Brighter bulbs for Mercedes - what parts to get

Brighter bulbs for Mercedes
what parts to get

By Daniel Stern

For reference, here's manufacturer datafor output and lifespan at 13.2v for standard-wattage H1 bulbs.The numbers here are a composite of values applicable to the products ofthe big three makers (Osram-Sylvania, Philips-Narva, Tungsram-GE). Eachmanufacturer's product in each category is slightly different but notsignificantly so. I picked H1-type bulbs for this comparison, and whilethe absolute numbers differ with different bulb types, the relative comparison patterns hold good for whatever bulb type we consider (H4, 9006, whatever).Lifespan is given as Tc, the hour figure at which 63.2 percent of thebulbs have failed.

H1 (regular normal):

1550 lumens, 650 hours

Long Life (or "HalogenPlus+")

1460 lumens, 1200 hours

Ultra Long Life (or "DayLight")

1430 lumens, 3000 hours

Plus-30 High Efficacy (CPI BrightLight, Osram Super, Sylvania Xtravision, Narva Rangepower,Tungsram High Output, Philips Premium):

1700 lumens, 350 hours

Plus-50 Ultra High Efficacy (CPI Super Bright Light, Philips VisionPlus, Osram Silverstar, NarvaRangepower+50, Tungsram Megalicht, but not Sylvania Silverstar):

1750 lumens, 350 hours

Plus-80/90 Mega High Efficacy (Philips Xtreme Power, Osram Night Breaker):

1780 lumens, 340 hours

Blue coated 'extra white' (CPI Bright Light Blue, Osram CoolBlue, Narva Rangepower Blue, PhilipsBlueVision or CrystalVision, Tungsram Super Blue or EuroBlue, SylvaniaSilverstar or Silverstar Ultra,also PIAA, Hoen, Nokya, Polarg, etc):

1380 lumens, 250 hours

So that's the pattern for how lifespan and light output are related. It's worth noting that the lumen differences are not the extent of the performance differences. The filament changes required to make a long-life bulb tend to reduce the beam focus, which shortens seeing distance. And, the light color is less white and more brown. But lifespan is lengthened. The opposite filament changes are made to create the "Plus" (+30, +50, +80, +90) or Osram "Hyper" type bulbs: Lifespan is reduced, but the beam focus is better so seeing distance is longer. Light color is whiter and less brown. The takeaway message here is that even if all the filaments put out exactly the same amount of light the same lumens from a long life, a +30, a +50, a regular, an ultralong-life, etc. the headlamp performance and appearance with the long-life bulb would still be inferior compared to the same headlamp performance and appearance with a regular, or +30, or +50, or +80, or Hyper bulb.

(c) 2009 Daniel Stern, July