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I have a stock headlight bulb out and I want to replace both sides. What the latest greatest replacement bulb for the stock housings?
 

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Silvania Silverstar
 

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i had them in my last FWB. There was a bad run on the forum it seems decades ago but mine lasted for years. But it ain't as easy as it used to be as there's like 3 or 4 different priced models at AZ now.



For the same or less money I could swear guys are reporting good luck with known name LEDs now.
 

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The problem with a lot of LED's is people think because they "look" brighter to the eye when you see the light source that is because LED's have a higher color "temperature" than typical headlights.

It is "lumens" that you want for throwing light good distance so compare the photometrics of whatever you chose....if they are published for whatever particular bulb you are looking at

FWIW I have had the Sylvania Silverstars in for years
 

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No offense intended, but I hate the silverstars. Stay away from anything tinted, I don't care if the blue makes it look fancier. Any tint is just reducing the amount of light being thrown, and even though it "looks" brighter, it's simply a placebo effect. Also, all sylvania bulbs are made in china, screw china. If you want standard halogen, the one I've been using lately is Phillips. They have a variety of standard and "+" brightness bulbs. I've been using either the +60% or +100% bulbs in stuff, depending on what was available. In my youngest brothers '11 CTS, the only available one for the high beams was the standard brightness, and it turned out to be the exact, actual OEM bulb that Cadillac puts in them. And they aren't overpowered or +wattage or any of that nonsense. My understanding is that the increased brightness comes from a higher quality, tighter wound filament that's able to more efficiently make use of the available current, and possibly also creating a tighter, more focused pattern of light. Also, Phillips are made in Germany. If it involves quality manufacturing, you want either USA, Japan or Germany.

Now, if you want to talk upgrades, there's been some amazing progress in the world of LEDs the last few years. There's a lot of stuff out there. At the moment, I'm interested in the stuff being made by OPT7. I plan to try out at least of set of low beams, and possibly a set of high beams from them. The previous generation are the Fluxbeam, which are about $80 a pair on Amazon, and the current gen are the Fluxbeam X that just came out, and are $100-110 I think. I've normally been against putting HID or LED into our older style headlights because they don't throw the light correctly, but supposedly the more recent LED stuff is starting to get be able to cope with this and work well without blinding oncoming drivers. I'm by no means an expert on LEDs, but the technology has finally reached the point that I'd be willing to take a stab at it.
 

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I run some 80w/100w Hellas. I don't recommend them if you haven't upgraded the harness though. Also they are technically offroad only.

-Brian
 

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Hellas are also very good. I have a set of standard 55w/65w ones in my S10 and my brother's C4 vette with the Hella e-code glass conversion housings that you can just put standard H4 halogen bulbs into and still use the factory harness. Amazing cutoff, nifty little feature that angles some light up at road signs (have to be sure to get the correct side drive version, they have it for both LH and RH drive countries). I believe Hella is also made in Germany, but the bulbs are a little harder to find in the states so that's why I've been using the Phillips more now. You can get them online though, amazon for sure and probably fleabay.
 

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I run some 80w/100w Hellas. I don't recommend them if you haven't upgraded the harness though. Also they are technically offroad only.

-Brian
I agree! I have run 80/100 Hellas and a HD relay wiring harness (LMC Truck .com, about $30) in my Impalas', Ford Excursion and Lincoln mark VII LSC, for over 10 years. I am very happy with the visible improvement in illumination. Used properly, no one flashes at me. (Not a dramatic improvement, but significant).
 

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If you want a bulb for a daily driver or are on a budget the brightest bulbs of any product line may not be for you. The brightest ones usually have the lowest life span.(hours)


The GE Nighthawks (not platinum) that we have been using have been a good compromise between good light and lasting more than a year of daily driving. The mandatory day time driving lights on some cars are the low beams so these bulbs are on at all times. The brighter ones would last 6-7 months.


So when you make your choice find the information on how many hours they run. Some are very low.


BulbFacts | GE Nighthawk Platinum vs OEM / Original Headlight Bulbs


https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/01/halogen-headlight-bulbs/index.htm


I would like to provide a argument against HID and LED retrofitting:


When most HID conversion kits are installed on reflector style headlamps they simply wash the road ahead in a very broad and glaring pattern that causes great risks to oncoming drivers.


The retailer also supplies this caveat to all shoppers; “Every jurisdiction has its own rules and regulations governing the use of automotive lighting. HID lighting systems that are supplied with the vehicles from the factory are DOT approved. There are currently no HID conversion kits available from any source which is DOT approved if installed outside of the automotive factory. Moreover, in the United States, this is not street legal for use on public roads. In Canada, a similar but less defined clause applies.
Brighter headlamps could get you into hot trouble | Driving
 

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This chart, provided within the link in above post, shows the photometric comparisons between several brands of Halogen bulbs (there are also charts for the LED and Xenon bulbs)

The Silverstar Ultra has the most "LUX" (how much light the bulb projects) over the Nighthawk Platinum or Xenon bulb. Also the color temperature (measured in K) is higher. The higher K of the bulb gives it a "whiter" look when staring at the light source. This does not mean a whiter "looking" bulb is "brighter" (LUX)

BulbFacts | Halogen Bulb Chart

What was noted about some bulbs having a "blue" (CTB=color temperature blue) tint over them. That changes the color temperature (K) to make the bulb appear to the eye as "whiter".....not necessarily any "brighter" (LUX). Two different measurements of light. You want a high "LUX" bulb

For the benefit of oncoming drivers and to prevent from getting a citation for non DOT compliant headlights, I would stick with a DOT rated light source for whatever bulb type you want
 

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If you want a bulb for a daily driver or are on a budget the brightest bulbs of any product line may not be for you. The brightest ones usually have the lowest life span.(hours)


The GE Nighthawks (not platinum) that we have been using have been a good compromise between good light and lasting more than a year of daily driving. The mandatory day time driving lights on some cars are the low beams so these bulbs are on at all times. The brighter ones would last 6-7 months.


So when you make your choice find the information on how many hours they run. Some are very low.


BulbFacts | GE Nighthawk Platinum vs OEM / Original Headlight Bulbs


https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/01/halogen-headlight-bulbs/index.htm


I would like to provide a argument against HID and LED retrofitting:



Brighter headlamps could get you into hot trouble | Driving

You lump HID and LED retrofitting together but they are not the same. Plenty of evidence on the benefits of good LED headlights.
 

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Sylvania Silverstar ZXE is one of the brightest halogen bulbs available for the Impalas, so it will definitely be a good choice.
https://www.carid.com/1996-chevy-impala-bulbs/sylvania-headlight-bulbs-12611437.html

In case you wish to convert your headlights to LED bulbs, I'd recommend checking out the LED kits by Lumen. They provide are very efficient and provide a bright light output: https://www.carid.com/1996-chevy-impala-bulbs/
The brightest LED headlight bulb set by Lumen is G8 and it's got a color temperature of 6500k and produces 6000lm of light, which is much more than a lumen output of an average halogen bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Lots of good info here, I’m leaning toward an led conversion. I’m impressed with the amount of participation in this thread. Thanks guys!
 

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You remove the connector from the bulb, then the black ring around the bulb. At that point the bulb can be removed from the reflector.

BTW, I have a set of LED bulbs in mine, and I do not have anyone flashing me about being too bright. You can get a couple of different color temperatures. The bulbs are so much brighter than any of the others that I do not worry about the pattern. Another thing I like about the LED lights, is that the current draw is substantially less then the stock bulbs, so you do not have an issue with the wire size.
 

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I run some 80w/100w Hellas. I don't recommend them if you haven't upgraded the harness though. Also they are technically offroad only.

-Brian
I just bought a pair of these last night....

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000COBL7K/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Figured at just $20 what do I have to lose. I just spent $45 on a pair of Headlight Bulbs (crazy) for the wife's Pontiac G6 so this seemed reasonable.

I know they are higher wattage and "for off road use only" and also seem to have a short life (based on reviews) but seemed worth a shot. I do have Gary's Headlight Harness already on the car so seems like they're worth a shot. I'm going to also polish up the Headlight Capsules a bit since they look a little yellow whern I install these.

Sounds like you've been happy with them. How's the life expectancy of those bulbs been for you and also do you find that the Plastic Bulb Socket seem to hold up ok wit these wattage's?? I found some Ceramic 9004 Bulb Sockets but just not sure they are required.
 
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