Best 9003 bulbs?

Alaric Darconville

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You can't look at a bulb and determine what type of filtering the blue on the bulbs are doing.
You really can. Dichroic filters are particularly easy to discern from regular tint when looking at a bulb or lens such treated.

Most high quality bulbs use that blue as an interference style filter as to actually remove the blue wavelengths thus making the bulb "brighter" by only projecting desirable wavelengths.
Removing light does not make a bulb brighter. Not even if the word brighter is in quotes.
The blue coating on the bulbs discussed in this thread is a simple filter, not a dichroic coating.

If what you're saying is true, than the light would be perfectly white, which it's not.
*then
Light output from a properly-fed halogen filament is already almost "perfectly white" in the first place.
 

Alaric Darconville

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I need to use my high-beams when traveling faster than 45mph?
You really should whenever traffic conditions permit it. Low beam seeing distance isn't all that great, even in optimal conditions.

45mph is 66fps; factor in reaction time and braking distances and the distance a low beam gives you runs out pretty quickly.
 

Zac88

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You really can. Dichroic filters are particularly easy to discern from regular tint when looking at a bulb or lens such treated.


Removing light does not make a bulb brighter. Not even if the word brighter is in quotes.
The blue coating on the bulbs discussed in this thread is a simple filter, not a dichroic coating.


*then
Light output from a properly-fed halogen filament is already almost "perfectly white" in the first place.
You still have not proven how your regular eye can tell apart filters on bulbs, whats next, you can see IR light with yours? I dabbled for a short while in ophthalmology, I wouldnt ever call myself an expert but maybe a bit more knowledgeable then the regular joe.
Now if you're going to lower yourself to correctly my ESL mistakes, I would rather just stop this conversation and hope that OSRAM replies to me emails instead of your guessing.
 

-Virgil-

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You can't look at a bulb and determine what type of filtering the blue on the bulbs are doing

You evidently can't, and the average Joe can't, but anyone with the right amount and kind of knowledge and expertise can do exactly that.

I dabbled for a short while in ophthalmology
I dabbled for a short while in cooking. That does not prepare me to hand down judgments on the subject. You and I are the same in that regard.

I wouldnt ever call myself an expert
That is good, because...well...you're very apparently not one. Which is fine, that's not intended as a put-down even though it might feel like one. There are many subjects on which I am not an expert. Most of them, in fact! I realize that and accept that in the manner of a mature adult: when I need to deal with a subject I'm not an expert in, I get advice from people who are. Real ones, mind you; I don't take my advice from those whose primary interest is to sell me something, even if they phrase themselves in an authoritative or science-y ways. Especially not when they phrase themselves that way, because then it's obvious they're trying to manipulate me.

but maybe a bit more knowledgeable then the regular joe.
Not from anything you've shown in this thread so far. This isn't a debate about opinions; you've gotten pretty much everything wrong on the facts.

Most high quality bulbs use that blue as an interference style filter
No, the coatings on the bulbs we're discussing here are absorption filters, not interference filters. That term "interference filter" actually means something specific; your statement "using blue as an interference style filter" doesn't mean anything. It's pretty much a jumble of barely-related words. If you want to understand the difference between the two kinds of filter as applied to headlight lamps, this is pretty much the gold standard in explanatory texts.

as to actually remove the blue wavelengths thus making the bulb "brighter" by only projecting desirable wavelengths.

Oh, Lulu...no. That's not how this works, not even close. It's so far off from reality that I can't tell if you're utterly misinformed and just trying to regurgitate some piece of promotional drabble or uninformed discussion you saw somewhere, or you're just making it up as you type. Or maybe a mix of both.

In actual fact, out here in reality, there is no such thing as making a lamp's output brighter (with or without the quote marks) by removing a portion of the light. It's just not a thing. That would be like replacing the 1.1 gph aerator on your kitchen faucet with a 0.7 gph aerator and saying now you can fill up your sink faster because the new aerator's blue, so it only allows the desirable water through. Total nonsense, whether we're talking gallons or lumens. Also, your notion of "desirable wavelengths" is not grounded in any kind of fact; where did you pick it up? What criteria are you considering "desirable"?

If you would like to get educated on what really happens to seeing and glare with blue-tinted headlight lamps, read this (spoiler alert: more glare without any better seeing).

If what you're saying is true, than the light would be perfectly white, which it's not.
Okay, so this is a Triple Cash Bingo-level non sequitur right here, number one. Number two, there's no such thing as "perfectly white" light. The boundaries of white light are large, and any point within the white box is, by definition, just as white as any other point within the white box.

Considering the lawsuit Sylvania just went through, I doubt OSRAM would be doing something similar with false advertising or purposely hindering their bulbs performances.

The technical specifications for each kind of headlight lamp give a range of acceptable output. For the 9003 bulb type, the spec is 1500/910 lumens (high/low beam, at 12.8 volts), with an allowable range of +/- 10%. That means the limits are 1350 to 1650 for the high beam, and 819 to 1001 for the low beam. Luminous flux anywhere within those boundaries is just as legal as luminous flux anywhere else within those boundaries, but the basic fact is, if you're trying to see while driving at night, you'd best have the 1650/1001 lumen bulb instead of the 1500/910 or the 1350/819.

hope that OSRAM replies to me emails
Do you imagine that they're going to do anything other than restate their promotional messaging? Let me ask you a question: can you think of a reason why they list the nominal flux values, copied straight out of the regulation, instead of the actual output from their many varieties of any given type of headlight lamp? Look in the back of the Osram master catalog (they're not alone in this, but since we're talking about Osram that's the example I'll use) and for flux you'll see the same 1500/910 for all the different 9003 bulbs. Put the various types in an integrating sphere and the actual measurements are very different. All within the allowable range, but not all the same. Now why do you think Osram would answer "They meet the spec" instead of "Well, this kind puts out 1600/980; that kind puts out 1360/840; this other kind puts out 1500/900..."? I bet you are smart enough to figure it out.

Since the goal of any corporation is to maximize revenue, profit and thus shareholder value, the tendency is to use effective sales pitches to advertise high-profit products. Marketing a styling-based, shorter-life bulb by tinting the light toward blue and promoting it with marketing verbiage claiming the bulb puts out "whiter" light, along with miscellaneous claims about driver comfort and such, has been an effective sales pitch to get people to spend extra money on bulbs for about a hundred years (search this page for blue-wite). Sylvania got into legal trouble because they pushed it too far by making pretty much the same claims you're trying to put forward here, about the blue filtration increasing the effective output. The court, rightly, said that amounted to false, misleading and fraudulent advertising. Soon after, they changed to the current design where there's an untinted area of glass around the low beam filament. The rest of the capsule is tinted, reducing the high beam output (but not so low that it's below the legal limit), and they simply say nothing about high beam performance; the implication is that it's within the legal limits. Which it probably is, but again, if you're trying to see at night what you need is the most possible light at the relevant locations. More light is better for seeing than less light, and there is no kind of color filter that reduces or reverses this simple fact.

Not to mention one company owns the other so that would just be plain stupid in my opinion.
Your opinion, such as it is, looks to be based on credulous assumptions, misunderstandings, and perhaps some wishful thinking (which means you're exactly the kind of consumer being targeted with these promotional claims you're swallowing whole)...and yet you're completely certain that you're right. You're bringing three names to mind: Dunning and Kruger and Asimov
 

-Virgil-

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I need to use my high-beams when traveling faster than 45mph?
Low beams -- even the best ones, optimally aimed -- are inherently limited in the seeing distance they can provide, and if you do the math of vehicle speed, reaction time, braking distance, etc, the results are that the seeing distance provided by low beams is adequate for maybe 40 mph, tops, under ideal conditions (straight road, clear weather, clean windshield, alert driver, conspicuous obstacle). High beams are massively under-utilized; drivers tend not to use them even when they should.
 

Alaric Darconville

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You still have not proven how your regular eye can tell apart filters on bulbs
Interference filters appear iridescent, rather like a thin film of light machine oil on wet pavement or a puddle. This is, of course, because it uses diffraction to filter the light, not absorption. Absorption filters (such as the tinting on the bulbs we are talking about in this thread) do not exhibit such an appearance.
There are other cues and clues to determine the type of filter one is dealing with.

whats next, you can see IR light with yours? I dabbled for a short while in ophthalmology, I wouldnt ever call myself an expert but maybe a bit more knowledgeable then the regular joe.
Under the right conditions, humans can detect IR at wavelengths longer than 1,000nm and perceive it as visible light. You would know this if you did more than "dabble" in ophthalmology.

It takes more than "dabbling a short while" in something to gain any expertise in it. In many cases, "dabbling" in something starts that quick climb up Mt. Stupid, where your initial knowledge in something makes you feel like you really KNOW the thing. It makes you unable to judge your own expertise, and more importantly, *the expertise of others*.

As Darwin once said, "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."

Now if you're going to lower yourself to correctly my ESL mistakes
Perhaps correcting your grammar isn't fair, but when you try to present yourself as extremely knowledgeable, particularly when you gainsay legitimate subject matter experts in the subject of their expertise, you open yourself to that.

I would rather just stop this conversation and hope that OSRAM replies to me emails instead of your guessing.
OSRAM will simply copy & paste their marketing materials and maybe paraphrase it a bit. As -Virgil- points out above, they can handily refer to the nominal specifications for the bulb type and state that the bulbs in question meet the spec. They want to sell bulbs, *we* want to prevent the property damage, injury, and death on the road that can result from poor lighting choices.
 

TechGuru

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Light output from a properly-fed halogen filament is already almost "perfectly white" in the first place.
and that's why the decent jewelry stores still prefer halogen's...
High beams are massively under-utilized; drivers tend not to use them even when they should.
Must be your area. Too many use them full time driving in the city here!
I put the X-Treme Visions in my wife's car. Lasted about 6 months --- and she doesn't drive much, works at home.
Nice output though.
Ya that's why I prefer the VisionPlus. Luckily my main vehicle uses 9006/9005 so I was able to upgrade it to 9011/9012LL to get brighter without sacrificing lifespan but my other vehicle is 9003 and a real pain to change them out.
 
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-Virgil-

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the decent jewelry stores still prefer halogen's
That's old/outdated info; there have been LEDs with phenomenally good color rendering for years now. They're not used in automotive applications, but they are very popular in stationary applications like display retail.

High beams are massively under-utilized; drivers tend not to use them even when they should.
Must be your area. Too many use them full time driving in the city here!
It's everywhere. This isn't a matter of guess; it's been studied and tabulated. Misuse of high beams when low beam is called for is a different, separate issue.

Ya that's why I prefer the VisionPlus.
False economy. Seriously, which is more expensive: two pair of bulbs intead of one? Or front-end parts and medical bills?
 

Alaric Darconville

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I put the X-Treme Visions in my wife's car. Lasted about 6 months --- and she doesn't drive much, works at home.
Nice output though.
Sounds like maybe that's a bit short, but I think maybe some X-Treme Visions I put in an '01 Corolla also didn't go quite as long as I'd like. One failed in maybe 6 or 9 months (but with a lot of headlamp usage). Still, the benefits of a high-performance bulb include lumen maintenance and beam focus-- a standard bulb, and worse, a "long life" bulb, will continue to light up long after its performance has dropped off, as you well know. Shorter life, but much higher quality of life, in a manner of speaking.

Thankfully, bulbs are easy to change in the Corolla.
 

Alaric Darconville

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Ya that's why I prefer the VisionPlus.
There are certainly worse choices than the VisionPlus but I'd still choose something better than that.

On some cars, replacing headlamp (and other related exterior bulbs) is a real chore-and-a-half. It's almost criminally difficult on the '05 (and presumably other 2nd-gen) LS430, so I get why longer bulb life can be a priority for some people. Thankfully, the low beams are D2S capsules which don't need to be changed nearly as frequently as a filament bulb, but the high beams are halogen and a real pain to get to.
 

John_Galt

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I have stuck to philips xtremevision +100's and +130's in the past. The +100 had no coating over the highbeam filament, the +130's had a noticeably cooler tint when highbeams were activated. The last few sets of 9003/h4 bulbs I have used were a set of osram selective yellow H4's from Stern, then a set of "sample" 64205 "replacement" (iirc) Rallye H4's, purportedly the same as the selective yellow bulbs without the coating. Last two pair I have used have been Osram Rallye 100/90 H4 bulbs. The low beam is noticeably brighter throughout the beam than a standard wattage bulb, and tests higher in maximum intensity in a 2nd gen tacoma headlamp than pretty much any of the high "+focus" rated stock wattage bulbs. The highbeam is ridiculous in comparison to the 60w nominal highbeam of any bulb I have tried.

Vehicle for all bulbs has been a '99 4runner. Headlamps were replaced with depo "capa" units a few years ago, and I added a relay harness. The relays harness has made a noticeable improvement withe every bulb over the stock 20/22ga wire run. Reflectors on the depo lamps have held up to several years of high wattage bulbs so far.

With respect to the discussion of filtered v clear envelope bulbs, it doesn't take much to understand that a filter, regardless of what type, is a subtractive element. Less light does not, cannot mean "more light." More "useable light," perhaps arguably in the case of HIR type bulbs, where useless (to the unaided human eye) wavelengths of light are used to further heat the filament resulting in "more useable light," but I don't see how HIR tech could be applied to the 9003/h4 format, given the low beam shield.

Alaric and virgil are correct that "white" light is broad, and doesn't necessarily mean better. My personal bias, despite the legality, is towards filtering out the blue, rather than using blue to filter out everything else. Driving for long periods at night, especially in poor driving conditions, is significantly less straining with my 4runner and yellow tinted headlamp lenses, than behind the objectively better "cold white" LED headlamps of my CX30. An apples to tea kettles comparison perhaps, but I believe my lying eyes before marketing hype. If you're so inclined, you could run two separate bulbs and go for a drive somewhere dark, and see for yourself what "appears brighter" and what lets you see more clearly.

More light is generally better, within reason, which is why I also use auxiliary lights when possible, although with LED becoming ubiquitous, most of the market, with a few small exceptions is stuck in the bluer=better camp when it comes to color temperature.
 

TechGuru

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That's old/outdated info; there have been LEDs with phenomenally good color rendering for years now. They're not used in automotive applications, but they are very popular in stationary applications like display retail.

Unfortunately, nearly every time I've seen retail upgrade to LED it's horrid 6500K.

False economy. Seriously, which is more expensive: two pair of bulbs instead of one? Or front-end parts and medical bills?

VisionPlus is better than OEM and OEM is supposed to be considered "safe" AKA meeting minimum standards.

There are certainly worse choices than the VisionPlus but I'd still choose something better than that.

On some cars, replacing headlamp (and other related exterior bulbs) is a real chore-and-a-half. It's almost criminally difficult on the '05 (and presumably other 2nd-gen) LS430, so I get why longer bulb life can be a priority for some people. Thankfully, the low beams are D2S capsules which don't need to be changed nearly as frequently as a filament bulb, but the high beams are halogen and a real pain to get to.

What would be a better choice that still has decent life? Both myself and a friend both have 9003 vehicles that are a real PITA to change. Since mine is a 2nd vehicle I rarely use and almost never do at night I could probably get away with X-Tream Vision lasting for years. His is a 2008 Prius that he drives A LOT as a primary vehicle with lots of night driving. I could see him needing to replace X-Treme Vision every 6-9 months or less.
 

kerneldrop

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My truck is lifted...I get flashed all the time because oncoming traffic think my brights are on
 

kerneldrop

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Did you re-aim the lamps correctly after lifting the truck?

I did not. It was all done as a dealership add-on package.
Based on my extensive relationships with dealership repair shops....I'll go out on a limb and say lamps were not re-aimed correctly or at all.
 

Alaric Darconville

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I did not. It was all done as a dealership add-on package.
Based on my extensive relationships with dealership repair shops....I'll go out on a limb and say lamps were not re-aimed correctly or at all.
If they even attempted anything, they drove it up to face a wall and cranked on the adjustments until "looks good, Frank-- you're done!"

Depending on lens markings and light center height, special care will be necessary. http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html
 

-Virgil-

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Unfortunately, nearly every time I've seen retail upgrade to LED it's horrid 6500K.
That's a matter of poor choice; high-CRI LEDs are available with 3000K, 3500K, 4000K CCTs.

VisionPlus is better than OEM and OEM is supposed to be considered "safe" AKA meeting minimum standards.
Careful about the difference between legal and safe. They aren't the same thing.

What would be a better choice that still has decent life?
The Tungsram +120 Stern sells.

His is a 2008 Prius that he drives A LOT as a primary vehicle with lots of night driving.
Those are weak headlamps (even if they're real Toyota ones in perfect condition and aim); they really need all the help they can get.
 

-Virgil-

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Last two pair I have used have been Osram Rallye 100/90 H4 bulbs. The low beam is noticeably brighter throughout the beam than a standard wattage bulb, and tests higher in maximum intensity in a 2nd gen tacoma headlamp than pretty much any of the high "+focus" rated stock wattage bulbs.
Yes on the high beam...probably not so much on the low beam; look at here. Really not a good idea to run high-wattage low beams in a truck or SUV: way too much glare unless you aim the lamps way too low, thusly giving yourself insufficient seeing distance and an overlit foreground.

Vehicle for all bulbs has been a '99 4runner. Headlamps were replaced with depo "capa" units
The single biggest improvement you could make for your nighttime seeing is to replace these knockoffs with genuine Toyota parts. They really are that much better.

With respect to the discussion of filtered v clear envelope bulbs, it doesn't take much to understand that a filter, regardless of what type, is a subtractive element. Less light does not, cannot mean "more light."
Right as rain! Whoever manages to invent the light antifilter, which adds more light as light passes through it, is going to be an instant trillionaire. They'll be able to spend some of their money on things like a molecular transporter, a warp drive or hyperdrive, disrupters and phasers, replicators, holodecks, and computer cores with bioneural gel packs, all of which will exist along with the antifilter.
 

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