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Thread: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

  1. #1

    Default Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    The high beams are decent, but the low beams are really dim. Can anyone recommend an aftermarket bulb for the Subaru Forester? Or if not vehicle specific, the best aftermarket brand? thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    That car has H11 bulbs in the low beams. It's a bulb design optimized for long life, at the expense of filament luminance. Some headlamps can safely take a much more intense H9 in place of the H11 without producing illegal or dangerous levels of glare or causing other problems, but your car's headlamps cannot. The Philips Vision Plus is the best one to install. Note that the light color will not change appreciably; they're halogen lights and they're supposed to look that way. Any bulb that claims to produce "whiter" light uses blue-tinted glass to do so, and as a result will produce less light -- the opposite of what you need. Moreover, any higher-performance bulb will have a shorter lifespan than a standard bulb; that is the tradeoff for the higher performance. The Amazon review posters don't seem to understand this; they're complaining about "only" a year's usage before the bulb burns out, which is absolutely normal. It really is a choice of either multiple-year lifespan or better output.

    If the better H11 bulbs don't bring the low beams up to where you want them to be, then next step up would be to look at buying a set of the factory HID (Xenon) headlamp assemblies for your car. You ought to be able to find them in good used condition, perhaps via the used auto parts search engine. They will be costly. Do not attempt to "convert" your present headlamps; "HID kits" in halogen-bulb headlamps or fog/auxiliary lamps (any kit, any lamp, any vehicle no matter whether it's a car, truck, motorcycle, etc.) do not work safely or effectively, which is why they are illegal. See here for details.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Sorry to revive this...

    Mr. S,
    I'm looking to purchase a 2009 Forester that uses the same bulbs, and was considering the Osram NightBreaker (or somesuch). I recall you recommending the NB in H11, in the past. Has this changed? For the 9005 highbeams, I plan to get Philips HIR1s. I appreciate your guidance.
    Last edited by dwmilton; 10-23-2012 at 10:24 PM. Reason: eye kant spel

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    The Aussie SH Forester (2008 onward) uses a 9005 high beam and a H7 low beam, the same as the 09 Impreza.

    Any suggestion for good bulbs for this application ? - specifically something with a reasonable life, as my wife's Impreza seems to eat a set of low beam bulbs every 6 months (lights switched on only at night - so not that often at all)
    Last edited by Echo63; 10-24-2012 at 07:27 AM.
    flashlight collector by day
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    The Australian-specs headlamp will do well with the Osram 65w H7 bulb in the low beams (maybe hard to find in Australia; you may have to order it from abroad) and the high beams with Philips HIR1 (9011).

    The US '09 Forester will take the HIR1/9011 in the high beams. I like the Philips VisionPlus H11 better than the Osram Night Breaker which has very short life.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Since we're talking about easily procureable H11s, how would you rate the Philips VisionPlus vs. the Sylvania XtraVision in this application? The Sylvania is actually a German-made Osram bulb in H11XV printed on the bottom. I would expect both to be quality bulbs, but haven't seen any testing regarding actual output, focus, longevity, etc.

    Thanks.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    VisionPlus will have better output and longer life than XtraVision.

  8. #8
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    I'm in this same situation, just looking to see if there are any newer options since this is now 3 years later.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    The best H11 bulb is now the Philips Xtreme Vision, which gives better output and beam focus than the older VisionPlus. A second-place pick would be the Osram Night Breaker, which is also now available in US packaging as the Sylvania Silver Star Ultra, but you have to be careful if you order it that way, and here's why: Sylvania got busted for lying about their Silver Star and Silver Star Ultra bulbs, which had blue tint over the whole glass area and certainly did not improve headlamp performance. So they started selling their parent company's Night Breaker product (which has an un-colored "window" around the filament) as "Silver Star Ultra", but there's still a lot of the previous Silver Star Ultra product in the distribution channels, and the regular Silver Star (without the "Ultra") is still all-blue, as is their completely bogus "Silver Star ZXE" line.

    Me, I'd just get the Philips and avoid the whole silly Osram/Sylvania now-it's-blue, now-it's-not name game.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 11-01-2015 at 10:38 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Interesting...I had wondered if Sylvania was selling the Night Breaker line in the SS packaging. They had begun to look a lot like the Night Breakers. (I'll stick with my Osram Rallyes!)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    . A second-place pick would be the Osram Night Breaker, which is also now available in US packaging as the Sylvania Silver Star Ultra
    That's actually the Silverstar Ultra. Are they really the same as the Nightbreakers? I ask because I know the H4/9003 version isn't.

    What about the GE Nighthawk Xenon? (aka Megalight Ultra) Expensive on Amazon, but a much better price from overseas sellers.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 11-01-2015 at 10:37 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Quote Originally Posted by haha1234 View Post
    That's actually the Silverstar Ultra. Are they really the same as the Nightbreakers? I ask because I know the H4/9003 version isn't.
    This is the present-day Silver Star Ultra H4/9003, and this is the Night Breaker Unlimited. Very similar/practically identical. This is the previous Silver Star Ultra, all blue, with the improvement claims on the packaging that got Sylvania into trouble with the truth-in-advertising laws.

    What about the GE Nighthawk Xenon? (aka Megalight Ultra)
    Another very good bulb, and without the high beam-reducing blue sleeve.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Curve ball here...
    If making the jump to an H9 bulb, what are the top recommendations? I understand that "high output" H9s aren't necessary, since even the basic bulb gives higher output and less life, than a basic H11.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwmilton View Post
    Curve ball here...
    If making the jump to an H9 bulb, what are the top recommendations? I understand that "high output" H9s aren't necessary, since even the basic bulb gives higher output and less life, than a basic H11.
    There is no such thing as a premium/high output H9. H9 already incorporates all of the techniques used to jazz up other bulb types. So use a regular H9 from Philips, Narva, Vosla, GE, or Osram-Sylvania. Such as this one.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Thanks Virgil!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Ordered these last night, great pricing and either free pickup at store, or free shipping (if order over $45):

    http://m.homedepot.com/p/Philips-HIR...A&gclsrc=aw.ds

    http://m.homedepot.com/p/Philips-65-...-203653621-_-N

  17. #17

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    That's kind of brave -- I don't buy frozen peas at Sears, or carburetor kits at the drug store, or 1/4"-20 x 3" machine screws at the gourmet grocery store. I don't know that Home Depot has enough (or any) safeguards in place to make sure they're getting/selling genuine Philips auto bulbs, and I mention it because the world's markets are literally flooded with knockoff Philips auto bulbs. At least I hope their return policy is as "no-hassle" as Amazon's.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    Was kind of surprised by the skepticism of Home Depot, but understand they're not known for auto lighting. I also respect purchasing through Amazon, as I have ordered many things there.

    I liked the price, and the fact that they're a national seller, with local stores. I noticed that the automotive lighting is online only, not carried in stores. While Home Depot doesn't stock auto bulbs, they inventory hundreds of bulbs from most major makers, thus I feel confident these are sourced from a reliable Philips supplier, likely Philips directly. Regardless; upon reading, these are covered under a 90-day return policy. Simply present them at a local store, and get refund.

    I'd be more worried about getting fake bulbs from an eBay auction, or a lesser-known website/company. I'll check the markings, codes, etc. and post pics when they arrive.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    I've ordered Philips automotive lighting from HD before. They actually come out of an East Coast hardware store/distributor they own, and are the genuine item. And, I returned said items with no problems. They were the Philips LED festoons that weren't satisfying enough to keep, but thanks to the generous 90 day return policy, allowed me to try both the 4000k and 6000k versions simultaneously.

    I've also seen chatter that some stores stock automotive lighting products, but it's probably a rare thing. Their inventory checker indicated a store in the area had some Sylvania automotive items, but I didn't feel like driving to that destination to see.

    Their catalog appears to be smaller now. They had a clearance sale mid-year.

    Considering Philips' prominent relationship with HD for fixed lighting, I think it's safe to say they know who they're dealing with.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    I got my 9011 off home Depot website too they had the best price at the time with free shipping. They appeared genuine to me and I inspected them carefully including the packaging. I got lucky they mailed them in a bubble envelope but they didn't arrive damaged.
    My Lights -- Olight S20 Baton XM-L 470 Lumens
    Olight M20 Warrior 2010 320 Lumens
    Olight M22 Warrior 950 Lumens


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