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I was looking at the Candlepower, Inc. website to get some more info to try answering Chérie's post viewtopic.php?f=1&t=58774 and came across this very clear and understandable description of how you get more lumens (light output) and what that does for bulb life.

http://store.candlepower.com/osnibr.html
Here is some more detailed info:

For reference, here's manufacturer data, from internal engineering databases, for output and lifespan at 13.2v for standard-wattage H1 bulbs. The numbers here are a composite of values applicable to the products of the big three makers (Osram-Sylvania, Philips-Narva, Tungsram-GE). Each manufacturer's product in each category is slightly different but not significantly so. I picked H1-type bulbs for this comparison, and while the absolute numbers differ with different bulb types, the relative comparison patterns hold good for whatever bulb type you consider. Lifespan is given as Tc, the hour figure at which 63.2 percent of the bulbs have failed.

H1 (regular normal): 1550 lumens, 650 hours

Long Life (or "HalogenPlus+") 1460 lumens, 1200 hours

Plus-30 High Efficacy (Osram Super, Sylvania Xtravision, Narva Rangepower, Candlepower Bright Light, Tungsram High Output, Philips Premium): 1700 lumens, 350 hours

Plus-50 Ultra High Efficacy (Philips VisionPlus, Osram Silverstar, Narva Rangepower+50, Tungsram Megalicht, but not Sylvania Silverstar): 1750 lumens, 350 hours

Plus-80/90 Mega High Efficacy (Philips Xtreme Power, Osram Night Breaker): 1780 lumens, 340 hours

Blue coated 'extra white' (Osram CoolBlue, Narva Rangepower Blue, Philips BlueVision or CrystalVision, Tungsram Super Blue or EuroBlue, Sylvania Silverstar or Silverstar Ultra, which is just a rebrand of the Silverstar product, also PIAA, Hoen, Nokya, Polarg, etc): 1380 lumens, 250 hours

Now, looking over these results, which one would you rather buy and drive with? The answer depends on how well you want to see versus how often to change the bulb. If you want the best possible seeing, you pick the Plus-50 or Plus-90. If you don't care as long as it works and you don't want to hassle with it, you pick the long life.
The earlier portion on the web page was interesting too because it describes how the amount of light output is measured.
Osram Night Breakers

The Nightbreakers are not the same as the SilverStar Ultras.

The Night Breaker range consists of H1, H3, H4, H7, and H11.

They are reasonably comparable to the Philips Xtreme Power in terms of raw light output; the differences between the two are not necessarily systematic (neither range is consistently better than the other), and these differences are almost unmeasurably small, certainly imperceptible in terms of actual headlamp performance, with the exception of the high beam mode of the H4 bulb, in which the Philips is definitely better. The Osram Night Breaker has relatively large areas of blue glass which do nothing for your seeing performance -- so-called "whiter" light does not help you see better -- but there is a colorless window completely surrounding the filament, so the tinted light is primarily confined to the extremities of the beam. Both of these bulbs have the best available output from a standard-wattage bulb, and an accordingly short lifespan (no free lunch). The law of diminishing returns applies here: there is a significant improvement in beam performance when going from a long-life to a standard bulb, an equally significant improvement when going from standard to +30, a smaller improvement when going from +30 to +50, and a smaller improvement still when going from +50 to +80/+90.

As for the various "plus" claims (+30, +50, +80, +90, etc.) keep in mind how they're devised: The plus-numbers cannot be attained simply through greater intensity from the bulb, because of intensity and wattage restrictions contained in bulb regulations prevailing worldwide. The "Plus" bulbs do produce near the maximum allowable flux but that's obviously not the whole story. These bulbs have higher filament luminance and give better beam focus because the filament coil itself is smaller. Headlamp optics are calculated based on a point source. The smaller the filament, the more closely it approximates a point source, and therefore the better the focus of the resultant beam pattern. The better the focus of the beam pattern, the higher the beam peak intensity (that is, the brighter the "hot spot"). Depending on the particular bulb and the specific headlamp optic in use, the gain in hot spot intensity can indeed be up to 50% (80%, 90%, whatever) at some specific but not uniform or predictable point in the beam. In practice, that means once Osram or Philips or whoever have designed their newest bulb, they throw the nearest convenient intern in a room with a bunch of headlamps and have him photometer them until the one that gives the single greatest increase (at any point in the beam!) is found, then they give the intern a food pellet as a reward. Tungsram called their 2nd-generation upgrade H4 "+60" either because they were lying or because they found a headlamp for a 1983 Tatra or something that had 60% more light in one particular spot. That doesn't mean the Tungsram "+60" H4 was better than the "+50" bulbs from Philips, Osram, and Narva -- it wasn't! So, those "+30" and "+50" and "+80" type numbers are not necessarily a trick or a scam, it just doesn't mean what most people assume it means.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's like putting a lamp shade on the bulb.

Chris
 

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55 watts is 55 watts is 55 watts in an incandescent bulb. The light outputs vary due to any opaqueness or filtering done on the bulb material and efficiency of the filament. ANd of course the input voltage.
 

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The "Plus" bulbs do produce near the maximum allowable flux but that's obviously not the whole story. These bulbs have higher filament luminance and give better beam focus because the filament coil itself is smaller. Headlamp optics are calculated based on a point source. The smaller the filament, the more closely it approximates a point source, and therefore the better the focus of the resultant beam pattern. The better the focus of the beam pattern, the higher the beam peak intensity (that is, the brighter the "hot spot").
I can't agree with your logic. :) I can see the difference when I look at the beam output on my garage door. The OEM bulb has a blurry output. It's 55W. But I can see the other headlight with a better bulb in it has a sharper focus and is putting the light more where it is needed. While I can look at empirical evidence on my garage door, the quote above explains how.

Chris
 

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If you want a Higher light output (more lumens!) Switch to [email protected] just 35 watts. I did that last week on my Goldwing GL1800..and.. wow
 

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Again, as we have pointed out before, the application of HID bulbs which are designed for projection lenses in reflector receptacles can solve only half the problem. That is, YOU can see as the bulb emits unprojected light from the reflector. The other half of the equation is that the oncoming driver or rider is literally blinded by the GLARE forced upon him/her. It's not a very elegant solution to a problem. That is exactly why you always see HID bulbs that come 'stock' or as an option on a vehicle are behind a lens to properly focus and aim the light down the road where it should be, and not blasting an annoying and potentially dangerous situation into the eyes of an oncoming driver or rider. That might not be a popular statement but it is what it is. For that reason I have eschewed HIDs on my Burgman. I installed HID 6x9 conversion kits on my '90 Isuzu, which perform VERY well, but the 6x9 bulb kits are really 6x9 housings for HID bulbs which are lensed and keep the bright light OUT of everybody else's eyes. That is as much a matter of safety as courtesy.

I wanted to see better with 55/65 watt bulbs, so I changed ALL the krypton bulbs on my other vehicles to 5150K Lumenics and that alone made a huge difference in illuminating the road ahead with a light that my eyes can utilize better than the 4300K bulbs. While an HID emits a huge amount of uncontrolled light, you are wasting money for bulbs that light up the air high above the road as much as the road itself.
 

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QuantumRift said:
Again, as we have pointed out before, the application of HID bulbs which are designed for projection lenses in reflector receptacles can solve only half the problem. That is, YOU can see as the bulb emits unprojected light from the reflector. The other half of the equation is that the oncoming driver or rider is literally blinded by the GLARE forced upon him/her. It's not a very elegant solution to a problem. That is exactly why you always see HID bulbs that come 'stock' or as an option on a vehicle are behind a lens to properly focus and aim the light down the road where it should be, and not blasting an annoying and potentially dangerous situation into the eyes of an oncoming driver or rider. That might not be a popular statement but it is what it is. For that reason I have eschewed HIDs on my Burgman. I installed HID 6x9 conversion kits on my '90 Isuzu, which perform VERY well, but the 6x9 bulb kits are really 6x9 housings for HID bulbs which are lensed and keep the bright light OUT of everybody else's eyes. That is as much a matter of safety as courtesy.

I wanted to see better with 55/65 watt bulbs, so I changed ALL the krypton bulbs on my other vehicles to 5150K Lumenics and that alone made a huge difference in illuminating the road ahead with a light that my eyes can utilize better than the 4300K bulbs. While an HID emits a huge amount of uncontrolled light, you are wasting money for bulbs that light up the air high above the road as much as the road itself.

Not to quibble with you at all..........I am NOT suggesting that owners of either 400 or 650 models switch to HID without a modification to the internal headlamp reflectors.......I was merely relating what I had done to my Goldwing GL1800 which has an elevation adjustment for the headlamps controlled by a small electric motor in each headlamp housing. This adjustment avoids exactly what you had spoken of.....!!! What you did on your Isuzu was proper & appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You can still run into issues with glare, even after adjusting the HID lamps downwards. I have a 90 degree corner that I go through on the way home from church. I noticed when I had HID lights installed (non-projector types) that I was lighting up the inside of the vehicles when I hit the corner. It had to be blinding to them. If they had more time, I'm sure they'd have flipped their high beams on to let me know. And of course, if it was a LEO I encountered in that corner, he'd let me know with his own red and blue lights.

I like the LED lights I've added. They too can be blinding. The difference is I can chose when to use them and when not to turn them on. With HID headlamps (non-projector) installed, there is no choice. They are always on.

Chris
 

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If it's not in a projector to properly aim it, as you say, glare is still a problem because by re-aiming reflectors, you are directing the bulk of the uncontrolled light downward on the road ahead, and above the main beam, you will still emit a lot of glare above the road and reflecting off the road, especially if the road is wet. My 2012 Genny has awesome headlights...they are in projection housings and the lights turn with the direction of the car and a sensor behind the rear seat keeps the headlights level. Its very very apparent when your are trying to enter a freeway via a very tight descending cloverleaf. That's when the beauty of adaptive headlights really, well, SHINES.
 
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