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Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? #5320915 01/12/20 04:32 PM
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dvancleve Offline OP
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Howdy folks.

My 2007 Subaru has a headlight out, it appears I need a new low beam only bulb. I am leaning toward one of these:

GE Nighthawk Platinum
Osram Nightbreaker
Philips X-treme Vision
Sylvania Silverstar Ultra.

It looks like the Osram and Philips are by far the cheapest, which works for me. Also, the car has DRLs so the headlights are on all the time. Are any of these a better choice than the others, especially factoring in the DRLs? Is a not extra bright bulb type a better choice because of the DRLs? If yes, suggestions?

Thanks, Doug


1962 & 1968 VW sunroof Bugs
2007 Subaru OBXT Ltd. 5MT, ~75K mi
2013 Chevy Volt, ~130K mi
2013 VW Beetle 2.0 gas turbo convertible, ~36K mi
Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: dvancleve] #5320918 01/12/20 04:35 PM
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DrSmith Offline
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I have used both the Osram Nightbreaker and Philips X-treme Vision and whilst very bright, they both failed to last more than 3 months before one of them blowing however.

Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: dvancleve] #5320921 01/12/20 04:39 PM
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hallstevenson Offline
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The Nighthawk and Silverstar bulbs are generally considered bright(er) but I've seen a lot of complaints about a short life, like 1 year or 2 if you're lucky. For the cost of them, I'll never buy 'em....

Are they easy to change ? That's another factor I look at. On my wife's Fusion, you have to remove the front bumper so I plan to use relatively "standard" bulbs that last longer (hopefully) vs super-bright ones.

Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: hallstevenson] #5320934 01/12/20 04:52 PM
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dvancleve Offline OP
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Originally Posted by hallstevenson
Are they easy to change ? That's another factor I look at. On my wife's Fusion, you have to remove the front bumper so I plan to use relatively "standard" bulbs that last longer (hopefully) vs super-bright ones.

Thanks, I guess I should go look. AFAIK, my bulbs are original 2007. The car doesn’t get driven a ton, and I don’t need the replacement bulbs to last 13 years, but I don’t really want to replace them next year either...


1962 & 1968 VW sunroof Bugs
2007 Subaru OBXT Ltd. 5MT, ~75K mi
2013 Chevy Volt, ~130K mi
2013 VW Beetle 2.0 gas turbo convertible, ~36K mi
Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: dvancleve] #5320946 01/12/20 05:12 PM
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mclasser Offline
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The fact that the lows double as DRLs means overdriven bulbs likely won't last that long.

As lows only, I've run Silverstar Ultras and X-tremevisions, The Ultras had a whiter light but became noticeably dimmer after a year or so. The X-tremevisions have been in my car for 18 months now. They still have a whiter light and haven't dimmed. Downroad/side throw is only like 10% better than stock, so don't believe the marketing hype of 100% or whatever better.


2018 Hyundai Elantra VE
2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD
2002 Honda Accord EX-L

Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: mclasser] #5320963 01/12/20 05:29 PM
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dvancleve Offline OP
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Originally Posted by mclasser
The fact that the lows double as DRLs means overdriven bulbs likely won't last that long.

Thanks, I was wondering about that. Should I just get the basic bulb from any of those companies, or maybe the mid-grade then? If they are too hard to change, the office ram and the Phillips are under 30 bucks a pair on Amazon right now. I guess if they only lasted a year or two it wouldn’t be a big deal…


1962 & 1968 VW sunroof Bugs
2007 Subaru OBXT Ltd. 5MT, ~75K mi
2013 Chevy Volt, ~130K mi
2013 VW Beetle 2.0 gas turbo convertible, ~36K mi
Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: dvancleve] #5321027 01/12/20 06:58 PM
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SubLGT Offline
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The highest output H7 is the Vosla 65W 2100 lumen bulb, available from:

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/products/products.html


You may find this thread about your Outback headlights to be interesting:

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?288094-Need-Better-Headlamps


If you want to move the DRL function away from your expensive low beam bulbs, to the turn signals, look at this:
http://dastern.torque.net/Mods/DRL/DRL1.html

Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: dvancleve] #5321035 01/12/20 07:10 PM
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Dave_Mark Offline
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Just get H18 bulbs. They're new-to-market. Forget about all the other recommendations--people haven't caught up with the latest developments yet.

The H18 bulbs are rated for 1,100 hours, or many times that of a SIlverstar or XtremeVision bulb. And they last longer than that Frankenstein H9/H7 bulb.

With 1,100 rated hours of lifespan, they'd likely last many years in your Subaru if the Silverstars/XtremeVisions have lasted 12-18+ months. Those two bulbs are rated at about 200-350 hours.

The H18 is also rated at 1700 lumens versus 1500 lumens for H7 bulbs so you get a nice little bump there.

https://www.p4c.philips.com/files/1/12643llc1/12643llc1_pss_.pdf

[Linked Image from cdn.img.z900forum.com]

Last edited by Dave_Mark; 01/12/20 07:18 PM.
Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: dvancleve] #5321038 01/12/20 07:14 PM
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SubieRubyRoo Offline
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Check online, as my 2005 Outback was super easy to disable the DRLs. There is a connector easily accessible (I seem to recall it's green) under the driver's side dash labeled "DRL"... unplug it, and no more bulb-killing DRL! Everything else works normally, That said, I've used the Osrams and the Philips, and while the Osrams were brighter, IIRC it only lasted about 9 months before one of them burned out. The Philips (+130s, I didn't know about the +150s when I was buying) were just a little less bright, but have lasted much longer, so that would be my recommendation. The Nighthawks claim to be brighter, but if your lenses are oxidized and ugly I doubt you'll be able to tell a difference between them and the Philips.

My favorite in these projectors is a 55W 4300 or 5000k HID, but up here the ignitors don't like to function below freezing, and I don't feel like swapping them back and forth because easy access requires removing the battery and the air intake in front of the airbox. Remember, you will get a little bit of glare but a judicous re-aiming should alleviate almost all complaints from oncoming traffic; I never had people flashing me because of the lights. But, again, easiest set will be the Philips; I had looked at the Daniel Stern stuff and chatted thru email with him about them- they ARE the brightest halogen you can get for H7, but even he said don't expect more than a year out of them.

Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: Dave_Mark] #5321044 01/12/20 07:20 PM
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SubieRubyRoo Offline
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
Just get H18 bulbs. They're new-to-market. Forget about all the other recommendations--people haven't caught up with the latest developments yet.


OP, no, don't just get the H18 bulbs. Here's from somebody who's tried them, and makes some astute observations and intelligent decisions to avoid this:

Originally Posted by RobZ900 on Z900 forum
I thought the H18 edged it ever so slightly, however, for what looks like it will be a tiny improvement, I don’t think it would be worth the extra electrical load. Then there’s the heat to consider, from a quick look at the video, seems that the H18 runs about 20°C higher. Doesn’t seem a lot, but when it’s an extra 20 degrees on an already high temperature in the small headlight housing, that much difference in temperature could have some negative effects. I may be wrong, but I wouldn’t want to test it in my headlight housing.

Current H18 discussion

Stick with an H7 bulb or the one from David Stern, who has a solid reputation built on results and good advice, not just seeking out a fleeting, minor improvement with greater risk than reward. JMO...

Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5321066 01/12/20 07:47 PM
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Dave_Mark Offline
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
Just get H18 bulbs. They're new-to-market. Forget about all the other recommendations--people haven't caught up with the latest developments yet.


OP, no, don't just get the H18 bulbs. Here's from somebody who's tried them, and makes some astute observations and intelligent decisions to avoid this:

Originally Posted by RobZ900 on Z900 forum
I thought the H18 edged it ever so slightly, however, for what looks like it will be a tiny improvement, I don’t think it would be worth the extra electrical load. Then there’s the heat to consider, from a quick look at the video, seems that the H18 runs about 20°C higher. Doesn’t seem a lot, but when it’s an extra 20 degrees on an already high temperature in the small headlight housing, that much difference in temperature could have some negative effects. I may be wrong, but I wouldn’t want to test it in my headlight housing.

Current H18 discussion

Stick with an H7 bulb or the one from David Stern, who has a solid reputation built on results and good advice, not just seeking out a fleeting, minor improvement with greater risk than reward. JMO...


You do realize that the "one from Daniel Stern" is a 65 watt bulb, just like the H18 bulb?

If you're fine with Stern's 65-watt, H9 capsule on a H7 base bulb, why not a 65-watt H18 bulb?

The H18 bulb, if anything, should run slightly cooler than the H9 bulb since the H18 doesn't pump nearly as many lumens as the H9 bulb. (Assuming identical luminous efficacies, which is a safe bet, given both are conventional halogen bulbs with no fancy IRR coatings or the like).

Plus, the H18 was designed as a near-direct replacement for OEMs. Thermals are discussed, briefly, in this leaflet:

https://www.lumileds.com/uploads/499/9-H18-demo-leaflet-pdf

Quote
Are they optically superior to the Vosla 65W H7 bulb?


Yes, at least in SAE reflectors, since the H7/H9 hybrid bulb will often create excessive glare while the H18 bulb will be able to put a cap on glare.

In projectors, the H7/H9 hybrid will outperform.

Last edited by Dave_Mark; 01/12/20 07:58 PM.
Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5321141 01/12/20 09:26 PM
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Dave_Mark Offline
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
My favorite in these projectors is a 55W 4300 or 5000k HID, but up here the ignitors don't like to function below freezing, and I don't feel like swapping them back and forth because easy access requires removing the battery and the air intake in front of the airbox. Remember, you will get a little bit of glare but a judicous re-aiming should alleviate almost all complaints from oncoming traffic; I never had people flashing me because of the lights. But, again, easiest set will be the Philips; I had looked at the Daniel Stern stuff and chatted thru email with him about them- they ARE the brightest halogen you can get for H7, but even he said don't expect more than a year out of them.


Err..clearly you didn't discuss your 55 watt HID idea with him, because he would have turned red, started typing in all caps, and have called your local police department to impound your vehicle for immediate crushing.

On a serious note, 55 watt HID systems are even worse than any theoretical damage resulting from a 65-watt halogen bulb being used in place of a 55-watt halogen bulb. The beam pattern cannot be fixed by re-aiming.

Re-aiming isn't the solution to HIDs in halogen headlamps. If you don't believe it, email him again.

Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: dvancleve] #5323410 01/15/20 12:04 PM
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dvancleve Offline OP
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Thanks folks. Based on price and Googling, I’ve kind of narrowed it down to one of the Phillips H7 bulbs. I also remembered that I attempted the DRL defeat procedure that was linked here when I first got the car. I could not get the brown wire to come out of the connector, and I didn’t want to cut it so I just left it alone. I might try that again, cutting it is probably not the end of the world if I can’t get it to come out.

I’m assuming if I defeat the DRL, that will improve the lifespan of any bulbs. Am I doomed to short bulb life if I use the X-tremeVision and do not turn off the DRLs? What about the middle one, VisionPlus, or the least bright Vision? Will one of those hold up better with the DRLs still on? If they really are “good, better, best”, the X-tremeVision are twice as much $ as the other two. Also, the low beams look pretty easy to replace in this car.

Last edited by dvancleve; 01/15/20 12:17 PM.

1962 & 1968 VW sunroof Bugs
2007 Subaru OBXT Ltd. 5MT, ~75K mi
2013 Chevy Volt, ~130K mi
2013 VW Beetle 2.0 gas turbo convertible, ~36K mi
Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: dvancleve] #5323634 01/15/20 03:35 PM
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Dave_Mark Offline
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You most likely have high-beam based DRLs. In that case, defeating the DRLs will do nothing for the life of the H7, which is the low beam bulb. Yes, from worst to best in terms of illumination for H7s: it is Vision, VisionPlus, XtremeVision, and RacingVision. In order of lifespan, from longest to shortest, it is also Vision, VisionPlus, XtremeVision, and RacingVision.

If the bulbs are easy to replace then I would run the the brightest or second-brightest H7 (listed above) and keep some old H7 bulbs in the car as spares.

Last edited by Dave_Mark; 01/15/20 03:36 PM.
Re: Which H7 for low beam w/ DRL? [Re: dvancleve] #5323971 01/15/20 10:40 PM
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dvancleve Offline OP
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My DRLs were definitely the low beams. I finally got around to doing the procedure that removes the headlight from the DRLs but keeps everything else, there’s a link somewhere in this thread. I could not get the dumb wire to come out of the connector, so after fighting with it for like an hour I clipped it and taped it. My one functioning low beam headlight no longer has a DRL. I went ahead and ordered the X-tremeVision Phillips bulbs, should have two functional and brighter headlights sometime in the next few days. Thanks folks!


1962 & 1968 VW sunroof Bugs
2007 Subaru OBXT Ltd. 5MT, ~75K mi
2013 Chevy Volt, ~130K mi
2013 VW Beetle 2.0 gas turbo convertible, ~36K mi
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