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Old 07-13-2008, 07:39 PM   #1
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Not exactly a FE upgrade, but...

This can't really be considered a FE upgrade, as I'm using the same amount of electrical power as before. OTOH, for the same reason, it shouldn't hurt FE any either! i.e. this is a pure "performance upgrade".

What I did was finally get tired of trying to see at night on dark rural roads (with no street lights), and upgraded the headlights in my CRX from their stock 9006/9005 bulbs to Toshiba HIR2(9012)/HIR1(9011) bulbs ( ). This set me back a little over $100 for the 4 bulbs (HIR bulbs are expensive), and I had to slightly modify a bulb tab to make them fit the stock 9006/9005 housings. But now my headlights are much brighter than stock, while still maintaining almost the stock (well aimed) headlight beam pattern (which should hopefully keep the light out of oncoming driver's eyes), and while using no more electricity, nor producing any more heat, than the stock bulbs do! I took them out in the country tonight, and man what a difference. The low beams are bright enough to see without squinting (while still not being blindingly bright), and the high beams are just amazing.

Of course, as fate would have it, it was probably a good thing I could see on that country road, as I had to slow down for deer twice, and dodge a fallen tree limb once...

NOTE: HIR bulbs only fit cars that either were originally designed for them (only a few newer cars, as car HIR bulbs have only been around for a few years now), OR use 9005 (high beam) or 9006 (low beam) bulbs (such as my CRX does). i.e. they don't make these bulbs for many of the headlight shapes out there, but my CRX happens to be one of the cars that do use 9006/9005 bulbs, so I was able to make them fit (after a really minor mod to the HIR bulb mountings). And on those cars where they do fit, HIR bulbs throw out a lot more light (as the HIR2 is about 70% more efficient at producing light than the stock 9006 low beam, and the HIR1 is about 30% more efficient than a stock 9006 high beam, both while using stock electrical power, and producing no more heat than the stock headlight bulbs, and still maintaining close to the stock bulb longevity, and close to the stock bulb beam pattern)!

OTOH while HIR bulbs do apparently come OEM on a few newer cars, they seem to be a gray area as far as upgrading existing headlights go (not outright banned by the DOT like HID conversion kits are, but neither are they clearly approved by the DOT for retrofits either). And while I haven't heard of anyone being stopped for upgrading stock 9006/9005 bulbs to HIR2/HIR1 (and I have looked at a lot of forums), that doesn't mean it can't happen (so this upgrade is still a YMMV thing). OTOH a lot of forums have reported good results with this bulb upgrade, especially including really good beam patterns out of the stock headlight reflectors, that don't blind oncoming drivers (despite the extra light that is put out by the HIR bulbs). And so far my limited experience is the same. So hopefully as long as I'm keeping my headlights under control (and not blinding other drivers), nobody will bother me about the "brighter than stock" lights either. And if worst comes to worst, I can always put the stock bulbs back in if I have to (however, it really is nice to be able to see at night)...

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Old 07-13-2008, 08:00 PM   #2
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ive put the sylvania cool blue bulbs in my chevette and truck, make a world of difference...that and made a quad highbeam mod for my truck so the lows stay on with the highs
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