halogen headlights


#1

I’ve noticed that the whiter, brighter and more expensive a halogen headlight bulb is, the shorter its rated life. Does anyone know of any exception to this rule? And is it possible, or advisable, to replace halogen headlight bulbs with LEDs with equal or better lumens?


#2

Yup. That’s true.
A halogen headlight, often called a “quartz-halogen” light, is an incandescent bulb. It burns a tungsten filament in an inert halide gas encapsulated by a fused-quartz bulb to withstand the high heat created by burning the filament hotter. To get even more light, the manufacturer allows the filament to burn even hotter… but there’s a cost. The filament viewed under high magnification is a fibrous strand, much like cotton sewing thread. Repeated exposure to high heat causes the filament to slowly become crystalline in grain structure, until it finally fails. The hotter the heat, the more rapidly this process occurs.

To me, the extra light is well worth the added cost. But it’s admittedly a personal choice.

In my opinion it is not worth changing to LED lights. I don’t like the light they put out. I prefer the longer wavelength (lower frequency) output of incandescent bulbs.
led-sunlight-cfl-incandescent-light-color-temperature-comparison-resized-600


#3

Yup, the older you get the brighter you want the lights. I buy the top of the heap for about $50 for two and I believe they’re rated life is about 1000 hours. They last more than a year though so its a small price to pay to light up those deer.

Just me but I’d stick with what came with the car to insure proper focus.


#4

Me too, but my preference is not so strong that I would not switch to a less expensive, longer lasting, higher lumen LED if given the chance.

I thought the most basic halogen (about $12 each) has a rated life of about 1000 hours, but the “top of the heap” is only about 100. What brand are you referring to? On the focus issue, couldn’t a lighting engineer design something to simulate the filaments in halogens and get an acceptable if not vastly improved result?


#5

Oops. Yeah the Silverstar Ultras. The package says life expectancy is 150 hours, not 1000 but they say the average annual usage is 100 hours. I just checked and I replaced them Dec. 6, 15 and again on Dec 16, 16. So looks like I should go down and buy them again for next month when they blow out. So once a year for me but they are bright.

Sheesh. Gotta go back and edit. Yeah I know the difference between their, there, and they’re.


#6

I’ve been using SYLVANIA XtraVision and lately Philips VisionPlus, which have lumens output similar to SilverLights, but not as “white” visually, but they are rated 350hrs.
Replacing them every 30K miles, which is tad bit over 2 yrs for me and for my wife’s cars, they are still usable at the point I remove them.
Silverlights lasted under a year for me, I stopped using them.
Both types I listed above are substatial visual improvement over OEM/longlife, once again not as bright-white, but if you compare specs, same luminous flux.


#7

The sealed beams in my truck have lasted 13 years so far, I’ve only replaced them once in 23 years. Sylvania, 9 bucks each. They’re plenty bright for me. These little bulbs are a waste of time.


#8

I agree, older lights were better. In my previous car I also liked that I could have my high and low beams on simultaneously, which was great. Newer is not necessarily better. I hear that on some new cars, you have to remove the bumper to change a bulb!


#9

I too agree. Sealed beams were better.
But, than, I’m not an automotive stylist! :rofl:


#10

My 2012 Nissan Altima requires to remove front fenders under-liners to get there, which I though is ridiculous, but apparently somebody could make it even worse


#11

Because I suspect my headlights will burn out next month on schedule, I stopped at Autozone to pick the Ultras up ahead of time. I don’t like Walmart and don’t particularly care for AZ either but the price was about the same. However, you get a $10 AZ gift card if you buy the Ultras. On until the 13th anyway. Not an ad for AZ but if you are going to get some, might as well save $10. Interesting that Walmart doesn’t seem to participate in any of these promotions. I tried to get a coupon for the Mobil sale and they looked at me like I had a third eye, which I don’t last time I checked.


#12

I’m told that VW dealers charge over $200 to change a bulb on the New Beetle.


#13

I once changed a headlamp on my daughter’s 2001 Civic and believe the retention system must have been designed by a dedicated sadist… on a day when he was very, very angry.


#14

Like remove outer fender, remove inner fender, remove bumper and bumper cover, and find boy with small hands for next five steps. Reverse steps to reinstall. Nice thing about Acura is if a headlight goes out under warranty, you make an appointment, wait two weeks, take it in, wait an hour drinking coffee, but they do it all. On the Pontiac you gotta take the upper retainers out for the bumper cover, force it open a ways and pull like crazy on the headlight housing and the rest is easy.


#15

I’ve seen a special plastic door/cut-out from a wheel well on CR-V I believe to reach there - that’s a decent design IMHO.
In my wife’s Mazda3, you can change bulbs from the engine compartment, same on my 2006 Pathfinder.


#16

Whether the access is from the engine compartment or wheel well I am going to charge .3 of an hour labor, doesn’t make any difference to me.

I replaced the headlight bulb on an older New Beetle some years ago, the headlight can be unlatched for removal, doesn’t take long at all. Perhaps the new ones have HID bulbs, those cost more.