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Aftermarket replacement halogen bulbs for GenIII

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by codybigdog123, Nov 14, 2009.

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  1. codybigdog123

    codybigdog123 Got Mad and Left in a Tizzy

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    This question may have already been asked/answered before (so please excuse...I also posted on technical folder) -

    Does anyone know what type of headlight bulb Toyota uses in the 2, 3 and 4 models of the GenIII? I've read that they use a H11 (is this correct?) type halogen bulb rated at 55 watts, but I was also interested to know who makes it, and what the brightness and color spectrum is on the OEM bulb? I'm looking to replace with the Osram/Silverstar ULTRA, which claims 4100Kcolor temperature, and up to 50% brightness improvement when compared to standard, OEM halogen bulbs. Does anybody have any info, or experience with the ULTRA? Also looking at the Oshram Nightbreaker and Phillips Extreme Power (but have heard only rated at 350 hrs lifetime). Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    From page 567 of the 2010 Prius Owner's Manual on PDF:

    -- Low Beam Halogen: 55 watts, Type H11, [no Bulb # stated]

    -- High Beam Halogen: 60 watts, Type HB3, Bulb #9005

    I don't know the brand of the OEM bulbs.

    * * * * * * *

    BTW, where did you get the 350 hours rating for the Philips Xtreme Power bulbs?

    EDIT: 350 hours sounds high, as OEM halogens are typically rated for around 500 hours.

    Also, do you have an hours rating for the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra?
  3. codybigdog123

    codybigdog123 Got Mad and Left in a Tizzy

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    I got the hour rating for the XP on a blog site where someone gave the pro's/con's. The XP does something that shortens the lifetime, but gives 85% more candle power, yet still drawing 55 watts. 350 hrs (for me) means they will last about 1+ year.

    Nothing on the SilverStar, but a lot of positive posts, and no complaints on reduced lifetime.

    Before I pull two functioning bulbs, I want to find out what brand Toyota is using, so that I don't replace the current bulbs with bulbs that aren't any better, or only marginally better.
  4. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    I replaced the exterior bulbs on my car--check out this thread:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...-parking-lights-rear-license-plate-bulbs.html

    The fogs on my car are H11, which are the same as the halogen low beams on your car. I replaced them with PIAA Xtreme White bulbs, which are 4000K, and noticeably whiter and brighter than stock.
  5. Tech_Guy

    Tech_Guy Class Clown

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    These "brighter" halogen bulbs seem to have a much shorter life than the standard bulbs. I've put XP bulbs in two of my three cars and and consequently am replacing them them nearly twice as often as the original bulbs.

    Keith
  6. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    I've used them (PIAA brand) for a long time in many cars, and never had a failure. My last car had them installed for 4.5 years, and then I sold it. PIAA isn't the cheapest, but I guess you get what you pay for.
  7. codybigdog123

    codybigdog123 Got Mad and Left in a Tizzy

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    Thanks, appreciate the link.
  8. Jon S

    Jon S Member

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    A better bulb is the Osram Night Breaker from Powerbulbs.com... They are brighter than the PIAA and probably the best halogen bulbs out there....

    I tried the Sylvania SilverStar Ultra, PIAA Xtreme and the Osram... To me, the Osram came out on top... the light is not as white (or blue) as the others, but it hasexcellent coverage...
  9. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Hi Jon,

    Do you have any info as to how long each of those bulbs lasted for you (e.g., miles) and your particular use of them (e.g., did you run them as daytime running lights)? Or did you change them before they burned out?
  10. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Just wanted to relay some life expectancy info.

    1. OEM Halogens: Philips claims that the typical OEM halogen bulb lasts about 500 hours.

    2. Philips XTreme Power Bulbs: These are probably the brightest aftermarket halogens you can get -- Philips claims that they're up to 80% brighter than OEM halogens (and based on my experience with them on my Gen II Prius, this claim seems true).

    usbseawolf2000, Tideland Prius and I have reported how long the Philips XTreme Power bulbs lasted for us on the Gen II Prius:

    - usbseawolf2000: approx 5000 miles for one bulb and 9000 miles for the other.

    - Boo: exactly 9595 miles when the first bulb blew out.

    - Tideland Prius: approx 16,000 miles when the first bulb blew out, and being in Canada the bulbs were on all the time as daytime running lights.

    3. Philips Vision Plus: usbseawolf2000 went approx 45,000 miles when the first bulb blew out.

    * * * * *

    Would love to hear other people's experience with brighter aftermarket halogens.
  11. codybigdog123

    codybigdog123 Got Mad and Left in a Tizzy

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    Just a note -

    With the advent of the internet, one can pick a topic, and you will have mutiple posts that range the gamet in opinions. Looking over what people have said on other forums, in different cars, I can not get any clear consensus of what the lifetimes are for any of these bulbs. One person will say that I've had brand X, and it's still working after 10,000 miles...and a few posts later, a person will say they didn't last but 2 months before burning out. I think the only reliable data is from the manufacturer themselves, or some independent testing lab.

    But here is what I have learned about the lifetime of all halogens. I believe the following observations to be mostly fact/valid:

    (1) Getting any kind of oil/fingerprint on the bulb during installation will cause the bulb to fail prematurely.

    (2) Moisture condensation within the headlight fixture can, and usually will cause the halogen to fail prematurely.

    (3) Voltage spikes, or irregularities in the voltage to the lighting will cause the halogens to fail prematurely.


    I suspect that some combination of the aforementioned factors is one reason why there seems to be such a wide dispairity of experiences. I think without some control to this exercise, or large statistical sampling....trying to faret out what the real lifetime should be for a particular brand, will be hard to accurately assess.
  12. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    Good point. The PIAA bulbs I've bought (I've used them in half a dozen cars over the last 2 decades, with no issues) do make this point in the instructions, so I've always made it a point to never touch the glass part of the bulbs with bare fingers.
  13. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    True.

    But I still think anecdotal experience is worth something, and oftentimes, a lot.

    Or else, why did Danny start this site? And why did you start this thread? Were you asking if someone out there had knowledge of "reliable data ... from the manufacturer themselves, or some independent testing lab"? :confused:
  14. rrolff

    rrolff Prius Surgeon

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    Hrmmm - I'd love to get brighter Halogens (lot LED) - but this whole life thing is confusing to me...

    I know our 2005 Lexus GX has halogen, and we have yet to replace a bulb. In fact, over my life, I believe I've replaced one bulb 20+yrs ago.

    So I am surprised/confused that bulbs are rated only to 500hrs ???????
  15. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    It'll come soon...

    Our 02 Camry had to have its low beam bulb replaced around 07 so it was about 5-6 years old. It has a twin setup so DRLs were reduced high beams.
  16. Rhino

    Rhino New Member

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    In my Toyota Sienna, the bulbs are on all the time as daylight running lights at a lower voltage. I suspect that in this lower voltage the bulbs can last forever but they are not very bright.

    For example, if you run a household 110 volt bulb at 50 volts, it will last 3 or more times as long. I would not be surprised if it last 10 times as long.

    At night, and when I pull into a garage, the lights become brighter. I guess most people don't drive more than 500 hours at night so 500 hours can last the life of the car.

    A car driven at an average of 30 mph needs only to last around 3300 hours before reaching then end of its life at 100,000 miles. So if you don't drive more than 1/6 in the dark, the 500 hour bulbs will last a lifetime - meaning an appropriate amount.

    I know cars last longer than 100,000 miles. But, if you have to replace a bulb after 100,000 mile, most people will consider it normal. Hence my assumption of a 100,000 mile lifetime purely for this discussion.


    I have a question - do you find that you have more trouble seeing at low beam on the Prius? On my Toyota Sienna, I see better on low beam. My Prius is in the shop and I am driving a Hyundai Sonata - I see better too. Is the Prius dimmer on low beam? Or if the low beam is the same, maybe it is the angle of sitting too low and the windshield angle? Or is it just me?
  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Try re-aiming the lights. The 3G Prius with the projector setup is miles better than the dual filament multi-reflector setup of the 2G.
  18. Rhino

    Rhino New Member

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    Thank you. I'll call the shop and have them do that. Someone ran into my 3 week old car so it is in the shop. $1800 damage. I have to pay the deductible.
  19. codybigdog123

    codybigdog123 Got Mad and Left in a Tizzy

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    What? Why did I start this thread? I thought it was pretty obvious. :confused: I wanted verification that the G3's used H11 bulbs. Any other info people want to provide regarding the bulb manufacturer, and their opinions about those bulbs, is always appreciated...but that's not what I was mainly looking for.
  20. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Thanks. I had construed or misconstrued your subsequent post as being dismissive of personal or anecdotal experience, which was surprising to me given that you had seemed to have requested such info in your initial post.
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