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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need opinions from others using the Osram 65W H7 in the stock (Hella) projectors. When properly aimed, any issues from oncoming drivers flashing you due to glare with this combo? I'd tend to think the projectors control the light well enough that this isn't a real concern? I want more light output but not at the expense of blinding oncoming traffic.
 

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There really won't be a problem with glare. Glare comes from improper beam pattern and aiming, not brightness. Besides, the reflectors will melt and the wiring burn before it could become an issue (GRIN). Seriously, these cars have enough trouble with stock bulbs, let alone over-wattage ones.
 

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There really won't be a problem with glare. Glare comes from improper beam pattern and aiming, not brightness. Besides, the reflectors will melt and the wiring burn before it could become an issue (GRIN). Seriously, these cars have enough trouble with stock bulbs, let alone over-wattage ones.
What he said, with a catch! I run 65w Osram RallyEs in my DEPO projector headlamps on my B5. Light output is great when properly aimed. No flashing from oncoming drivers. The wires are rated for 65w of power through them. It being a 16 gauge wire (American Wire Gauge table and AWG Electrical Current Load Limits with skin depth frequencies and wire breaking strength) it should be able to handle up to 22 amps according to the link. But what deteriorates with time is the rubber wiring insulation from environmental conditions and its proximity to the heat of the headlamps. Usually, you don't see wiring issues till like... 12 years of ownership so it's by no means "common" and is just "wear and tear" I'd say. So, check the conditions of your wiring first. If the insulation on them are good, you're set for however longer you intend to keep the car IMO.

Caveat: Make sure you're fixing the problem and not band aiding the problem! If you have cloudy headlight lenses, clean them up with a 3M Kit first! If light output is still poor, check your adjusters and see if they're actually operational. It is common for the adjusters to come undone, pointing the light directly at the ground.
 

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I ordered night breaker ultimates. Supposed to be about 4500k color & seem to be the best h7 for output, those and phillips xtremes.
I pulled my vvme 35w 4300ks because getting the correct pattern was tedious and the moderate speed bumps, or bumps at freeway. Speeds ect would wiggle them enough to throw off the pattern!
Currently running my nokya 2500k bulbs which aren't to bad, yellow looks sick. But they don't "throw" the light like a normal bulb would.
 

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Just so you know, halogen bulbs do not produce 4500K light. (More like 3100-3200K) To simulate 4500K, the bulbs will have a distinct blue coating that blocks a lot of the lower frequencies. All things considered, the same bulb without the blue coating will give quite a bit more usable light - allowing you to see better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, the headlights are a bit cloudy, not too bad, but not clear, either. Its a 2003 (I'm the original owner) so I'll check the wires. I hadn't read anyone report they burned out the wires or reflectors and many seem to run these lamps without issues based on Daniel Stern's guidance. I'll do a bit more searching, I guess.

I think I'm picking up some new housings, both are also mechanically compromised (broken adjusters held in place with clips, missing/broken covers, etc.) and I don't want to refinish them every 6 months just to keep them clear. I'd really prefer the E-code ones but I can't bring myself to wait 3-4 months for them from ECS.

I'd never use a coated halogen lamp since they actually lose light output to achieve a target color temp.
 

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I've seen several B5.5s with the internal headlight wiring insulation burnt off while using OEM bulbs. I've never seen a set of B5 lights with the same issue. I plan on using the 65W lights on my son's B5 with new projector headlights.
 

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Just so you know, halogen bulbs do not produce 4500K light. (More like 3100-3200K) To simulate 4500K, the bulbs will have a distinct blue coating that blocks a lot of the lower frequencies. All things considered, the same bulb without the blue coating will give quite a bit more usable light - allowing you to see better.

Partially right. The osram night breaker ultimates have 2 blue strips and a center clear stripe. The bulbs are made that way to produce the color but still produce the light output. The phillips extreme do not have this and give off a much more natural 3800-4300k kelvin temp.
Even with the 2 blue coated stripes the osram puts out more lumen for the same wattage bulbs at the same 13.4v, at least in the h7's I researched vigorously. They are positioned at either end of the bulb, I forget the reasoning now but specific reasons on candlepower were listed and obviously everyone there is nuts about lighting. They all agreed, even with the blue stripes they are the best there is in stock wattage range. Something about the placement of the stripes & filaments. However with any stock "performance" bulbs their life rated is a mere 800hrs while I know most are 1000-1500hrs. Sure they will work past that rating, some die, some don't. But they do loose their effectiveness around 750-800hrs reportedly. These bulbs have been tested against people's popular parts chain store bulbs which is the GE nighthawk & silver stars which also. Are much more "White". About 4500-5000k.
The phillips & osrams will outperform both with a wider & farther beam pattern. Test I reviewed was claimed about 40m more and about 10m wider.

Now if we were talking about the "jdm" lumincs or whatever they are called that are blue to produce color yes I agree. Buts it's not always the case. I run nokya "jdm" 2500k yellow in my highs and fogs, about $16 a set. I also have a set the putco "jet" yellow which run about $30 a set and they aren't as yellow and aren't as bright as the nokyas, both claim 55w. I've also got h3 Hella "yellowstar", also 55w, these are a bit brighter than the nokyas and about the same kelvin color but they throw bits of blue & purple which was annoying on the eyes & I stopped using them.
I am currently waiting for my osrams ultimates but once they show up I'll provide info on them with my own experience. I'm currently running nokyas 2500k in my low beams and again they are decent. Perfect match with my matching nokya fogs. No hassle from cops locally. No worse than the stock bulbs which were generic parts stores. Also noticed they tend to light up street signs better than stock bulbs. I pulled a set of 4300k 35w hids and they were bright obviously but the pattern was extremely hard to keep proper, so I pulled them.
 

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Partially right. The osram night breaker ultimates have 2 blue strips and a center clear stripe. The bulbs are made that way to produce the color but still produce the light output.
BZZZT. If there is filtration over the clear bulb, light output is reduced, even if there are holes, stripes, or dots in it. No partial about it. It's certainly possible to use thinner filaments to burn brighter and very slightly bluer - I use bulbs like that myself - but as you note, life is reduced. Those bulbs simply combine both techniques, sacrificing part of the increased brightness, gained at the cost of life, for a stylish blue tint.
 

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just install an external relay harness to power your bulbs
Ok... Again no offense, but that reduces load on the wiring to the bulb, and heat to the housing, how? A relay is commonly used to make sure HIDs (or other lamps) get full voltage. Unless you meant to replace the wiring from relay to bulbs, which still doesn't address the occasional reports we get of housings melting.
 

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just install an external relay harness to power your bulbs
X2. Never rely on the factory wiring for higher-wattage bulbs, no matter what anyone says they can handle. That way you can use the proper gauge wire with a relay that will reduce voltage drop to the bulbs. As for the housings, they should be able to handle the extra heat, especially with the car moving and air moving aorund it.
 

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Ok... Again no offense, but that reduces load on the wiring to the bulb, and heat to the housing, how? A relay is commonly used to make sure HIDs (or other lamps) get full voltage. Unless you meant to replace the wiring from relay to bulbs, which still doesn't address the occasional reports we get of housings melting.
You're offloading the load on the wiring because you're only sending enough voltage through the factory wiring to power the relay, which is tiny in comparison. The full load of the bulbs is going through the relay; you are REPLACING the wires going to the housings with those coming out of the relay. As far as the housings, the car is almost always in motion and airflow around the housings should mitigate any effects of extra heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In the end I decided to just go with the Sylvania 55W XtraVision lamps (which is what I'd been using previously.) I also picked up a Sylvania Restoration kit since it includes a UV protectant and will give that a go. Hopefully between the two I can get some decent gains in light output. The 65W Osrams might be cutting it a bit close so just decided not to even chance it.
 

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You're offloading the load on the wiring because you're only sending enough voltage through the factory wiring to power the relay, which is tiny in comparison. The full load of the bulbs is going through the relay; you are REPLACING the wires going to the housings with those coming out of the relay. As far as the housings, the car is almost always in motion and airflow around the housings should mitigate any effects of extra heat.
Don't forget the wiring INSIDE the housing. Just because you upgrade wiring outside the housing, the weakest link in the chain is still the bulb wiring inside. There have ben reports of that wiring and/or plug failing even with stock wattage.
 

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I respectfully disagree with everyone saying the factory wiring is unable to handle it. A 65 watt bulb at 14 volts (alternator voltage) draws 4.6 amps. An increase of 0.7 amps over 55 W bulbs. The headlights are on a (I think) 20 amp fuse. The copper wiring is rated to 18-22 amps of power. The heat in the housing from the bulb being lit will kill the wiring before the electricity. Its a small housing, and the wiring is in close proximity with the reflectors due to that. Its a wear and tear thing versus an under designed electrical system.
 

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I see your point, but it really doesn't much matter if the problem is electrical or thermal. The upshot is, the system is sometimes problematic with the stock bulbs, so increasing the wattage - and therefore the heat - seems unwise.
 

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I agree with those that say the wires can't handle the extra current. With a small correction: they can't handle the extra heat from the bulb, so the insulation will probably fail even sooner. I can't see how one can install a relay that will take care of this. You will need to install the relay inside the headlight, and run an extra wire inside there. Just not practical.
The copper can handle the extra current, but that is not the problem.
 

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Scotts13 and vbora01, apparently Ohm's Law and actual physics somehow don't apply to the stock headlight wiring...
 
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