By: Hector Jamieson
This summative article is all about halogen/normal automotive headlight bulbs. But before we get into a short discussion, let’s first have a look at the technical side of things aka the specifications. This will help you understand it all a bit better plus you’ll sound super clever when you talk lights
Understanding the specifications:
Kelvin refers to the colour of the emitting light or the colour appearance of the bulb.
- 3000K=warm white, 3500K=white, 4000K=cool white and 6500K is basically natural daylight
Lumens (lm) refers to the light output or the total amount of light emitted by the bulb.
Watt or Wattage (W) refers to how much electricity the light bulb will use. More wattage does not equate to a brighter light. In fact this is no place more evident than in LED (light emitting diode)lights where these lights sometimes use as little as 10W or 5W to produce an even brighter light than bulbs using 55W. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and as automotive bulbs become more energy efficient we’ll see bulbs using less and less watts to emit a light.
I’m not gonna talk about Volts (V) cause we all know that’s the stuff can kicks the living daylights out of you when you touch a life wire.
PHILIPS HALOGEN BULBS
|NAME||TYPE||Watt||Volts||INCREASE IN LIGHT||LIFE TIME||KELVIN (more K= whiter light)||LUMENS|
|X-Treme Vision||H1, H4, H7||55W||12V||130%||450hrs||3500K||+/- 1500lm|
|Vision||H1, H3, H4, H7, H11||55W||12V||30%||>400hrs||+/- 1500lm|
|Vision Plus||H1, H4, H7||55W||12V||60%||400hrs||+/- 1500lm|
|White Vision||H1,H3,H4, H7, H8, H11||65W||12.8V||60%||450hrs||3700K||+/- 1860lm|
|Racing Vision||H4, H7||55W||12V||150%|
|Eco Vision||H1, H4, H7, H11||55W||12V||1500hrs||+/- 1500lm|
|Colour Vision||H4, H7||55W||12V||60%||400hrs||3350K||+/- 1500lm|
OSRAM HALOGEN BULBS
|Night Breaker||H1, H4, H7||55W||12V||110%||300hrs|
|Cool Blue Intense||H1, H4, H7||55W||12V||20%||450hrs||4200K||+/- 1550lm|
|Ultra Life||H1, H4, H7||55W||12V||1200hrs||+/- 1550lm|
|Silver Star 2.0||H1, H4, H7||55W||12V||60%||450hrs||+/- 1550lm|
A bulb producing 30%-150% more light is basically just brighter and technically it should shine further than your standard halogen bulbs. Meaning, you’ll be able to see further down the road at night. Eco or energy saving bulbs generally produce close to the same light in terms of brightness than standard bulbs but they are however designed to last longer (measured in hours [hrs]) and they tend to do exactly that.
Xenon-effect bulbs usually emit a blue-ish/white-ish light is generally considered a fashion statement (it’s a fashion I like). But these bulbs generally makes it easier for you to see at night due to the ”white” light and makes you more visible to other road users due to the light contrast. A good quality blue-ish/white-ish light can get close (okay maybe) to the same performance of a xenon or HID (high intensity diode) light although it can by no means be compared to such lights
After market halogen bulbs are a relatively cheap way to upgrade your vehicle’s standard bulbs to help you see better, further, react quicker to hazards and be more visible to other road users. The aftermarket bulbs most widely used are those produced by Philips and Osram. These bulbs are available at most automotive parts retailers as well as at most motorcycle shops.
Depending on the brand and type of bulb you buy, you can expect to fork out in the region of R350 – R550 for a set of two (park lights are often included in the packaging).
Ooh!! Before I forget, specifically with vehicles it is advisable to change both bulbs simultaneously for maximum light and safety.
Have a look at these links to help you decide which bulbs to buy: