very good, thanks...i will order the 9011's for high beam
I drive very rural roads on my commute and use high beams 90% of the time.
What light bulb would you suggest for the low beam? Sylvania Xtra Visions 9006? Or is this a situation that one may go with the lower life silver star or silver star ultra? and if so which of the two?
have changed my mind on the silver stars after more research...
leaning towards the Philips 9006 VisionPlus Headlight Bulbs for the low beams.
Also is this a situation where due to design, there is not likely to be a bulb that will help low beam?
found the xtreme visions and they are claiming up to 100% more light than standard, the vision plus i mentioned before were claiming 80% more than standard.
I will leave this question out there before I pull the trigger though,
is this a situation on this vehicle that due to design there is not likely to be a bulb that will help low beam?
thanks for all the help
The problem is the enclosure/beam pattern on your car, but not just your car, every older GM vehicle I have owned produced just passable beam patterns....nothing stellar...even the cars I have now (except the Corolla lamps which are very good). There were some exceptions like those that used the projector style but other than that just ok. Newer cars might me better..but I wouldn't know.
The best thing you can do for your setup is get a decent quality bulb in the low beam housing, make sure the headlamp is clean & clear. Even if you have factory "fog lamps" they are nothing but toys and they can't be counted on to help.
You do have the option of installing a good quality auxiliary driving lamp, but do yourself a favor and steer clear of the uber chic Lightforce, PIAA, KC Daylighter etc groups.
Here are a couple of well performing brands:
Cibie - http://www.danielsternlighting.com/products/products.html are top notch, but are a bit spendy.
Hella - 500, 550, 450 found in many places online like Amazon at affordable prices would be my choice.
here is a linky to Osram-Sylvania lamp specifications:
I'm going to get a standard bulb replacement from a quality company for my low beams.
And i agree the auxiliary driving lamps are pretty much useless on this car, i hope to install something better. I appreciate you mentioning that as every year i put it off and then this time of year hits!!!
Yeah, John, it's really the headlamps themselves. They just won't have the good control of glare that modern lamps do. You'll certainly see better with the HIR2/9012 bulbs in your low beams, but I think your lamps will be producing too much glare outside of the beam pattern due to the poorer glare control. With the stock bulbs, it's acceptable. With dramatically brighter bulbs like the 9012, I think it'll be an issue.
Honestly, I think the Philips Vision Plus you are looking at or the less expensive Sylvania Xtra Vision will be your best bet for the low beams. They'll live long lives and also give better performance over stock bulbs. The 9011s in the high beams will light up the night when you need them to. Sounds like a good combination for those older headlamps.
have ordered the 9011's and xtra vision's from amazon, the xtra visions were much cheaper than oreilly auto and they did not have the 9011's any way.
now looking at auxiliary driving lamps. something like this might fit in where the current ones are at, but i'll have to get a measurement for sure
Running 9012 in the OEM halogen projectors in our Aurora. They produce a very focused beam and this has been the only mod that has seen any improvement to date. Still not amazing headlights but at least they are useable now.
FWIW, despite the tight focus of the projectors, aiming them so they are most effective does result is some glare IMHO but nobody has flashed me to date. Did the same thing with stock 9006 bulbs. I wouldn't sweat the glare issue if your original housings are designed for 9005/9006 bulbs. Might want to see if any of the HIR come with a coated tip?
For this model, having an integrated composite assembly housing, is it that integrated housing that causes this glare or is it more a matter of the overall smaller size of the assembly?
perhaps a combination?
It's the reflector itself. I think this picture demonstrates it best. There is not an effective glare shield in front of the low beam bulb (on the left side in this picture), and the optics from the late '90s just weren't as effective as they are today. This model is probably at least as good as many from that time frame, but I don't believe that it's a good candidate for a 9012 swap.
thanks for all the help in understanding this as i have no training in this field except for what I learn at the school of hard knocks...the pic is exactly my head light assembly.
let me ask a few more questions if i may:
first, the bulb glare shield is the metal that surrounds the low beam bulb and is on the left side of this pic which is the passenger side reflector assembly.? you have to look hard to see it in there in the pic, but it is clearly visible on my assembly as i look at it from time to time, and this shield is not installed on the high beam bulb which is the right bulb in this pic nor in my car, so i suspect it was never intended to have one. (my lack of lighting designs knowledge is likely showing but I am trying to learn with everyone's patience!-who say's u can't teach an old dog new tricks!)
and second, what might be the inadequacies of this glare shield and how might one improve it if I was willing to try and dremel cutting the cover off of the assembly...
i would of course buy some new ones and have them ready just in case i messed it up bad.
thanks for any input, this has been tremendously helpful to me already just in simply understanding this.
I think we are being a bit dramatic on the glare issue. HIR bulbs are not the same thing as HID bulbs. According to Daniel Stern the 9005 bulb is spec'd for 1870 lumens and the 9011 (HIR) for 2350. This is roughly a 20% increase in output. Compare this to the 3,200+ lumens of the HID drop-ins which we all love to hate and I think that puts it into a nice perspective.
A higher efficacy bulb like the Xtra-Vision, Xtreme-visions etc are still within OEM specs...the filament is just more precise, better wound and placed...to allow a better more precise beam than a stock bulb. Even though the bulb is still 1000 lumens, they can actually put 80% more light in a specific spot on the road ahead provided the optics of the enclosure are designed well enough to hopefully take advantage by producing an intended beam pattern. In a 1990-2005-ish GM enclosure, I have my doubts.
The glare cap issue aside, some optics simply can't handle the extra whatever% lumens of the HIR bulb. So the conversion is not universally applicable. There is a point at which the light becomes intense enough that there are internal reflections made manifest only by the increased intensity. The reflections always were there but at lower outputs the effects were less evident perhaps not noticeable.
As the light increased light of the HIR bulb bounces around these poorly designed enclosures it spills into areas of the lamp that were never intended to focus a beam pattern. Some side effects of these internal are unwanted external reflection outside the headlamp. As good as the headlamp is on my 2009 Corolla, even with a proper modern glare shield, I tried the 9012 bulb. In clear weather things were just fine..lots more output etc, yes..good. However any weather, mist, snow, rain, even slight fog and there was a optical aberration about 3-5 feet up off the hood in the light pattern that was very distracting, making it harder to see in these conditions compared to the normal 9006 bulb.
At night the low beams are the constant especially in any kind of weather, so despite the increased output this issue was enough to make me put the 9006 bulbs back in and the problem was gone.
I too drive 98%+ rural, so I can relate....the 9005->9011 high beam was a monumental upgrade. So much reach, no critter has gone unnoticed. When I flip them on with passengers, even if they have seen them before the reaction is always the same....
"WOW...your lights sure are bright...I can see everything."
My advice, get a minor upgrade like the Xtravisions for the low beam 9006 and put the $$ where it will do most good for your driving environment & go 9011 HIR for the high beams. It is the formula I have used in the Corolla and am expanding to the other GMs in my stable.