Wagner BriteLite and the quest for better night vision

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Jun 1, 2012
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PA
Situation: 56 years old and night driving vision not good. Been nearsighted my whole life but night vision started to go south in my 40s. I used to prefer driving at night, to beat the traffic, but those days are long gone.

Just replaced two-year-old Sylvania XtraVision 9006 with Wagner BriteLite 9006 low-beams on an '05 Corolla. Over the past decade, have tried Silverstar, Silverstar Ultra and one of the Philips high-end bulbs that was supposed to be better than Silverstar. I also bought 9012 bulbs for the 9006 swap, but messed up shaving the bulb housing, so they did not fit. (I have a mechanical mind but fingers not so much.)

I found the blue-tinted whiter-light bulbs helped a bit in fog and the Silverstars seemed to cast a wider beam, but the improvement was not that great and not worth the cost. So I bought XtraVision last time, and they are OK but I still search for a better option. Came across the BriteLites, and though the reviews were mixed I liked that they were allegedly brighter bulbs but without the blue. (Xenon) Installed them yesterday, took a spin after dark tonight....

....and they are a bit better than the XtraVision, can see a smidge farther down the road....but still no miracle.

For folks in a similar boat: What headlights are you running and is there a 9006 bulb that clearly makes night driving safer? Or is the only real improvement the 9012 swap, done by someone with mechanical fingers?

Thanks.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
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Headlights alone are only part of the night driving equation. Some other things to factor in:

1. Do you regularly clean the windshield (especially the inside) so that it does not have a haze you are trying to look through?
2. Are the headlight lenses clear and not oxidized over? Oxidized lenses will cause light to scatter and less of it will illuminate the road ahead.
3. Do you have any interior light sources that are excessively bright at night? The instrument backlight does not need to be at max brightness.. only bright enough to be useful to you.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
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One consideration is buying the cheapest, NON-longlife bulbs. The LL bulbs use a thicker filament and run at a slightly lower temperature. But getting NON LL bulbs, they have a hotter white and more pinpoint focus. And they will be least cost.
 

faramir9

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
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483
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PA
Headlights alone are only part of the night driving equation. Some other things to factor in:

1. Do you regularly clean the windshield (especially the inside) so that it does not have a haze you are trying to look through?
2. Are the headlight lenses clear and not oxidized over? Oxidized lenses will cause light to scatter and less of it will illuminate the road ahead.
3. Do you have any interior light sources that are excessively bright at night? The instrument backlight does not need to be at max brightness.. only bright enough to be useful to you.
1. Yes, though on occasion I have managed to smear the windshield in the process, but I do clean it inside and out.

2. Yes, I had a local shop do their over-priced cleaning and scraping two years ago. I could probably re-touch that myself now and then. Thanks for the thought.

3. I keep the dash turned down as low as it will go and still allow me to see the speedometer and gauges comfortably.

4. Also, I use quality beam wiper blades and change them well before they are shot.

I appreciate the input. But I have been dealing with declining night driving vision for 10 years. Tried a bunch of things. Will keep trying.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
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Great Lakes
I’d go for the 9012, made a noticeable difference for me and you don’t need to be mechanically inclined to adapt them at all. Just make the 1 alignment tab match a 9006 by trimming it with some nail clippers and you’ll be good to go!
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2004
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450
Location
Minneapolis MN
I too have been suffering from declining night vision over a period of years. I thought the Philips Extreme Vision bulbs were the most effective upgrade, but when one burned out and I replaced both of them a few years ago, I didn't notice much of an improvement. I thought well maybe I'll just have to live with this in my advancing years. On a whim I went to see an optometrist and she told me I had cataracts in both eyes! Once I had removal and lens replacement surgery, my night vision dramatically improved. Generally overall my vision has improved, everything is clearer, brighter, and more colorful. Maybe you just need an eye exam.
 
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