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Headlight Bulbs and E-Code (European) Lenses

Let’s talk Headlight Bulbs

Which Headlight Bulbs to Get + E-Code Lens Discussion

burnt out buld - filament broken
Bulbs like the Philips Silverstar or almost anything PIAA that have a coating to change the color output are going to by definition, put out LESS light than an un-coated bulb. Again, because they now produce a different output, the perception is that they are brighter; but the fact is, you can’t overcome physics – these bulbs are a different color because they are blocking a portion of the light spectrum. The Silverstar bulbs have an exceptionally short lifespan because Philips has to drive them harder to maintain an acceptable level of output.

The problem with mixing lenses is that the lens is designed for the specific reflector, and the reflector is designed for a specific bulb. Mixing parts will end up with wonky output. Euro-spec lamps use an H1 bulb, which, while still using the same basic axial filament design as the 9006 US-spec low beams, are physically much smaller. This means that their position when mounted in the reflector is going to be set back much further than a 9006. Also, the 9006 uses a black front bulb cap to reduce forward glare, while the H1 does not. Of course the H1 reflector and lens design is produced with this in mind, but it is another example of how the two systems differ.

Read the rest: Silverstar bulbs, E-Code vs. DOT Lenses & More

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I have no idea what the factory bulbs are (were). Like spark plugs, they tend to change slightly over the decades and often you can’t buy exactly what your car shipped with. Your owner’s manual will tell you.

For my 850 I bought a plain Sylvania model 9006 to replace one that had gone out.

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