Headlight Questions

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Sep 4, 2014
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Burleson Texas
9003 bulbs. I have sylvania xtravisions in the sube right now, and I have glass lenses which make anything bright as [censored]. Im not going the blue coated bulb [censored], so no worries there. Should I stick with what I have, or upgrade to Phillips extreme vision or Vision Plus? I think both of the Philips bulbs have a higher wattage then the OEM and I'm almost certain that the xtravisions are what it says in my manual.
 
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Sep 24, 2012
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I don't know, I've never put so much thought into my headlights. I replace them when they burn out. Amazingly, my 2009 Forester with 184k still has the original bulbs. And now that I've typed that, I should probably pick up some new headlights tomorrow.
 
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I had the "Sylvania SilverStar ULTRA TWIN Halogen Headlight" on my civic, if you follow that link and see one of the images lists that as the brightest halogen lamps before moving up to "HID Xenons" these Sylvania SilverStar ULTRA TWIN Halogen Headlight bulbs have amazing vision, much brighter and totally worth it for wayyyy better visibility then OEM or stock bulbs. "Sylvania Headlight Silverstar ZXE" are suppose to be brighter but they are too bright for my taste, rather REALLY white looking.
 
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Originally Posted By: SubieShane
I need longevity also, not the 12 month bulb. Itll either be the two philips options or me stayin with xtras
mine was still working 20k miles/2 years later, no issue with mine before I sold the car just 3 days ago.
 
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Originally Posted By: SubieShane
Also wondering if the 15 year old wiring can take a few extra volts over OEM... she has a brand new battery...
That's not how it works, the alternator sets the voltage. But a wiring upgrade with relays is useful; check out danielsternlighting.com FMI. Any increase in brightness reduces the hours your bulbs will last.
 
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IL
I'm looking for the best balance of brightness vs longevity as well. We drive nearly all rural roads, lots of night-time driving, and always run daytime running lights. During the fall rut, it's not uncommon for our small county to have 10 deer collisions per night. That being said, I don't want to upgrade any wiring, and don't want to change bulbs in less than 12 months. It sounds like the regular Silverstar might be the best compromise, but Amazon reviews show a lot of those burning out in less than a year as well! Within my parameters above, is there a better option than Sylvania? Edit: Maybe this basic truth is more important for me to consider: Consumer Reports Headlights
 
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Joined
Jun 24, 2004
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I think the best balance is with Sylvania Xtravision or Philips Vision Plus. I've used higher efficacy bulbs (like the Xtreme Power) and, while there is a noticeable difference in output, there's also a significant penalty in longevity. I've found the mid-grade bulbs to give the best bang for the buck.
 
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Silverstar and the philips xtreme "anything are not comaprable Sylvanias are over priced, over marketed [censored] that burn out quickly. Philips is a quality bulb which has a reasonable lifespan and excellent output within the parameters of each bulb number's spec. I run the philips.
 
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Phillips are junk, as are the Sylvania's. Had a set of the Phillips in for less than a year both went at the same time, left me driving with no lights on late at night. I had a spare set of xtravisions and put them back in. After researching i found out I can put in 9012 bulbs instead of 9006 with a minor adjustment (cutting off part of a tab) and the light is twice as powerful and lasts as long as originals. Do some research, you might have something similar avail for your car.
 
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I absolutely hate Sylvanias. Philips XtremePower are superb, as are GE Nighthawks. Neither one is significantly over-wattage, so no worries about wiring. I've been running XtremePower bulbs in the Ram and Jeeps for several years with zero bulb failures. They are very reliable, unlike Sylvania, PIAA, or any of the tinted bulbs. Beware: Philips CrystalVision and CrystalVision Ultra are both blue tinted and not very good either, a blight on the otherwise good Philips product line. Blue bulbs generally are a bit over-wattage (whether rated as such or not) because they blue tint reduces the overall output. Takes more wattage to get the same light by the time you account for the blue. That's why they don't last well. Never buy blue bulbs, never buy Sylvania bulbs.
 
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In the OP's application, the Xtravision is made in Germany by OSRAM. They're high quality bulbs, very much on-par with the Philips Vision Plus. I have used both in our CR-V, in the OP's part number (HB2/9003). Use whichever costs less or is more readily available here. I have also used the Philips Xtreme Power and GE Nighthawk Platinum bulbs. Also nice bulbs, but they're very high efficacy bulbs and have demonstrably lower average lifespans. That's not to say that one particular set will fail sooner than later, but on average, they simply will not last as long. There's no free lunch: higher efficacy comes from thinner filaments and thinner filaments simply aren't as durable. I lost one of the pair of both the Philips XP and GE NHP within about a year. They were not durable for me.
 
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Originally Posted By: Rolla07
Phillips are junk... After researching i found out I can put in 9012 bulbs instead of 9006 with a minor adjustment (cutting off part of a tab) and the light is twice as powerful and lasts as long as originals. Do some research, you might have something similar avail for your car.
You know that Philips is the only manufacturer of the 9012/HIR2 bulb, right? Toshiba used to offer them, and that may be what you have in your car, but Philips is the only option at this point. Which is fine...Philips makes excellent products. If you have a negative opinion of them, perhaps it would benefit the OP for you to explain why you feel that way. There are no HIR options for the OP, in the HB2/9003 application.
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
I absolutely hate Sylvanias.
Why?
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
I absolutely hate Sylvanias.
Why?
Well, two reasons. I gained some information from someone who had worked there that bothered me a number of years ago. I could have dismissed that as one of those ill-fated mismanaged projects that all companies have from time to time (the product is long gone from the market quickly and was a total failure), but then reason 2 happened: I started noticing a heavy focus on marketing and grabbing shelf space in big retailers, coupled with a very noticeable spread in product quality. At the same time, they jumped into up-branding and up-pricing blue-tinted bulbs all over the place, with NO high-efficacy standard line at all (that's what the Philips XtremePower line really is) to give a high-quality alternative to blue bulbs. Its weird because Sylvania is owned by Osram, which actually makes a lot of great products. Many Sylvania branded bulbs may say "Osram" on the bulb itself, and those are usually trouble-free. But wow do some of the others fail quickly, or just not produce the right beam pattern (bad filament placement, bad filament shield placement, etc.) But my biggest beef is the apparent attempt to maintain market share by securing distribution rights while at the same time getting lax on QA.
 
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Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Many Sylvania branded bulbs may say "Osram" on the bulb itself, and those are usually trouble-free. But wow do some of the others fail quickly, or just not produce the right beam pattern (bad filament placement, bad filament shield placement, etc.)
No argument there. For the OP, I think the Sylvania-branded headlamp bulbs will be great, as they really are German-made OSRAM bulbs in his application. And I use them, too, in our MDX, which uses H11 low beams. The Xtravisions in H11 are German-made OSRAM bulbs. Most of the popular "Euro" bulbs (like the HB2/H4, like the H11, like the H7, etc) are made in Europe by OSRAM. Sylvania makes a lot of the bulbs popular in North America (like the H13 that your Ram uses, and like the HB3/9005 and HB4/9006 that many quad systems use) either here or in Mexico or Taiwan, and quality does seem less than their RoW offerings. And I think that their miniature bulb selection (for tail lamps and such) is mostly garbage. They're all off-shored bulbs that probably are really re-labels of something else. For the miniatures, I buy only Stanley bulbs, made in the United States. You can sometimes find them online, but always at your local Honda dealer. In the OP's case, an Xtravision is really a quality bulb. If he were looking for tail lamp bulbs or stop lamp bulbs, however, I'd advise a different brand.
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
In the OP's case, an Xtravision is really a quality bulb. If he were looking for tail lamp bulbs or stop lamp bulbs, however, I'd advise a different brand.
The problem I have is keeping track of which is which- for example not knowing that the OPs part is ONLY sourced from Osram. And will it still be sourced by Osram year after next? Sometimes you can see the "Osram" print through the packaging... but I avoid the whole issue by using Phillips. Its not an irrational brand hate thing like I have for Toyota. :-p
 
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Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
The problem I have is keeping track of which is which- for example not knowing that the OPs part is ONLY sourced from Osram. And will it still be sourced by Osram year after next? Sometimes you can see the "Osram" print through the packaging... but I avoid the whole issue by using Phillips.
The correlation I've found is that the bulb formats popular in Europe tend to be made there. This includes the HB2/9003 (which also fits H4), the H1, H7, H11, etc. The bulbs popular in North America seem to not be made to the same high standards, bulbs like the HB3/9005, HB4/9006, HB5/9007, H13, etc. Philips, as you say, tends to make quality bulbs across the line. They are always a safe choice. What you have to be careful with here is getting them online and getting a fake Philips bulb. Counterfeits are out there. The best deal on Philips bulbs was at Kmart a few years back; I bought a few sets of the Vision Plus on clearance for something like $10/pair.
 
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