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      03-12-2012, 07:42 AM   #1
roundel335
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OSRAM high- and low-beam bulbs

Anyone with Halogen lights replaced their bulbs with the European OSRAM H7 bulbs? They seem like they would be brighter, but are they just a different color or do they actually provide more lumens/candlepower? I've also seen some from Hoen and Ziza that are higher wattage - 70W and 80W, as opposed to 55W - will those strain the wiring harness or overheat the reflectors in the headlight assembly?
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      03-12-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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Sylvania's Silverstar Ultra claims a 50% increase in brightness (over standard H7 bulbs) and 4100K (darn close to the factory HID Kelvin rating). The bulbs are not blue like many aftermarket bulbs are. I'm retrofitting Depo lights with a HID kit and I picked up these bulbs for the high beams. Haven't installed yet so I can't comment on their output. With that said, I've used the regular Silverstars in the past and found them to indeed be brighter and whiter than the standard halogen bulbs, especially when compared side-by-side.
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      03-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
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Thanks, AW - what about bulb life? Any insights there? I heard some of these brighter bulbs only last a year or so.
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      03-12-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roundel335 View Post
Thanks, AW - what about bulb life? Any insights there? I heard some of these brighter bulbs only last a year or so.
The Silverstar Ultra package does have a disclaimer that the "technology" used in the bulbs to make theme brighter and whiter decreases bulb lifespan. However, it doesn't disclose by how much the lifespan is decreased. The regular Silverstars I've used in the past didn't have a lifespan any shorter than a regular bulb, at least not in my experience.
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      03-12-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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Check out the PIAA Night-tech bulbs. I put those in my cornering lamp H3's. They are significantly brighter than stock. I could barely see the cornering lamps before, now they actually illuminate things when activated.
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      03-12-2012, 06:49 PM   #6
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Thanks - I'll look into those. I read that Osram was the OEM supplier for BMW bulbs, so those looked like a good place to start. I have PIAAs in my E92 fogs and they've been in there for a good while now, although they are not the night-tech variety. There are bound to be tradeoffs with intensity vs. bulb life, but someone probably makes some that are a reasonable compromise. I would just like to get better night vision and improve the color as well. My 128 is a lease car, so I don't want to install an HID conversion - at least not unless I decide to buy it at the end of the lease.
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      03-13-2012, 01:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roundel335 View Post
There are bound to be tradeoffs with intensity vs. bulb life, but someone probably makes some that are a reasonable compromise. I would just like to get better night vision and improve the color as well. .
I think the Night Techs bulbs are some of the brightest, bang for your buck bulbs easily available. But the color isn't all that special.

I previously had a E30 325 with H4 lows, H1 highs and H3 fogs, and tried out alot of different asian aftermarket bulbs, all purchased in Japan.

If you are after color as well as brightness, I found the brightest and closest HID looking color was the PIAA Xtreme Force. It's a japan market product, but you should find it on Ebay or the internet.

Alot of the other asian aftermarket bulbs are too purple or blue. Stock BMW HID's are fairly white, and not as blue-purple as the Audi's.

Also I've been pretty satisfied for years with Japan market PIAA bulbs. Alot of the criticism regarding brightness and bulb life are about the US PIAA models. If you check out the Japan website they have 3x as many models, so it seems like they offer their better products domestically, like they do for alot of their other products.
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      03-13-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roundel335 View Post
Thanks - I'll look into those. I read that Osram was the OEM supplier for BMW bulbs, so those looked like a good place to start. I have PIAAs in my E92 fogs and they've been in there for a good while now, although they are not the night-tech variety. There are bound to be tradeoffs with intensity vs. bulb life, but someone probably makes some that are a reasonable compromise. I would just like to get better night vision and improve the color as well. My 128 is a lease car, so I don't want to install an HID conversion - at least not unless I decide to buy it at the end of the lease.
If your wanting to improve color, the Osram and silverstar line of bulbs will not please you at all. Osram does give a better output of light overall, but they still have a yellow hue to them. The silverstar bulbs are just a gimmick, any colored halogen bulb will decrease light output and will not last long...That goes for any bulb, no matter who makes them. Back when I was younger, my friends and I would buy PIAA all the time to see the differences in color and what not, spending God knows how much and none of them lasted long at all even taking care to not touch the bulb and cleaning them before installing them. They may make a better quality bulb now and maybe the Japan PIAA is better, but for the price, I wouldn't buy PIAA and chance it. I would def try the OSRAM as far as output goes.
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      03-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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^^ Thanks, guys! Much appreciated.
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      03-13-2012, 05:12 PM   #10
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If price is the main factor the PIAA night-tech bulbs are $42 on Amazon. Not too much risk. Noticeably brighter than stock. But color improvement is minor.
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