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2010 PZEV 4 auto
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Evening all,

I'm interested in swapping out the OEM bulbs in my '10 PZEV. Unfortunately I don't have the fog light package...or I'd swap those out too. I'm sure I'll install the fog lights in the near future. There's just so many different names out there. I'd like some opinions and/or recommendations. Looking for something for everyday around town driving. Also need a decent set of high beams as I live in a town with 24hrs of darkness in the winter.

Thanks,

W.


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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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3,751 Posts
I'm interested in swapping out the OEM bulbs in my '10 PZEV. Unfortunately I don't have the fog light package...or I'd swap those out too. I'm sure I'll install the fog lights in the near future. There's just so many different names out there. I'd like some opinions and/or recommendations. Looking for something for everyday around town driving. Also need a decent set of high beams as I live in a town with 24hrs of darkness in the winter.
In my 06 XT, I just installed HIR9011s as high beams, Philips X-treme H1s as low beam. It's a direct install - pretty simple. These numbers are said to be about the brightest bulbs available using your stock wiring.

Stay tuned and I'll let you know how they work.
 

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2008 X 5MT
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459 Posts
Narva Rangepower+50 for lowbeam. Good combination of light/lifetime.

As for the highbeam, I've been looking at the Philips HIR9011, but is there really a big difference?
 

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2007 Forester Auto
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91 Posts
Bulbs are bulbs unless you go with a higher wattage and then you risk melting your headlight housings.

I would do a relay bypass, check it out at Daniel stern's lighting consultancy website, some good reading there.
 

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08 Forester N/A Manual
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263 Posts
Bulbs are bulbs unless you go with a higher wattage and then you risk melting your headlight housings.

I would do a relay bypass, check it out at Daniel stern's lighting consultancy website, some good reading there.
No
Bulbs are not just bulbs.
Different filaments produce different effects, fill gases change how the bulb behaves and coatings can change the colour of the bulb (or sneakily pull the total output back under the legal limit, while not affecting the output into the actual beam)

Bulb designers have to balance output, beam focus and bulb life, along with current draw.
Smaller filament coils have tighter focus, brighter bulbs typically don't last as long, and longlife bulbs are typically dim and on the yellower end of the spectrum.

Then there is some odd bulbs, like the Osram Rallye H7, which is a H9 bulb grafted onto a H7 base, and produce almost double the light of a normal H7, for about 10w more current draw.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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373 Posts
My 2011 low beams sucked.. I went with the Sylvania SilverStar Ultras, They are a bit expensive and last about a year but it did help with lighting up things down the road past the normal light cutoff. The High beams I left at factory EOM. They were awesome to begin with.
 

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2010 XT Limited 4EAT
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2007 Forester Auto
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91 Posts
No
Bulbs are not just bulbs.
Different filaments produce different effects, fill gases change how the bulb behaves and coatings can change the colour of the bulb (or sneakily pull the total output back under the legal limit, while not affecting the output into the actual beam)

Bulb designers have to balance output, beam focus and bulb life, along with current draw.
Smaller filament coils have tighter focus, brighter bulbs typically don't last as long, and longlife bulbs are typically dim and on the yellower end of the spectrum.

Then there is some odd bulbs, like the Osram Rallye H7, which is a H9 bulb grafted onto a H7 base, and produce almost double the light of a normal H7, for about 10w more current draw.
So like I said, bulbs is bulbs unless you go to a higher wattage. Light is just energy, you dont get any extra light without more electricity.
 

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2014 Forester 2.0XT CVT
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366 Posts
I put Phillips Crystal Vision Ultra's in both the low and high beams. Much brighter and much whiter than the OEM's on my 14 FXT. A very noticeably difference in the quality of the lights.
 

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So like I said, bulbs is bulbs unless you go to a higher wattage. Light is just energy, you dont get any extra light without more electricity.
This is basically true, however, the difference in color temperature makes a lot of difference on how the eye see's in low light conditions.

Without getting into the long reason of why this is, a 55 watt bulb with a color temp of 3100 Kevin will appear a lot dimmer than the same bulb that is 4100 or even 5000 Kelvin. I have looked at both type headlights. The bulbs like the Crystal Visions and the SilverStar Ultras have higher Kelvins than the OEM bulbs. Thus the eye can see more with these bulbs even though the wattage hasn't changed.

For further reading on this: Color vision - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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2014 Forester 2.0XT CVT
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366 Posts
This is basically true, however, the difference in color temperature makes a lot of difference on how the eye see's in low light conditions.

Without getting into the long reason of why this is, a 55 watt bulb with a color temp of 3100 Kevin will appear a lot dimmer than the same bulb that is 4100 or even 5000 Kelvin. I have looked at both type headlights. The bulbs like the Crystal Visions and the SilverStar Ultras have higher Kelvins than the OEM bulbs. Thus the eye can see more with these bulbs even though the wattage hasn't changed.

For further reading on this: Color vision - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is my FXT with OEM bulb on the driver side and Crystal Vision Ultra bulb on the passenger side.

 

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08 Forester N/A Manual
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So like I said, bulbs is bulbs unless you go to a higher wattage. Light is just energy, you dont get any extra light without more electricity.
Actually you can - just the bulbs don't last as long.

On my phone at the moment, when I get my laptop out I will hunt down some numbers for you of a "standard" bulb vs a same wattage/voltage "extra bright" bulb (pretty sure the brightness goes up by a third, but the lifetime is halved)

Also, filament shape affects the beam too, so there may not be any more light coming out of bulb X vs bulb Y - but Bulb X throws a more useful beam.

As I said before, for the same voltage/wattage, there is a number of options the bulb designers can play with, filament shape, filament length, filament thickness, fill gas mixture, fill gas pressure, and designed lifetime - that all affect how bright the bulb is, how shock resistant it is, and how long it lasts.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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373 Posts
and which side appears to be brighter looking down the road Sage?

It is true the whiter bulbs do not last as long but the tradeoff IMO is worth it. Around here it is dark roads and highways with a lot of animal population wondering the roads. I would rather spend extra money a year on bulbs than more on body work etc for not seeing that animal a few extra seconds that would have given me time to react. That is just one scenario of course.
 

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2014 Forester 2.0XT CVT
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and which side appears to be brighter looking down the road Sage?

It is true the whiter bulbs do not last as long but the tradeoff IMO is worth it. Around here it is dark roads and highways with a lot of animal population wondering the roads. I would rather spend extra money a year on bulbs than more on body work etc for not seeing that animal a few extra seconds that would have given me time to react. That is just one scenario of course.
The Cyrstal Vision Ultra's appear to give better lighting going down the road. Although it may be due to color of the light, not the brightness.
 

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2006 Forester 2.5X Manual
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56 Posts
To the OP,

Any interest in aux lights, rather than replacing stock bulbs? My experience has been that you can chase colour temps and wattages around all you want, but no standard bulb will give you light that compares with good driving lights.

Part of that comes from how reflectors and lenses are made, and that aux lights don't have to fit into a pretty facade on the front of a car.

At present, I have a pair of Hella FF700 (I think) that have 55w bulbs. They are a driving pattern (good blend of distance ahead, and breadth) and offer a lot of light. In my case, they are wired to come on when they are switched on, and when the high beams are active (I can run regular high beams alone if I want).

The downside is they reflect badly on falling snow, so I can't use them in a storm situation. In that setting, a fog pattern would be better.

However, that all depends on if you want extra stuff bolted to the front of the car, and many people don't. I drive in the country enough that deer and moose are fairly regularly sighted. I get about 100-150m extra visibility with the aux lights, which makes me pretty happy. Plenty of time for a relaxed stop vs panic.
 

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2010 PZEV 4 auto
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, actually aux lights were part of my original plan. I now think I'm leaning more towards replacement low beams paired with some lights affixed to my Yakima basket or a light bar....which I have yet to purchase. Probably wire whatever I get to come on when high beams do. I too live around some long, dark country roads. Any reccommends for aux lights? Something smaller in size would be preferable.

W.


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2006 Forester 2.5X Manual
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Yes, actually aux lights were part of my original plan. I now think I'm leaning more towards replacement low beams paired with some lights affixed to my Yakima basket or a light bar....which I have yet to purchase. Probably wire whatever I get to come on when high beams do. I too live around some long, dark country roads. Any reccommends for aux lights? Something smaller in size would be preferable.

W.


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I've been quite happy with Hella FF series lights. The FF is supposed to include some better reflector technology that helps make the most of the bulb's output. Mine are Halogen lights, but you might want to get something in the LED or xenon range if budget allows. They'll draw less current, which might be pretty key when the battery is so often experiencing cold temps. Mind you, mine have been fine on colder Quebec nights well north of Ottawa. I'm sure it's not quite the same as NWT, but I've never had problems, and always keep on top of battery maintenance.

I know some guys who have the Xenon FF200, and they're quite small, and very bright. Ebay shows the halogen version for around $150, and the Xenon for $700. The FF700s are bigger, but only around $110 on ebay. Club vendors might do better, but I typically buy locally in Toronto and just use ebay to get a ballpark price.

The nice thing with Aux lights is that you can aim them. I keep them pointed slightly out from straight, to hit the shoulders/ditches. It helps on twisty roads, and lets me spot wildlife. Obviously, when I come across traffic, I can turn them off, so as not to blind anyone.

If you find yourself in traffic with a lot of stones kicked up, the roof mount should be ok, but you can also get clear lexan covers to protect the lenses. I've never bothered, and never had a light broken, but I do leave the stock covers on most of the time. Those DO get cold and hard though, so a clear cover you can leave on all the time might be a good idea - though if they seem really brittle, I leave them on, turn on the lights for a short period to warm them up, and never have had a problem.
 
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