BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
PIAA Super White (9006) worth it over stock bulbs??
I have a 2001 325i with standard stock headlights (non-xenon). I would like an inexpensive upgrade that yields a noticably brighter light than stock.

I saw these PIAA super white bulbs for about 85 bucks each. Do you think they are worth it?
 

·
King of Rear Clunks
Joined
·
12,903 Posts
SuperWhites are almost idential to the stocks, really. I used to run JDM SuperPlasmaBlues on my old car but when I moved the 9006s over to the fogs on this car, one of them mysteriously stopped working. And no PIAA is worth the crazy money they charge, especially with their poor durability record.
 

·
Sikkens Autocryl MM
Joined
·
2,808 Posts
Although all the PIAA's I've had in various cars have lasted quite awhile, I do agree with Kaz that the SuperWhites aren't that much better than stock. I use them in my fogs. They look a little whiter to std halogens, but compared to the xenons, they still look yellow.

If you want a noticeable difference for your headlights, however, I think you're gonna have to go all the way to xenons.

http://www.hid4less.com

or maybe Bekkers.
 

·
King of Rear Clunks
Joined
·
12,903 Posts
One thing I really want to warn against, especially in E46s, is the use of extra-high wattage bulbs. I've found that the wires in many areas are just adequate for their stock function and no more. The wires going to the head/foglight bulbs definitely fall into this category.

I was messing with a 100w yellow bulb for the fogs, and the wires became uncomfortably warm in just a couple of minutes.

Given that, and the fact that the bulb coatings usually impede the transmission of at least some of the light, you can change output color all you want but you're ultimately not going to get more light on the road without some work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
yea.. make sure if you do get bulbs to get the same wattage bulbs.. my friend burned her wires and head light assembly with aftermarket bulbs.. i think the price to replace a new headlight housing and wires.. she could have just bought a real HID kit..
 

·
King of Rear Clunks
Joined
·
12,903 Posts
100w is 100w. Doesn't matter if the bulb burns at -20F, if its gonna draw 100w, its still potentially going to melt the wiring harnesses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,695 Posts
Jimmy540i (another board poster), sells replacement bulbs that are 55w, but supposedly brighter than stock at bmwxenon.com. I haven't seen any feedback on his bulbs-- has anyone tried them? Are they any good?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I think i am going to settle on those bulbs and be the guinney pig.

They seem to be the most compatible, and that is important to me........
 

·
paddle shifter
Joined
·
931 Posts
I use the PIAA xtreme white plus for my fogs. It matches the xenons well but not exactly. Much better than the stock fogs. The amount of light seems about the same. The best thing is that I got the PIAA's for FREE. Can't beat that.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
20,151 Posts
I have used Philips VisionPlus bulbs on my last three BMWs and I really like them. The only draw back is that oncoming traffic does not seem to like them; I get flashed with high beams all of the time in clear weather. My high beams are also VisionPlus, so when I "flash" them back, they get the picture! Yes, the headlights are aimed corrrectly.

I used my fog lights for the first time this week (snow storm) and I was amazed at how well they worked (visibility was almost 0). I was just wondering if there is perhaps an even better fog lamp bulb replacement, i.e., brighter?

BTW, the rear fogs are excellent in snow storms!

Patrick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,695 Posts
Patrick 520iAT said:
I have used Philips VisionPlus bulbs on my last three BMWs and I really like them. The only draw back is that oncoming traffic does not seem to like them; I get flashed with high beams all of the time in clear weather. My high beams are also VisionPlus, so when I "flash" them back, they get the picture! Yes, the headlights are aimed corrrectly.

I used my fog lights for the first time this week (snow storm) and I was amazed at how well they worked (visibility was almost 0). I was just wondering if there is perhaps an even better fog lamp bulb replacement, i.e., brighter?

BTW, the rear fogs are excellent in snow storms!

Patrick
I just did a lot of reading on bulbs in the bimmer.org archives-- and learned a lot. But, the general consensus is that the Philips Vision Plus are the best upgrade for your Halogen lights. Stay away from the PIAA and anything coated blue or w/ a higher wattage than stock (55w i think). Sylvania/Osram also make a comparable product (Xtravision?). One interesting thing I learned is that there is value in having some amount of Xenon in a Halogen bulb-- but of course, it serves a different purpose than it does when used in an HID type light. H7-type bulbs (OEM type) by definition contain a higher amount of Xenon than H4s or H1s. There's really no value (other than cheesy cosmetics) to having a bulb that's blue-coated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the info guys. Jimmy claims his bulb is brighter than phillips vision plus, but I will read the reviews. Thanks again!!
 

·
;p
Joined
·
325 Posts
i got the vision plus. visually they look no different than the stock. they claim up to 50% more light but the thing is H7 are naturally the best halogen type meaning its more of a 20% better than stock. if you are looking totally for better performance, vision plus is your best bet. if you are looking for that white xenons look get piaa xtreme whites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
So you don't think that phillips lights are any whiter than stock and only a marginal improvement in brightness?

I am tempted to buy both and do a comparison. These bmwxenons are starting to tempt me, but I trust all your opinions. Thanks, and hopefully more people have experience with these.....
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
20,151 Posts
My Philips VisionPlus bulbs claim only 30% (only the box) more light; I wonder where the 50% increase came from. :dunno:

IMHO, they are brighter and cleaner than the OE Osram bulbs that I have had in my BMWs. And I think that BMW halogens are great to begin with.

The only problem with the Philips H7 bulbs that I have had - maybe just bad luck - has been that I have to replace about 6 bulbs in two and a half years. But I have heard that H7 bulbs do burn out quicker than H4.

I am still interested to hear if anyone knows of a brighter fog lamp bulb.

Patrick
 

·
King of Rear Clunks
Joined
·
12,903 Posts
A friend and I have messed around with a LOT of bulbs over the last few years. Ultimately, we discovered that there will ALWAYS be a compromise somewhere. Here are the factors:

Brightness (overall)
Usable light (couple of sub-factors)
Color
Current draw

Its tough to find something that'll give you more than 2 of the above simultaneously at best, and that's also partially dependent on the design of the car's light fixtures.

Ultimately the way to get the best results is to put in HIDs but even the effects of that are dependent on the location of the 'light kernel' as its called relative to the halogen bulb's filament in the same fixture, and the fixture itself.

Color will always present some level of compromise in brightness and usable light. Its a matter of how much. We've tried bulbs that were really blue... good for r1cers. But the test drive was really scary because I couldn't see jack squat.

The best compromise I've personally tried to date are JDM PIAA Super Plasma Blues. Color is really good. In fact the 1 working 9006 I have left is in a car where it replaced 1 side of a broken HID conversion, and from the outside the fact that 1 side is a halogen is nearly indistinguishable. Brightness from inside the car is down, but we think its mostly due to a change in contrast going from 'yellow' to 'white' bulbs. When there is ambient light from streetlights, sunset, etc. it looks like the lights aren't even on. But when its truly dark, its amazingly bright. Ultimately, though, its very usable also because reflective things such as signs and botts dots reflect back a LOT more.

I currently have Narva bulbs in my fogs, which I've had from before the PIAAs. The color isn't even close to the factory HIDs but these (I've read that these are basically rebadged Philips of some kind) also have the same 'reflectivity' and so work really well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
What about sylvania cool blue?
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top