Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Headlight bulbs, what’s good?
  • Premier Icon lakesrider
    Free Member

    My journey to work now involves a fair bit of unlit country roads. Not sure if it’s me getting older, or the Osram Ultralife bulbs I installed in the summer, but I feel I could do with a bit more light!

    What’s good in the world of headlights? Are the Osram nightbreaker / Philips racing vision bulbs much better? And I’m assuming the extra brightness comes at a reduced lifespan?

    Premier Icon 5lab
    Free Member

    what car is it? if the headlights are projectors, I would convert them over to hid or led light sources

    Premier Icon DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    Osram Nightbreakers

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    My old T5 lights were dreadful, replaced them with Philips racing ones, they were a massive improvement.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Full Member

    I fitted these recently and they’re very good and a big improvement

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Full Member

    Phillips Racing Vision based on the findings of this test:

    https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/accessories-tyres/76760/best-car-headlight-bulbs-2019

    The specifications for today’s halogen bulbs were set back in the sixties and seventies, when manufacturing wasn’t as precise as it is today. To cope, generous tolerances were allowed, and makers now exploit these to give extra performance, taking outputs and build restrictions to the extremes of what is allowed. One area is light output, which we check to ensure bulbs remain in compliance. Both our RacingVision samples exceeded the maximum by some margin and are therefore not rated.

    Premier Icon timbog160
    Full Member

    Nightbreakers seem to get lots of good reviews. Having just fitted some high quality bulbs in my defender one thing I would say is it’s a hugely worthwhile upgrade! Viva technology!

    Premier Icon woodlikesbikes
    Full Member

    As a side note have you been to the opticians recently? Losing your night vision can be a sign of eye problems.

    Premier Icon lakesrider
    Free Member

    ^^ yeah that’s on my list of things to do!

    Premier Icon convert
    Full Member

    As a side note have you been to the opticians recently? Losing your night vision can be a sign of eye problems.

    Yep, this is a worry here……new roads for me this winter but my van lights appear to be much more rubbish than I remember them in the past…..and the lights in the house too…..

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    Whilst the Nightbreakers are very good, they don’t usually last as long as they run hotter – therefore better light. The ‘racing ones’ are about 100w and again not strictly legal, but will give you the correct pattern in a reflector bulb.

    Some headlamps are crap though. If you have a projector headlamp, you can get away with LED bulbs in them, so long as you are careful installing them and rotate the ‘bulb’ until you match the normal pattern. Not strictly legal, but will pass the MOT as the beam is fine. They don’t work in standard reflector headlamps though. You may need a new retaining clip for the bulb – readily available on ebay.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    The ‘racing ones’ are about 100w and again not strictly legal

    The last time I had anything to do with the “young and stupid” breed of aftermarket hop-ups of cars was in the 90s, but I’m fairly sure that back then at least the legal bulb limit was 55W.

    Not that raw power of modern bulbs has any bearing on the wattage of old filament types, ofc.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Some headlamps are crap though.

    True.

    If you get a vehicle with good headlights, it really is noticeable how many manufacturers put style over function.

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Full Member

    I’ve had multiple cars and vans with dreadful headlights and I’ve always fitted whatever people recommended as the best bulbs at the time. Usually Nightbreakers.

    I think the best I’ve managed is a slight colour improvement where new bulbs might be whiter than yellowy older items. My T5 was terrible even with the supposedly illegal, unrated rally bulbs. The Panda 100hp went from yellow to white with Nightbreakers but not any brighter.

    I’m no auto electrician but I feel like if you headlight loom can’t deliver enough juice you’re stuck with dim lights.

    It’s much worse these days when someone with modern superlights comes up behind you and casts a shadow right in front of you where your own illumination should be.

    Premier Icon jeffl
    Full Member

    I got some Osram nightbreakers in the Octavia. They are better than what it came with. It’s worth bearing in mind that filament bulbs allegedly deteriorate over time and lose brightens. Secondly the high power bulbs have a much shorter lifespan.

    Premier Icon VanHalen
    Full Member

    just be sensible with bulbs – those of us that can actually see suffer really badly with oncoming super bright lights. get the yellower ones, rather then the plain white or bluey white ones, as they hurt less.

    it is a bugger having poor lights with no one coming towards you though. i run beefed up ones in my t2 but, as its a 40+yr old lamp design, they are still suck – haha. i`d probably be better off running my bike bar light on the dash on full power.

    Premier Icon timbog160
    Full Member

    Good point about eyesight actually. I seem to remember reading that your eyesight can deteriorate at night, but you don’t realise because your day vision isn’t massively affected.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I’m no auto electrician but I feel like if you headlight loom can’t deliver enough juice you’re stuck with dim lights.

    I’m no auto electrician but I’d hazard that if your headlight loom couldn’t deliver enough juice it’d melt. I’d guess that lamp / reflector design is more likely the cause of underwhelming results.

    Premier Icon lakesrider
    Free Member

    I think I’ve made the lights worse by fitting the Ultralife bulbs, they probably make them dimmer to provide the 4yr guarantee. Fine for round town but not so good on unlit roads

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Full Member

    The last time I had anything to do with the “young and stupid” breed of aftermarket hop-ups of cars was in the 90s, but I’m fairly sure that back then at least the legal bulb limit was 55W.

    Correct. I was spoiled by navigating in rallies – massive amounts of light. So my road car had “not strictly legal” 100W headlight bulbs and 100W in the Oscar long range lamps. I’ve hated standard headlamps ever since. Though I agree age does affect night vision before noticing any other issues.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I’d guess that lamp / reflector design is more likely the cause of underwhelming results.

    This.
    Again, sorry to those it offends, but the V70 lights are superb, even without posh bulbs.

    Premier Icon dougiedogg
    Free Member

    One other thing to mention is that your headlights may be clouded due to UV.

    Its worthwhile giving them a polish, to get them transparent again, you can use specific polish/restorer kit or something like Peek or Autosol.

    Premier Icon dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    I’ve tried the Philips Racing Vision and the Osram Night Breakers.
    Currently running the Osram as the Philips failed after a few months as expected tbh.
    I think the Philips had the edge over the Osram as the light was slightly whiter.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Full Member

    I went for some Philips xtreme vision g-force (ridiculous name), purely as they looked like a reasonable compromise of brightness and longevity. They are brighter than my old ones, but are still just a small puddle of dim light whenever a modern car appears and drowns them out. I think I will go for the racing vision next time.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I’m no auto electrician but I’d hazard that if your headlight loom couldn’t deliver enough juice it’d melt. I’d guess that lamp / reflector design is more likely the cause of underwhelming results.

    Lived experience of Mark 2 Golfs says otherwise. Feeble standard lighting massively improved by running a relayed loom direct from the battery. There’s just more resistance in the standard loom.

    On the Corrado, the wiring didn’t melt, but headlight switches heated up enough to embrittle the plastic and eventually cause switch failure with potential shorts causing fires. Nice.

    Premier Icon martymac
    Full Member

    Osram nightbreakers 65w dipped i had in my subaru legacy were night and day difference compared to the standard bulbs.
    The best lights I’ve ever had though were in my (now 30yr old) volvo.
    100w dipped.
    I, quite literally, never used main beam.
    Also, (this may surprise) i never got flashed either.
    If you’re gonna fit something like that, take the time to make certain that your headlights are aimed correctly.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    I used the nightbreakers and definately better
    IF I was keeping the car though I’d refurb the headlight and clearcoat

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Last car I changed the bulbs in was a Mark IV Golf, the stock bulbs were just rubbish. Put in Philips Vision Plus and the difference was quite amazing – driving at night was just so much easier / safer as you could clearly see everything.

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