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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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    Apr 2004
    Perth - West Australia

    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
    flashlight user by night

  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.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Better headlight bulbs for 2010 Subaru Forester?

    VisionPlus will have better output and longer life than XtraVision.

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