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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The purpose of this thread is to put a lot of the scattered info about non-HID upgrade options in one place. Below you will find the stock bulb specifications along with the halogen upgrade options, modifications required, and differences in output. Click blue text for amazon links to the best options for each.

Regardless of the wattage, all "coated" bulbs have decreased output compared to a non-coated bulb. Also, higher wattage bulbs typically mean lower lifespan. However, you'll find that many of these upgrade options are actually less expensive than the stock options.

I have personally tested all of these bulbs myself and have had no adverse experiences of the higher wattage or temperatures.



Low beams/ fog lamps:


Stock low beams: 55w H11 1250 lumens
Upgrade option: 65w H9 2100 lumens

Difference: +850 lumens

Modifications required (I used tin snips)


Amazon Link



Left to right: Stock H11, "Blue" H9, Philips H9


H11 filament


H9 filament


"Blue H9" (passenger side) vs Stock H11


"Blue H9" (passenger side) vs Philips H9



High beams:


Stock: 65w 9005/HB3 1700 lumens
Upgrade option: 65w 9011/HIR1 2350 lumens

Difference: +650 lumens

Modifications required


Amazon Link
(These are Phillips HIR1 bulbs at a lower price)


HIR1 bulb on right


9005 Bulb filament


HIR1 Bulb filament




Philips 9011/HIR1 (passenger side) vs Stock 9005


Reverse lights/brake lights:

Stock: 25w 7506 400 lumens
Upgrade option: 35w 796 755 lumens

Difference: +450 lumens

No modification required.


Amazon Link



Stock 7506 bulb (left) 796 bulb on right


Stock 7506 bulb filament


796 bulb filament


796 bulb (driver's side/ left) vs stock 7506
 

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Sticky???
 

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Glad to see a halogen thread! Hopefully it will make the stickies. I'll vouch for the HIR1 high beams - had them in for 4 years or so, it's a big improvement.

If you are shopping for halogens, stay away from anything priced over $10, anything with a blue coating, or anything that advertises it its better than another bulb of equivalent wattage. Silverstar recently got in trouble for peddling this crap... http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...or-their-false-claims-of-headlamp-superiority

Just my $0.02: I would personally not recommend 65w low beams, though the "standard phillips H9" linked above is probably ok. Beware of PIAA or anything advertising "65+", these bulbs are downright unsafe. The added heat will degrade the reflectivity of the PVD aluminum and possibly melt melt the socket/holder. The headlight wiring is only 16ga so a 12awg relay harness is mandatory if you still want to risk it (resulting in a BOW).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Glad to see a halogen thread! Hopefully it will make the stickies. I'll vouch for the HIR1 high beams - had them in for 4 years or so, it's a big improvement.

If you are shopping for halogens, stay away from anything priced over $10, anything with a blue coating, or anything that advertises it its better than another bulb of equivalent wattage. Silverstar recently got in trouble for peddling this crap... http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...or-their-false-claims-of-headlamp-superiority

Just my $0.02: I would personally not recommend 65w low beams, though the "standard phillips H9" linked above is probably ok. Beware of PIAA or anything advertising "65+", these bulbs are downright unsafe. The added heat will degrade the reflectivity of the PVD aluminum and possibly melt melt the socket/holder. The headlight wiring is only 16ga so a 12awg relay harness is mandatory if you still want to risk it (resulting in a BOW).
I've had my H9s for over a year with no problems. I haven't noticed a significant difference in heat but I'll check tonight when I take pictures.
 

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I've had my H9s for over a year with no problems. I haven't noticed a significant difference in heat but I'll check tonight when I take pictures.
Like I said, the "standard" phillips bulbs are probably OK, it's the high performance ones with shorted/crushed filaments that get nasty. E.g. do NOT buy this. The problem comes when people start searching for "H9" thats what comes up...

The headlight housing is designed with a heat dissipation target to allow continuous low beam and intermittent high beam, plus a safety margin, at standard operating conditions (STP, 20c at sea level). 16% more heat from 65w bulb is below the safety margin, but does cut into the duty cycle time of high beams, especially in adverse conditions (hot day, high altitude, low speed).

The Toshiba HIR1 bulbs, on the other hand, use an infrared reflective coating to use otherwise wasted heat to increase the temperature of the filament, increasing light output while reducing heat dissipation.
 

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I did this modification a number of years ago. I never had to replace a High Beam but I go through one low beam bulb every year or two. Good idea to get a few extra and modify them so you will have a quick replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Like I said, the "standard" phillips bulbs are probably OK, it's the high performance ones with shorted/crushed filaments that get nasty. E.g. do NOT buy this. The problem comes when people start searching for "H9" thats what comes up...

The headlight housing is designed with a heat dissipation target to allow continuous low beam and intermittent high beam, plus a safety margin, at standard operating conditions (STP, 20c at sea level). 16% more heat from 65w bulb is below the safety margin, but does cut into the duty cycle time of high beams, especially in adverse conditions (hot day, high altitude, low speed).

The Toshiba HIR1 bulbs, on the other hand, use an infrared reflective coating to use otherwise wasted heat to increase the temperature of the filament, increasing light output while reducing heat dissipation.
I've never even heard of a 100w H9 bulb! Yea that makes more sense if it's actually running at 100w.

And you're exactly right with the efficiency. A more efficient bulb, even if it runs at a higher wattage produces less heat
 

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The Toshiba HIR1 bulbs, on the other hand, use an infrared reflective coating to use otherwise wasted heat to increase the temperature of the filament, increasing light output while reducing heat dissipation.
So if I am reading/interpreting this correctly, if an owner was paranoid as to melting their headlight housings but wanted to upgrade to an H9 option (that would be me) that the Toshiba would be the safest bet?
 

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Just my $0.02: I would personally not recommend 65w low beams, though the "standard phillips H9" linked above is probably ok. Beware of PIAA or anything advertising "65+", these bulbs are downright unsafe. The added heat will degrade the reflectivity of the PVD aluminum and possibly melt melt the socket/holder. The headlight wiring is only 16ga so a 12awg relay harness is mandatory if you still want to risk it (resulting in a BOW).
Sorry for previous post - went to the web to price the Toshiba's and realized that these are high beams. I definitely want to improve my low beam output, but am concerned about a) frying other electrical components and b) melting platic components. As such, I have been leaning towards the H9 converrsion but have no idea as to how to interpret theshadows' technical grasp of was is required (in bold above) to safety do so, which far exceeds my technical grasp. Is this something an electrical neophyte should be able to manage or.....?
 

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Just my 2 cents. The H9 (Sylvania Basic) is a fantastic improvement. I had them in my v50 for 2 years without replacement and no damage at all. They offer a significant improvement over the H11. No flashing from oncoming traffic and great visibility. I also did the HIRs (Phillips) and am certain that I could land a plane with them.
 

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Sorry for previous post - went to the web to price the Toshiba's and realized that these are high beams. I definitely want to improve my low beam output, but am concerned about a) frying other electrical components and b) melting platic components. As such, I have been leaning towards the H9 converrsion but have no idea as to how to interpret theshadows' technical grasp of was is required (in bold above) to safety do so, which far exceeds my technical grasp. Is this something an electrical neophyte should be able to manage or.....?
You are fine if you order the exact bulbs linked to at the top of this thread. No wiring modifications are required for said bulbs.

If you want to play with higher wattages, or want to see an improvement in light output, you can go to a relay harness, but thats outside the scope of this thread ;)
 

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Awesome - thx shadow27 for the clarity.
 

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Probably a topic for another thread as this is intended to be a sticky...
True, though this is another non-HID option, as the thread is intended to provide.
 

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phillips h9s are great - so much better than stock halogens and any of the silverstars. i had them in place over a year with no issues, no melting or blowouts (2hr daily use). only draw back is yellow tinge of halogens:


led kit in stock halogen projectors - false impression of great lighting if you haven't used h9s before because of nice white light and very bright close to the car. compared to stock halogens probably looks amazing. but if you compare the photos and look at the red gate at the end of the driveway, the h9s are superior at lighting at distance. so if you want to actually see up the road rather than just looking cool in a parking lot or for wall photos, h9s beat led kits (mine was sirius brand via amazon, looks just like the ones linked above). throws up glare to oncoming drivers too (compare cut off to h9s or proper retrofit below).


i know this is the non-hid thread but here is a comparison shot with retrofitted e46 bi-xenon projectors with zkwr clear lenses, morimoto xb35 ballasts and 5k xb bulbs (love driving at night now):
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So if I am reading/interpreting this correctly, if an owner was paranoid as to melting their headlight housings but wanted to upgrade to an H9 option (that would be me) that the Toshiba would be the safest bet?
The HIR1 bulbs are only made for our high beams. You will not have issues with H9 bulbs as your low beams if you get the phillips h9s.
 

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The HIR1 bulbs are only made for our high beams. You will not have issues with H9 bulbs as your low beams if you get the phillips h9s.
Thx phish - shadow27 also clarified. Also thx for pulling this info together - there are a couple of related threads that have been built up over the years that left me more confused and fearful than clear as to safe upgrade options. I have ordered the H9's and will likely install over the next couple of weeks. We make a number of trips up and back to Whistler throughout the year which boasts an awesome windy road, but it is really dark at night and without decent headlights, its downright dangerous, so looking forward to seeing and reporting the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thx phish - shadow27 also clarified. Also thx for pulling this info together - there are a couple of related threads that have been built up over the years that left me more confused and fearful than clear as to safe upgrade options. I have ordered the H9's and will likely install over the next couple of weeks. We make a number of trips up and back to Whistler throughout the year which boasts an awesome windy road, but it is really dark at night and without decent headlights, its downright dangerous, so looking forward to seeing and reporting the results.
Yea sorry I've been swamped this week. I'll try and get some pictures up tonight.
 
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