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#2786298 - 10/28/12 12:11 PM Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern
oilmaven Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 728
Loc: Northern Michigan
I'm not sure what the problem is but I installed a set of Philips Xtreme bulbs in my Mercury Villager (9007) and the light pattern is AWFUL! The pattern is random and broken up with a lot of "dark spots". I noticed that the bulbs are a little shorter than the originals and don't have the dark coated end. Is there any possibility they're installed incorrectly or does the lens just not do well with the bulbs? I'm obviously no expert here and I thought I would go with this highly-recommended bulb for a little better vision. I'm about ready to remove them and try something else.
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#2786324 - 10/28/12 12:56 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 4777
Loc: USA
I personally think all those "souped up" bulbs are junk.Go with oem type replacement and dont expect more.Get a hopped up bulb,and throw colors and/or live a very short life.The DOT should crack down on some of the stuff thats out there now.Actually the DOT does not regulate bulbs,no matter what the imprint of "DOT" on the bulb implies.Its kind of a self regulating industry.

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#2786333 - 10/28/12 01:11 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 10008
Loc: Upstate NY
Can you post up a picture of the bulbs themselves? It might be a manufacturing defect.

A headlight harness with standard replacement bulbs is often the best halogen-based solution for brighter lights. The physics is simple. More volts in = brighter headlights. It will reduce bulb life, but not as low as hopped-up bulbs. IIRC they sell upgrade wiring harnesses for $40 or so, like this Putco harness on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Putco-239007HW-Pre...ds=9007+harness
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#2786367 - 10/28/12 01:49 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
danster Offline


Registered: 09/27/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Nebraska
If the bulbs are shorter or otherwise different in shape than the originals they are the wrong ones. The fillament needs to be in exactly the proper position inside the housing to produce the designed pattern of light distribution.

Recheck that they are installed correctly and recheck that they are 9007 bulbs. Earlier villagers used a 9004 bulb which looks similar. Check this:

http://www.candlepowerinc.com/pdfs/9004_9007.pdf

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#2786401 - 10/28/12 02:46 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 10008
Loc: Upstate NY
If it's a 9004 instead of a 9007, just skip the harness and go straight to a HID projector retrofit, as nothing will help a 9004 make better light. 9004 bulbs are junk. 700 lumens for low beams with a brand-new bulb and assuming no voltage drop is pathetic, and less than my camping lantern.


Edited by sciphi (10/28/12 02:47 PM)
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#2786421 - 10/28/12 03:13 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13080
Loc: Chicago, IL
Wrong bulb or defective. Just because it's blue doesn't mean it will be mis-aimed.
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#2786447 - 10/28/12 03:52 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
Roadrunner777 Offline


Registered: 10/20/12
Posts: 10
Loc: Bemidji, MN
I do a lot of early morning (like 4AM driving) on winding roads in deer country. I obsessed about headlights for quite a while, and finally concluded the following:

1. You have to have headlight lenses in good clear condition. Nothing you can put inside will work on a frosted lens. There are OEM replacement housings out there, and I opted for new housings because the polishing routine is a lot of work, and at least around here, you have to repolish every 3 months or so.

2. Per the above, headlight harness. Try your regular bulbs, you may be surprised.

3. Still want more? Go to an off-road rated higher wattage bulb, 80/100W. Get the plain white ones, do a good job of aiming, and nobody will know except you. I got bulbs from Hella via amazon and they were terrible, burned out after a day or less. Go with someone else, anyone. Pity, Hella is a good company but these lamps are made in India and something was not right with them. FYI, you MIST do the harness before the higher wattage bulbs, or else you will burn out your headlight switch, and probably melt the connectors.


Edited by Roadrunner777 (10/28/12 03:54 PM)

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#2786455 - 10/28/12 04:17 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
clarklawnscape Offline


Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 292
Loc: Indiana, USA
how can a properly installed bulb affect pattern?

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#2786481 - 10/28/12 04:44 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: clarklawnscape]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9112
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: clarklawnscape
how can a properly installed bulb affect pattern?
The filament has to be placed in exactly the right position inside the bulb, when they crank them out by the millions in southeast asia, sometimes that does not happen. I've seen lamps where the quartz envelope itself wasn't even square to the metal socket. If you don't want to do a lot of work adding a new harness, a relay and fuse right to the battery which takes the load of ONE headlamp and is triggered by the voltage sent by the stock wiring to the other lamp is a neat and quick trick. Net result, the stock harness has it's load reduced to just one bulb, and the relay supplies the other bulb. Just don't forget the fuse. You can buy a dual relay in one can and drive both high and low with it.


Edited by HerrStig (10/28/12 04:46 PM)

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#2786487 - 10/28/12 04:49 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: Roadrunner777]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9112
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Roadrunner777
I do a lot of early morning (like 4AM driving) on winding roads in deer country. I obsessed about headlights for quite a while, and finally concluded the following:

1. You have to have headlight lenses in good clear condition. Nothing you can put inside will work on a frosted lens. There are OEM replacement housings out there, and I opted for new housings because the polishing routine is a lot of work, and at least around here, you have to repolish every 3 months or so.

2. Per the above, headlight harness. Try your regular bulbs, you may be surprised.

3. Still want more? Go to an off-road rated higher wattage bulb, 80/100W. Get the plain white ones, do a good job of aiming, and nobody will know except you. I got bulbs from Hella via amazon and they were terrible, burned out after a day or less. Go with someone else, anyone. Pity, Hella is a good company but these lamps are made in India and something was not right with them. FYI, you MIST do the harness before the higher wattage bulbs, or else you will burn out your headlight switch, and probably melt the connectors.

Depends on the car, many have a relay system and the switch only suppplies control voltage. I would agree, though, that a lot of sockets are very cheap. Ceramic ones are available.


Edited by HerrStig (10/28/12 04:50 PM)

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#2786533 - 10/28/12 05:30 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
oilmaven Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 728
Loc: Northern Michigan
This van definitely takes a 9007...which is what I installed. The lenses are crystal clear so that's not an issue (I'd have replaced or cleaned them otherwise knowing that clouded lenses can block light...not so sure that could cause this problem). Is it possible to install them incorrectly? I know they're in the receptacle properly (took my time). As I mentioned, the originals were slightly longer and had a gray/black coating on the ends of them...these are clear. I'm wondering if the slight difference in length is the problem...in which case my only other reasonable option is a set of Philips Xtra Vision which appear to be the same length with the coating on the end although probably not as bright.
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#2786948 - 10/29/12 04:46 AM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
lyle Offline


Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 415
Loc: Minneapolis MN
9007 replacements should all have a blacked-out tip. It's possible that the wrong bulb was in the package. What's printed on the side of the bulb itself?

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#2786991 - 10/29/12 07:13 AM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: lyle]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9112
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: lyle
9007 replacements should all have a blacked-out tip. It's possible that the wrong bulb was in the package. What's printed on the side of the bulb itself?
The blacked out tip is to keep light from going straight out the front of the bulb instead of being controlled by the reflector and lens. Clear headlamps, with no pattern in the "glass" depend entirely upon the reflector shape to control the pattern.

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#2787225 - 10/29/12 12:34 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 14505
Loc: Top of Virginia
If an HB5 bulb doesn't have a coated tip, then it's not a correct HB5 bulb. Philips bulbs are at or near the highest quality bulbs that you can buy. It is possible that the bulbs are mis-packaged or are counterfeit bulbs.

OP, please remove one of the bulbs and take a photo of it and post it here. We'll be able to tell what it is.

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#2787228 - 10/29/12 12:37 PM Re: Philips Xtreme installed...lousy light pattern [Re: oilmaven]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 14505
Loc: Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: oilmaven
I'm wondering if the slight difference in length is the problem...in which case my only other reasonable option is a set of Philips Xtra Vision which appear to be the same length with the coating on the end although probably not as bright.


There are a number of upgrade bulbs on the market. Did you get the Philips XtremePower or the newer XtremeVision? Either way, it sounds like the bulbs are somehow defective if they don't have the coating on the tip. Philips also makes a Vision Plus which is also a nice upgrade over stock.

Sylvania makes the Xtra Vision. It's in the same general class as the Philips Vision Plus.

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