets of crap HIDS on people over in the VW forums.

    Sorry I never got back to you on a good source for HID kits (besides Mr. Jung's craptastic kits), but if you still want to go that way I've got a buddy in Europe with some kits, but they are BIG $$$ ( $700 shipped to U.S. - ouch!)

    I tried to get interest in factory E-codes (H4 dual filament with a H1 hi-beam) a few times, but nobody seems to want to foot ~$550 for a set it seems.

    SHAMELESS WANT AD (yes, ya'all read it before)

    I NEED A PAIR OF DEAD 80's HEADLIGHT BUCKETS - shattered glass is great.

    I have a ~$300 solution (and some labor) that should be about like E-codes, maybe better if build quality turns out better than expected. I'd be willing to share all info after the buildup, but I need a set to work with to get it all rolling.
    Anybody?
     
  19. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Cary:

    As usual, thank for the great info and summary. I too have the Rallylights Hellas (Korean) - something like 9 bulbs, so I hope they last ::)

    I'm waiting for some wamer weather to wire in (1) Slee harnesses, (2) Toyota side market lights snd (3) rear fog.

    Linus:

    I'm somewhat tempted by the potential for factory e-codes. My right lens seems to be quite blown = C$500 and (based on my last trip to the US) equivalent US$ - something like US$350 per lens. Or, if you find some cool way to mod the current lenses, let me know!!

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  20. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Just ordered a set of 55w Narva Xenon lamps from www.puma-access.com for $13 apiece. Paul is the owner and he feels these are an excellent long term solution for 30% greater output on low beams and they're not blue or super white. After my Hella 9006 80w bulbs lasted only 4000 miles (not rallylight.com's fault - Hella's), I again see the value in bulbs that are dependable and reliable over the long term. It's been a real hassle replacing them since Rallylight doesn't have them and Hella's stopped shipping, so back to what worked for a long, long time for me before - Narva. The last pair of these lasted 8 years, and we NEVER turn our headlamp switch off which is supposed to be death on bulbs.

    Will post back on how the bulbs seem to work in terms of illumination.

    DougM
     
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