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sharkster

Headlamp Bulb Upgrade

Question

Hi Guys

i know this topic has been discussed before but i can't seem to trace it... so forgive me...

As some of you might or might not know, my stock headlights are shit to put it simply... i was on the verge of going in for an HID kit last week when i was told of a far cheaper option... upgrade my factory wiring and throw in 100W bulbs... so i picked an 100W H4 wiring harness and a pair of Narva 100W coated blubs from motorcade yesterday and thought of installing it today (it's a plug and play kit) only to find my car was already running 100W bulbs on what i believe is still the factory wiring... i've been running that way for a year and have had no electrical glitches...

my question is would upgrading the wiring greatly improve the performance (in terms of brightness) of the bulbs? dumb question i know but i just want to be sure... :unsure:

and to add to that, can reflectors be refinished with some sort of silver coating?

i'm on a mission to improve the visibility in my car and i won't rest till i do :)

Edited by sharkster

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i'm on a mission to improve the visibility in my car and i won't rest till i do :)

I'm also obsessed with lights. Whts ur car make n model?

About 100w lights: Since the wattage is high they produce more heat which will fade away the reflector coatin in time to come. Also it will drain more amps.

Replacing wires n relay could give u slight bit of increase in brightnes but I doubt that u'l hardly notice the difference.

As we all know if ur reflectors r burnt out no matter how good ur lightin source(may it be 100w, 145w or HID) it'll end up with shitty output.

Refurbishin the old : I once went to a place called D_l_xe Autol_m_ at Delkanda. They polish the lights n paste a silver like sticker on the burnt areas. Hav to say they did a good job but the new look didn't last long.

My advice to u is (without knowin ur car)

1. Get ur self newer set of lamps. If ur goin for second hand take out the bulb n chk inside. Most of the time the top part of the reflector is burned out. If ur lucky u'll find sum good ones.

2. DO NOT buy blue coated bulbs. They might look cool but cant see a darn thing even if theres sumthin right infront of u. If u realy want fancy color or better source HID is the best choice. Also keep in mind that if ur lamps r not desinged for HID's u might piss off :punish2: other drivers. Most of the HID Lamps are equiped with a cutoff. So that the light will only emit upto a certain level(mostly vertical).

3. If u can wait for some time u might b able to get :wub: Luxeon star :wub: LED's. Brightest lil monsters out there. The new Audi R8 is the first car to have these.

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I'm also obsessed with lights. Whts ur car make n model?

About 100w lights: Since the wattage is high they produce more heat which will fade away the reflector coatin in time to come. Also it will drain more amps.

Replacing wires n relay could give u slight bit of increase in brightnes but I doubt that u'l hardly notice the difference.

As we all know if ur reflectors r burnt out no matter how good ur lightin source(may it be 100w, 145w or HID) it'll end up with shitty output.

Refurbishin the old : I once went to a place called D_l_xe Autol_m_ at Delkanda. They polish the lights n paste a silver like sticker on the burnt areas. Hav to say they did a good job but the new look didn't last long.

My advice to u is (without knowin ur car)

1. Get ur self newer set of lamps. If ur goin for second hand take out the bulb n chk inside. Most of the time the top part of the reflector is burned out. If ur lucky u'll find sum good ones.

2. DO NOT buy blue coated bulbs. They might look cool but cant see a darn thing even if theres sumthin right infront of u. If u realy want fancy color or better source HID is the best choice. Also keep in mind that if ur lamps r not desinged for HID's u might piss off :punish2: other drivers. Most of the HID Lamps are equiped with a cutoff. So that the light will only emit upto a certain level(mostly vertical).

3. If u can wait for some time u might b able to get :wub: Luxeon star :wub: LED's. Brightest lil monsters out there. The new Audi R8 is the first car to have these.

thanks for the reply... the car's a subaru legacy...

1. a hunt for used headlamps might be an option as long as they don't cost an arm and a leg... might try ebay or a couple of aussi legacy forums... i won't spend more than $200 on them...

2. unfortunately i couldn't find uncoated bulbs which is why i just settled for the blue... i know the problems with blue bulbs and no sooner i find a clear replacement i'll get rid of them... HID is now not an option cos as you said the bad reflectors will do jack on any lighting source...

3. LEDs would be hella cool but aren't an option...

the funny part is i can run with my high beam on and it bothers no one... sigh... <_<

anyways i'm going to start work on the wire harness tomorrow so let's see what it cooks up... since i've already bought it i'm hoping it works out :unsure:

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thanks for the reply... the car's a subaru legacy...

1. a hunt for used headlamps might be an option as long as they don't cost an arm and a leg... might try ebay or a couple of aussi legacy forums... i won't spend more than $200 on them...

2. unfortunately i couldn't find uncoated bulbs which is why i just settled for the blue... i know the problems with blue bulbs and no sooner i find a clear replacement i'll get rid of them... HID is now not an option cos as you said the bad reflectors will do jack on any lighting source...

3. LEDs would be hella cool but aren't an option...

the funny part is i can run with my high beam on and it bothers no one... sigh... <_<

anyways i'm going to start work on the wire harness tomorrow so let's see what it cooks up... since i've already bought it i'm hoping it works out :unsure:

I'm not convinced about the quality of the Narva bulbs. Having tried out many many variants in different price ranges over the years. (Mostly from Motorcade.. :rolleyes::) They were good out of the box but didn't last long.

If you want good quality lighting wiyhout frying the headlights you have to go for a quality Japanese brand - PIAA, IPF or Polarg. Unfortunately most of the local guys charge you almost double the actual cost. The premium european brands are just not upto the same standard.

Presently using a set of PIAA bulbs which I got down from Japan which have lasted over a year now with no reduction in brightness or ill effects on the lenses and reflectors. Cost about 4.5k for the pair whereas Polarg would have cost 8.5k+ locally at the time.

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thanks for the reply... the car's a subaru legacy...

1. a hunt for used headlamps might be an option as long as they don't cost an arm and a leg... might try ebay or a couple of aussi legacy forums... i won't spend more than $200 on them...

2. unfortunately i couldn't find uncoated bulbs which is why i just settled for the blue... i know the problems with blue bulbs and no sooner i find a clear replacement i'll get rid of them... HID is now not an option cos as you said the bad reflectors will do jack on any lighting source...

3. LEDs would be hella cool but aren't an option...

the funny part is i can run with my high beam on and it bothers no one... sigh... <_<

anyways i'm going to start work on the wire harness tomorrow so let's see what it cooks up... since i've already bought it i'm hoping it works out :unsure:

Dude forgot 2 ask whts ur car yom? Or just post a pic of ur car...

If ur budget is $200 thats enough to light the night as day.

Are ur lights allinged properly. This is vital as not havin good reflectors. Also alignin to match ur tase is painstakin too.

tip: When I buy s.hand lamps(cus mine is 91)I check the bulb for darken filement, n ask the dude to replace it with a recent bulb from a newer yom lamps. (imho nothin can replace the original 55W Philips)

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Dude forgot 2 ask whts ur car yom? Or just post a pic of ur car...

If ur budget is $200 thats enough to light the night as day.

Are ur lights allinged properly. This is vital as not havin good reflectors. Also alignin to match ur tase is painstakin too.

tip: When I buy s.hand lamps(cus mine is 91)I check the bulb for darken filement, n ask the dude to replace it with a recent bulb from a newer yom lamps. (imho nothin can replace the original 55W Philips)

Hay do u know a place where i can alignin my lights? :unsure:

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2. unfortunately i couldn't find uncoated bulbs which is why i just settled for the blue... i know the problems with blue bulbs and no sooner i find a clear replacement i'll get rid of them... HID is now not an option cos as you said the bad reflectors will do jack on any lighting source...

did you check wurth's?

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Hay do u know a place where i can alignin my lights? :unsure:

Amila's, near the Dehiwela police. Hill Street.

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my question is would upgrading the wiring greatly improve the performance (in terms of brightness) of the bulbs? dumb question i know but i just want to be sure... :unsure:

It technically should- but at the same time I've noticed a difference with proper set of aftermarket grounding wires. (not the cheap stuff) and terminals. Also a battery with a higher cranking power could be helpful- these are usually the sealed ones like Amr*n

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sorry for the delay in posting... did the wire harness job yesterday... took me no more than 30mins but needs a bit of tidying up in the engine bay...

good news is there is a noticeable improvement but an oncoming vehicle with its high beams on still blinds me and i can't fight back with my high beams lol...

bad news is there's still significant room for improvement and i fear it's the reflectors and/or blue coated bulbs... first i'm going to do the patch job on the reflectors as mentioned above before plunging into new headlights altogether... that way i'll know how bad my reflectors really are and then onto a pair of uncoated bulbs which i'll have to wait for from overseas...

i'll also have to do the headlight alignment... never done it before... anyone know how they actually adjust the focus? do they play with the reflector or bulb position?

Presently using a set of PIAA bulbs which I got down from Japan which have lasted over a year now with no reduction in brightness or ill effects on the lenses and reflectors. Cost about 4.5k for the pair whereas Polarg would have cost 8.5k+ locally at the time.

the polargs at motorcade cost 7k and they were 130W bulbs which i thought was too much power and too expensive... can't remember if they were uncoated...

Dude forgot 2 ask whts ur car yom? Or just post a pic of ur car...

If ur budget is $200 thats enough to light the night as day.

Are ur lights allinged properly. This is vital as not havin good reflectors. Also alignin to match ur tase is painstakin too.

tip: When I buy s.hand lamps(cus mine is 91)I check the bulb for darken filement, n ask the dude to replace it with a recent bulb from a newer yom lamps. (imho nothin can replace the original 55W Philips)

car's a 1994... don't have a decent enough picture... waiting for peri to do his magic ;)

although the budget's 20k i'd still take a cheaper option that improves the lighting to my expectations... which isn't much :) need to do the alignment...

did you check wurth's?

didn't know wurth does bulbs but i'll go for the PIAA or polarg from what i've read...

It technically should- but at the same time I've noticed a difference with proper set of aftermarket grounding wires. (not the cheap stuff) and terminals. Also a battery with a higher cranking power could be helpful- these are usually the sealed ones like Amr*n

i have a high capacity battery so no issues there... i hope lol...

another question... the relays on the new wire harness are rated at 30A and the current to my headlights flows through a 20A fuse... would that be a restriction too? tried looking for 30A fuses but failed... geez man i really should've paid attention in physics class...

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i'll also have to do the headlight alignment... never done it before... anyone know how they actually adjust the focus? do they play with the reflector or bulb position?

Whole unit. At least, they did in the Cali. There is this long screw that holds the unit on to the frame, can be adjusted via that, I think.

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another question... the relays on the new wire harness are rated at 30A and the current to my headlights flows through a 20A fuse... would that be a restriction too? tried looking for 30A fuses but failed... geez man i really should've paid attention in physics class...

The fuse will not be a restriction Shaks. The fuse determines the maximum amount of current it will allow to flow through the circuit and if the head lamps demand more electricity it will simply blow the fuses. Ratings on fuses and relays are often the maximum amperage they can handle and do not always reflect the operating amperage of the circuit.

Head light alignment usually focuses on getting the headlamps level at the required point cos you would obviously getter better illumination if both headlights are projecting at the same level. I'm not sure if they can actually adjust the focus cos I have not noticed anything to adjust the position of the bulb vs that of the reflector though I might be wrong.

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The fuse will not be a restriction Shaks. The fuse determines the maximum amount of current it will allow to flow through the circuit and if the head lamps demand more electricity it will simply blow the fuses. Ratings on fuses and relays are often the maximum amperage they can handle and do not always reflect the operating amperage of the circuit.

Head light alignment usually focuses on getting the headlamps level at the required point cos you would obviously getter better illumination if both headlights are projecting at the same level. I'm not sure if they can actually adjust the focus cos I have not noticed anything to adjust the position of the bulb vs that of the reflector though I might be wrong.

thanks dude... yup headlights don't look very adjustable as a whole unit so i too think it's probably the reflector... after using the car a bit more i notice the improvement better... next step is the reflector buff :)

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Amila's, near the Dehiwela police. Hill Street.

Tks Peri.....

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I did lot of DIY on this area, and thought to go for a HID kit installation as well and would've fall for cheap blue coated H4 bulbs if not for this site. Check this out, it has lots of good tips and the it has nothing but basics of electricity principles

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/

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Sharkster,

How much did u pay for the Narva bulbs? cos I went to Motor*ade bout a month ago, and they didn;t have it. finally agreed to settle for the Polarg, but then the guy there (the sales dude) gave me a bill for 15,000/-..!!! and said each bulb costs 7,500/-..!!

I asked him if he was crazy, and walked out.

I managed to get a pair of Narva from Su*La*ka, paid 1,200/- (pair) visibility is quite good, not as good as HID though.

I also noticed that the color range matters a lot, the Narva I fitted is 4500k (more Whitish) and if u are used to the emission of stock bulbs (Yellowish) it takes a while to get used to, as u don't actually see the beam, but it illuminates any object it hits.

jst my 2 cents.

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Sharkster,

How much did u pay for the Narva bulbs? cos I went to Motor*ade bout a month ago, and they didn;t have it. finally agreed to settle for the Polarg, but then the guy there (the sales dude) gave me a bill for 15,000/-..!!! and said each bulb costs 7,500/-..!!

I asked him if he was crazy, and walked out.

I managed to get a pair of Narva from Su*La*ka, paid 1,200/- (pair) visibility is quite good, not as good as HID though.

I also noticed that the color range matters a lot, the Narva I fitted is 4500k (more Whitish) and if u are used to the emission of stock bulbs (Yellowish) it takes a while to get used to, as u don't actually see the beam, but it illuminates any object it hits.

jst my 2 cents.

i paid 1950 for the 4500K super white narvas... they seemed to have a decent stock of it now so go have a look... i could've sworn the polargs were 7k for the pair :blink: strange...

i've never been on stock bulbs since i've owned this car so i'm quite used to the white... i'm hoping the reflector and alignment fix should improve the lighting further... i can safely say i'm happy with the progress so far :)

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I did lot of DIY on this area, and thought to go for a HID kit installation as well and would've fall for cheap blue coated H4 bulbs if not for this site. Check this out, it has lots of good tips and the it has nothing but basics of electricity principles

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/

great link dude... heard a lot about this guy but never got around to checking his site... i've now been put off an HID conversion lol...

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great link dude... heard a lot about this guy but never got around to checking his site... i've now been put off an HID conversion lol...

it makes sense...

The HID is only good for low beam, as it floods. Best for high beam in Halogen, as seen in most vehicles, including the Merc and Mazda3.

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just an update for those interested...

i've got the headlights cleaned and the little sticker job done over the dulled out nickel and the lighting is superb... expenditure so far:

100W wire harness: 1800

narva 100W bulbs: 1900

headlight cleaning job: 1800

i got my lights cleaned by this guy in battaramulla and he's very good and i highly recommend him... let me know if anyone needs the contact...

i'm sure i can improve the lighting with clear bulbs but that'll take some time to review as i need to source them from abroad...

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just an update for those interested...

i've got the headlights cleaned and the little sticker job done over the dulled out nickel and the lighting is superb... expenditure so far:

100W wire harness: 1800

narva 100W bulbs: 1900

headlight cleaning job: 1800

i got my lights cleaned by this guy in battaramulla and he's very good and i highly recommend him... let me know if anyone needs the contact...

i'm sure i can improve the lighting with clear bulbs but that'll take some time to review as i need to source them from abroad...

what ya mean by "clear bulbs" ? :unsure::)

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anyways i'm going to start work on the wire harness tomorrow so let's see what it cooks up... since i've already bought it i'm hoping it works out :unsure:

I’ve been having the same issue and my option did not include HIT as the budget was not too conducive – However I got a pair of Momocross bulbs from M.Cade and they are some what better than the stock. It’s 55W/60W (I think) but they put out a 100/110W light and they are not Blue but a light yellow which is better……for me…

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just an update for those interested...

i've got the headlights cleaned and the little sticker job done over the dulled out nickel and the lighting is superb... expenditure so far:

100W wire harness: 1800

narva 100W bulbs: 1900

headlight cleaning job: 1800

i got my lights cleaned by this guy in battaramulla and he's very good and i highly recommend him... let me know if anyone needs the contact...

i'm sure i can improve the lighting with clear bulbs but that'll take some time to review as i need to source them from abroad...

Can we have some pics?

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i got my lights cleaned by this guy in battaramulla and he's very good and i highly recommend him... let me know if anyone needs the contact...

i'm sure i can improve the lighting with clear bulbs but that'll take some time to review as i need to source them from abroad...

Pls do so. No need to drag my ass all the way to Delkanda nxt time.

Machan whts this "clear bulb"?

Just a thaught, why dont buy a pair of crystal drivin lights. Now that u've refurbished da lamps n with the help of extra driving lights u'll get good light output n it'll b cheaper.

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Can we have some pics?

ah that be a problem as i no longer have a camera... :unsure: i'll try and get someone else to take em...

Pls do so. No need to drag my ass all the way to Delkanda nxt time.

Machan whts this "clear bulb"?

Just a thaught, why dont buy a pair of crystal drivin lights. Now that u've refurbished da lamps n with the help of extra driving lights u'll get good light output n it'll b cheaper.

the guy's name's lasantha... number 0714037177... just tell him shakir with the black subaru sent you...

the clear bulbs are the uncoated bulbs we all refer to... the ones that don't have the stupid blue filter...

actually i already have driving lamps but they're no so great for some reason... possibly the same bulb and voltage problem as i had on the headlamps... perhaps the use of 100W bulbs there too? :D

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ah that be a problem as i no longer have a camera... :unsure: i'll try and get someone else to take em...

the guy's name's lasantha... number 0714037177... just tell him shakir with the black subaru sent you...

the clear bulbs are the uncoated bulbs we all refer to... the ones that don't have the stupid blue filter...

actually i already have driving lamps but they're no so great for some reason... possibly the same bulb and voltage problem as i had on the headlamps... perhaps the use of 100W bulbs there too? :D

aaahhh...i also hate those damn blue "coated" bulbs... if at all they reduce the light output and looks pretty darn cheap too...

on the driving lights thing...i'd guess the actual reflector and the lens itself has a huge role to play in terms of lighting power... maybe that why branded stuff are helluva lot more pricey over the normal ones you get in SL... I'm also eying a PIAA pair on the web but still didn't get one for a good price :P

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