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 > Crummy headlights - Can't see, need upgrade

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ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 01/22/21 06:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

ktmrfs wrote:



yes, most "standard" bulbs will have long life even with full battery voltage going to them and be much brighter than factory wiring.

I did try the xtravision with upgraded wiring. Yes they were brighter, but a pretty short life. But IMHO not enough brighter to justify the short life and higher cost.

Key point is that light output is highly dependent on voltage, not a linear or square law relationship, even stronger but bulb life is even a stronger relationship to voltage. No free lunch.


Correct.

Brighter the bulb, the less life you will get and as I mentioned, my own experience with a relay harness and using standard halogen bulbs I did not see any drastic reduction in bulb life..

The OEM wiring is reducing the voltage so much that you could easily drive 100K miles (or even much more) with a lot of night driving and never have to change a bulb.

Getting the bulb voltage up may trade off SOME bulb life but it is a good trade off and most likely will not be a big issue given how crummy most auto headlights are. Typical Halogen lights are rated 2,000 hrs so even if we lose 25% of the life when operated at full battery voltage it would mean only 1,500 hrs of operation.. I am good with that, much better than 250 hrs of Xtravision..

1,500 hrs of night driving at 60 MPH is 90,000 miles of night driving..

250 hrs of night driving at 60 MPH is 15,000 miles which in my case would have meant changing Xtravision bulbs every 10 months..

I do have one concern, I believe Bob is in Canada, as such he may need some provision for DRL functions depending on his countries regulations for that yr (not sure when CA required DRL)..

Relay kits will bypass DRL function if it was done via the headlights being routed through a resistor to reduce headlamp brightness during the day..

If so, may need to improvise further with modified relay setup that includes a Single pole double throw relay that connects headlights to resistor when no headlights are turned on but engine is running..


GM used parking lights for DRL at least in the U.S. for many years. Don't know if they used the same system in canada. In any event on my 2004 duramax the kennedy diesel kit didn't affect the DRL function with the parking lights.

My experience with the sylvania xtra vision is that I went through a couple of sets of low beams in less than a year. and high beams in less than a year as well. low beam short life was probably due to me having headlight low beams on anytime I'm on the highway. And at the time I was using them we did a fair amount of night driving when I could use the high beams for miles on end. Couple that with the kennedy diesel kit that gave me full voltage to the bulbs didn't help.

In the end I went to HIR bulbs which are better than regular H series (9004/9005) but take a slight mod to the plastic base to work. (9011/9012) GM eventually switch to those bulbs on later trucks. Much longer life than the sylvania but almost the same light output due to a more complex and more robust design and longer lasting filament. And they aren't cheap, $40 or so each at the time. HIR bulbs lasted 3-4 years before needing to replace them.

Phillips now makes HIR 9011/9012 and the price seems to have come down.

The HIR used a different gas composition. What I found interesting is that a typical H series bulb if you look at the filament as it ages you can see bumps where tungsten has redeposited non uniformly. With the HIR bulbs one had to look very closely to see any non uniform redeposit of the tungsten on the filament.


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road-runner

Oregon

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Posted: 01/22/21 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:


Generally for headlights the manufacturer uses a resistor in series with low beam filament, dropping the voltage and brightness for that function.
Wow, sounds like poor design to me. I'm surprised they don't use a PWM circuit instead of having to get rid of all the heat from that resistor. There's no guaranteed airstream to cool the resistor as with old-school heater fan resistors.


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DrewE

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Posted: 01/22/21 06:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many DRLs use the high beam filament rather than the low beam one (again, at reduced power). This actually makes good sense; the goal of a DRL is for other drivers to see you, so using the filament where the beam isn't specifically shaped avoid shining in other driver's eyes is helpful. It's also true in many cases that low beams are used more than high beams in normal driving, so putting the extra wear and tear on the high beam filaments doesn't shorten the bulb's lifespan as much--although the shorter lifespan in either case is minimal due to the lower power operation.





Mike LeClair

Wetaskiwin, Alberta

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Posted: 01/22/21 10:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey Bob! I have used Daniel Stern Lighting for my older trucks. He builds very robust, complete light harnesses for just about any vehicle (North American). The harnesses are complete and the instructions are, well, in English. You can look him up on line.

I am learning as I follow this thread. Are the Sylvania ZXE bulbs also built on the low voltage high watt burn out fast model? I was thinking about buying a foursome for my 06 Sierra 3500. Maybe not so much anymore?

I replaced the drivers side housing off of Amazon and was pretty impressed with the fit, finish and design of the off shore product. Fits and works perfectly.

Cheers!
Mike


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 01/23/21 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike LeClair wrote:

Hey Bob! I have used Daniel Stern Lighting for my older trucks. He builds very robust, complete light harnesses for just about any vehicle (North American). The harnesses are complete and the instructions are, well, in English. You can look him up on line.

I am learning as I follow this thread. Are the Sylvania ZXE bulbs also built on the low voltage high watt burn out fast model? I was thinking about buying a foursome for my 06 Sierra 3500. Maybe not so much anymore?

I replaced the drivers side housing off of Amazon and was pretty impressed with the fit, finish and design of the off shore product. Fits and works perfectly.

Cheers!
Mike


Yes, ZXE are "Silverstars" based 12.5V 60W-65W bulbs, as such 250 hrs max life..

ZXE are nothing more than blue color tinted high wattage bulbs to LOOK like HID, The blue tint filters out some of the red hues which means it LOOK less yellow..

[image]

Doesn't mean it gets you "better vision".

Those ZXE are trying to imitate typical HID color temps which most folks choose 5,000K and up.. Gives them the "cool" trendy look without the price of HID. They are marketed to the young kids who have not enough money in the pocket to afford real HID.. Read the they marketing hype from Sylvania..

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

These are all about "looks", not about actual "improvement" in seeing distance.

In fact, adding any color "filtering" takes away brightness which is why they had to increase the wattage..

Something else to consider, using higher wattage bulbs than what the fixture and plug were designed for can result in the fixture deforming and the plug melting..

Save your money and buy the plain "basic" halogen bulb and let the "kiddies" waste their money on these for the trendy look..

klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 01/23/21 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Headlight revolution.com

Upgraded on my 2009 Ford Class C, amazing results....

Plug and Play less worry excellent customer service....

* This post was edited 01/23/21 03:45pm by klutchdust *

ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 01/23/21 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike LeClair wrote:

Hey Bob! I have used Daniel Stern Lighting for my older trucks. He builds very robust, complete light harnesses for just about any vehicle (North American). The harnesses are complete and the instructions are, well, in English. You can look him up on line.

I am learning as I follow this thread. Are the Sylvania ZXE bulbs also built on the low voltage high watt burn out fast model? I was thinking about buying a foursome for my 06 Sierra 3500. Maybe not so much anymore?

I replaced the drivers side housing off of Amazon and was pretty impressed with the fit, finish and design of the off shore product. Fits and works perfectly.

Cheers!
Mike


If the truck uses 9004/9005 bulbs, IMHO the best update is to replace the 9004/9005 with 9011/9012 HIR bulbs. Same watts, higher lumen output, about the same life as a std 9004/9005 but more expensive. you will need to slightly modify the 9011/9012 plastic base to let it fit in the 9004/9005 shell.

a search on 9011/9012 will get you to sites to show the simple mod to the base

I've done that on several vehicles using 9004/9005 bulbs and they are much brighter.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 01/23/21 11:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ktmrfs wrote:

Mike LeClair wrote:

Hey Bob! I have used Daniel Stern Lighting for my older trucks. He builds very robust, complete light harnesses for just about any vehicle (North American). The harnesses are complete and the instructions are, well, in English. You can look him up on line.

I am learning as I follow this thread. Are the Sylvania ZXE bulbs also built on the low voltage high watt burn out fast model? I was thinking about buying a foursome for my 06 Sierra 3500. Maybe not so much anymore?

I replaced the drivers side housing off of Amazon and was pretty impressed with the fit, finish and design of the off shore product. Fits and works perfectly.

Cheers!
Mike


If the truck uses 9004/9005 bulbs, IMHO the best update is to replace the 9004/9005 with 9011/9012 HIR bulbs. Same watts, higher lumen output, about the same life as a std 9004/9005 but more expensive. you will need to slightly modify the 9011/9012 plastic base to let it fit in the 9004/9005 shell.

a search on 9011/9012 will get you to sites to show the simple mod to the base

I've done that on several vehicles using 9004/9005 bulbs and they are much brighter.


I can see where that might work, however, one needs to realize that in doing so, you may end up with not having as good of focused light.

Incandescent headlights depend on having the bulb filament placed in a very specific spot in the reflector. If the filament is placed slightly off from that location the result is a out of focused beam.

Filament placement and size is critical and if not placed correctly WILL cause more light scatter blinding oncoming traffic in the process.

It is for that reason why LED retrofits tend to be difficult and often results in poor high beams or poor low beams and blinding oncoming traffic in the process.

Different bulb numbers are there for a reason, it isn't done for the light bulb manufacturer to make more money with more part numbers. There are real specs that the bulb manufacturers must adhere to and it is for a good reason.

ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 01/23/21 03:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

ktmrfs wrote:

Mike LeClair wrote:

Hey Bob! I have used Daniel Stern Lighting for my older trucks. He builds very robust, complete light harnesses for just about any vehicle (North American). The harnesses are complete and the instructions are, well, in English. You can look him up on line.

I am learning as I follow this thread. Are the Sylvania ZXE bulbs also built on the low voltage high watt burn out fast model? I was thinking about buying a foursome for my 06 Sierra 3500. Maybe not so much anymore?

I replaced the drivers side housing off of Amazon and was pretty impressed with the fit, finish and design of the off shore product. Fits and works perfectly.

Cheers!
Mike


If the truck uses 9004/9005 bulbs, IMHO the best update is to replace the 9004/9005 with 9011/9012 HIR bulbs. Same watts, higher lumen output, about the same life as a std 9004/9005 but more expensive. you will need to slightly modify the 9011/9012 plastic base to let it fit in the 9004/9005 shell.

a search on 9011/9012 will get you to sites to show the simple mod to the base

I've done that on several vehicles using 9004/9005 bulbs and they are much brighter.


I can see where that might work, however, one needs to realize that in doing so, you may end up with not having as good of focused light.

Incandescent headlights depend on having the bulb filament placed in a very specific spot in the reflector. If the filament is placed slightly off from that location the result is a out of focused beam.

Filament placement and size is critical and if not placed correctly WILL cause more light scatter blinding oncoming traffic in the process.

It is for that reason why LED retrofits tend to be difficult and often results in poor high beams or poor low beams and blinding oncoming traffic in the process.

Different bulb numbers are there for a reason, it isn't done for the light bulb manufacturer to make more money with more part numbers. There are real specs that the bulb manufacturers must adhere to and it is for a good reason.


yes, wrong bulb can be a bad thing to do. Howewver, filament location size and structure etc. for the 9011/12 are the same as the corresponding 9005/6 They were developed as a higher lumen output replacement for 9005/6 and now they are somewhat common on many new vehicles, including many GM models.

I think they are also slightly higher wattage, like 5 watts more draw.

road-runner

Oregon

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Posted: 01/23/21 08:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ktmrfs wrote:


If the truck uses 9004/9005 bulbs, IMHO the best update is to replace the 9004/9005 with 9011/9012 HIR bulbs.
Maybe I'm the only one who had a disaster doing this in my lo-beam projector lights. The larger glass envelope of the HIR light placed the heat source a little closer to the plastic reflector, and melted a hole in the plastic reflector. I ended up shoehorning some generic HID reflector assemblies into the the headlight case and the end result came out ok, but was a lot of extra work I wasn't looking for.

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