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Discussion Starter #1
OK-

So i've been running the sylvania silverstars for a while now. they're good, but one just blew out on the way home tonight. i never replace just the one bulb, so i was toying with the idea of trying some different bulbs out there just for the hell of it. anyone have any suggestions? i don't want to jump up the wattage, and i'm looking to keep the price farily resaonable (like no more than $40 for the set). first one to suggest the $90 PIAA bulbs gets a big ol' [slap] [boxface] [hatchet] [nutkick] !

Mike
 

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Well I'm thinkin those $90 dollar PIAA bulbs would be a pretty good replacement.(couldnt resist)
 

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Some of you may be seeing a bulb life pattern here. The majority of these "super white" halogen bulbs acheive the color by coating the bulb with a blue tint. ANY coating on a bulb will cause it to retain heat and significantly shortens its life. The Sylvania site indicates that the average life expectancy of these bulbs is only 150 hours a number of their non-tinted bulbs last up to 900 hrs.

Real HID's acheive the color by the gas formulations (no coatings) and the high voltage (but at relatively low wattage) they operate at. They also last about 15 to 20 times longer.
 

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Ya. I think I read on the Sylvania website that the SilverStar bulbs expected life is about a year.

That sux. I can't afford $50 bucks a year on new headlight bulbs.[:(]

Well, at least my headlights will be bright for a while then back to the OEM cheapies
that last longer for $8.

Also, be ware of some of those brighter bulbs. I think 50-65watts should be OK
but anything hotter may do some damage to your headlight wiring harnest or the headlight itself.[xx(]
 

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Mr. Wizard
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I have the PIAA Super Plasma GT-X bulbs, if these are what you are talking about? They were $60 a set where I got them online. And what is said is about half right. They do have a color on the bulb, but they also use a different gas to emote a brighter light. The biggest difference is really in the filament type, since that is truly where the light comes from. If the bulb filament doesn't burn hot enough you won't get the right color, and it certainly won't be bright enough. If it does burn hot enough...well it will die quicker. Such is the price to pay. I like my lights, bright white light, with a faint purple tinge, very faint, and at least they don't look super blue fake. At this point I'm up to 7 months with one bulb and no problems, one I've replaced, the bulb itself was intact, the filament crapped out, so it didn't have to do with the coating. I posted a pic of the stock versus my PIAA bulb somewhere in this forum, pretty telling difference, if I find someone with the Silverstars I'd be willing to do the experiment with the PIAA and the Silverstars side by side.
 

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RPIJG, You are correct that some PIAA bulbs use a gas mixture (Halogen and Xenon). Xenon is the gas used in HID's to produce the truer whites. PIAA adds the xenon gas to try to balance the color but at a price which is shorter bulb life. Most bulbs fail because the filament literaly burns itself out. Filaments gradually get tinner and thinner from use until they eventually break. Excess heat created by coatings and unstable gas mixtures contribute to the burning process and quicker failure rates.

And for what its worth, Silverstars based on Sylvanias own information are not significantly brighter than any of their other lights. The amount of energy a light emits is measured in lumens. The silverstairs emit 910 lumens on low beam and 1500 on high beam. This compares to 900/1500 for one of their regular bulbs. The only difference is color temperature. Changes in color temperatures cause colors (reflected light) that are not reflected by lower light temperatures to be more visible and vivid at higher temperatures. The primary function of quality color adjusted bulbs is to improve color renderings capabilities. That in turn improves vision. Some bulbs just do it better than others.
 

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Hmm, good call on the bulb life vs. tint thing. I didn't know that. I will probably NOT buy Silverstars now. But now I'm also lost. Who has a decent set of NON-tinted, but hi-visibility lights? I'm looking for 9003s here.
 

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Check out the Sylvania XtraVisions. I replaced the stock bulbs on my ZTS and the difference is noticeable. Not as bright as the Silver Stars but the Xtravision is not a coated buld. And it's about half the cost.
 

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Is that a step above the Sylvania Cool Blue bulbs ?
I had the Cool Blue bulb on my stock headlights and they didn't make a big difference.
 

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I agree with Focus Frenzy. I have used the extravisions and like them. I don't know if they are a step above the cool blues or not. The extravisions are not a coated bulb. My guess is that the cool blue is a regular bulb that is just tinted. Sylvania claims extravisions put out 20% more light than standard bulb, but they do not back that up with any numbers on their web site, so take that for what its worth. I just put a set on my Miata, and the illumination appears better than the original stock lamps. I think I paid 9.99 each at Checker Auto (Kragen elsewhere).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
generally, sylvanias lineup is thought of as follows (in order of price/brightness):

regular (dark blue package)
long life (red package. discontinued for the headlights (i think))
xtra vision (purple package)
cool blue (light blue package)
silverstars (clear package)

didn't know about the expected lifetime of the silverstars when i bought them. that sucks. anyway, i just went ahead and replaced them with........ the ricey blue ones from streetglow. i know, i know, but i got them so damn cheap ($10) and i just needed a quick replacement. they look all right, except that they make my fogs look yellow so i don't drive with them on anymore. sucks bc i had replaced the fogs with some brighter bulbs to match the silverstars. oh well. we all know these guys won't last long, so when they die i'll replace them with something better. supposedly, these bulbs are 90/100 watt, bu they don't look that much brighter, just bluer. and i'm already aware of the potential melting risks.

Mike
 

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XtraVisions it is! Thanks!
 
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