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headlight bulb upgrade options

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hi can anybody give me any ideas on which is the brightest bulbs to go for and what wattage ? and how do they cope when they're dunked in water compared to standard bulbs . or am I better of just sticking to the standard candles I have at the moment .

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Osram Nighbreaker are about as good as you can get but will only be as good as the quality of the wiring & reflector.

Standard headlamps will fill with water when dunked, the only way to avoid this is to go for sealed beam (and accept the lower performance) or LED.

Of course the question has to be, how often do you put the headlamps under water? 🤔

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Second for the Osram bulbs, a straight swap and they are a considerable improvement over the originals

Edited by Lightning

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my lights will probably get dunked once or twice a year iv had led indicators before and they didn't like the water . I was thinking of xenon bulbs or something like that .I have a 200tdi defender with well maintained standard wiring iv found them around 55w/60w .ill have to look in to   Osram nightbreakers

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Regarding wattage, you’re on shaky ground legally by increasing that. Many do it I am sure but 60/55 is the standard. Any H4 bulb will die if it’s dunked I’m afraid.

Biggest single improvement can be had by fitting a relay loom to take the feed direct from the alternator to the bulbs. Ensures they get full voltage and also takes the load of the switch. Not expensive to make yourself, or buy a ready-made one. I have a Landreizger one which is very good.

After that, decent quality bulbs and clean headlamp units does the rest. High-output bulbs like the Nightbreakers give impressive light levels but the bulb life is reduced significantly. I got through three sets in one winter!

I do a lot of miles in the dark (c. 15,000 p.a.) on properly dark roads, and I’ve found that a set of decent branded standard 55/60 bulbs fitted into clean standard Wipac headlamp units and powered through a relay loom gives me more than enough light.

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I keep meaning to buy some nightbreaker lights, also my Wipac crystal bowls are starting to loose the silver backing, so a new set of those are on the cards too., already made a headlight wiring upgrade with a relay for dip & full beam powered from alternator. 

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I'd agree with Retro and Ralph, nothing uber special needed but I've been running Wipac crystals for 5 years now, and I've drilled a wee hole in the bottom of the reflector for the times when they've got dunked, you just need to remember to turn the lights off and give them chance to cool down before they get wet, I use a silicone conductive greese on the contacts which seems to keep them happy. - I also made up a new headlight loom when I did my rebuild, so I get the most out the standard set-up.

The attached image was when I took a bit of water over the bonnet and forgot to turn the lamps off... once I drained the water out and gave the lense a wipe they've been fine ever since.

20160107_162503.jpg

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Another vote for Osram. I installed them on my 90 a couple of months ago and couldn't believe the difference. Same wattage as a standard bulb and because they have a filter on them it removes all the yellow light and gives you a nice clean white light.

Beware of higher wattage bulbs - i put some in the wife's mini a few years ago and they totally overpowered the reflective pattern and i lost most of the light diffusion which made them useless. Bright, yes, but also useless.

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@Retroanaconda strange the Nightbreakers don't last long with you. I've had them in both the Esprit and Rangie for 3 years and about 100k km between the both of them and only needed to replace a single bulb.

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Might be rough roads, might be that they are being driven at a higher voltage due to the relays, who knows. Current standard Osrams have been in for a few months and done ~6k so far - so we’ll see how they go.

Another big thing this time of year is keeping the lights clean. I have to do mine two or three times a week this time of year due to the salt and there’s a dramatic ‘improvement’ back to full effectiveness each time!

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Rough roads could be the cause. Although Belgian roads aren't great, I'm not doing much offroading lately unfortunately. This could also explain why the one bulb failed rather early and all others are still good.

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Another vote for Nightbreakers - I'd be wary of LED's as the LED headlights are fugly and expensive and I would rather replace a £5 bulb than a £100 LED headlamp unit due to water ingress.

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No halogen light likes having both filamements on at the same time, they don't last long

 

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26 minutes ago, mmgemini said:

No halogen light likes having both filamements on at the same time, they don't last long

In normal use there should only be one filament on at a time though, only time both would be on is if you pull the FLASH while the main beam is on.

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3 hours ago, mmgemini said:

No halogen light likes having both filamements on at the same time, they don't last long

 

I've run H4 bulbs  on Mk.2 Escort rally-cars in the old Cibie "Dipping Oscars" with both filaments normally lit and the dip-switch switching-out the 60-Watt element.  RAC scrutineers never noticed, and the lights gave 'plenty' of forward-illumination. Bulb-life never seemed to be an issue.

These days I'd do it with LEDs.  To be honest, in the last few years LEDs have made all previous lighting-technologies look rather sad!

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I think that is how the minis got cheated out of one of their wins at the Monte... ;)

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19 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

I think that is how the minis got cheated out of one of their wins at the Monte... ;)

No it wasn't. It was because BMC had fitted fog lights to make the dipped beam. Also the original H1 by Phillips had a vertical filament which gave the wrong beam pattern in a Lucas lamp which needed a horizontal filament to give the correct beam pattern. I still have some Lucas BFP to H1 adaptoes that were available in 1960. The RAC rally of November 1959 being the first event they were used on.  The H1 was developed by Phillips for marine use

Incidently a halogen or Iodene lamp doesn'e have a bulb but a quatz envelope

 

 

Edited by mmgemini

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If you really want some bright lights (illegal as a very illegal thing though) fit 130/80 bulbs and make sure your wiring is up to the job. 

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thanks guys iv brought some night breaker lasers .£16 the pair off amazon they arrived the next day .I just need to fit em now

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Would you post a link to those please. 

 

just ordered a new set of crystal free form headlights as the silver reflective backing is going on my current set, & some Osram nighbreaker filaments from Devon4x4. 

Edited by western

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I fitted the Osrams to my Capri and they are brilliant. Fitted them to the 110 and they’ve hardly made a difference so I think I need to do the wiring mod to improve the supply.

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On 12/13/2018 at 5:40 PM, FridgeFreezer said:

Another vote for Nightbreakers - I'd be wary of LED's as the LED headlights are fugly and expensive and I would rather replace a £5 bulb than a £100 LED headlamp unit due to water ingress.

Not only that, but they get stolen often enough to be of concern.

I've seen plenty of discussions and photos about LED headlamps fogging up internally, but incandescent bulb units self clear as they warm up.  Same for frost on the lens in winter conditions.  I like the idea of LEDs, but there are negative issues with them too, beyond the staggering price.

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