Automotive What is the brightest H1 bulb?

J.McDonald Knives

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
128
Location
Calallen, TX
Instead of going with a Philips Extreme Power 9003 bulb I'm looking to see what is the brightest in both H1 and H3 without going to HID.
 
Last edited:

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
9003 is not the same as H1 or H3, so I assume you are thinking of swapping some kind of aftermarket H1/H3 headlamp in place of the stock lamps that take a 9003 (H4) bulb. Be advised that many aftermarket headlamps are severely inferior, optically, to original-equipment lamps, and that cannot be compensated by installing brighter bulbs. You'd likely be better off leaving the 9003 headlamps in place, and upgrading the bulb. The Philips Xtreme Power or Osram Night Breaker is the highest-output stock-wattage bulb in H1, H3, H7, or H4 format, though also with a short lifespan. Osram makes (but doesn't advertise) a high-output 65/70w bulb; tossing a pair of those in your current headlamps would probably work out very well overall.

Dan Stern put out the info below not long ago; don't remember where, but I grabbed it:

"For reference, here's manufacturer data*for output and lifespan at 13.2v for standard-wattage H1 bulbs.*The numbers here are a composite of values applicable to the products of*the big three makers (Osram-Sylvania, Philips-Narva, Tungsram-GE). Each*manufacturer's product in each category is slightly different but not*significantly so. *I picked H1-type bulbs for this comparison, and while*the absolute numbers differ with different bulb types, the relative*comparison patterns hold good for whatever bulb type we consider (H4, 9006, whatever).*Lifespan is given as Tc, the hour figure at which 63.2 percent of the*bulbs have failed.

H1 (regular normal):

1550 lumens, 650 hours

Long Life (or "HalogenPlus+")

1460 lumens, 1200 hours

Ultra Long Life (or "DayLight")

1430 lumens, 3000 hours

Plus-30 High Efficacy (CPI BrightLight, Osram Super, Sylvania Xtravision, Narva Rangepower,*Tungsram High Output, Philips Premium):

1700 lumens, 350 hours

Plus-50 Ultra High Efficacy (CPI Super Bright Light, Philips VisionPlus, Osram Silverstar, Narva*Rangepower+50, Tungsram Megalicht, but not Sylvania Silverstar):*

1750 lumens, 350 hours

Plus-80/90 Mega High Efficacy (Philips Xtreme Power, Osram Night Breaker):

1780 lumens, 340 hours

Blue coated 'extra white' (CPI Bright Light Blue, Osram CoolBlue, Narva Rangepower Blue, Philips*BlueVision or CrystalVision, Tungsram Super Blue or EuroBlue, Sylvania*Silverstar or Silverstar Ultra,*also PIAA, Hoen, Nokya, Polarg, etc):

1380 lumens, 250 hours

So that's the pattern for how lifespan and light output are related. It's worth noting that the lumen differences are not the extent of the performance differences. The filament changes required to make a long-life bulb tend to reduce the beam focus, which shortens seeing distance. And, the light color is less white and more brown. But lifespan is lengthened. The opposite filament changes are made to create the "Plus" (+30, +50, +80, +90) or Osram "Hyper" type bulbs: Lifespan is reduced, but the beam focus is better so seeing distance is longer. Light color is whiter and less brown. The takeaway message here is that even if all the filaments put out exactly the same amount of light — the same lumens from a long life, a +30, a +50, a regular, an ultralong-life, etc. — the headlamp performance and appearance with the long-life bulb would still be inferior compared to the same headlamp performance and appearance with a regular, or +30, or +50, or +80, or Hyper bulb.

The various H1 bulbs can be browsed here."
 

J.McDonald Knives

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
128
Location
Calallen, TX
Actually the new headlamp is an OEM product, except that its he JDM ones. They are projector headlights that use 2 bulbs whereas the USDM headlights are single bulb non projector.
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
Oh, OK, sounds like you're working with a Subaru. JDM headlamps are a really bad choice unless you're in the UK, Australia, or some other country where they drive on the left side of the road. The JDM low beams are for the wrong side of the road. This can't be aimed or adjusted out. See here. There should be a European-market version of that H1/H3 lamp which is for the correct side of the road; that's the one you want.
 

J.McDonald Knives

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
128
Location
Calallen, TX
Oh, OK, sounds like you're working with a Subaru. JDM headlamps are a really bad choice unless you're in the UK, Australia, or some other country where they drive on the left side of the road. The JDM low beams are for the wrong side of the road. This can't be aimed or adjusted out. See here. There should be a European-market version of that H1/H3 lamp which is for the correct side of the road; that's the one you want.
If you could find me what I need I would be more than greatful. And yes its for a 97 Subaru Legacy Outback.
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
Then I imagine you're probably thinking of the JDM headlamps with the projector low beam and reflector high beam. Those were not made in a European-code version, only JDM; if you want to use them safely and effectively, you'd need to disassemble them and have the projector itself swapped for a right-hand-traffic projector. This is trickier to do right than it sounds; there are all kinds of issues involved. There's the sealing issue (once the housing is disassembled, it's non-trivial to get a good, watertight, dustproof seal using materials that won't out-gas and fog up the optics). There's the projector mounting issue, mounting it in the housing rigidly so it won't rattle around, and getting its alignment within the housing absolutely right so that when the low is aimed correctly, the high is aimed correctly too. There's even an issue related to center of gravity, the projector has to be mounted so that it won't tend to exert forces on its mounts in response to road vibration, that would eventually cause the projector to break its mounts. Swap jobs like this are time-consuming and/or expensive (depending on whether it's your time or someone else's) to do right. They're even more expensive to do wrong, 'cause then you're dividing whatever it costs by "zero" (bad end result).

There are a lot of different projectors, and the one inside that headlamp is actually rather large, so you have some room to work with...you can probably fit an HID projector in there, if you want. If not, probably your easiest bet is to put in a set of current-production Subaru low beam projectors. You might want to check with Mike at ClearCorners and see what he recommends.
 

J.McDonald Knives

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
128
Location
Calallen, TX
From what I have seen and everything there haven't been any problems with the way the shine. Many guys are going with them. Also the only way to get anything other than what I already have is to go with the JDM projectors.
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
A lot of people do a lot of dumb/dangerous things. They don't know any better or they know but don't care. That doesn't make it OK or problem-free. JDM headlamps are for the wrong side of the road. That is a fact. You can find all kinds of ignorant babble on the internet about how it doesn't matter, you can re-aim them, JDM headlights are wick-wack, etc. They're still unsafe to use, and no amount of wishing or internet forum chatter or vendor handwaving will change that.

There are actually many different headlamps for cars like yours. There are two different kinds of factory U.S./Canada lamps ('96-'97 with H4 bulbs, '98-'99 with 9007 bulbs). There are LHD and RHD European-code items (with H4 bulbs -- not the same as the U.S. items, the optics are more efficient and I think they might have glass lenses). There are the Japanese-market projectors and the Japanese-market H4s. And then there are the Morette items that use Hella European-code projector optics, available in LHD or RHD.

There are lots of ways to do this upgrade right. There's no excuse for doing it wrong. Do it right!
 

J.McDonald Knives

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
128
Location
Calallen, TX
Don't mean to be a douche about this but it still doesn't answer my question about what is the brightest H1 bulb for the headlights. Also need to know if it is legal to run H3 LED for the high beams.
 

tay

Enlightened
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
295
Location
Hoboken, NJ
I don't know if it's legal to run a H3 LED for high beams or not, but it's definitely not a smart idea.

The "H3 LED" lights on ebay are "DRL"s - daytime running lights... this means that they're designed to help other cars see you, not help you see anything. They're about as bright as your turn signals are. They're not going to illuminate the road at all. You're better off sticking to a H3 bulb.

There are two cars that run LED headlights - the Lexus LS600, and the Cadillac Escalade. They both have very complicated optics and high-powered LEDs. The "plug and play" LED bulbs on ebay are completely ineffective.
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
You did get a complete answer to your question about H1 bulbs in the very first reply in this thread. Fact is, your question's moot because the lights you want to use are unsafe.

And no, "H3 LED" bulbs do not work.
 
Top