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Thread: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

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    Default IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Last year I upgraded the H11/9005 bulbs in my 2011 WRX with Phillips Standard H9s and Standard 9011s. While I know that the Philips Standard 9011s are not "true" HIR bulbs, they made a tremendous difference. The H9s likewise made a huge difference over the stock H11s in the factory projector (aside from the reduced lifespan). But, in my time lurking here I've done a lot of reading about Philips Xtreme Power (or is it Xtreme Vision now?) and Narva or Vosla +50 and +100 bulbs and it has me wondering about my planned upgrade to the wife's 9006 headlights.

    Is 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for a 9005/9006 lamp?

    The lamp has a built-in bulb sheild so I'm not worried about the tip.

    Legality aside, is there any reason to go with one of these "true" stock-fitment bulbs over modifying the 9012 to fit?
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 09-22-2017 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Certain characters were tokenized incorrectly

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?


    Quote Originally Posted by thegetawaycar View Post
    While I know that the Philips Standard 9011s are not "true" HIR bulbs
    They are. While they don't use the Halogen Infrared Reflective technology, they meet the HIR1 thermal, electrical, mechanical, and optical specifications.

    in my time lurking here I've done a lot of reading about Philips Xtreme Power (or is it Xtreme Vision now?) and Narva or Vosla +50 and +100 bulbs and it has me wondering about my planned upgrade to the wife's 9006 headlights.

    Is 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for a 9005/9006 lamp?
    99% of the time, the HIR1 (9011) is the best upgrade for an HB3 (9005) in high beam applications unless the lens of the lamp is extremely degraded, as it means much more glare for other drivers at longer distances, and can cause more backscatter for the driver. For low beams, the HIR2 (9012) is quite often a downgrade from the HB4 (9006) when the lamp assembly doesn't have a full bulb shield or when it's just a particularly bad lamp (like many composite headlamps on GM pickups), as it just means much more glare for other traffic. Lens degradation is also a concern, as degraded headlamp lenses cause more off-axis glare for other traffic because it reduces beam focus. For those lamps that are unsuitable for an HIR2 bulb, the Philips X-Treme bulbs are strongly recommended.

    For your 2011 WRX, your lenses might be in bad shape unless you're in a northern latitude with moderate summer heat (a headlamp would tend to live longer in Appleton, WI than it would in Austin, TX), and use a garage or covered parking. Headlamp aim is also extremely important when using *any* bulb but particularly when you upgrade the bulbs.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 09-22-2017 at 09:47 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Thanks for the welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    They are. While they don't use the Halogen Infrared Reflective technology, they meet the HIR1 thermal, electrical, mechanical, and optical specifications.
    Color me corrected. I knew they met the specs, but not the HIR tech. They're ridiculous compared to the 9005s. My friend with the same car just started laughing when I put my highs on. I think I'm going to get some for his birthday. We take driving road trips out into the wilderness on some dirt roads every summer and they've been invaluable.

    99% of the time, the HIR1 (9011) is the best upgrade for an HB3 (9005) in high beam applications unless the lens of the lamp is extremely degraded, as it means much more glare for other drivers at longer distances, and can cause more backscatter for the driver.
    Good to know. Lamps are in great condition. My only concern is that they're also the DRL which seemed to cause some browning on the old 9005.

    For low beams, the HIR2 (9012) is quite often a downgrade from the HB4 (9006) when the lamp assembly doesn't have a full bulb shield or when it's just a particularly bad lamp (like many composite headlamps on GM pickups), as it just means much more glare for other traffic. Lens degradation is also a concern, as degraded headlamp lenses cause more off-axis glare for other traffic because it reduces beam focus.
    It's in good condition with a bulb shield. In an optimal situation, is the 9012 going to be best choice, even over "hot-rodded" 9006s?

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by thegetawaycar View Post
    My friend with the same car just started laughing when I put my highs on. I think I'm going to get some for his birthday. We take driving road trips out into the wilderness on some dirt roads every summer and they've been invaluable.
    It's a great upgrade-- my '01 Corolla's high beams were always pretty decent, but with the HIR1 they're really great. I put new (OEM!) lamp assemblies on it in '15, too, so it's really a pleasure to drive at night (well, not from a creature comfort standpoint).

    Lamps are in great condition. My only concern is that they're also the DRL which seemed to cause some browning on the old 9005.
    Moving the DRL function to the front turn signals using the DRL-1 would eliminate that concern.

    It's in good condition with a bulb shield. In an optimal situation, is the 9012 going to be best choice, even over "hot-rodded" 9006s?
    In any lamp that can safely take the HIR2 (that is, where it will not generate excessive glare), yes, the HIR2 is the best choice. The beam focus is better, and the filament luminance (in cd/m2) and luminous flux (in lm) are both higher in the HIR2 than in any HB4. (Besides, any HB4 with an 1875lm output would not legally be an HB4.)
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 09-22-2017 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Fixed URL tag

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Where did my post go?

    I'll type it again the best I can remember.

    I can tell you that after trying 4300K 35W HID, 4300K 55W HID, Sylvania XtraVision, and 6500K LED in my high beams only that I finally stuck with the 9011/9012.

    The 55 watt HID's in my high beams were awesome, like lighting a football field in front of me, just one problem, they were so slow to get bright that it became a safety issue, flipping on the high beams to quickly see what a shadow moving towards the road is while going 70mph resulted in no help at all.

    The LED's turned my already too flood and not enough spot high beams into even more flood and less spot making them useless not to mention 6500K hurts my eyes, I took those out after one drive.
    Last edited by TechGuru; 09-26-2017 at 09:01 AM. Reason: More specific

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru View Post
    Where did my post go?
    It was deleted due to Rule 11 violations, such as alluding to what is "most legal" (which, as legality is a binary, is like saying something is "more unique". It's either unique or it's not), and the unfounded blanket statement that HIR1 and HIR2 are always appropriate upgrades (as that can get people hurt, legal or not).

    I can tell you that after trying 4300K 35W HID, 4300K 55W HID, Sylvania XtraVision, and 6500K LED that I finally settled on the 9011/9012. I'd go into the reasons but I'm not going to type all that just for it to get deleted.
    You wouldn't have needed to try the HID kits and the LED drop-ins if you understood more about optics than the standard "angle of incidence = angle of reflection" and Snell's law of refraction (although the first of those principles is a large portion why HID kits just don't work). Trying those was akin to trying to cook an 18lb turkey in an EZ-Bake Oven and end up with a safe meal. (It's not just that the turkey won't fit with a lot of cramming in, but the heat from the appliance bulb won't cook it quickly enough to keep it out of the 'danger zone' temperature range.)

    Installing the HIR1 (9011) and HIR2 (9012) where the HB3 (9005) and HB4 (9006) were originally installed is by no means "settling", although there are certain conditions which proscribe their use. GM trucks from the late '90s with composite headlamps were terrible glare generators even with good HB4 bulbs in the low beam, creating excessive backscatter for the driver and glare of other traffic. The HIR2 exacerbates that situation. Some HB4 low beam lamps also lack a glare shield that prevents direct viewing of the filament; the HIR2 does not have its own 'blacktop', so direct glare is a serious concern. Extremely hazed/fogged/crazed high beams also will generate too much backscatter and glare with the HIR1 installed-- they're doing that with the original HB3 installed, but the difference is the backscatter is worse for the driver, and glare is worse for those other drivers at greater distances.

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Luckily I have Ford reflectors. Would you say this is a good candidate for the 9012's? I already have 9011's in the high beams.




    I personally would never consider upgrading the bulb in anything with a diffuser lens, only clear lenses.
    Last edited by TechGuru; 09-26-2017 at 09:18 AM.

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru View Post
    Luckily I have Ford reflectors
    I'm not sure how that's supposed to be lucky.

    Would you say this is a good candidate for the 9012's?
    Only if you're careful to keep them correctly aimed. This is a non-starter if you carry or tow heavy loads in that Explorer.

    I personally would never consider upgrading the bulb in anything with a diffuser lens, only clear lenses.
    This doesn't make sense. There's no correlation between lens optics vs reflector optics and compatible vs not compatible with the HIR2 bulb. And there's no such thing as a "diffuser lens" on a headlamp.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 09-26-2017 at 12:46 PM.

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru View Post
    Luckily I have Ford reflectors. Would you say this is a good candidate for the 9012's? I already have 9011's in the high beams.
    I'm also sure it's not "lucky" other than they ARE at least better than those GM lamps I'd mentioned before.

    Towing and/or heavy loading will be problematic since that drastically changes the aim of the lamps, so instead of the HIR2, use the Philips X-Treme Vision.

    (Speaking of towing, fog lamps aren't "auxiliary towing lamps"-- but whenever I see a pickup towing something, it usually also has fog lamps on. I'm beginning to wonder if the change in headlamp aim makes the drivers miss having the foreground light that they have with their usual non-towing aim. Or, they think they're "cool" and turn them on. Or they accidentally turned them on and have no idea they're still on.)

    I personally would never consider upgrading the bulb in anything with a diffuser lens, only clear lenses.
    Headlamps don't have "diffuser" lenses-- the headlamp lenses with the molded-in pattern use that pattern to focus and direct light to the proper regions. However, clear or molded, if the lenses have the hazing/cracking/crazing/fogging from UV and heat, that's what makes using HIRx bulbs a bad idea. Some of those same lamps have differently-shaped bulb shields which may permit direct viewing of the filament of bulbs that don't have a "blacktop" (such as the HIR2).

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    I'm also sure it's not "lucky" other than they ARE at least better than those GM lamps I'd mentioned before.
    My point exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Towing and/or heavy loading will be problematic since that drastically changes the aim of the lamps, so instead of the HIR2, use the Philips X-Treme Vision.
    Um, I have two issues with this statement.

    1. Towing without leveling air bags is a problem no matter what the vehicle unless you have auto leveling factory HID's. How is having 9012's in a 9006 housing pointing straight into the faces of oncoming drivers due to too much tongue weight any different than 9012's in factory 9012 housings pointing straight into the faces of oncoming drivers due to too much tongue weight? Several vehicles that can tow come with 9012's like 2013-2015 Ram 1500-5500, 2015 GMC Sierra 1500-3500, and 2014-2015 Dodge Durango.

    2. Why are you recommending a bulb with a blue band of tint on it? I already made Sylvania take back some SilverStar Ultras which have two blue bands on them vs the single blue band the Philips X-Tream has and exchange them for XtraVision's. I now refuse to use any bulb with any kind of blue tint. How does Philips VisionPlus compare to Sylvania XtraVision?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    (Speaking of towing, fog lamps aren't "auxiliary towing lamps"-- but whenever I see a pickup towing something, it usually also has fog lamps on. I'm beginning to wonder if the change in headlamp aim makes the drivers miss having the foreground light that they have with their usual non-towing aim. Or, they think they're "cool" and turn them on. Or they accidentally turned them on and have no idea they're still on.)
    My vehicle trim did not come with fogs but my guess would be something like this...The idiots turn their lights on after loading down the vehicle and go "where are my lights?" then start playing with switches and hit the fogs and then go "oh there they are!" LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Headlamps don't have "diffuser" lenses-- the headlamp lenses with the molded-in pattern use that pattern to focus and direct light to the proper regions. However, clear or molded, if the lenses have the hazing/cracking/crazing/fogging from UV and heat, that's what makes using HIRx bulbs a bad idea. Some of those same lamps have differently-shaped bulb shields which may permit direct viewing of the filament of bulbs that don't have a "blacktop" (such as the HIR2).
    I think my issue with them stems from the fact that nearly no modern vehicles come with them anymore thus any on the road are quite old and heavily oxidized. They look dumber than anything when some moron puts a HID retrofit or some "cool blue" in them (didn't Sylvania stop making CoolBlue junk?).

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru View Post
    1. How is having 9012's in a 9006 housing pointing straight into the faces of oncoming drivers due to too much tongue weight any different than 9012's in factory 9012 housings pointing straight into the faces of oncoming drivers due to too much tongue weight?
    Indeed, what IS the difference between a set of lamps designed specifically for the HB4, and a set of lamps designed specifically for the HIR2?

    2. Why are you recommending a bulb with a blue band of tint on it?
    The blue band is outside of the lamp's focusing area. The light that passes through the blue band isn't part of the main beam. This means the main beam is untinted. This means the filament can have a higher output than normally allowed (and then would be out of spec with no banding), but then is brought into spec by the tinting discarding not-useful light.

    I think my issue with them stems from the fact that nearly no modern vehicles come with them anymore thus any on the road are quite old and heavily oxidized. They look dumber than anything when some moron puts a HID retrofit or some "cool blue" in them (didn't Sylvania stop making CoolBlue junk?).
    There are plenty of glass-lensed lamps from that era that don't have heavy lens oxidation (their reflector may be a different story). Any time anyone puts an HID 'retrofit' in any lamp designed for a halogen lamp, they look like a moron. And those "Cool Blue Intense" bulbs? Osram STILL makes them.

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Indeed, what IS the difference between a set of lamps designed specifically for the HB4, and a set of lamps designed specifically for the HIR2?
    Well when we're talking about the main beam of the light pointing where it's not supposed to due to the trailer tongue weight it's going to blind people no matter which bulb or housing is in it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    The blue band is outside of the lamp's focusing area. The light that passes through the blue band isn't part of the main beam. This means the main beam is untinted. This means the filament can have a higher output than normally allowed (and then would be out of spec with no banding), but then is brought into spec by the tinting discarding not-useful light.
    Well on the SilverStar Ultra it did affect the color temp of the bulb.

    Why not just put a blackout band there instead of blue then? I am curious as to how a bulb's output optics would look with blackout bands in front of and behind the filament areas. Like so:



    Is there a reason no bulbs are made like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    And those "Cool Blue Intense" bulbs? Osram STILL makes them.
    :facepalm: I can't believe they get DOT approval...

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru View Post
    when we're talking about the main beam of the light pointing where it's not supposed to due to the trailer tongue weight it's going to blind people no matter which bulb or housing is in it.
    True, and this may be somewhat of a hair-split in some cases, but a lamp designed to use an HIR2 bulb will definitely comply with the direct and reflected glare zone intensity limits with an HIR2 bulb (which emits about 90% more light than an HB4 bulb) while a lamp designed to use an HB4 bulb that might comply with the glare limits with HB4 might not with HIR2. The consequences (in terms of degree of glaring) will be more severe for a lamp that is violating the glare zones.

    Well on the SilverStar Ultra it did affect the color temp of the bulb.
    Not in any relevant way.

    Why not just put a blackout band there Is there a reason no bulbs are made like this?
    It's an interesting idea, but a bulb like this would overheat and fail quickly.

    I can't believe they get DOT approval...
    There is no such thing as "DOT approval", but the bulbs do meet the (relatively lax) specifications -- blue coating and all. Remember, most bulb types have output tolerances of +/- 10%, 12%, or 15%. That means an allowable intensity range of 20%, 24%, or 30%. So (for example) an HB4 with nominal 1000 lumen output +/- 15% can emit between 850 and 1150 lumens and be equally as legal. There is no legal requirement for bulb lifetime, and no prohibition against color coatings on the glass as long as the output fits within the boundaries of the white definition.

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru View Post
    Well when we're talking about the main beam of the light pointing where it's not supposed to due to the trailer tongue weight it's going to blind people no matter which bulb or housing is in it...
    And one lamp was designed for the HIR2, and accordingly designed to better control glare under such driving conditions as road bumps and uneven loading. Remember, the bulb is selected BEFORE lamp design begins, so from the outset the HIR2's output was always part of the design.

    Why not just put a blackout band there instead of blue then? I am curious as to how a bulb's output optics would look with blackout bands in front of and behind the filament areas
    Heating issues. The blue bands reduce light output but still allow radiated heat to escape the envelope.


    :facepalm: I can't believe they get DOT approval...
    They didn't get DOT approval. Nobody ever does-- they CAN'T! Why not? Because there's no such thing. (This can be a good way to know what lighting products to avoid. If the manufactuer claims "DOT Approved" on their product, you know they're not qualified to design vehicle lighting because they should know this very basic fact.)

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Let me rephrase.

    I can't believe they meet DOT and/or SAE requirements.

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru View Post
    Let me rephrase.

    I can't believe they meet DOT and/or SAE requirements.
    The only requirements that matter are the DOT's requirements (through the NHTSA); the SAE is not a regulatory body.

    Well, the manufacturer certifies they do meet the apposite specifications. In the case of PIAA, I'm not going to believe them, but in the case of Osram, I am much more likely to. Not that it matters, I know enough to not use the CBI bulbs.

    Again, depending on the bulb, the output tolerance is as much as 30%. So for that HB4 with a nominal 1000lm output (±15%), the filament could be constructed to burn extra hot and bright, and the blue tinting might drop the output to the lowest-legal amount: 850lm. It's stripped out quite a bit of the useful red/orange/yellow light, but people who don't know any better are going to think the light is "crisper" and "whiter", the bulb still emits legally-white light, and as a bonus (for Osram) it burns out even faster than before (so people buy them more often. Cha-CHING!). Better yet (for Osram, not the purchasers) they still declare the bulb to be 1000lm (since that's the HB4 specification).
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 09-27-2017 at 11:54 AM.

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Well I've had the 9012's for over a week now and have not been flashed once. Funny thing is I got flashed a few times with the Sylvania XtraVision's...

    Also, I can't help but wonder (I really want to know) if these 9012LL are less lumens than regular non-LL 9012's...

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru View Post
    Well I've had the 9012's for over a week now and have not been flashed once. Funny thing is I got flashed a few times with the Sylvania XtraVision's...
    Getting flashed by other drivers isn't a real indication that your lamps are generating excessive glare; not getting flashed by other drivers is not a real indication that your lamps aren't generating excessive glare. It could be a difference in loading, different driver tolerances for glare, atmospheric conditions, the acoustics of the concert hall, random chance... The beam focus with the HIR2 will be better (slightly) than with the XtraVision, which is the only thing that might explain an objective difference in glare at certain points.

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    I replaced one 9005 high beam bulb with a Philips 9011. I didn't notice any practical difference.

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    Default Re: IS 9011/9012 always the best upgrade for 9005/9006?

    Quote Originally Posted by adv View Post
    I replaced one 9005 high beam bulb with a Philips 9011. I didn't notice any practical difference.
    The threshold of just-noticeable intensity difference is 15%, the difference between the HIR1 and the 9005 is far greater than that. Lens and reflector condition could account for some of the difference you think you're not seeing. It's also possible you got a counterfeit (if you didn't have to modify the base to get it to fit, it's a counterfeit).

    For properly-fed lamps in good condition, a genuine HIR1 will outperform any HB3, whether you think you see it or not.

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