RMSK, Inc.        
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

  1. #1

    Default Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    I noticed in another thread where Virgil recommended Tungsram H4 Megalight +120 over the Phillips + 100 if you can get them.

    I'm in Europe so they're easy and affordable to buy. However, while searching I also noticed Tungsram Megalight +130. The difference between the two bulbs being in the position of the small blue band. The 120's position the band behind the silver tip of the bulb, while the 130's leave the area behind the silver tip bare and position the small blue ring in what seems only over the high beam filament and then behind the filament it's bare again for the remainder of the bulb (The blue band is only in the middle part of the bulb).

    I've been put off now with all the good (Phillips, Osram) bulb makers insisting on covering practically the whole bulb now with that stupid blue coating and am only interested in a bulb that leaves the high beam filament bare.

    So, my question is which bulb of the two would be better?

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    I noticed in another thread where Virgil recommended Tungsram H4 Megalight +120 over the Phillips + 100 if you can get them.
    I also noticed Tungsram Megalight +130. The difference between the two bulbs being in the position of the small blue band. The 120's position the band behind the silver tip of the bulb, while the 130's leave the area behind the silver tip bare and position the small blue ring in what seems only over the high beam filament and then behind the filament it's bare again for the remainder of the bulb (The blue band is only in the middle part of the bulb).
    I'd go with the +120 myself. When you're on high beam (or, really, ANY beam) you don't need that light to have a chunk of the useful red/orange/yellow stripped out of it. The remaining blue light gives a sort of "nearsightedness" effect (focusing in front of the retina) and is otherwise had for the human optical system to process, which is counterproductive when you need to be seeing great distances.

    Bulb life will be shorter with the +130, as well-- the optimizations for output and beam focus mean lifetime is sacrificed.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 12-07-2017 at 11:29 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Bulb life for the 130's is stated at 250hrs. Haven't found a figure for the 120's but should be similar.

    It's a bit of a toss up as I see it because the 130's with no blue in front of the filament suggest to me a slightly brighter light (with no blue to compromise). Is high beam degradation with that single band as severe as with the Phillips or Osram nightbreakers?

    I really want the best of both worlds, the brightest low beam and no blue in the high, or as little as possible. I was all set on the 120's until I saw the 130's.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    It's a bit of a toss up as I see it because the 130's with no blue in front of the filament suggest to me a slightly brighter light (with no blue to compromise). Is high beam degradation with that single band as severe as with the Phillips or Osram nightbreakers?
    You don't want any of the bulbs with blue banding around the high beam. High beams are important-- when you're going over 45mph you need your high beams unless other traffic on the road prohibits their use.

    I really want the best of both worlds, the brightest low beam and no blue in the high, or as little as possible. I was all set on the 120's until I saw the 130's.
    Then get the +120, because both high and low beams are unaffected by the blue tinting (the tinting that is present only affects the light outside of the main beam).

  5. #5

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Get the +120, which does not impede any useful light with a blue band, unlike the +130.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Thanks guys, I''ll give them a try.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Color aside, the sell sheets claim about 5 m further beam length on the +130s?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    "claim".

  9. #9
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    Color aside, the sell sheets claim about 5 m further beam length on the +130s?
    If their claim is correct, remember that the color is important-- light tending toward blue is harder for the human optical system to process. Blue light focuses in front of the retina.

    You're making this harder than it should be. Go with the +120.

  10. #10

    Default Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Thank you!

    I am asking for the original poster (to clarify for him/her). (I should have been more specific and asked color vs. distance, but that was the best I could come up with), without possibly waiting too long, risk the OP making a purchase without the complete pros and cons. (Wow, Iím one of the good writers in my family, and reading that over made my head hurt).
    Last edited by jzchen; 12-07-2017 at 11:01 PM.

  11. #11
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    (I should have been more specific and asked color vs. distance, but that was the best I could come up with)
    The sell sheet (key word is SELL! They want to SELL something) is saying you get 5m more seeing distance with the low beam (judging from their beam pattern graphics), the blue banding doesn't affect that.

    But similarly rating the *high beam* as giving more seeing distance, the problem is that instrumentation might detect legally white light at x candela, but there is no adjustment for the reduced focus, and resolution, of the image for the human driver. At 20 feet, the eye is focused for "infinity"; blue light is particularly disadvantageous at those distances. The longer wavelengths have longer focal lengths, but if a lot of the longer wavelengths are removed, then it's harder to focus on. Additionally, the near field glare from the blue light will make it harder to see the very distant objects.

    We're already disadvantaged in color acuity when using mesopic vision (which is what night driving uses), and that can affect resolving a very distant image and identifying it with the even more-reduced color information from the light produced by these bulbs' high beam.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if the high beam's objective performance were worse on the +130 because of the tinting. The filament would have to be very seriously overdriven and compact to overcome the filtration losses, which would severely curtail that filament's life. I'm thinking all their optimizations were on the low beam itself.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 12-07-2017 at 11:51 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Wow. Lots of great information! (Iím still absorbing it all, including things I didnít quite get in Physics class). Thank you!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    It would be nice to know if both low and hi filaments were more tightly wound (optimized?) on all these + bulbs. If only the low is optimized, why cover the rest of the bulb with that vision restricting blue coating?
    Does the blue coating also reduce the lumen amount, or has that no effect?

  14. #14
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    It would be nice to know if both low and hi filaments were more tightly wound (optimized?) on all these + bulbs. If only the low is optimized, why cover the rest of the bulb with that vision restricting blue coating?
    Traditionally, the 'windowed' coating ensures that the amount of light in the main part of the beam is unfiltered, but the light that does not contribute to the main part of the beam is reduced, therefore the bulb's total output is still within legal limits. Probably both filaments have some optimizations, but particularly the minor filament on this particular bulb.

    Does the blue coating also reduce the lumen amount, or has that no effect?
    Look through this thread again carefully and you should be able to very easily answer that.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    OK. Has anyone measured by how much? If the lumens on high are below what a factory standard H4 bulb puts out - and objectively it seems that way - the manufacturers are misleading us with their advertising on the packaging.

  16. #16
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    OK. Has anyone measured by how much? If the lumens on high are below what a factory standard H4 bulb puts out - and objectively it seems that way - the manufacturers are misleading us with their advertising on the packaging.
    In UNECE signatories, ECE R37 specifies the luminous flux of the H4 bulb: 1650/1000 (major/minor filament) lumens Ī15%; and max allowable wattage 75/68w @ 13.2v.
    In the US, 49CFR564 for the 9003/HB2 (essentially, the H4 bulb) is similar: 1580/910 (major/minor filament) lumens Ī10% and max allowable wattage 72/65w @ 12.8v

    So, they make the major filament such that once the envelope tinting is applied, it will emit from (using ECE R37's spec) as high as 1898lm to as low as 1402.5lm. It's more likely to be toward the bottom end of the range, but it will still be within that legal range. Is it misleading? Sylvania was found to be misleading customers before with a promise of better performance from an underperforming-yet-legal bulb.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Which Tungsram H4 bulb?

    Thanks for the info and link. That explained it very well for me.

    Is it misleading? Yes, in that the manufacturers know full well that the blue coating reduces actual high beam performance, irrespective of the amount of lumens they claim to produce.

    At the very least, they could put a disdainer on the package claiming that the bulbs are optimised for increased low beam performance, while having a slight adverse effect on the high.

    But truth in advertising? Nah!

Posting Permissions

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