Battery Junction
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

  1. #1

    Default New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    This time it is the Philips extreme vision that seems to have taken the first place!

    http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1us...sources/32.htm

  2. #2

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Shame they did not toss in a Osram rallye 65 watt H7 into the mix.......my guess it would have stood head and shoulders above all of them,and by a wide margin.

  3. #3

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    The Osram 65w bulb isn't E-marked, and it looks like all of the tested bulbs were standard 55w-rated and probably all E-marked. But where are the Osram bulbs in this oddly Philips-dominated comparison? It's Philips, Philips' 2nd brand Narva, and a smattering of house brands. No Osrams? No GE-Tungsrams? Something doesn't smell right. I miss the older AutoExpress tests which had much more detailed results presented for each and every bulb tested.

  4. #4

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann
    But where are the Osram bulbs in this oddly Philips-dominated comparison? It's Philips, Philips' 2nd brand Narva, and a smattering of house brands. No Osrams? No GE-Tungsrams? Something doesn't smell right. I miss the older AutoExpress tests which had much more detailed results presented for each and every bulb tested.
    Last time it was the light tunnel at Osram's factory that was used for testing H4 bulbs and Osram had been judged the winner with both Night breaker and silver star winning over Philips. This time it is the Philips testing ground and Philips bulbs take home victory. It does smell fishy! We really need some independant testing ground and independant, well designed tests that we can trust. Swedish "vi bilšgare" at one time conducted car bulb tests but now they seem to have given up.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 12-12-2011 at 06:51 PM. Reason: repair quote markup

  5. #5

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Well, also I am a little less than completely comfortable with their testing procedure. They say they aimed the headlamps so the glare was within legal limits. That's not how headlamp aim is specified, and it's not how aim is checked or adjusted in any real-world garage. There's only one correct aim setting and it's determined by the placement of the cutoff. Maybe that's what they meant by what they said, but if so it's a strange and unclear way to describe it. Then it looks like they adjusted the aim for each bulb. That's defensible, since you're supposed to get the aim checked and adjusted after replacing a bulb, but nobody does. I think it would have been better to adjust the aim with the etalon bulb (which is conceptually the same as what is called in North America the "accurate-rated" bulb) and then left the aim untouched, recording the effect on seeing and glare just by trying out the various different bulbs.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    2,195

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Well, also I am a little less than completely comfortable with their testing procedure. They say they aimed the headlamps so the glare was within legal limits. That's not how headlamp aim is specified, and it's not how aim is checked or adjusted in any real-world garage. There's only one correct aim setting and it's determined by the placement of the cutoff. Maybe that's what they meant by what they said, but if so it's a strange and unclear way to describe it.
    If the legal limit of glare has no actual minimum, that'd be an easy adjustment to make.

    Then it looks like they adjusted the aim for each bulb. That's defensible, since you're supposed to get the aim checked and adjusted after replacing a bulb, but nobody does. I think it would have been better to adjust the aim with the etalon bulb (which is conceptually the same as what is called in North America the "accurate-rated" bulb) and then left the aim untouched, recording the effect on seeing and glare just by trying out the various different bulbs.
    One would assume that removal and replacement of the etalon bulb should not result in a meaningful change, as the base of the bulb, and its o-ring, should be within very fine tolerances and fit very precisely in the socket. So, another test could be to see how far out of spec the aim of the lamp gets by simply removing and replacing the test bulbs. Or retesting aim after driving the vehicle over a cobblestone road.

  7. #7

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    If the legal limit of glare has no actual minimum, that'd be an easy adjustment to make.
    Sure...turn the headlamps off! Voila, minimum glare.

    One would assume that removal and replacement of the etalon bulb should not result in a meaningful change, as the base of the bulb, and its o-ring, should be within very fine tolerances and fit very precisely in the socket.
    No O-ring on an H7 bulb ;-)

    Now that I think about it, the older AutoExpress tests -- the ones with the more believable findings and the much larger variety of tested bulbs -- also included geometry information (pass/fail) and power consumption in watts. I am skeptical enough to think their new tests look like the result of upset hollering by various commercial interests.

  8. #8

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    This might be OT but Autoexpress "Best buy Awards" recently has acquired immense power position (and financial gains) for the manufacturers selected. Just look at the amount of articles tested by Autoexpress. I can imagine that the bulbs receiving "best buy" and "recommended" status are going to have a huge sale boom and where there is money involved there often is an attempt to unduly influence the result. We really need independant tests!
    Here is a best product award list. Go through the drop down menu on the right of the page. They have even got one where it says "best person" award!

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/products/product_awards/

  9. #9

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Catch-22: doing this kind of test right requires very specialized, very costly equipment. Who has that equipment? The bulb makers, the headlamp makers, compliance testing labs, and the equipment makers themselves.

    Most outfits who have the expertise, equipment, and knowledge to run a test of this nature aren't interested or equipped to publish the results. Most outfits that are interested and equipped to publish the results don't have the equipment or funding and may not have the specialized knowledge, so they need to borrow somebody else's. Whose?

    Use a bulb maker's equipment, and even if there's absolutely no sleight-of-hand or other fudging of the results, how likely is that bulb maker to invite you back to their test lab if their bulbs don't win? Or to buy any further advertising in your publication?

    Use a lamp maker's equipment, and business relationships for the supply of bulbs will get tricky and difficult between the lamp maker and whichever bulb makers' bulbs don't win.

    Use an equipment maker's equipment, and business relationships for the supply of equipment will get tricky and difficult between the equipment maker and whichever bulb makers' bulbs don't win.

    About the only option that can really be relied on is to have a compliance lab do the tests. That's an expensive proposition, but probably not out of the budget for a major publisher (e.g., Consumer Reports, Car & Driver, etc). However, extreme care would be needed to keep the name of the compliance lab completely quiet, because otherwise business relationships for ongoing compliance testing would get tricky and difficult between that lab and whichever bulb makers' bulbs don't win. So the publisher would have to have a rare combination of indigenous or hired credibility and experience in this field, money, and discretion.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    2,195

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Sure...turn the headlamps off! Voila, minimum glare.
    Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! A winner is you!



    No O-ring on an H7 bulb ;-)
    I knew I didn't like them for some reason :P

    But the gist of it is still that the properly made bulb would have base made to such strict tolerances that it wouldn't move much in the socket once fitted.

    Now that I think about it, the older AutoExpress tests -- the ones with the more believable findings and the much larger variety of tested bulbs -- also included geometry information (pass/fail) and power consumption in watts. I am skeptical enough to think their new tests look like the result of upset hollering by various commercial interests.
    Yep. It's like how PC Gamer's scores often are directly related to the amount of ad space taken by the game, or the game publisher.

  11. #11
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the feedback. I felt I should at least reply to some of the criticisms on this forum, although I fear this could make things worse...

    First things first, I'll say my corporate line: We are the only UK magazine to comprehensively test aftermarket products week in, week out. We've been doing it for 15 years, and stand by our verdicts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qship1996 View Post
    Shame they did not toss in a Osram rallye 65 watt H7 into the mix.......my guess it would have stood head and shoulders above all of them,and by a wide margin.
    We test the products that are on sale at that time of publication, but liaise with the manufacturers to check we're using the most up-to-date products. This is why not every single bulb is tested - it may not be on sale for much longer, or may have been superceded by a newer bulb. We buy our own bulbs as well as get samples from the manufactuer to check the accuracy - it's all too easy for a maker to send us 'doctored' bulbs which are better than those you could find on the shelves. We tested new bulbs that had not been tested previously, so there is no 'form' that might have been overturned. The story is the same with the plus 50 bulbs as we have tested H7 previously in a different headlamp.

    Quote Originally Posted by raj55 View Post
    Last time it was the light tunnel at Osram's factory that was used for testing H4 bulbs and Osram had been judged the winner with both Night breaker and silver star winning over Philips. This time it is the Philips testing ground and Philips bulbs take home victory. It does smell fishy!
    We vary our testing locations to keep it fair - regular readers will note that our annual Tyre test location also moves each year. Our tests are objective, and our editorial team has no link with our advertising team. There's no commercial influence, and to suggest that money = instant test win is ridiculous, and, quite frankly, rude. That said, it's difficult not to notice the apparent 'home advantage', but this is why we corroborated the beam result with the filament brightness test. We conduct each test meticulously to ensure a fair result. The results are correct.

    As has been eluded to, independent facilities for bulb tests may be the answer but these would be prohibitively expensive and would inevitably preclude the magazine conducting the tests.
    If an independent facility were to allow us to use their labs, we'd jump at the chance, and we'd happily take them up on the offer. However, for the time being, we have to rely on bulb companies letting us use their facilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    It looks like they adjusted the aim for each bulb. That's defensible, since you're supposed to get the aim checked and adjusted after replacing a bulb, but nobody does.
    As that's the procedure you're supposed to do, that's the procedure we follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by raj55 View Post
    Here is a best product award list. Go through the drop down menu on the right of the page. They have even got one where it says "best person" award!
    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/products/product_awards/
    We gave a best person award as Paddy Hopkirk has devoted his life to promoting the work of the aftermarket. He's done more for the industry than any other person, and in times when other aftermarket brands are struggling (you only need to look at Max Power), we felt it was important to recognise this.


    In conclusion we would not publish these tests unless we thought the results were valid. On that basis Auto Express is right to continue to do them with the assistance of experts in the field under our scrutiny.
    We strive to be not only a jack of all trades, but also a master in some too.

    If you have more feedback, or wish to contact me about our other tests, feel free to email me at products at autoexpress dot co dot uk.

    Many thanks,

    Jamie

  12. #12

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    My personal views.
    Thank you Jamie (of the Auto Express) for making an attempt to clarify things. It was certainly courageous to come out in this forum and try to explain things. I am now more inclined to believe you as far as the fairness of the test goes. As to the reliability of the method used, I am not in a position to judge and will leave it to the more enlightened people in this forum who I am sure are going to comment. Thank you once again for appearing here and informing us.

  13. #13

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Jamie,
    I wonder if Autoexpress has changed it's beam rating scale this year since the beam rating for the same H7 bulb in 2009 has a much higher beam rating than this year. For example, Philips vision plus H7 old BR154 and new BR 87. Philips blue vision H7 old BR 135 and new 89. Narva range power old BR 119 and new BR 89. Halfords extreme brilliance old BR 129 and new BR 111 (looks like this bulb has really improved down the years). Osram night breaker old BR 142 and new BR 86. etc. This is one reason why more detailed data would have been more useful, as mentioned by some here. Were there improvements in some good old bulbs like Philips vision plus, narva range power, osram night breaker etc?

  14. #14

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    That's a good question. The only bulb in raj55's list that could have changed substantially is the Halford's house-brand bulb; Halford's is a major auto parts chain in the UK and obviously they do not make their own bulbs; it's entirely likely they changed suppliers. But there's been no change to any of the Philips or Osram bulbs raj55 mentions, so something about the rating system must have changed.

  15. #15
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Hello all,

    There have been some really interesting points raised in this thread. We've been involved in automotive lighting since 1977 and have always recommended that drivers use original equipment bulbs. This does restrict the choice to Philips, OSRAM and GE.

    The Auto Express Bulb Test does make a positive contribution and, we believe, helps consumers differentiate between very low quality products and original equipment. However, we fully accept that it is not perfect and have a list of points we believe could be considered to further improve the validity of the test, such as:

    • The location of the test
    • The use of different headlight units
    • Variations in the beam rating measurement technique
    • No clear differentiation between OE and non OE
    • The omission of any reference to longevity


    Dealer's own link removed

    Overall though, a very valid and interesting debate. Kudos to Auto Express too for responding. Hopefully they will also acknowledge some of the additional points made on this thread and on our article to improve the test even more in 2012.
    Last edited by Unforgiven; 12-23-2011 at 03:02 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Quote Originally Posted by powerbulbs View Post
    have always recommended that drivers use original equipment bulbs. This does restrict the choice to Philips, OSRAM and GE.
    I can't completely agree. There are other bulb OEMs. Those are the three European majors, of course, but there are at least three Japanese OEMs, at least one US OEM other than Osram-Sylvania and GE, and there are Korean OEMs as well.

    You make some good points on aspects of the testing that are worth discussing. Most of them have at least two sides. For example, yes, it would be nice to have longevity information, but how do you imagine this could be obtained without a massive, costly, long-term, drawn-out project? Not so long-term if we're looking at bulbs that have a rated life of 150 to 500 hours (7 to 21 days constant operating time) but pretty impossible for bulbs with longer rated lifespans. 750 hours, 1000 hours, 1500 hours...? Also, how useful would constant-runtime life testing be, given that's not how headlamps are used (more like on, off, on, off, on, off, on, on, on, off, off off...). And how fair is it to judge longevity from one or two or five sample bulbs? (For that matter, how fair is it to judge performance from one or two or five samples)? Everything's a tradeoff, a balance has to be struck between testing enough bulbs in enough ways to have a valid result, and testing quickly and at affordable cost to get the results out of the lab and into print.

  17. #17
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: New H7 bulb test by AutoExpress

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    I can't completely agree. There are other bulb OEMs. Those are the three European majors, of course, but there are at least three Japanese OEMs, at least one US OEM other than Osram-Sylvania and GE, and there are Korean OEMs as well.
    Agreed. We're (wrongly) looking at this from a Euro-centric perspective as a Euro OE distributor, but of course there are other OE manufacturers as you correctly point out.

    yes, it would be nice to have longevity information, but how do you imagine this could be obtained without a massive, costly, long-term, drawn-out project? Not so long-term if we're looking at bulbs that have a rated life of 150 to 500 hours (7 to 21 days constant operating time) but pretty impossible for bulbs with longer rated lifespans.
    Also agree. Perhaps your suggestion of testing the lower rated life span bulbs could be a starting point. Be interesting to hear Auto Express' thoughts if they're still monitoring this thread.

    I agree that there is no cost effective perfect model, we're always going to be looking for the model with the least trade offs that delivers the best and most accurate info with a limited budget and set of resources.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •