Upgrading Halogen Bulbs

Thinking of upgrading halogen bulbs?

Here’s some output shots comparing the most popular halogen bulbs in the market now:

Output of stock 55w Osram H4 bulb, less than one year old:

Comparing this output with an Osram Night Breaker +

You can see here that the NB+ output is more intense

Comparing the stock output with Philips XV

And comparing Osram NB+ with Philips XV

You can see here that it is almost identical.

My suggestions:

1.If you have a new car, I would suggest keeping the stock halogen bulbs if you are considering just the VX or the NB. Cost of these bulbs would be around 2k. As you can see, the upgrade will only give 10-15% improvement over the stock bulbs. If spending 2k is acceptable for the % increase in output then go for it.

2. If you have an older car, say 4-5 years old, then an upgrade to the XV or NB+ is an option. You will get a bigger gap in the lighting performance if your stock halogen bulb is older.

3. XV or NB+? As you can see, the difference is not big. It will boil down to reliability which in my case, I have never experienced using either bulb over a period of 3-5 years. The claim of 100% increase by the manufacturer, in my opinion is not 100% accurate. More like 15-20% tops.

4. Any other halogen bulbs out there? Raybrig and PIAA would be good choices but these bulbs are very expensive. Had personal experience with PIAA and the output is very good but it lasted less than 2 years.
There are also other brands like Narva, Hella, etc. These are also good brands. China made bulbs tend to come in different qualities and you need to be careful when considering these bulbs.

5. Can I go for higher wattage like 90/100w? Do this at your own risks. Some headlights are not affected after 4-5 years, others are affected in less than 1 year.

6. How about higher wattage on stock fog lamps? Most stock foglamps are only for aesthetic purposes and don’t really serve increased lighting performance in the real world. I would keep these stock fogs as stock as most and many stock fog lamps are negatively affected by high wattage bulbs.

7. Talk to someone who understands the science of lighting and do your own research.

Happy Motoring!