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The January '06 issue of Consumer Reports (Page 47) has an interesting test of aftermarket replacement headlight bulbs.

CR tested low-beam distance using 5 premium replacement headlight bulbs, and compared them to the mfg OE bulbs with the Ridgeline as one of their test vehicles. The tested bulbs were halogen that provide a whiter light than the OE bulbs ... offering the look of HID lights while retaining the vehicle's OE headlight assembly.

Only 1 bulb improved low-beam distance on only 1 tested vehicle.
The GE NightHawk on the Ridgeline from 350' to 400'.
On the other test vehicles the replacement bulbs typically decreased the low-beam distance.

The article states that much of a headlight's light distribution is dictated by its reflector/lens, factors that remain unaffected by altering the bulb.

CR also found that using whiter premium bulbs in the RL increased discomfort glare to oncoming drivers.
 

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Who carries the GE bulbs?
 

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DoctorJ said:
I wish all cars had HID headlights, you see everything like its daytime.
I used to feel this way until I blew a bulb in my wife's Acura TL: $190 parts and labor. The stupid little bulb was $137 and you had to take out the whole HL assembly to install it.

arteegee said:
Wal-Mart I think.
Thanks I think I may check them out next week.
 

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Has anyone else (with HID experience) noticed that in certain lighting even with your lights on it doesn't seem like they are in fact on? Dawn, Dusk and streets with the Amber lights seem to be the worst. When its pitch black out HIDs are fantastic.
 

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swampler said:
I like the stock headlights. Very bright and can see forever already.
Below are pdf's that someone found at work about the CS report on headlamps, then another on HID.
What I saw in the chart was stock RL lamps are better than most cars :)
 

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I went to Wally World and purchased some of these GE Nighthawk bulbs. IIRC they were $26.96 a pair. (Size 9003)

I was not willing to pay much more than that....

I am pleasantly surprised! The light appears whiter, not pure white but whiter. The road appears to light up more...

I am very happy with these bulbs for $27!

The only Q I have is how long will they last? Stock bulbs on most cars seem to last a LONG time. I guess time will tell !

The only real problem is that my headlights are now a different color than my flood lights! They do not make a GE Nighthawk bulb to replace the RL's flood lights.

I would (until longevity issue is determined) recommend these bulbs. Heck, they are only $27!

TL
 

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Y'know what's weird? If you Google these, almost all the hits are forums-no on-line sellers. Strange. I was thinking about the European SilverStars, but I may give these a shot first. IIRC, the Silverstars run aobut $40/pr., so these are cheaper anyway.

But, y'know...I really really don't want to go to WM this time of year. :) It's scarey enough during normal times...:eek:
 

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Here is my spin on this!

We are all likely wishing to improve visibility for safety sake, but all the aftermarket bulbs with varying colors & gases are really no better than original. Although most of them claim they are as effective as a 65/85 watt or something similar. There is No substitte for wattage, they only make us think we have better visibility.

I have now had various types and colors in my trucks over the past few years and must agree with CR.

But, my latest, now in the Ridge, is an "off-road" bulb with 130/90 watt rating. No brand name on liitle paper box, no fancy plastic case or claim of superiority. Cost about $ 8.00 each. They are Not the white or blue tints, but rather normal (slight yellow) color. The original lights in the Ridge are the best of any of our wheels. But these new ones are much better. The intensity is awesome. They have been in for about 4 months now, with No wiring problems. I have had a handful of cars flash their lights at me, so I may adjust them down a wee, wee bit.

These are not available from an on-line retailer, and rather challenging for me to obtain too. I purchased the from a store while in Scandinavia called Biltema, they have a really poor website, with very few items displayed, but again they do not sell over the net. Eack store is owned by a franchisee.

Sorry no pics, but they are my answer to better lighting.

There is no substitute in lighting for wattage.
 

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tlaudio said:
I went to Wally World and purchased some of these GE Nighthawk bulbs. IIRC they were $26.96 a pair. (Size 9003)

I was not willing to pay much more than that....

I am pleasantly surprised! The light appears whiter, not pure white but whiter. The road appears to light up more...

I am very happy with these bulbs for $27!

The only Q I have is how long will they last? Stock bulbs on most cars seem to last a LONG time. I guess time will tell !

The only real problem is that my headlights are now a different color than my flood lights! They do not make a GE Nighthawk bulb to replace the RL's flood lights.

I would (until longevity issue is determined) recommend these bulbs. Heck, they are only $27!

TL
Went to WM yesterday and bought myself a pair of these.:D
 

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My brother just installed a full HID conversion in his Ranger and they are just too offensive in the city (people flashing their hi-beams back) but they turn the night into daylight out in the desert. They also have no hi-beam which you really don’t need anyway. I will probably go with the GE Nighthawk or Silver-Star type when the time comes to change.
 

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I notice the OEM lights are pretty good and if fact so good I always get brighted. I like going out into the country and hitting the brights for a cool train effect :eek: .

Might try some GE Nighthawk bulbs :D .
 

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JimVickers said:
CR also found that using whiter premium bulbs in the RL increased discomfort glare to oncoming drivers.
Probably a good enough reason not to get them, and the stock bulbs work just fine for me too. :)
 

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Driving home in my 04 Subaru WRX from work last night (about 10 mile trip), I found out when I got home that I did not have my headlights on, only my DRLs.:eek:
 

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I have both in my Mustangs, I prefer Silverstars over GE Nighthawk bulbs.
 
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