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Does it help to swap the standard halogen headlights for aftermarket brands?


esandye

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My 2011 limited has the 301a package with the standard halogen headlights. The lights aren't all that bright but I don't want to go to the trouble to upgrade to HID's. Has anyone noticed a difference switching to aftermarket bulbs. I've read it really doesn't make that much difference. Comments from those who have changed bulbs please!
 


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splash5

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i swapped mine to the best sylvania bulbs that fit and they are 300% better

i did the head lights and the foglights (great for spotting deer in ditches)
 




splash5

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PS they only have upto the silverstar for the headlights on the EX (or they did when i got mine)
 




GregV8

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I got a pair of Silverstar Ultra. They are better. Not sure if they are $50 better but I can see some improvement in the whiteness.
 




luck123

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Generally, you will see an improvement with higher end aftermarket bulbs. But, they have a shorter longevity since they burn hotter. I have tried Silvania silverstars, GE Nighthawk Platinum....and they generally last 9 - 12 months. Some get longer, but they seem to be the exception. I have heard good things about the Philips Extreme, and would likely try those if I was to need a new set for my Highlander. Not sure if you can get them for the EX....check powerbulbs.com.
 




JanChristian

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Don't waste your time or money with any blue tinted bulbs. Some of them are a higher wattage but that is often offset by the blue tinted glass, which reduces output. Aside from HID, the only bulb worth upgrading to is HIR. I don't know what kind of halogen bulbs the Explorer uses, but if it's 9005 or 9006, get HIR bulbs.

http://hirheadlights.com/
HIR FAQ
 




techieman33

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Don't waste your time or money with any blue tinted bulbs. Some of them are a higher wattage but that is often offset by the blue tinted glass, which reduces output. Aside from HID, the only bulb worth upgrading to is HIR. I don't know what kind of halogen bulbs the Explorer uses, but if it's 9005 or 9006, get HIR bulbs.

http://hirheadlights.com/
HIR FAQ
Agreed, the coating eats up any extra output that the slightly higher wattage gets you. They only look brighter because of the cooler color temperature, the actual light output is the same, or maybe even a little lower. And the wider and further beam pattern is crap too, for that to change the envelope of the lamp itself would have to change and I haven't seen any that were any different from a standard halogen lamp.
 




gill72

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i just converted mine with one of these hid kits and the results are unbelievable, the kit installed in literally 15 minutes and the output is out of this world. shipping was quick i ordered on friday night and had them at my door on monday.



the distance and spread are amazing and the output is more then i ever hoped for. next are the fogs.
 




TIO M

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I'm confused, do you agree that the HIR1 are good?

Agreed, the coating eats up any extra output that the slightly higher wattage gets you. They only look brighter because of the cooler color temperature, the actual light output is the same, or maybe even a little lower. And the wider and further beam pattern is crap too, for that to change the envelope of the lamp itself would have to change and I haven't seen any that were any different from a standard halogen lamp.
 








TIO M

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Thanks...tracking now.

I was talking about silverstar/silverstar ultra, not HIR. I have no direct experience with HIR but from what I've read the technology seems sound.
 




cryptiq

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Silverstars and any aftermarket halogen bulbs are a waste of money and use misleading marketing. As others have said, stay away from tinted bulbs....yes they may appear to filter out some of the characteristic yellow hue that halogens produce, but the tint is actually blocking light output so the end result is a bulb with less lumens.

I've tried both HIR and HID bulbs in the new X. A $50 HID kit is definitely the way to go. HIRs are considerably brighter than the stock halogen, but the process of modding the HIR bulb to fit into a 9005 socket is a pain and the light output is nothing compared to what you'd get out of an HID kit.
 




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