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Okay guys, heres the situation:

My wife has terrible night vision, and with her new job that requires her to drive through back roads at night, she's worried about not being able to see deer or any other obstacles. He has a 2000 Neon, and the headlights are aimed correctly, but the bulbs are old, and they're not as bright as they used to be.

I don't plan on keeping the car for longer than a year, so a HID conversion is out of the question. And since I haven't had any good luck with cheap bulb replacements in the past (and neither has many other forum members), I'm looking to get a set of PIAA replacement bulbs. According to their website, for her type of bulb (9007), they offer the Xtreme White Plus, or the Star White. Both seem to be good choices, since she doesn't want the blue tint of HIDs, but just wants a set of brighter bulbs.

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between them, if any? Which ones would you recommend?

Thanks in advance...
 

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84Fordman just mentioned Silverstar has the new Ultra series. Really bright. Some people had problems with Silverstar, others don't. Just another suggestion.
 

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PIAA for quality, actual color(either pure white or tinted blue like my spark 8000k's) are the best you can get. I've owned silverstars and personally think they suck. for a comparison of what a silverstar vs. a spark 8000k looks likes(even though you won't be using an 8000k temp.) i'm attaching a picture. now i put the 8000's in my high beam which are reflectors unlike the low beam which is a projector and the low should be brighter.

 

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i had extreme white plus on my 04 6i...i think i should clarify something that i found after dealing with Luminics bulbs, PIAA bulbs, and stock.

PIAA bulbs won't let you see further; i actually think they have a bit less range than stock. but whatever is within that range of light is a lot more visible. additionally, my battery could've been replaced at any time and i think i lost a bit of brightness due to that. when i switched up to an 06 6i, im 500% sure that the stock lights were significantly brighter than anything i had or put on the 04 6i.

here are a couple pics for you. the first is the camera on top of the car with a 1½ second exposure, 3.4f stop:


this is a direct side by side comparison of headlights from a stock 6s and my 04 6i with the PIAA xtreme whites, same exposure:
 

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yes, the stock bulbs color temp are probably the "brightest" you can get. As mentioned about, the color with be whiter, which may allow you to distinguish objects better (maybe), but the range and brightness itself will be less. It's not that noticable, tho that may depend on the person, but there is a decrease with the higher color temperature.

Has she been utilizing her high beams on those back roads? I assume it's a low traffic area, which could allow for that.

Maybe a set of cheap universal fog lights could also be the answer to actually increase the amount of light output... unless she's using those as well.

All those "hyperwhite","superwhite""xtreme white", etc. halogen bulbs are strictly for the look. I do not believe there are any that will increase light output, tho they will claim it does (of course :p).
 

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i had extreme white plus on my 04 6i...i think i should clarify something that i found after dealing with Luminics bulbs, PIAA bulbs, and stock.

PIAA bulbs won't let you see further; i actually think they have a bit less range than stock. but whatever is within that range of light is a lot more visible. additionally, my battery could've been replaced at any time and i think i lost a bit of brightness due to that. when i switched up to an 06 6i, im 500% sure that the stock lights were significantly brighter than anything i had or put on the 04 6i.

here are a couple pics for you. the first is the camera on top of the car with a 1½ second exposure, 3.4f stop:


this is a direct side by side comparison of headlights from a stock 6s and my 04 6i with the PIAA xtreme whites, same exposure:

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to me, the one's on the right look brighter/whiter.
 

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84Fordman just mentioned Silverstar has the new Ultra series. Really bright. Some people had problems with Silverstar, others don't. Just another suggestion.
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I saw his thread about those. I'm not sure if I'd like to be the guinea pig on this one, considering it's my wife's car, and she WON'T be happy if a bulb burns out only a few months after they were installed. Anyone who's married knows that's it's more trouble than it's worth! :)
 

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Also, if the lights have started yellowing, you might try the mother's polishing ball to clean up some of the oxydation.
 

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yes, the stock bulbs color temp are probably the "brightest" you can get. As mentioned about, the color with be whiter, which may allow you to distinguish objects better (maybe), but the range and brightness itself will be less. It's not that noticable, tho that may depend on the person, but there is a decrease with the higher color temperature.
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Agreed. The stock bulbs were bright, but not anymore. I've always heard that the bulbs tend to "wear down" with age, and they get slightly dimmer. After driving her car last night, I can agree. They're not nearly as good as they used to be. I'm figuring the PIAAs would at least get some of that brightness back, and the slight color temp would help to make things crisper, which would definitely help her night vision more than anything. Plus, if they don't do the trick, I can always return them and get new stock bulbs. There's a local car shop that doesn't hassle me about returns...
Has she been utilizing her high beams on those back roads? I assume it's a low traffic area, which could allow for that.
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Yes, but both the low and high beams are the same unit.
Maybe a set of cheap universal fog lights could also be the answer to actually increase the amount of light output... unless she's using those as well.
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Actually, she's got the stock foglights, which are the most useless things in the world. I've been considering adding a set of driving lights, but I was hoping that fixing the headlight bulbs would be the less-time-consuming and least-expensive fix.
All those "hyperwhite","superwhite""xtreme white", etc. halogen bulbs are strictly for the look. I do not believe there are any that will increase light output, tho they will claim it does (of course :p).
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Gotcha.

I want to thank all of you for the input. At this point, I'm leaning toward the Star White bulbs, considering they're the closest to the stock color temp, and SHOULD make things a little more crisper as well. But again, I'd love to get more opinions/pics/other options. Keep 'em coming.

Also, if the lights have started yellowing, you might try the mother's polishing ball to clean up some of the oxydation.
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Ahh, I never thought about that one... :headscrat:

What would I use with the polishing ball, if anything, to clear up the oxidation?
 

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Ahh, I never thought about that one... :headscrat:

What would I use with the polishing ball, if anything, to clear up the oxidation?
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It comes with polishing compound
 

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Check out:
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bu...bulb_types.html

According to that website, you can get a high efficiency version of the 9007/HB5 bulb, dubbed "+30". In the chart, light output is nomially 1450/1095 lumens, vs 1350/1000 for ordinary bulbs. The +30 part usually means that the bulb has some proportion of xenon gas mixed in ... +50 is another common designation. The xenon in the bulb allows higher filament temps, so you get more light at a higher colour temperature. Don't be mistaken though -- these are still halogen bulbs, not HIDs.

You can get a 9007 +30 bulb here, from Philips (a pretty good bulb manufacturer):
http://www.rallylights.com/hella/9007.asp


Disclaimer: This is from my trivial bank, from when I was researching improving headlight performance. I did NOT want the following: over wattage bulbs, HID conversions, or tinted bulbs. Bulb must meet DOT standard (ie: be road legal). I have not yet replaced my headlights, so this is just theory!

One last trivia note: You may want to ask about HIR (or, halgen infra-red) bulbs. They have a coating which reflects heat back towards the filament, increasing thermal efficiency and light output of the bulb. You may be able to get on that fits in a 9007 socket... don't have any performance figures though. Let us know if you get some hard numbers -- no anecdotal stories please! :nana:
 

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to me, the one's on the right look brighter/whiter.
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brighter and whiter are two very different things. the stock lights on the left are clearly more bright, and the xtreme whites are, clearly, more white. they do not have the range of stock lights, period.

i remember seeing the stuff about the Osram Silver Stars before. i'll get a pair or two real soon, because im still against getting HIDs at the moment and it looks like these would be an excellent alternative to PIAA.

greyghost...it looks like one of the few options you have would be to get the PIAA extreme whites
 

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to me and a few of my friends on the pic i posted of my lights, the inside "high beams" look brighter than the stock outer lights. dunno if you agree but if ya do we're talking 4500k stock vs. 8000k highs and the lows should be brighter in theory b/c they're projectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the info, guys.

It looks like I'm going to pick up one of the Mothers Powerball Mini, with the glass/plastic compound, to try and clean up the lights first. Plus a set of the Star White PIAA bulbs should do the trick as well. As soon as I get my 6 repairs squared away, this will be my next task. I'll probably take some photos before and after, if the difference turns out to be VERY remarkable. We'll see... :)
 
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