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Thread: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Default Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    Recently bought a 02 Accord LX Sedan for use as a more economical commuter. The headlight performance is lacking despite proper aiming and use of a Mother's Nulens Restoration Kit which brought the plastic lenses back to near-new clarity. Was considering Philips Vision Plus bulbs but thought I'd ask the Community here for other/better suggestions. Lights use 9005/9006 bulbs.

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    The Philips HIR2 in the low beams, and the Philips HIR1 in the high beams, will be good upgrades, but it is critical the lamps are aimed correctly. You might also have voltage drop that can be solved by installing relays.

    However, on this 16+ year old car, in Windsor, California (or even if it were from as far north as Windsor, Canada (which is just south of Detroit)), those lamps will have significant UV damage to the lenses, and heat damage from the bulbs to the reflectors. The restoration kit may have brought back quite a bit of lens clarity, but they'll still produce more glare due to imperfections deep within the plastic, and did nothing for the reflectors. It may be time to get new (factory!) headlamps.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 04-13-2018 at 12:46 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    I agree about 95% with Alaric. He's right that the headlamps need to be in perfect shape and they need to be real Honda units if you can possibly afford it (left and right) because the aftermarket non-Honda units are of pretty severely inferior quality, performance and durability.

    The 5% difference I have with Alaric is that the Vosla +30 HIR2/9012 (that's most affordably available as this one) gives enough better intensity and focus than the Philips to be worth while, though the Philips has a longer life span. Any reputable brand of HIR1/9011 is fine, like this one. You will have to trim the HIR2 and HIR1 plastic base tabs a bit to fit in place of your original bulbs, in accordance with the template shown here.

    Also, (this should really go first, at the top of the list) the headlamps must be aimed correctly. Not "pretty close", not "about right", not "good enough" -- accuracy really matters to how well you can see. Aim information is here, yours are the "VOR" type of lamp.

    Do not make the mistake of putting an "HID kit" or "LED conversion" in your lamps. None of them are safe, effective, or legal, no matter what the con artists selling them claim.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    I agree about 95% with Alaric.
    That's still an A, right, Teach?

    The 5% difference I have with Alaric is that the Vosla +30 HIR2/9012 (that's most affordably available as this one) gives enough better intensity and focus than the Philips to be worth while, though the Philips has a longer life span.
    I can't speak for the difficulty of changing bulbs in the '98-'02 Accord (it looks about as cramped as the '01 Corolla), but longer life span *could* be the deciding factor. (And when you replace in pairs, that's a lot more work.) However, performance is performance, and everything else being equal (excellent lamp condition, perfect aim, the right voltage) you'll get better performance with the +30 HIR2. It's not as marked an improvement as when going that first jump from HB4 (9006) to HIR2, but it's an improvement.

    However, NorCal707, our mentioning bulb lifespan is not to say that with bulbs one should choose "Long Life" vs the "standard", and certainly not vs. the +30 (and above) type bulbs, whether HIR1/2 or the other halogen bulbs. Those long life bulbs' performance starts at "acceptable" when brand new, and over time worsens to "abysmal", with the filament degrading and degrading for years despite the filament still *lighting*. The higher-performance bulbs start off much better and die off before they degrade enough to be dangerous. Save the "long life" bulbs for that hard-to-reach fixture in the hallway bathroom.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    I had personally 9011/9012 swapped my friends 98-02 accord, the engine bay was pretty accessible and it was not a difficult task.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    Does anybody know if vosla is making a higher output hir1? If so how does it compare to the toshiba hir1's (i had read that was the ones to get if you could). 2 years ago i found a toyota dealer in dallas that had the toshiba's but i thought i heard somewhere they quit making them. I got a pair from them but only a pair my mystake if they are trully going by the wayside. Can you guys clear this up with some facts

  7. #7

    Default Re: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonOk View Post
    Does anybody know if vosla is making a higher output hir1?
    Nobody makes a higher output HIR1.

    If so how does it compare to the toshiba hir1's (i had read that was the ones to get if you could)
    There is a great deal of misinformation out there about these bulbs, including the baseless claim that Toshiba bulbs are "real" HIRs and others aren't, Toshiba bulbs are superior, etc.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    Thanks virgil. Not in need of replacements as of now, but i will go with the phillips for ease of availability unless something changes.
    Since long life bulbs were mentioned in this post on average how much (hours) could one expect to get out of one before they become degraded to a point they should be replaced? I'm sorry i know this depends on many factors like lamp design and electrical supply issues and what not.. Just as a you should definetly change them out at this point kind of reference would be handy

  9. #9
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonOk View Post
    Since long life bulbs were mentioned in this post on average how much (hours) could one expect to get out of one before they become degraded to a point they should be replaced?
    About 10 hours.

    Seriously, they already start at the bare minimum performance, but in terms of filament luminance and beam focus. You never want to use them in headlamps unless one goes out and there's a long life bulb in the glove compartment and it's nighttime and you're 20 miles away from a competent parts store.

    For non-headlamp bulbs that is much, much longer, and it's hard to pin a number down, but even in those lamps the bulbs far outlive their useful life. One way to tell is to look at the bulb-- if it looks like a black pearl, then that bulb is *done*.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Headlight Bulb Upgrades for 2002 Honda Accord?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    About 10 hours.

    Seriously, they already start at the bare minimum performance, but in terms of filament luminance and beam focus. You never want to use them in headlamps unless one goes out and there's a long life bulb in the glove compartment and it's nighttime and you're 20 miles away from a competent parts store.

    For non-headlamp bulbs that is much, much longer, and it's hard to pin a number down, but even in those lamps the bulbs far outlive their useful life. One way to tell is to look at the bulb-- if it looks like a black pearl, then that bulb is *done*.
    Lol i hear you. Couldn't imagine putting them on anything i currently deal with (i always want the best performing bulb i can get in a fixture in there), however there are those vehicles out there where changing a bulb is a chore and i was just trying to be proactive in case one found me

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