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Thread: Best bulb for 9004

  1. #1

    Default Best bulb for 9004

    The problem with 9004 is that its low-beam is only 45 watts, compared to other types (H4, 9007, etc) that have 55W low-beam. Obviously this makes 9004 weaker than the other bulbs.

    For this reason, some people try and swap 9007's into the 9004 socket (to get the 9007's 55W low-beam), often with poor results (they look like they are interchangeable but they are not because high and low beam are switched around).

    Those bright xenon 55w=85w blue light specials are scams that actually give you LESS light only add to the confusion.

    So what is the solution for a 9004 user?
    Wagner BriteLite 9004BL. It is a 9004 bulb with a 55W low-beam (and of course, the standard 65W high beam)

    Has anybody tried these?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Quote Originally Posted by dada1234 View Post
    The problem with 9004 is that its low-beam is only 45 watts, compared to other types (H4, 9007, etc) that have 55W low-beam. Obviously this makes 9004 weaker than the other bulbs.
    The problem is the transverse filament. Sure, the wattage is lower on the low beam than on other low beams, but the main problem is that it's hard to get a decent beam pattern. See this post.

    A higher wattage low beam filament means a brighter horrible beam pattern.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Quote Originally Posted by dada1234 View Post
    The problem with 9004 is that its low-beam is only 45 watts
    No, the problems with the 9004 system are related to the filament geometry. If you had a 9004 with higher wattage, it wouldn't make the headlamps better, it would make them worse.

    For this reason, some people try and swap 9007's into the 9004 socket (to get the 9007's 55W low-beam), often with poor results (they look like they are interchangeable but they are not because high and low beam are switched around).
    No, they are not interchangeable because the filament orientation is different. See here (pdf).

    Those bright xenon 55w=85w blue light specials are scams that actually give you LESS light
    Correct (except they're not "bright")

    So what is the solution for a 9004 user?
    If there's no better non-9004 headlamp assembly made for your application, use the best 9004 bulbs on the market (GE Night Hawk or Philips Vision Plus), add relays, make sure the lamps are aimed correctly and in perfect condition (not pitted or fogged or clouded) and live with it.

    Wagner BriteLite 9004BL. It is a 9004 bulb with a 55W low-beam
    No, it isn't. It's a 9004 bulb with a 45w low beam -- and, like everything Wagner makes, a sloppily-made one.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 07-03-2010 at 03:02 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004



    Thanks everybody!

    I saw that 55W Wagner misinformation on a site dedicated to the Nissan Sentra recommending them http://www.se-r.net/electrical/bright_lights.html

    But now that I know they're not great I'll avoid them

    This forum has been very useful to me.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    It's a 9004 bulb with a 45w low beam -- and, like everything Wagner makes, a sloppily-made one.
    Well, there IS the Wagner Imperial... It combines the best of two worlds: Texas craftsmanship and American ingenuity!

    (But that's Hank Hill's charcoal grill.)

    Thankfully, I don't have to live with a 9004 bulb, but if the Philips X-Treme Power 9004 is as good as their XTP 9003, it's a great choice.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Well, there IS the Wagner Imperial... It combines the best of two worlds: Texas craftsmanship and American ingenuity!

    (But that's Hank Hill's charcoal grill.)

    Thankfully, I don't have to live with a 9004 bulb, but if the Philips X-Treme Power 9004 is as good as their XTP 9003, it's a great choice.
    I thought they didn't make the XTP inn 9004.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Quote Originally Posted by dada1234 View Post
    I thought they didn't make the XTP inn 9004.
    D'oh... looks like they don't* (or Candlepower.com (no relation) doesn't carry them).

    In which case, the GE Nighthawk Platinum is a good bet (NOT the "Sport").


    *(Probably due to the limited market for 9004, which I believe is North America only.)
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 07-03-2010 at 02:50 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    There's no 9004 XTP as far as I know. 9004 is North America only, but so is 9007 and there is a 9007 XTP.

    Night Hawk Platinum: I still don't know that it's worth the extra dollars vs. standard Night Hawk, but you're right that Night Hawk Sport is to be avoided (blue-bulb junk)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    I have a 1994 Ford Escort with 9004 Sylvania Silverstar bulbs in it with factory replacement OEM headlight assemblies in it. The lenses are new and clear. I see the relay mod listed above, what else can I do to get brighter headlights from this car besides the relay mod?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Get the Silverstar junk outta there (they have blue glass which blocks a portion of the light that would otherwise reach the road) and put in GE Night Hawks. Relays are definitely a good idea. Beyond that...nothing!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    I asked Daniel Stern about what he'd recommend and that's what he said (go with the GE NightHawk Platinums). I'm gonna have to order a set and see what all the hype is about.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Out View Post
    I asked Daniel Stern about what he'd recommend and that's what he said (go with the GE NightHawk Platinums). I'm gonna have to order a set and see what all the hype is about.
    Coming from Daniel Stern, it's not hype!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Ive got a 93 Dodge dakota that uses 9004 Stock headlights. I modified the right headlight using a 9007 bulb and it actually doesn't make the beam pattern worse. I think it depends on the housing. I actually drove home yesterday and the left bulb wasn't connecting (so wasn't on) and i didn't even notice that it wasn't there because the other one is so much better. Eventually I want to make custom headlights for that truck though, since No AM parts exist for it...
    Also, I am currently using Silverstar's . after reading through this thread i may look into getting some of those GE bulbs.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemesis158 View Post
    Ive got a 93 Dodge dakota that uses 9004 Stock headlights. I modified the right headlight using a 9007 bulb and it actually doesn't make the beam pattern worse.
    Yes, it does -- dangerously so. Headlamp safety performance cannot be accurately judged by what you think you can see better. This 9007-for-9004 swap is not (ever) an "improvement" or an "upgrade". It always ruins the safety performance of the headlamp. It does not depend on the housing. Details can be reviewed in this PDF, which is technically and legally accurate. This modification is not only unsafe and unwise, but also illegal. Rule 11 of this board prohibits advocating illegal activity -- please stop now, thank you.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Out View Post
    I asked Daniel Stern about what he'd recommend and that's what he said (go with the GE NightHawk Platinums). I'm gonna have to order a set and see what all the hype is about.
    Given his (and the moderator's) aversion to "blue light" bulbs, it seems strange he would say that. Here is GE's own comparison of their various bulbs in terms of brightness and color temperature. It would seem that the Platinums are the bluest of all.

    See Rule #3 Do not Hot Link images. Please host on an image site, Imageshack or similar and repost – Thanks Norm
    Last edited by Norm; 11-23-2012 at 12:07 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    There's no 9004 XTP as far as I know. 9004 is North America only, but so is 9007 and there is a 9007 XTP.

    Night Hawk Platinum: I still don't know that it's worth the extra dollars vs. standard Night Hawk, but you're right that Night Hawk Sport is to be avoided (blue-bulb junk)
    According to GE's own specs (see below), the NH Platinum is the "bluest" bulb they make, bluer than the NH or NH Sport , more expensive and with half the bulb life. The High Output seems like a good value (almost the same brightness and color temperature as the NH but with double the bulb life) but it seems to have been phased out. At least it's not available through Amazon or any of the auto parts stores that I've looked at.

    I think the commentators may be been misled by making inferences about the bulbs' actual tint by the color of the packaging material behind them.

    Comments?

    See Rule #3 Do not Hot Link images. Please host on an image site, Imageshack or similar and repost – Thanks Norm
    Last edited by Norm; 11-23-2012 at 12:09 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Best bulb for 9004

    Not correct. In fact, the NHSport is GE's bluest bulb. The blue ring below the tip of the NHPlatinum does not tint any of the actual usable beam pattern -- the reflector looks at the filament through entirely colorless glass. The blue ring just gives a "blue flash" effect off axis -- and blocks enough light through parts of the glass not actually in the path between filament and reflector that these bulbs still read below the max allowable flux in the integrating sphere. Resultant beam performance is considerably better than with the High Output (which gives a barely-detectable improvement over a standard bulb, if any).

    I can't speak for other commentators, but my recommendation for the NHPlatinum comes from measurement, analysis, and personal experience.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 11-24-2012 at 07:20 PM.

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