KuroNekko wrote:SamirD wrote:murcod wrote:A lot of the higher intensity bulbs (or higher Wattage) can have a shorter life span, so perhaps just stick with a well known standard Wattage bulb eg. from Philips or Osram. I think 55 Watts is the standard output?Here in the US people stopped putting in higher wattage bulbs after they started frying their wiring harnesses. Even most 'performance' light bulbs here are still stock wattage. They will usually use some xenon gas or other additive to get more light output, although this is also limited as they have to be within certain specs for DOT compliance.
PS: If you touch the glass the bulb can be cleaned with Methylated Spirits. The oils from your skin is what does the damage- when the bulb gets hot.
Because of the cheap HID retrofit kits available now and the lower power higher light output of these systems, most people in the US simply change to these if they want increased light output. I've not done it myself, yet, but have been tempted since they're now truly plug and play.
I have quite some experience with high wattage bulbs. While aftermarket bulbs from PIAA, IPF, Silverstar, etc. are brighter and better, they also can generate more heat. Some even consume more power (like 65w). This can melt your harness and damage the headlight housing. I used to have a harness adapter for running these types of bulbs in my Impreza. As someone already pointed out, they also don't last as long.
After trying them out for years in different cars, I went to a HID kit and will never go back. Even the best bulbs from PIAA will not match the output of a mediocre HID kit if the color temp is between 4300k to 6000k. On average, an HID bulb outputs 300% more light than a halogen bulb while consuming 35W instead of 55W.
HID kits have significantly dropped in price over the last several years. While they can cause their own set of problems like flickering and ballast failure, they are generally more reliable and longer lasting than high output filament bulbs.
While they are technically illegal if installed aftermarket, enforcement on HID kits is very low, especially when used in a projector lens and the color temperature is between 4300k to 8000k. I've passed state inspection in two cars with HID kits installed and have never been pulled over by the police for headlight issues.
However, I truly believe LEDs will take over soon. They have a longer life and consume less power than HIDs, not to mention halogen bulbs. LEDs can also be adaptive. While luxury cars like Audi and Acura have incorporated them as low beams and high beams, even the new Toyota Corolla has LED low beams as standard. This is why the new Corolla's headlights don't look like they run halogen bulbs.
While in the past LEDs did not output even close to an incandescent bulb, their technology has advanced quite a bit in the last several years. I even own LED flashlights that output an astonishing 400 lumens of light, besting even the very best tactical flashlights 10 years ago.
I actually want to find a high output LED bulb to replace my incandescent high beam H7 bulb in my Kizashi. However, for it to output usable high beam light, the LED must work well with the headlight's high beam reflector.
My low beams are HID and work just fine with the factory projector lens.
Really great feedback Kuro! Thank you!
Why not just go for HID on the high beam like you've done for the low beam versus LED?
I think the LED technology is catching up, but without some of the custom designs like what Audi is using for the main headlights, I think a simple retrofit like the HIDs is still a few years away. I'm sure it's possible, but just not cost effective at the moment.