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Old 04-14-2006, 03:35 AM   #1
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Default Headlight Comparison With Photos Silverstar Vs. Nighthawk

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In each comparison the Silverstars were 1/3 of a stop slower then the Nighthawks.
Which means that the Nighthawks are approx. 16.67% brighter then the Silverstars when it comes to light output.

When it comes to color the SIlverstars are definetly more blue. But how blue you may ask? Using photoshop and doing some calculations using the color curves and the histograms on my 20D I found that there was a 28.8% difference in the blue channel.11.9% difference in the green channel. And finally .52% difference or in other words negligible difference in the red channel.

Personally I am running Silverstars in the passenger side headlamp both Hi and Low, and Nighthawks in my driverside both Hi and Low. So far over the past 25 weeks neither one of my nighthawks have burned out on the Low beams. The Hi beam on the Silverstar has burned out once. It is too early in my test to judge the two of them based on lifespan.

When the Daytime Running Lights are on the car is running its Hi beams at a lower voltage in otherwords just running the Hi'* not at the brightest that they can go. I have noticed that the Hi beam on the Silverstar side is approx 50% dimmer. Thats a whole stop slower in photography terms...thats a big difference. I believe that there is some sort of connection between the DRL and the Silverstar burning out quicker.

Dispite what the report in ConsumersReport said about hi performance bulbs being a waste of money and will most likley decrease your vision is a lie. CR is a biased magazine full of flaws especially when it comes to cars...but I won't get into it here.
I recommend that if you do any nighttime backroad driving where there are deer I recommend upgrading your headlamps for saftey.

I was going to continue this test for a while but I just ordered a HID conversion kit for my low beams so I will have to continue the test on the Hi beams. But judging on reliablity and overall light output I may install another Nighthawk in the other Hi.

I do not reccommend PIAA bulbs or other aftermaket bulbs that run at a higher wattage. They run at a higher wattage and you risk ruining your headlamp wiring harness. In some cases they are pushing 85 or 95 watts in a 9006 bulb which is supposed to run at 55 watts. They are not worth the risk.

I hope that my little test and comparison can help people choose the right bulbs for their car. I will also post the new pics with my 10000k HID kit installed.
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:58 AM   #2
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no hijack, just a link to add to the discussion

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...133&highlight=

I went the cheap route to test. After a real world night test last night I came away with not cussing out these cheapies. I am not recommending them ( i guess you do get what you pay for). But I think the light color does make a difference.(these are 7000K) I will not be returning them right away (may not at all) because I want to get a few different eyeball opinions. I should have an opportunity to test rain driving tomorrow. And I should take the lenses apart and polish the reflectors.
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:58 AM   #3
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Nice information. I have seen the Hawks and a new Phillips as well. Considered both when ....or should I say "if" my SS'* ever burn out. So far it'* about a year and still going strong.
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Old 04-14-2006, 09:03 AM   #4
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This is a good discussion. The reason behind the SilverStars having less light output is in fact due to the blue light. In the color spectrum blue light scatters the most, therefore as you progress further out in the beam the light scatters more and more. That means there is less usable light. Thats also the reason why the sky is blue, by the way (I'd figure I'd answer two questions at once in this post! )

I know a lot of people buy new headlamp bulbs for looks, but please do consider them for safety too. I think there are better alternatives than the SilverStars.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:23 AM   #5
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I put some of the Philips Extended Vision (called something like that) in my girlfriend'* car. The bulb claim an extra 50' of light on the road. I found this hard to believe. I would think you would have to physically change something to do that. Anyway, they did not look different to me over the stock ones on a side to side comparison looking th the headlamp so I figured they were a load of crap; but they do throw out more light on the road. I can not say that it makes a 50' extension but it is better than before. For $25 for the pair I would say it was worth it. It helped the highs too (her car has the single bulb for both high/low). IIRC they are 4500K bulbs.

There is defiantly a matter of opinion for lights. If you are going for color, that is one thing. There is truth that higher temp bulbs show better detail and causing problems in rain/snow. I can see OK with my 4500K bulbs (couldn't see crap with the stock 3000K), then I drive my mom'* Audi with the projectors and can see every freakin' raindrop or snowflake coming down thus blocking the view of the road. Living in weather-filled Michigan I tend to stick to a more weather minded bulb (<6000K) for the lows. If I lived in the desert I'm sure it would be wonderful to have hotter lows. High beams are for clear weather driving so I say kick those up as hot as you want.

I also agree with watching the wattage of bulb you put in. A 100watt bulb will do nothing if it burns out the wiring.

I do agree with the statement about CR. They are completely safety and practicality minded. When they review trucks, the one that is the most car-like is always rated the best, if a car has no back seat then it is deemed useless. The truly factual information they offer is good, and their testing is worth taking a look at as long as you can use the practicality only rating system where appropriate.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:37 AM   #6
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I've had nothing but good experiences with silver stars personally. The set of 4 in my 93 are nearly 3 years old now. Never lost one. The 95'* are nearly a year old now.

I find the whiter light preferable to the yellower light outputs of most lamps for the driving conditions I typically encounter in the NW.
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Old 04-14-2006, 01:01 PM   #7
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Have had silverstars in truck for two winters and havent burnt , but I would like even brighter because the deer in my area fill yards like lawn ornaments.

Mastromx, thats a clever way to gauge brightness

And CR sucks bilge discharge
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Old 04-14-2006, 03:49 PM   #8
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I noticed in the 2006 car issue of CR that the Honda ridgline was rated the best pickup. The ridgline has towing capacity of 5000lbs. ...not a whole lot. In their test they didn't take into account towing. The Chevy 2500HD with the duramax diesel has a towing capacity of 17500...now thats a truck. Also with CR they bash pretty much all the american cars. When a new toyota or honda comes out they predict the reliabilty to be excelent. When a new american car comes out they list predicted reliability as New or in other words they can't make a judgement yet. Those are just some of the examples or the flaws with CR.

By the way I am an amature photographer and thats how I thought up the idea to gauge the light output. Its not the most accurate because the EOS 20D only does light metering in 1/3 stops. But its definalty more accurate then a lower end digital camera. Some digital cameras can only do half stop metering and the POS cameras(the <$99 ones) I've seen them only do it in full stop metering. When your talking one stop fast means there is half as much light hitting the CCD or one stop slow meaning 2x the light. Thats a big difference.

Thanks for all the replies. I aslo measured where exactly the car is located in my drive way, and where the tripod was, so when I get my HID lamps installed I will be able to duplicate the test as well as I can. I will post the side by sid comparison pictures asap with full metering specs and whatnot.
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:20 PM   #9
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PLEASE do NOT use a drop in HID kit...their output sucks more the CR because your HALOGEN reflector was NOT designed for them. if you are going HID use projectors.

Instead of taking pictures of the lense why not take pictures against a white wall about 25 feet away. so we can actually see the differences in output.
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:08 PM   #10
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I have already taken pictures about 5 feet and about 20 feet away perpendicular from my white garage door. I have not posted them yet but I will shortly. Its too late to cancel my order so I might as well try out the HID kit. I will post side by side images of the difference between the 2 halogen bulbs and then also with the HID kit, and of course I will supply all the exposure data and distances. I have measured the distance from my rear tire to the edge of the driveway along with the distance from my front tire to the edge. Also iI have measured the distance from my bumper in 3 spots, left, middle, and center. I did this to demonstrate the differences in the bulbs accuratly and truthfully.
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