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Thread: maximum leagal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

  1. #1

    Default maximum leagal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    I was wondering if we can expect Philips or Osram to come out with 55W H7 halogen light bulb with more light output than today's 1600 lumens. Are they restricted by some EEC rules to limit themselves to this level? This question is relevent because I live in a country where the light out put never seems to be enough in the dark winter months (even with Night Breaker or Extreme Power) and also the fact that the newly produced Philips HIR2 (in other format than H7) are stated to have higher light output than our +80% H7 bulbs. In short, what is the light output limit in the road legal H7 bulb? I tried googling but found no answer. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Enlightened
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    Cool Re: maximum leagal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    I don't know about the EEC, but I think the DOT rules for the US specify 1500 lumens +/-10%. (both those numbers are from memory, and may be off, but you get the idea)

    The +80% bulbs are doing two things at once: they go for the maximum allowable lumens (picking the +10% side rather than the -10% side), and they also use a smaller fillament to produce a better focus. The +80% number really only refers to the maximum improved brightness in a very small portion of the beam, hopefully the center hotspot that goes furthest down the road. There's a clear limit to how effective this can be, so you shouldn't expect anything better than a +90% bulb or so.

    So, if your lights are generally too dim, you really have only two choices: replace your whole headlight assembly with an HID package, or add auxiliary (fog/driving) lights. Both of these paths will approximately double the amount of light you've got, though they differ in where that light is placed on the road.

    You also might get a little extra benefit by putting in a relay wiring harness on your headlights, that can boost the voltage that reaches the lights and squeeze a little more brightness from them. But a voltage boost probably won't match the light gain from a whole extra set of lights.

    If you go HID, make sure you replace the whole headlight assembly with one that's designed for HID, don't just use an aftermarket bulb replacement.

  3. #3

    Default Re: maximum leagal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    Under ECE regulations, H7 bulbs must emit between 1350 and 1650 lumens at 13.2v. Under US regulations, H7 bulbs must emit between 1188 and 1512 lumens at 12.8v.

    Osram 65w H7 bulb #64217 (with blacktop) or #64218 (without blacktop) produces 2100 lumens. It is not E-marked or DOT-certified, but if you don't care about that, it will do what you want.

  4. #4

    Default Re: maximum leagal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    Thank you both for a very clear reply. In essence we are stuck with Osram night breaker or Philips Xtreme if we stay legal. My worry with the Osram Hyper 65W is that it might get revealed on the yearly car road worthiness test in Sweden. Besides checking the brakes, rust, engine, tyres, steering etc, they check the lights by shining it on a reflective mirror to check for cut off height and the pattern of light. They will even adjust the cut off height for you if it is off. I would not like to pay for another MOT if it fails due to higher watt bulb. The other reason would be not to violate my car warranty as far as the electricals are concerened.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: maximum legal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by raj55 View Post
    I would not like to pay for another MOT if it fails due to higher watt bulb. The other reason would be not to violate my car warranty as far as the electricals are concerened.
    I may be a simple unfrozen caveman electrician, but it would also seem to me that if your wiring were not up to the task, a higher wattage bulb could burn less brightly than a standard wattage bulb, as the increased current to run them could cause a greater voltage drop than the standard bulb would cause. I recommend NOT going to overwattage bulbs without first checking for voltage drops or installing a set of relays (and checking that they, too, are up to the task).

    I'm not good enough with all the math and stuff, but it would seem a case could be made for that.

  6. #6

    Default Re: maximum legal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    Not sure which car you have, but generally headlight bulbs aren't difficult to replace. I'd put the upgraded bulbs in, refit the stock bulbs when MOT inspections come around, and switch back after the inspection.
    Got Biodiesel?

  7. #7

    Default Re: maximum legal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel_Bomber View Post
    Not sure which car you have, but generally headlight bulbs aren't difficult to replace. I'd put the upgraded bulbs in, refit the stock bulbs when MOT inspections come around, and switch back after the inspection.
    Thank you. This is what the guys with illegal HID conversions do here in Sweden and there are plenty of those here..

  8. #8
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: maximum leagal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    I'm running these very H7 bulbs in my Legacy GT. In the end, I seriously doubt ANY state inspection is going to know the difference. They're looking for the stupid stuff, like blue bulbs, non OE HID conversions, etc. I doubt the added intensity of a properly aimed headlamp is going to mean anything to these guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Under ECE regulations, H7 bulbs must emit between 1350 and 1650 lumens at 13.2v. Under US regulations, H7 bulbs must emit between 1188 and 1512 lumens at 12.8v.

    Osram 65w H7 bulb #64217 (with blacktop) or #64218 (without blacktop) produces 2100 lumens. It is not E-marked or DOT-certified, but if you don't care about that, it will do what you want.

  9. #9

    Default Re: maximum leagal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuryakin View Post
    I'm running these very H7 bulbs in my Legacy GT. In the end, I seriously doubt ANY state inspection is going to know the difference. They're looking for the stupid stuff, like blue bulbs, non OE HID conversions, etc. I doubt the added intensity of a properly aimed headlamp is going to mean anything to these guys.
    Thank you for your reply. By "these very H7 bulbs", I presume you mean the Osram Hyper 65 watt. Do you have them in the low beam? How much better are they compared to say Osram night breaker or Philips xtreme in terms of throw, spread and intensity? Are they worth breaking the law for?

  10. #10

    Default Re: maximum leagal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Under ECE regulations, H7 bulbs must emit between 1350 and 1650 lumens at 13.2v. Under US regulations, H7 bulbs must emit between 1188 and 1512 lumens at 12.8v.

    Osram 65w H7 bulb #64217 (with blacktop) or #64218 (without blacktop) produces 2100 lumens. It is not E-marked or DOT-certified, but if you don't care about that, it will do what you want.

    Is this 2100 lumen H7 using a rebased H9 burner?

  11. #11

    Default Re: maximum leagal light output from H7 55W Halogen bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by 747LeftSeat View Post
    Is this 2100 lumen H7 using a rebased H9 burner?
    Yes, it's an H9 burner.

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