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How to improve driving lights, suggestion for additional road lights needed.

Explorer_PL

Explorer Addict
Joined
November 16, 2007
Messages
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City, State
Rockland County, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
06EB V8
So I came to conclusion that my head lights are pathetic at best. Driving my wife’s Tribeca to compare I see how poor my head lights are. I do not want to go the route of HID conversion since I am not sure that is safe for the lamp housing.

I want to add some good driving lights and need some suggestions from you guys. I do not want to use the Walmart $ 19.99 kits.
Thanks
 



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Do you have the stock fog lights?

If so the reason i ask is i believe that there are laws as to how many sets of lights can be running at one time while driving on a road. And i believe that is 4 total bulbs. And if the high-beams are on they are supposed to shut off.

that being said on some of my older vehicles i had i ran piaa or catz fog lights (not cheap about $100 and up) and loved them both. Now days there are alot of LED setups that produce high amounts of lumens and they require little voltage. back int he day the high end lights drew so much power that they would put a strain on the battery a little.
 






Thanks

I used PIAA and CATZ in the past, they were good lights.
 






Are you running the stock bulbs in both your headlights and your Driving lights?

How old are your bulbs?

Have you tried Silverstars or the other type bulbs on the market?

I have seen some replacement OEM style driving lights in regular and also in a projector bean style.

Currently I am running Silver star headlights and for me the added light was what I needed. Yes I know they have a reduced life due to over-driving of the lights but I didnt care I needed light on the road and that's what I got. My driving lights are ok for stock and I am looking at some type of update to those either by regular bulb or Led!
 






Polizi -

what do you mean by:
"Currently I am running Silver star headlights " ?

You mean bulbs or the whole headlights ?
 












Most states require SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) or DOT (Department of Transportation) approval of any lighting devices and, as stated above, no more than 4 general illumination (those that project a beam) devices lit at any one time. It is also right that if high beams are on, the auxiliary lights must go out automatically. The SAE or DOT approvals are molded into the plastic on the lens of the light or indicated on the bulb.
 






Polizi -

what do you mean by:
"Currently I am running Silver star headlights " ?

You mean bulbs or the whole headlights ?

Its a Bulb with a whiter light output than stock, I am running silverstars but they are also available in a ultra version they cost more than a stock oem bulb and don't last as long as the oem either but I can see better so its worth it to me. I found some projector beam driving lights that are a direct replacement for the stock driving light assembly if your interested I can pm you the link.
 






UI think it's Sylvania that makes a bulb that has a coating on the inside of the bulb that reflects so portion of the light output back allowing the bulb to burn hotter and put out more light.

It's not just hype like a lot of lighting claims, my brother works in lighting in the movie industry and he measured his light output with a light meter.

I'll get more information on it, brands etc.

You can also remove the lens in front of the reflector and fit HID projectors with bi xenons. That's high and low beam.
Then you stick the lens back on.

My brother (once again) used projectors from a high end Acura, I just got mine from China.

I have also had a lot of success putting HIDs in the standard reflector but not with an Explorer, yet.

My limited has the ballast and wiring all hooked and waiting for someone with smaller hands than I to fit the hi/lo HID bulbs.
If the H4 pattern HID bulbs in the stock reflector turn out to be too messy like everyone says they will then I'll just get hi/lo projectors and use them in the housing and use the existing ballast and wiring.

In my XLT I had 130 high 90 low H4 halogen bulbs, the worked really well.
The fogs came on with the high beam, I thought to fill in the dark spot under the high beam but I don't really know.
Oh yeah, the fogs had 100 watt halogens in them.

The 60/55 watt halogens and the fog lights in the Limited are abysmal.
The bi xenons work by having full beam on all the time and using a shutter to block off the high beam pattern. They do this because HIDs take a bit of time to warm up and would be very annoying and dangerous to use on high beam otherwise.
 






Its a Bulb with a whiter light output than stock, I am running silverstars but they are also available in a ultra version they cost more than a stock oem bulb and don't last as long as the oem either but I can see better so its worth it to me.

The silverstars are also a higher wattage than OEM, which is the other part of why they are brighter. The difference between the regular silverstar and ultra is also an increase in wattage between the two bulbs. Just remember that these are incandescent bulbs so the higher the wattage, the shorter the lifespan (Polizi already mentioned this).

Something to keep in mind with a brighter bulb, it is harder to see when driving in a snowstorm/fog unless the light is better focused but with a stock assembly it won't be.

Maybe there is a way to swap to a Mountaineer headlight? I have no issues, and I drive at night in some situations (no stars or moon, just an impenetrable darkness and complete whiteouts too) in which the only way to see the road markings 30 ft in front of the vehicle is to turn the fogs on.

Edit: Side by side comparison of the Mounty and Exp. shows that it is possible to change the headlight assemblies, but you would have to change out all the front end body panels to do it.
 






If anyone's interested I got the 55 watt bi xenon HIDs installed in my stock housings and they work great.
None of this messy light pattern I've heard out about with putting HID bulbs in standard reflectors.'They're a similar pattern to the 130 high 90 low H4 halogen bulbs I had in the XLT but much brighter and whiter.

I know from experience that HID lights have much better penetration in rain and fog, couldn't say about snow though.
 






So what's the standard wattage on the regular bulb for the headlight ?
 






Standard is 55 low beam/65 high beam model 9008/H13. According to the sylvania web site, it looks like I was wrong on the wattage for the silverstar et al. being higher than factory, but I recall a few years ago looking on the back of the boxes in an automotive store and the wattage was higher for the silverstars than the standard bulbs. However, I was shopping for my wife's vehicle and that may be the case for that particular make/model but not for this type of bulb.
From reading over at the F150 site those guys have the same type of bulb as the Exp. and they have side by side photos of the Phillips/Sylvania. It seems that they like the Phillips xtreme bulbs over the silverstars and they are noticably better than factory.

http://www.amazon.com/Philips-9008-X-treme-Power-Headlight/dp/B00480KPLW
 






Thanks all for the responses.

It seems that in my case the easiest solution would be better bulbs like the ones Gibby mentioned.

Is the wattage still 55/65 on them ?
 






Yes, it seems almost all H13 bulbs are at that wattage because the wiring/design for a H13 bulb cannot safely handle much more than that.
 






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