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Thread: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* cfromc's Avatar
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    Default Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    Good morning all,

    I need to replace my Osram Night Breaker H4 in a 2004 Harley with a 7" headlight. It has served me well with about a 2 year +/- lifespan and now I am looking for something even slightly brighter, if possible. I do not want any toys like plug n play LED or HID or "blue" halogens, although I have considered a quality retrofit LED (JW Speaker, etc.) or HID complete headlight assembly. But for now, I think I will wait just a little longer and keep with the halogens. I would like to get at least 2 years (which is approximately 200 hours for me). Of course more is better but I would set my lower level at 200 hours and I like the "bright white" color (3700K-4300K) and don't need blue.

    Is the Philips +100 or Tungsram Megalight +120/GE Nighthawk Zenon still the best for my criteria or have they been surpassed by the +150 versions (RacingVision/Laser, respectively). Or something even better?

    I am generally a lurker here and I value the advice of experts, and timely information, and in this particular bulb size I couldn't find any threads less than a year old. So, what is the current state of the art?

    Thank you

  2. #2

    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    Just as a datapoint with regards to the Megalight/Nighthawk Xenon - I've been using the H4's in my motorcycle since April of 2018. I haven't been able to find B3/Tc values for these, so I've been replacing them every ~250 hours of use. Even driven at 13.8V, I've never had one fail on me.

    The +150 H4's all seem to have blue tint over the high beam filament, so I'd guess the high beam output was compromised in favor of a stronger low beam. Not a problem if you don't use the high beams much, or if you've got auxiliary high beams installed.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* cfromc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    To extend the life of these +xx% bulbs I usually run the high beams in bright daylight and the low beam at dust or night. This worked so well the last couple years the high beam bunt out first - which is the first time that has happened. My low beam works great for night time use in most situations around town or with frequent oncoming traffic.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    I like the Tungsram Megalight +120 (packaged as "NightHawk Xenon" in North America...originally GE, now migrating to Tungsram) better than the other competitors, because unlike the competing bulbs the Tungsram +120s have no blue tint in the light path.

    But you should probably ping Daniel Stern and see what goodies he has or recommends. He might still have some of those gen-2 Osram 70/65w H4s or who knows what else.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    Quote Originally Posted by cfromc View Post
    I usually run the high beams in bright daylight
    That's not appropriate. By two mechanisms (turn signal masking, rage inducement) it reduces your safety and increases your likelihood of getting hit.

    (But yeah, bulb life might matter more than your life, so by all means.)

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* cfromc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    But you should probably ping Daniel Stern and see what goodies he has or recommends. He might still have some of those gen-2 Osram 70/65w H4s or who knows what else.
    They are gone but he has a Vosla +100 that "gives the same big performance boost as the Osram 70/65w did". There seems to be a lot of blue except over the low beam.

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    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4


  8. #8

    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    Quote Originally Posted by cfromc View Post
    They are gone
    Not as of late last month, they weren't; at that time he was recommending and selling the Tungsram +120 or his small stock of second-generation Osram 70/65 bulbs. Give 'im a shout and ask what the current dope is.

    he has a Vosla +100 that "gives the same big performance boost as the Osram 70/65w did". There seems to be a lot of blue except over the low beam.
    That doesn't sound like a bulb Stern would sell or advocate, but it does sound like the bogus marketing claim of a vendor known to be prone to those sorts of things.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    Quote Originally Posted by cfromc View Post
    They are gone but he has a Vosla +100 that "gives the same big performance boost as the Osram 70/65w did". There seems to be a lot of blue except over the low beam.
    The blue tint around the high beam filament on the Voslas is about the same as the Philips X-treme Vision +130's - and noticeably lighter than the tint on, for example, the Night Breaker Lasers. The tint on the Philips Racing Vision H4's also looks quite dark in product photos but I haven't seen them in person.
    I'll see if I can post a comparison pic of the Vosla vs. XV +130 vs. NBL.

    I do miss the Osram 64205's, they were fantastic. Only good for ~150 hours for me, but if I'd known they were going to be discontinued I would have nuclear stockpiled them.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* cfromc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Not as of late last month, they weren't; at that time he was recommending and selling the Tungsram +120 or his small stock of second-generation Osram 70/65 bulbs. Give 'im a shout and ask what the current dope is.



    That doesn't sound like a bulb Stern would sell or advocate, but it does sound like the bogus marketing claim of a vendor known to be prone to those sorts of things.
    Perhaps I was looking in the wrong place. I was on a store's website with the same name as this forum (-"forum").

    Yes, I was looking in the wrong place....found it.
    Last edited by cfromc; 07-15-2020 at 08:28 AM.

  11. #11
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    Quote Originally Posted by cfromc View Post
    Perhaps I was looking in the wrong place. I was on a store's website with the same name as this forum (-"forum").
    I thought that might be where you'd seen it.

    When he worked there, Daniel Stern was diligent in preventing such copy on their site. Once he departed, they quickly started up with massive hype.
    We know the place well (and do have to point out they also have nothing to do with this forum).

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* cfromc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Current (mid-2020) brightest 9003/H4

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    I thought that might be where you'd seen it.

    When he worked there, Daniel Stern was diligent in preventing such copy on their site. Once he departed, they quickly started up with massive hype.
    We know the place well (and do have to point out they also have nothing to do with this forum).
    I have since found the correct website and emailed Mr. Stern. Awaiting a response regarding the discontinued Osrams. I may also go with the Philips 9003 X-tremeVision that Virgil has recommended in past posts. They seem to be very highly regarded and the "economical" solution at about $21 shipped for a pair. It seems the Tungsram Megalight +120 / GE Nighthawk Xenons may be slightly better at exactly twice the price (~$42/pair).

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