Disappointed with Philips standard headlight bulb

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Dec 7, 2008
Borrowing my Dad's Caravan for a few weeks as I'm currently 'between vehicles', I noticed a few days ago that one of the headlamps burned out. Needing it fixed ASAP due to some bad weather coming that night, I went to the nearest AutoZone and bought a Philips 9007 standard replacement (yellow package) bulb, noting that it said something about Germany on the back after a quick look. Great. Sold.

Installing it into the headlight assembly, I noticed that the bulb clearly says 'Made in China' on it. Huh? Looking at the back of the packaging a little closer, it did indeed say 'Designed in Germany' but no clear country of origin. My fault for not looking more carefully but shame on Philips for not making it crystal clear. The bulb installed fine and does work, but I was disappointed to see that the color temperature is slightly yellower than the nearly decade-old (and German-made) Sylvania it replaced. Also, the beam pattern is a mess. While the old Sylvania on the other side has a nice sharp cutoff, the new Philips is just a big soft blob, and also projects much higher like the bulb isn't centered in the housing correctly. I understand that a new bulb may require a small readjustment of the headlight assembly aim but this is excessive.

After buying mostly Sylvania and GE headlamp bulbs in the past, this is my first Philips purchase and I'm not happy with it. I doubt there will be another.
Unfortunately you'll find many lighting products like this made in China...However, most EU spec headlamp bulbs Hx (which are used in the RoW) are different from those used in US cars and they tend to be made in Europe more often than not. While the US 9000 series are
made in China and sometimes the USA.

Most of Philips Hx series bulbs are made in Europe.
I bought Caravan replacement headlights years ago (Taiwanese) and Wagner Brite Lite bulbs (old design,before the blue tint added) and they are excellent.Shows from center to guardrail,from ground to distance.Couldnt ask for better.A lot of the replacement knockoff headlight assemblies are rated poor for light reflection and aim,but these are great.
Philips higher 9007's are made in Germany. Vision Plus and Xtreme Vision. Both made in Germany.

The only 9007's worth buying are the Philips Xtreme, and the Mexican-made GE Nighthawk Platinum.
Phillips automotive bulbs that are made in Germany are very good, I don't have experience with made in China so I don't know. Just bought a 10-pack made in Germany Osram H9 bulbs from Amazon about a month ago for $3x($3.xx/ea), regular price is $7x. It was sold by Amazon warehouse because the package had slight damage.

I usually buy only Osram or Phillips bulbs for my cars. So far all of them made in Germany.
This seems to be an unfortunate trend with the North American type bulb designations (like the HB4/9006, HB5/9007, etc). Sylvania (and apparently Philips as well) produce them in China. The EU type bulbs (H1, H4, H7, etc) seem to be made in Europe instead.
I've been trying to get away from Sylvania signal/marker/brake bulbs since I keep getting burned by their 'Long Life' line of replacements, but I can't say I've had any issue with their headlamps which appear to be generally German-made and work well.

I don't want to waste a working bulb but this has really irked me. I may head out today and see if I can get a standard Sylvania, GE or Wagner.
FWIW, I had a headlamp burn out and replaced both with the cheapest Sylvania bulbs I could find at AAP (they were also rated to last the most hours). No pun intended but it is literally a night and day difference over my factory bulbs. Anyone replacing a halogen bulb I highly recommend using Sylvania OEM bulbs and replacing in pairs.
I use the standard bulbs and make sure the lights are aimed correctly, or tweaked slightly to my satisfaction. I seem to get the most longevity out of the standard bulbs. And, I am very happy with the standard lighting considering my aging eyes and my dislike for driving at night
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