Brighter Headlight Bulb Suggestions for the 9 - Page 2
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Thread: Brighter Headlight Bulb Suggestions for the 9

  1. #31
    Very Active Member asillito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSetFine View Post
    Hey broger. (haha I just noticed this NOVELLA I wrote in reply... skip to the BLUE PART for the easy answer...)

    This very challenge is well illustrated by VZRDean's "high lumen / low lux" personal experience and further to what Macd7919 mentioned (whom it seems has either worked in, or studied the same material I have reviewed...

    I will summarize what I learned from studying someone MUCH (much... like Sheldon of Big Bang Theory kind of much more) more skilled than I in the art of engineering of light - Daniel Stern ( https://www.danielsternlighting.com/...lbs/bulbs.html ) - unfortunately he has removed all his Automotive FAQ material for some reason, not sure why, now by request only. Another good source are discussions on CandlePower Forums (http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forum.php) where Daniel has in the past made regular contributions.

    In short - every bulb is designed for a specific reflector. Our "H4" bulbs have two axial filaments (other bulbs have transverse filaments by design - https://www.danielsternlighting.com/...ulb_types.html) - one filament is exposed 180 degrees for low beam, one is exposed at 360 degrees for high beam. The reflector in our headlight is specifically tuned to expect those filaments in those specific locations in that orientation to properly focus those lumens on the road for maximum lux.

    The main problem with most garbage LED's is they cannot match the radiant pattern of the original incandescent filament - LED's are uncontrolled light sources which throw light in all directions from their mount surface (in the case of SMD's). The Cyclops and Philips Ultinon LED bulbs (and now you can see it in the Chinavision knockoffs) attempt to simulate this incandescent radiation pattern by aligning their LED's to fire in a similar direction as the filaments.

    So... without changing the reflector, you are stuck trying to find a brighter incandescent without frying your electrical harness (more light requires more watts which create more heat on your wires) or an LED with the proper orientation most closely matching an incandescent H4 filament. In my personal reviews, it seems the Cyclops and the Philips Ultinon have done a good job at this. One bonus to the Ultinon is that it is fanless - very difficult to do with a high output LED due to the heat they generate and lower kelvins (technically better illumination for the eye, but doesn't look as "cool" as the "whiter" looking 5k/6k rated sources). Unfortunately, the price on the Philips is a bit insane (although you get two of them... sell one?), explaining why the Cyclops, from user experience alone, seems to be a very good option. Take a look at the Cyclops LED's - you can clearly see the 180 shroud and 360 open LEDs, mounted back-to-back, attempting to simulate the axial filament of the H4 incandescent.

    Good luck with your search.


    Attachment 382708
    I agree about the reflective beam and the stock bucket. That's why I went with a HID that doesn't rely on the reflective bucket and blacked out the reflective bucket. While the stock bulb has 2 brightnesses (not sure if that's a real word), the HID has one brightness but has a shield that blocks out the top of the light for low beam (hence the straight line on the top of the beam when beamed against a wall) and raises the shield for high beam. I have the 55W bulb.
    Power, looks and style ... nuff said !!

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  3. #32
    Very Active Member asillito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macd7919 View Post
    To clarify a bit, Lumens and Kelvin (k) are two different things. Kelvin doesn’t really have anything to do with brightness, it’s a measure of color temperature. Lumens are the output of the bulb (think of this like power) where kelvin is the perceived color of that output. The best “color” for actual visibility is 4300k which is the closest to the light color of the sun. Granted, slightly greater kelvin ratings look cooler (more of a bright white slightly blue) but the actual usefulness of the light output falls off as kelvin rises. In short, greater lumens mean greater light “power”, greater kelvin changes the color from yellow-ish (low k) to purple (high k) with white somewhere in the middle.
    Actually 4300k is not the brightest. 6000k is the closest to absolute white. Anything below looks yellow and above goes blue. The more lumens the better. You'll usually find the cheaper bulbs have lower lumens. Always check the specs before you buy.
    Power, looks and style ... nuff said !!

  4. #33
    Very Active Member NoSetFine's Avatar
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    Be careful comparing bulbs by LUMENS. What you want is LUX (in a given projector or reflector).

    My favourite explanation for "LUMENS" (amount of light) vs. "LUX" (light per square meter):
    Imagine a shot glass full of water. Imagine the water in the shot class is your "LUMENS". If you look at the full shot glass "full of lumens" you would say that shot glass is "really bright" (very full) of water. This is lumens concentrated into high LUX, like a focused flashlight beam for example. If you pour that shot glass into a kids wading pool, the SAME amount of water (LUMENS) is now spread out very very thin. You would then see the kiddie pool is "really dim / low LUX" (not full of water at all)... although it is the same amount of water (LUMENS) just in a different concentration. So 7000lm of light for example might seem like a lot when purposely measured in a teeny tiny shot glass to make it look like a lot, but in reality, spread across the road ahead of you, it may only be a dimly lit puddle in a kiddie pool.

    Lux is what you want.
    Lumens is what they sell you.


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