Does anyone keep halogen bulbs?

  1. MurderAfterMidnight

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    I don’t do a lot of driving at night but the stock halogens are not good.

    I don’t feel like I need to change to LED or HID, anyone swap out to better halogens with success?

    Not expecting LED or HID results, just a slightly brighter, whiter and cleaner light.

    Leaning towards PIAA but just curious if anyone is satisfied with swapping out for better halogens.
     
  2. mvela

    mvela Senior Member

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    I switched to silverstar ultras and I like them. They are slightly whiter, which are a more natural white. Plus they have a longer throw so you can see further down the road. Plus they make them in the low and high beams for our cars. They are a little pricey but I think they are worth it. People complain that they burn out easy but I beg to differ. If installed properly they last a long time. I’ve had mine in my civic now for over a year and most of my driving is at night since I work shift work. I had them in all my vehicles. I had them in my rodeo the longest, for three years with no issues. Here is a picture of my low beams and then my high beams. You can see the nice cut-off is still there and the high beams are really bright. That hot spot you see directly in front of the car is not there in real life, I don’t know why it’s there in the picture. It’s even light all the way across. 6BE7CC58-1EA3-4FB3-A653-C5E95E9DCA63.jpeg7F7D6628-298B-4DCB-B1C1-A2516FC5E8FE.jpeg
     
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  3. charleswrivers

    charleswrivers Senior Member

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    I ran Silverstar Ultras exclusively in the Odyssey and several vehicles prior and liked them a lot. While they don’t last quite as long as standard halogens, their life for me was still a good couple years and were just better in apparent fill and throw. Like was mentioned before, install them right (keep your fingers off the bulb... if you touch them accidentally, clean them prior to the install, same as any halogen).

    For 2-3 years of better light than a standard halogen, I was happy with them. When Hikari came out with their post-Cree cheaper H11s, I gave them a try in the Odyssey (I’d been unhappy and returned the early Cree versions for the Civic, then paid a premium for Hikari’s Phillips-based LEDs and been happy). The diffuse light regarding fill and throw are pretty comparable to the Silverstars, and the budget Hikaris are priced well against them also. The Hikaris are whiter still and a bit more “crisp” of a light, but I don’t think the budget Hikaris are substantially better for fill and throw. I changed them out when one of the Silverstars gave out.

    The only thing that may go way against the halogens is if you do a lot of night driving and put tons of hours on the Silverstar halogens, they may really have a noticeably shorter lifespan. My use of them was far more limited than some given my limited nighttime driving.

    I think you’ll be very pleased with Silverstars though if you want to stick with halogens. I’ve used them exclusively for over a decade before I made the switch this past year.
     
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  4. OP
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    MurderAfterMidnight

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    That looks pretty damn good thank you
     
  5. OP
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    MurderAfterMidnight

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    Thank you for the help, don’t drive much at night so should be ok with silverstar.
     
  6. mvela

    mvela Senior Member

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    Just make sure not to touch them at all when you install them. Handle them by the plastic. And also don’t open the package until you are about to put them in. This will prevent moisture from getting on them prior to installation.
     
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  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Member

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    #7 MikeMike, Feb 26, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
    All these people claiming to "see further" or "better" at night with Silverstar Ultras just goes to show how useless our eyes are when it comes to accurately evaluating headlamp performance.

    Headlamp designers have known since the original sin that humans do not necessarily like headlamps that throw light 350 feet down the road. What humans do, however, like, are useless parameters. Citations below. There are plenty more citations from different authors if you are interested in those. Everyone comes to the same conclusion, which would be:
    • Humans confuse a lot of light immediately in front of the vehicle for good lighting, and overwhelmingly prefer headlamps that create a lot of foreground illumination.
    • Headlamp range/distance illumination is not a good metric for predicting how much a driver likes the headlamps. Which makes sense, as our eyes are not rangefinders and can't tell us "this headlamp has a pathetic range of only 200 feet; this other headlamp has a slightly better range of 250 feet."

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Now, the Silverstar Ultras are bad bulbs, and it's not just some random Internet stranger making a provocative claim. It's what Sylvania itself says. They're selling $40 and $50 dollar "upgrade" bulbs that...could cause your car to fail minimum legal headlamp standards.

    This below is a screenshot of a Sylvania patent filing. I give Sylvania an A+ for honesty--for having the moral fortitude to admit that its Silverstar bulbs are scams. I give Sylvania a F- for continuing to sell these products, especially without any sort of disclaimer on the package such as "this bulb may bring your headlamps out of compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards."

    YVvFYM4.png

    And this here is a test performed by someone with the qualifications and equipment to test bulbs, and more importantly, it was performed in a Stanley (Honda OEM) projector. The results, therefore, are directly applicable to the Honda Civic. As you can see...paying extra for Silverstar Ultras creates a decrease in distance illumination (0.86D, V).

    bwvhtCe.png

    The reason some people might have perceived an improvement is simple: in addition to the fact that our eyes are poor judges of true headlamp performance ... there are marginal gains to be had from switching from a used stock bulb to a new bulb of any type:

    evz0Xh0.png
     
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  8. charleswrivers

    charleswrivers Senior Member

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    This is a good point. There is a bit of burn-in on a used bulb.

    Whether it quantifiably seems to make a difference, my old lady said she always like the Ultras over the standards and did have whiter light. She was the primary driver of any vehicle that used them (Xterra and Odyssey) though I did buy a set for one of my cars in there too. Happy wife... happy life. I'd still choose one of a few LED offerings over these anymore though... though some are downright awful and far inferior to any halogen. My first attempt was an immediate return, when a lot of folks ranted and raved they were great... but their throw was dangerously short... in the realm of 4-5 car lengths of spotlight level throw then nothing. I think some LEDs are a good alternative, with the caveat no matter how look they look aesthetically on the car (which seem to be the goal a lot of folks have) that they still need to have good fill and throw to be safe. Can't argue with the data you provided. (shrug) I never figured there was much of any improvement regarding lumens. Both standard halogens and Silverstars are filament bulbs that draw the same current... and the Ultras always looked to have extra coating on the quartz/glass... so I never figured their lumen output was any more. They sure seemed better from inside the vehicle though.
     
  9. mvela

    mvela Senior Member

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    I trust my eyes a lot, and they even help me see the charts that you posted show that the ultra wins in every category. So it is an improvement. And it’s comparing to Phillips long life bulbs, which is not what our cars came with stock. So compared to the stock bulbs the silverstar ultras give a slightly whiter light while improving visibility down the road. And this also doesn’t compare the bright lights which are not in a projector, but are in a reflector assembly. The brights are even more impressive. But hey if you don’t like a “marginal” improvement then stick to the factory bulbs. Here is another picture of the difference in color. I took this the day I installed them. The left is the factory bulb while the right is the silverstar ultras. The silverstar has a more natural white while not getting into the blue range. 7AD16E1D-A60A-4ECA-94CD-6BBCAFBE03B8.jpeg
     
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  10. OP
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    MurderAfterMidnight

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    All those graphs are neat and all but I’m just looking for a solid replacement halogen with a bit better light than stock.

    Like I said I probably do 5% or less of my driving at night so bulb life isn’t a concern. But when I do have to drive at night I want something better than stock.
     
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  11. MikeMike

    MikeMike Member

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    #11 MikeMike, Feb 27, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
    Factory bulbs are long-life bulbs and that's the point. Long-life bulbs are essentially the same across all manufacturers. Loosely wound, low luminance filament.

    Stock bulbs set a low bar. You completely missed the point. The other point is that there are bulbs out there that are:
    • Cheaper than the Silverstar Ultras
    and
    • Perform better than the Silverstar Ultras
    and
    • Last about the same as Silverstar Ultras
    One example would be the Osram Nightbreaker Laser H11. Funny enough, Osram actually acquired Sylvania about 20 years ago, but Osram always decided to keep the better stuff for themselves. Not only is this bulb cheaper than the Silverstar Ultra, but it also performs better, while lasting about the same number of hours. And Osram owns Sylvania, in case anyone only wants their dollars to go toward their favorite bulb company.

    upload_2020-2-27_3-44-40.png

    Here is an actual comparison test performed between a Sylvania Silverstar Ultra and a high-luminance, high-performance H11 "+100" type bulb. The Nightbreaker Laser by Osram-Sylvania is a H11+150 type bulb, so it should perform even better.

    upload_2020-2-27_3-48-3.png

    You know it's looking bad when the Silverstar Ultra is running at 13.5 volts and can barely hang with a bulb running at 12.8 volts. At 13.5 volts, the Silverstar Ultra has about 20% more raw lumens to play with, but is having trouble hanging with a H11+100 bulb at 12.8 volts, thanks to the Silverstar's low luminance filament.

    upload_2020-2-27_3-55-24.png
     
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  12. MikeMike

    MikeMike Member

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    Anything but Silverstar, really, should work for you. Sylvania XtraVision, Philips VisionPlus, all should give you a bump over stock but not last a ridiculously short length of time.
     
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  13. mvela

    mvela Senior Member

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    I don’t know where you are finding these graphs but they look made up. But either way those bulbs cost roughly the same as the ultras and according to this website they are less bright in both the high and low beam tests https://www.bulbfacts.com/halogen-bulbs/chart/
     
  14. MikeMike

    MikeMike Member

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    Here. And here.

    It looks made up because the Silverstars are really that bad. Sylvania admitted it. The guy's scientific, controlled testing shows it. You just need to accept the fact that Sylvania isn't doing anyone favors selling $50 bulbs that barely outperform their $15 bulbs.

    At the end of the day, there's a reason Sylvania sent out 2 checks to people who bought Silverstar bulbs a few years back. It's not because the bulbs were so awesome that Sylvania wanted to reward people for making the right decision.

    Now that is the definition of made-up testing!

    Incorrect testing distance, poor, "subjective" testing methodology, promises to fix a broken testing protocol in 2018 but still unfulfilled as of 2020...


    upload_2020-2-27_13-35-22.png

    upload_2020-2-27_13-36-21.png
     
  15. mvela

    mvela Senior Member

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    It states that he is not using his eye. He is using meters to compare bulb strengths. Of course they will differ in different vehicles, that’s all he was trying to say. What he is simply stating is he is only testing bulbs and not light assemblies. Which is exactly what we want. We know assemblies will differ results. I just want to know which bulbs are the best, and that’s what is provided.
     
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