Headlamp bulbs upgrade

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rutter123
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Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by rutter123 »

Are there any "upgraded" headlamp bulbs i can fit to my t/d, i see Halfrauds have some that give 50% more light but @ £21 each they can take a hike, any recommendations? Currently have standard 60/65w halogen type but on these dark mostly unlit fen roads they seem fairly inadequate, my haedlamp units are in good clean nick and reflectors likewise so they are as good as they can be. As a temp trial i wired them direct to the battery to eliminate any old or tired wiring but to little or no improvement.
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Vanny
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by Vanny »

rutter123 wrote:, i see Halfrauds have some that give 50% more light but @ £21
They are about £7 with a trade card, or wait until they are buy one get one free (usually during the cold months). This is what I have. Though in reality the best 'upgrade' is to rewire them!

Or go mental with something like this

Image

Actually i'm surprised Mr Fenwick hasn't suggested something like this already!

Tinkley
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by Tinkley »

Be a bit wary, though, any extra heat from more wattage, may melt the standard reflectors. AFAIK they are plastic not glass.... :wink: Also the exact position of the filament to the reflector makes a large difference. I have had m/cycle replacement bulbs be absolutely useless because of this. You may find the brand of bulb ie filament position in bulb makes as much difference as anything else. It might sound strange but even though there will be a tolerance for filament position in a bulb it can and does make a difference.

I did notice a difference when I bought new H/lamps for the last car, much more defined. The metallising does slowly lose it's reflective qualities over time. So slow you hardly notice, bit like rear spheres til your bouncing the rear end... :lol:

CitroenBaz
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by CitroenBaz »

hi , i have a hid conversion kit my bx rd estate, my wife now drives the bx at night, mot test says you must have self levering lights & headlamp washers . 1 out of 2 is not bad. i take them out for the mot & refit afterwards. a good set on ebay is about £50, well worth it for the dark roads around lincs. barry

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David
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by David »

I have done the headlight mod mentioned by Mat & Elecrokid on my car & I would say its well worth doing as it improves the light output, although in my case it was only slightly.

When I'm driving my BX in the dark, (around an unlit farm) it can sometimes be difficult to see with the lights, Even on full beam, so some good bulbs would make a difference, Although my solution (although not technically legal for the road) is to put the fog lights on & tilt them both outwards so it gives a wider angle of vision which improves things somewhat (although normal BX fog lights wouldn't do this).

Lets see what Mat actually comes up with...
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mat_fenwick
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by mat_fenwick »

Ah, my favourite topic, although I think I've already been beaten to it!

This looks an interesting set-up though...



If you're purchasing replacement bulbs, go on the output in lumens rather than wattage. Think of it as buying a car based on bhp rather than mpg - you're more interested in what comes out of the bulb than is consumed by it.

I'll use Osram as an example as they publish their specs to make it easier. Their 64205 emits 2000/1350 lumens @ 13.2 volts (compared to 1200-1800 lumens from a typical H4 bulb 60w filament), yet is fairly efficient at 70/65 watts input power so existing wiring is adequate. Trade off is bulb life...rated lifespan is something like 150 hours for main beam and 400 for low.

Any increase in wattage will lead to an increase in heat, so I would suggest that it's best to increase the efficiency of the bulb rather than simply the output. But by increasing the lumens per watt, the filament is at a higher temperature so more of the power goes to producing light rather than heat. I used to use 100/55 watt (rated @ 2400/1000 lumen) bulbs with no damage to the reflectors after a few years, but the change in light levels when dropping to dipped beam made it tricky to pick things out!
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kernowtim
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by kernowtim »

I used Lucas xenon upgraded h4 bulbs in my previous car, a 1999 focus, when an original ford bulb failed after 11 years I replaced with Lucas 50% brighter but didnt notice much if any difference, but as I did get through 3 bulbs in 4 months replaced with standard ones again, package did state shorter replacement intervals may apply though!! Going to try osram night breakers next

Tinkley
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by Tinkley »

One point a little overlooked by the 'Let it be daylight' brigade is blinding oncoming traffic. As long as you can get good dipped resolution and cut off with your set up you should be OK.

On my old Morini at say 90mph with it's 30/35 watt headlight at night visibility was er er interesting. I'd just love to see modern cars driving on that lighting now - should cut night speed a bit.

However some of the modern stuff is so bright especially when it does not dip, I just aim the BX to the left of the lights and pray, and do not look at the lights at all. So far, so good, but it will only take a fallen branch which I will not see in time or else I'll have to revert to stopping instead if they get much brighter. As I live in the semi rural, street lights are a rarity and really I need to be in a conurbation to even see some. So bear in mind oncoming stuff because you can do a lot which ironically may cause an accident ie by temporarily blinding a driver!, even though by then you've gone up the road and away.

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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by Mothman »

Surely the law states how bright your lights can be? Exceed that and no MOT?

Andy

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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by citronut »

Mothman wrote:Surely the law states how bright your lights can be? Exceed that and no MOT?

Andy
so how do the like of BMW and Augy get away with fitting a very thick magnifying glass in front of there head lamp bulbs :evil: #-o

rutter123 wrote:Are there any "upgraded" headlamp bulbs i can fit to my t/d, i see Halfrauds have some that give 50% more light but @ £21 each they can take a hike, any recommendations?
go for cataract surgery :roll: :twisted: #-o :shock: :) :lol: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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mat_fenwick
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by mat_fenwick »

Mothman wrote:Surely the law states how bright your lights can be? Exceed that and no MOT?
In the UK the limit is on the wattage rather than the actual output, so anything over 60/55 watts is not permitted. The MOT only checks the alignment, not the output though.

The Nightbreakers are rated at 1895/1150 lumens, but I can't find a definitive source for the lifespan. 340 hours rings a bell though. They are fully legal being 'only' 60/55 watts, so look like a good bet.

Fully agreed about other drivers - the last thing I want to do is dazzle someone coming towards me at 60 mph, not least because if they feel dazzled they're likely to switch to main beam and then you have two blinded drivers!
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by KevR »

I've got an Osram nighbreaker in the BMW (bike) - lots brighter than a standard bulb.
HiD kits are not great for H4 fittings - you only have one element, and it moves on its mounting between main and dip, which is a compromise, and if the element goes you lose main and dip together. They do consume less power than normal bulbs though, which eases the strain on the wiring. If I wanted to try an HiD setup though, I'd bypass Ebay and go straight to China....
http://www.newfrog.com/p/pair-of-35w-80 ... 54088.html

You can also get spare bulbs and ballast units cheaply there. As well as all sorts of other Tynkyns.
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Kaapelimies
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by Kaapelimies »

Anyone of you tried to get more voltage to the bulb? I've installed this set (cost 17 Euros) to all my BX and Visas:
Image

It's got 2 relays and all the wires and connectors ready to fit any H4 equipped car, fitting takes 5 minutes. It gave some 2 volts more to the bulb (voltage taken directly from alternator instead of battery), and there is a big difference! The biggest is, that now any "superbright" bulb like nightbreaker will break in two months... :lol: . But instead, you get a lot more light with normal H4 bulb (dont' use the cheapest as they will break because of the voltage). And this allows you to use 100W bulbs also without frying the original light switch!
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by KevR »

Haven't done this to my BXs yet, but I've mae up my own relay looms for various other cars, vans and bikes - as you say, makes a lot fo difference if the wiring's getting a bit tired, and does save the original switch as well.
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mat_fenwick
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Re: Headlamp bulbs upgrade

Post by mat_fenwick »

The pre-made loom looks neat and good value, although I've made my own arrangement which retains the use of dim-dip.



I think I was 'only' losing a volt or so across the existing wires compared to the relay set up, but still significant when it comes to output. The dim-dip feature is handy as it allows you to be better seen in times of poor visibility without dazzling others, and without much impact on the (short) lifespan of upgraded bulbs. It also effectively gives a soft start for the dipped beam filament which will actually increase its life.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad