Philips X-treme Vision +100 vs X-treme Vision +130

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Aonsaithya

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I'll be sure to pester them about this, for I'm curious as well.

I tried to clean the bulbs with rubbing alcohol, but it made no difference whatsoever. I then tried touching one of the bulbs with my fingers to leave a fingerprint, and in another close-up photo the fingerprint "lines" looked like groups of small grease drops; completely different from the mysterious patterns. I then cleaned the fingered bulb with rubbing alcohol, and that took care of the fingerprints yet patterns stayed as expected.

I've no idea whether the patterns are on the external or the internal surface of the glass, either.
 
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TheIntruder

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Pending 3rd-party test results, I'll be sticking with the +100 -- too much blue glass on the +130, which eats into high beam performance.

The life ratings are probably not accurate numbers.

(Those "3350K" and "3700K" figures are mostly bogus)

So how much should published specs be trusted, if at all?

I stumbled upon this thread in seeking an answer as to whether bulb technology and durability has truly advanced that far in the last decade.

I still have a pair of the original Osram Silverstar +50 H1s in service. Somewhat surprisingly, it's been over 10 years, at about 35k miles. They were rated B3/Tc 150/350, and 1730 lumens +/- 3%.

Philips says that the Xtreme +100 is 200/350, 1550 lm +/- 15% (basically spec), and the Xtreme +130 "450 hours" and 1550 lm.

Interestingly, the VisionPlus +60 numbers are also 250/300, but "1780 max lm."

My cursory impression is that the once the +50 threshold was crossed, bulb life suffered greatly, at least for the earlier generations of the Osram Nightbreakers. However, this data seems to suggest that the performance has made a great leap, and durability has at least caught up again. Is this true? Has the tradeoff between performance and durability benefited from more modern technology?

I also find it odd that they'd list the top-range XTV at the spec H1 lumens, while the mid-range VP is at the full tolerance. I suppose both are valid, but is this a case of marketing semantics, or does the XTV actually produce fewer lumens? To my eye, it doesn't have a full coating.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, I'm trying to decide between the XTV and VP, but have been leery of what kind of durability tradeoff would come with the former, compared to the latter. If they do indeed have identical, or perhaps even better lifetimes, as the specs suggest, then the XTV would be the obvious choice. However, I wonder if this reeks of some, or full marketing speak at work.
 
Alaric Darconville

Alaric Darconville

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I stumbled upon this thread in seeking an answer as to whether bulb technology and durability has truly advanced that far in the last decade.

Has the tradeoff between performance and durability benefited from more modern technology?
The composition of the filament really hasn't been changing, so, no-- there's still the tradeoff with these bulbs wherein higher filament luminance and better beam focus comes at the expense of shorter life.
 
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-Virgil-

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So how much should published specs be trusted, if at all?

That depends on who's publishing the specs and what the specs say. There are examples of certain branch offices of reputable companies posting nonsensical "specs" (see discussion here) but for the most part the major players (Philips, Osram, GE...) put out dependable specs. The other half of this question, equally as important, is knowing how to interpret the specs.

I stumbled upon this thread in seeking an answer as to whether bulb technology and durability has truly advanced that far in the last decade.

Yes, it has. See this thread.

I still have a pair of the original Osram Silverstar +50 H1s in service. Somewhat surprisingly, it's been over 10 years, at about 35k miles.

That strongly suggests they are being underfed (starved) by your wiring. Either that, or you almost never drive at night!

Philips says that the Xtreme +100 is 200/350, 1550 lm +/- 15% (basically spec), and the Xtreme +130 "450 hours" and 1550 lm. Interestingly, the VisionPlus +60 numbers are also 250/300, but "1780 max lm."

Here's where knowing how to interpret the specs comes in. Nominal regulated spec for an H1 bulb at 13.2v is 1550 lumens +/- 15%. That means the allowable range is 1318 to 1782 lumens. Bulb makers sometimes just publish this nominal value ("1550 +/- 15%") for all their H1 bulbs, which amounts to saying "Nope, we aren't going to tell you more than it's within the legal specs". Often the reason for this is because if they published true values for all their bulbs, it would tend to make their blue bulbs look, well, as bad as they are.
Take a look at that "1730 +/- 3%". What's 1730 + 3%? It's 1782, which is the top of the allowable spec. Sometimes you can find closer-to-precise specs like this by digging long enough in a manufacturer's literature, and sometimes you just can't.

But, lumen numbers are not the whole story. If they were, there would be no such thing as an H1 +50, +60, +100, etc; the max you could go would be H1 +15. Compared to a standard bulb, filament changes are made to create the "Plus" (+30, +50, +80, +90, +100...) type bulbs: generally the filament is wound with tighter pitch on a smaller mandrel. This gives increased filament luminance and improved beam focus (because the filament more closely approximates a point source). As a result, seeing distance is longer. Light color is whiter and less brown. The "plus" numbers refer to the "up to" increase in light at a point within the beam when the bulb is used in a headlamp, not to the luminous flux of the bulb itself. In order to provide acceptable service life from a "Plus" bulb, the fill gas is upgraded and its pressure within the envelope is optimized. Halogen bulbs are actually a very technologically intricate product; there are many design and construction parameters that can be altered to maximize lifespan, maximize output, or strike a balance somewhere in between.

My cursory impression is that the once the +50 threshold was crossed, bulb life suffered greatly

Today's reputable-brand +100 bulbs tend to last as long as yesterday's +50s.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, I'm trying to decide between the XTV and VP

XTV all the way.
 
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jaycee88

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XTV all the way.

Virgil, which XTV would you recommend for H4, the +100 or the +130? The +130 has that light tinting around the high beam filament which reduces light output, but perhaps the filament's been tweaked for increased luminance to make up for that?
 
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Aonsaithya

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I finally got a reply from Philips; they analyzed the bulbs in their lab and apparently it's residue of quartz glass dust from the production process. They said the residue has no impact on the performance or the lifetime of the bulbs.

Here's a photo I posted earlier
 
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Then someone better clean up their "clean room / production line!"

Kind of makes you wonder if it is then a "dust" issue in their production line. It looks like it was formed from some kind of liquid solution high in mineral content that evaporated or possibly some kind of dry growing crystals. I wonder if they will keep growing under certain conditions.

Did they at least send you any free replacement bulbs?

I'd send them a message that you are disappointed in the cleanliness and quality control of their production line, to see if they will at least send you more than a few replacements.

Did you keep the other bulb, or was only one bulb defective?

If you have another defective bulb, it would be interesting to monitor the same spot to see if the crystallization keeps growing!

I wonder if this crystallization was caused by a batch of contaminated gas they used to fill the bulbs?

All of that "quartz glass dust" floating around or even deposited inside, can't be good for the element while it's lit-off". It just doesn't seem right and especially since it is often advocated here that headlamp housing should be kept dust/dirt/haze free and this contamination is originating within the light source or darn close to it.......at least let them know you are sharing their "not a problem quartz dust from the production-line" on this forum.

Something we should all maybe be aware of and document if others see it also.
 
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Aonsaithya

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I sent them all 4 bulbs and they sent me 4 replacement bulbs. Of those new 4, all had a very tiny amount of patterns (maybe like 5-10% of the worst one of the original quartet). Also, one of the new ones was loose inside the packaging and as a result had small scratches on the glass.

While it could be somewhat interesting to monitor, I'm not pursuing the issue further as I've actually sold the car a few weeks ago. I discussed the bulb thing with the new owner; he decided to fit them and stated he'll probably renew them once a year anyway.
 
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Cadchris

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Thanks for sharing..... I wonder if there is some kind of "Optical Laser Rejection Device" to pick up bulb defects and kick them out on their production line. Maybe the night-shift forgot to turn it on during production!
 
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I wonder if this crystallization was caused by a batch of contaminated gas they used to fill the bulbs?

No.

All of that "quartz glass dust" floating around or even deposited inside, can't be good for the element while it's lit-off".

I don't see any evidence of quartz dust inside the bulb. For that matter, I don't see any evidence of quartz dust outside the bulb.

It just doesn't seem right and especially since it is often advocated here that headlamp housing should be kept dust/dirt/haze free at least let them know you are sharing their "not a problem quartz dust from the production-line" on this forum.
Something we should all maybe be aware of and document if others see it also.

Sheesh, calm down; you seem much more alarmed than warranted. I think you are reading way too much into what you might remember reading here.
 
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Cadchris

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Virgil,

Philips stated quartz glass dust...... so what's your take on the contamination of whatever it is, and/or how it could affect the performance of the bulb or headlamp output?

I'm just remembering the advise about dirty interior headlamps or deteriorated reflector can affect output....not even mentioning the most severe example of UV deterioration of lens's which I know is the "extreme", but do you think the bulb contamination is an issue or not?
 
Alaric Darconville

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Philips stated quartz glass dust...... so what's your take on the contamination of whatever it is, and/or how it could affect the performance of the bulb or headlamp output?
Bulbs whose surfaces are contaminated with VOCs will be a problem in a lamp, but quartz isn't a VOC (mostly because it's not volatile, nor is it organic).
 
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Philips stated quartz glass dust

Yes, but my take on that is not that there's dust in/on the bulb, but that dust somehow affected the coating process.

so what's your take on the contamination of whatever it is, and/or how it could affect the performance of the bulb or headlamp output?

It might cause a slight haze effect, probably not enough to affect anything negatively enough to worry about.
 
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TheIntruder

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That strongly suggests they are being underfed (starved) by your wiring. Either that, or you almost never drive at night!

Probably some of both. The stock wiring was designed for a 9006/9005 setup, but I replaced them with E-code projectors with H1s, which I've been quite happy with, compared to the original DOT fixtures.

Take a look at that "1730 +/- 3%". What's 1730 + 3%? It's 1782, which is the top of the allowable spec. Sometimes you can find closer-to-precise specs like this by digging long enough in a manufacturer's literature, and sometimes you just can't.

But, lumen numbers are not the whole story. If they were, there would be no such thing as an H1 +50, +60, +100, etc; the max you could go would be H1 +15...

Now that you mention +15, I know what you mean. There's a lot of leeway in the marketing "up to..." etc., and when they get into percentages, it becomes even murkier. But I at least expected some more transparency regarding the actual data. They're not afraid to say that the VP is close to the allowable maximum tolerance, so why not do so with their top of the line XTV bulb?

Today's reputable-brand +100 bulbs tend to last as long as yesterday's +50s.

XTV all the way.

That's good to know. I'll give the +130 version a try, and see if it's anywhere close to the claimed 400 hr life. I'm playing with house money on the Osrams, but I'll transfer them to the high beams anyway.

And since others have mentioned poor packaging, and loose bulbs in transit, I will note that the Osrams came that way as well. I contacted Daniel Stern, whom I obtained them from those many years ago, and he said not to worry. BTW, is Stern still active? He was the font of knowledge back in the day on Usenet.

Thanks for the comments. I'm glad to see there are still places where truthful discussion takes place.
 
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Stern's still active in the field. He lives in Canada, and he's the editor, or the North America editor or somesuch, of DrivingVisionNews.com, which is a high-level (and accordingly expensive) technical/trade journal for the automotive lighting and driver assistance systems industries. AFAIK he's still selling some lighting equipment, too; I most recently bought a couple of sets of lights and accessories from him four or five months ago.
 
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Alaric Darconville

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Stern's still active in the field. He lives in Canada, and he's the editor, or the North America editor or somesuch, of DrivingVisionNews.com, which is a high-level (and accordingly expensive) technical/trade journal for the automotive lighting and driver assistance systems industries. AFAIK he's still selling some lighting equipment, too; I most recently bought a couple of sets of lights and accessories from him four or five months ago.

I thought he was the "global" editor, but still-- he's still active. Got a set of Hella XLs from him in mid-to-late 2013...
 
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TheIntruder

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I just received my XTV +130 H1s, and while I don't have the equipment to detect the weird patterns like the other poster, I do see some imperfections on the envelope closer to the shaded tip area, even though they weren't loose in the package. But I think they'll be fine.

However, I think I did brush my hand against one of them, so I'd like to wipe them down in any case.

I've got a no-residue contact cleaner meant for precision electronics.

I'm not certain if it has any petro-based ingredients -- Hexane, Methylpentane, Dimethylbutane, Tetrafluoroethane, Cyclohexane, and Ethanol.

Would it be safe?

I know it's very effective at dissolving grease and grime.
 

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