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Thread: H13 bulb upgrade. Philips x-treme vision or crystal vision

  1. #1

    Default H13 bulb upgrade. Philips x-treme vision or crystal vision

    I recently purchased a 2007 Dodge Ram. The headlights are adequate, but not great. I'm not looking to do anything elaborate like a total replacement or HID conversion... at least not yet. I am looking to try new bulbs, because that may give enough improvement.

    I used to have a set of Sylvania Silverstars on a Tahoe I used to own, but I'm not convinced they were really much better, so much as the whiter light gives an illusion that it's brighter. And one of them burned out way too soon.

    I've done a little reading online, and seem to find more recommendations for Philips bulbs. I'm looking for opinions about their xtreme vision and their crystal vision H13 bulbs. Generally speaking I prefer whiter light, but if it goes too far it rapidly becomes annoying. I don't know how to tell if the crystal ones would be getting too close to blue for me to like them.

    If you have any good info, please share.
    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: H13 bulb upgrade. Philips x-treme vision or crystal vision

    Quote Originally Posted by UserName View Post
    I recently purchased a 2007 Dodge Ram.
    First thing to do is to look carefully at the headlamps. Make sure they're legitimate units (original equipment Chrysler parts, not aftermarket knockoffs) and that they're in like-new condition with no lens clouding.

    I'm not looking to do anything elaborate like a total replacement or HID conversion... at least not yet.
    Best make that "not ever". There is no headlamp replacement or "HID conversion" that will do anything but make your headlamps worse (and illegal).

    I used to have a set of Sylvania Silverstars on a Tahoe I used to own, but I'm not convinced they were really much better
    They weren't any better. They were worse.

    so much as the whiter light gives an illusion that it's brighter.
    The light isn't "whiter", either. See here.

    I've done a little reading online, and seem to find more recommendations for Philips bulbs. I'm looking for opinions about their xtreme vision and their crystal vision H13 bulbs.
    Crystal Vision is the same blue-glass/less-light scam as Sylvania Silverstar. The ones you want are these.

    Also, spend the time and money to make sure the headlamps are aimed correctly (yours are the "VOR" type as discussed on this page) with your normal weight load and distribution in/on the truck.

  3. #3

    Default Re: H13 bulb upgrade. Philips x-treme vision or crystal vision

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    First thing to do is to look carefully at the headlamps. Make sure they're legitimate units (original equipment Chrysler parts, not aftermarket knockoffs) and that they're in like-new condition with no lens clouding.
    They are as clear as can be. I have no way of knowing for certain that they are O.E. Chrysler parts, but they sure look exactly the same as every other truck out there from that generation.

    They weren't any better. They were worse.
    They were an improvement from what came before. I bought a two pack, changed the driver's side, drove it for a week, and changed the other side. It's purely subjective, but lacking any actual equipment to be scientific, it's the best I have. The driver's side was clearer and brighter. Years down the road now, I think that may not have been due to the new bulbs being any better, but simply comparing a new bulb to a many years old one. I'm starting to wonder if I had replaced one bulb with a new O.E. bulb, if it would not have also seemed to be brighter. I've been beginning to wonder if headlights maybe shouldn't be graded pass/fail, but perhaps weaken with age. Since then, with other vehicles, I have replaced single bulbs without making any effort to find an "improved performance" replacement, and it has seemed as though the new bulb is brighter than the other one.

    Crystal Vision is the same blue-glass/less-light scam as Sylvania Silverstar. The ones you want are these.
    Also, spend the time and money to make sure the headlamps are aimed correctly (yours are the "VOR" type as discussed on this page) with your normal weight load and distribution in/on the truck.
    I typically pursue solutions in order of ascending cost. Headlight aiming being a zero cost solution it was among the first things I looked into. They were aimed a little high, which gave the low beams a little extra reach, but made the high beams useless as they hit more sky than road. This was corrected in the first month I owned the vehicle. This yielded some improvement, but not yet enough. Presently I'm using the fog lights to compensate for this deficiency, but I would like to end this as soon as I can. It irritates me to burn four bulbs where two should be getting the job done.

    I think odds are strong I've just got old weak bulbs in there, and new bulbs will take care of it no matter what choice I make, but I always like to research any part that has to be replaced for the opportunity to find the best replacement.

    Are these the same as the ones you suggested? One says 9008/H13. The other just says 9008. Once is cheaper than the other, is there any other difference?
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 11-19-2017 at 02:32 AM. Reason: Fix link markup

  4. #4

    Default Re: H13 bulb upgrade. Philips x-treme vision or crystal vision

    Quote Originally Posted by UserName View Post
    I have no way of knowing for certain that they are O.E. Chrysler parts
    Sure you do: take a close look at them. Read the markings on the lens.

    (the Silverstars) were an improvement from what came before.
    If the original bulbs had a lot of hours on them, possibly a little. But any reasonably well made new bulb would have been, and the Silverstars were, at best, a lot "less better" than a non-scam bulb would have been.

    It's purely subjective
    Exactly. And subjective impressions of headlight performance are notoriously unreliable.

    I've been beginning to wonder if headlights (...) weaken with age
    Yes, they do.
    Presently I'm using the fog lights to compensate for this deficiency, but I would like to end this as soon as I can. It irritates me to burn four bulbs where two should be getting the job done.
    That's a relatively minor reason to turn the fog lamps off, and leave them off. Read up on that matter in detail at this page.

    Are these the same as the ones you suggested?
    Yep, same bulbs.

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: H13 bulb upgrade. Philips x-treme vision or crystal vision

    Quote Originally Posted by UserName View Post
    They are as clear as can be. I have no way of knowing for certain that they are O.E. Chrysler parts, but they sure look exactly the same as every other truck out there from that generation.
    The lens markings will tell you right away if they're not genuine parts (brand names like TYC, Spyder, Spec-D, or DEPO); or possibly they're counterfeit lamps but that isn't extremely likely.

    It's purely subjective, but lacking any actual equipment to be scientific
    Yes, it's subjective. And particularly with headlamps, subjective opinions differ greatly from objective fact.

    The driver's side was clearer and brighter. Years down the road now, I think that may not have been due to the new bulbs being any better, but simply comparing a new bulb to a many years old one.
    Bulbs degrade with age, both in lumen maintenance and in beam focus. If you look closely at a well-used but still functional bulb, the filament will have both pitting and dendritic growth, from bits of filament flying off and reattaching from the halogen cycle.

    I'm starting to wonder if I had replaced one bulb with a new O.E. bulb, if it would not have also seemed to be brighter.
    It would have been both more intense and had better beam focus.

    I've been beginning to wonder if headlights maybe shouldn't be graded pass/fail, but perhaps weaken with age.
    They do get worse with age. The lens itself degrades such that while it may be barely perceptible to the eye, it blocks a large portion of light, and alters the beam focus, as well as increasing glare for other drivers because light starts lighting up the lens rather than passing through it. (Picture driving into the sun with a dirty windshield vs. a very clean one. With the dirty windshield, more of it becomes unbearable to look at than with the really clean one wherein the sun itself is in sharper focus. Also, don't look directly at the sun! ) On top of the lens degradation, the reflector surface also degrades. This combination of degraded reflector and degraded lens means your headlamps are seriously less effective after ten years than they were when new. At 15 years, they are all-but-done.

    Since then, with other vehicles, I have replaced single bulbs without making any effort to find an "improved performance" replacement, and it has seemed as though the new bulb is brighter than the other one.
    Another reason to replace bulbs in pairs. The obvious reason is that the other one in the pair is also not long for this world, but you also match the beam focus and lumen maintenance between lamps when done in pairs. It is interesting to see the difference, so I can see doing it out of curiousity, or doing just the one because it's raining and you're trying to get home, but doing them in pairs right away is the best method. The same for tail/stop/turn lamps-- those particularly keep burning long after they're useful, and turn the inside of the envelope into what looks like black pearl. I'd almost go as far as doing the sidemarker lamps the same way, especially if your front sidemarkers flash with your turn signals.

    I typically pursue solutions in order of ascending cost. Headlight aiming being a zero cost solution it was among the first things I looked into. They were aimed a little high, which gave the low beams a little extra reach, but made the high beams useless as they hit more sky than road. This was corrected in the first month I owned the vehicle. This yielded some improvement, but not yet enough. Presently I'm using the fog lights to compensate for this deficiency, but I would like to end this as soon as I can. It irritates me to burn four bulbs where two should be getting the job done.
    Fog lamps aren't auxiliary low beams; at speeds higher than fog lamps are useful, they just create more foreground light-- which also tricks you into thinking you're seeing better.

    Are these the same as the ones you suggested? One says 9008/H13. The other just says 9008. Once is cheaper than the other, is there any other difference?
    9008 is a trade number (probably foisted upon us by Ford), not the official designation.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 11-20-2017 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Had a "." orphaned there.

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