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Headlight light bulb choices?

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by txl146, Aug 28, 2011.

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  1. txl146

    txl146 Member

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    I searched, but couldn't find a thread where people talk about aftermarket halogen light bulbs and how well they perform, etc.

    I've had Sylvania Silverstar bulbs in the past on Subaru, but it wasn't much of an upgrade over stock bulbs.

    Has anyone tried GE NightHawk? If so, how well did they perform compare to stock bulbs?

    What other light bulbs are out there that provide improved coverage and pattern over stock bulb?

    Thanks,
  2. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I've used a lot of different halogen bulbs and PIAA worked best for me. Unfortunately even the best bulb pales in comparison to an HID projector. If you have the means I would suggest doing a projector retrofit.
  3. txl146

    txl146 Member

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    What do you mean by projector retrofit? I am asking since 2011 Prius already comes with projector housing.
  4. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Sorry about that. I thought I was in the genii forum. In this case get the HIDs. They are actually cheaper than high quality halogens and much brighter. DDM Tuning sells decent kits for $35. :)
  5. txl146

    txl146 Member

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    I am weary about buying cheap HID kits - is DDM tuning kit really considered decent kit?

    Also, why is it necessary to remove front bumper to install HID kit?

    Thanks,
  6. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    They work for me. I use 2 different DDM ballasts on my car. If you want a high quality but more expensive kit then look into the Morimoto kit at The Retrofit Source.com. Their customer service is the best I have ever experienced. Give them a call.

    You shouldn't have to remove the bumper cover to install the kit as long as you can find a location to mount the ballast which is quite small. I've never worked on a 3rd Gen though so I am not 100% certain that you don't have to remove the cover.
  7. Paul58

    Paul58 Mileage Miser

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    I went the cheap aftermarket HID route and have already had one fail. I got them last Christmas when they were on sale for $29.99, they didn't last a full year. I just replaced them with Halo Platinum Halogen bulbs. I got them from Amazon.com for $19.99 a pair w/free shipping, they arrived within 3 days of placing the order. I actually bought 2 sets and replaced the fog light bulbs as well so now they match. (Both sets were cheaper than one set of SilverStars at the local Autozone) They are very bright and project well down the road. The color is bright white, but without the blue tint the HIDs had. They are less than half the price of Sylvania SilverStars, and if they last longer than the HIDs I'll be happy!
  8. ChaiLove

    ChaiLove Junior Member

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    Are the Amazon ones plug and play or do they require mounting as well? I would like to put in brighter bulbs in my car but am weary of doing anything more technical than plug and play ones at the moment.
  9. txl146

    txl146 Member

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    ChaiLove, do you have stock HID kit installed?
  10. ChaiLove

    ChaiLove Junior Member

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    I have done nothing to my headlights so far, they are what came standard. I have a gen 3 IV with Navigation. Would I need to install a kit or can I just change out light bulbs?
  11. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    HID ballast stealth-installed without removing front bumper:

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  12. txl146

    txl146 Member

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    Awesome! thanks for posting the video.
  13. txl146

    txl146 Member

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    This is the kit I want to buy:

    XT-5k-H11 H11 5000k Xtreme Xenon HID Conversion Kit $199.99.

    Kind of expensive, but I think it's definitely worth it.
  14. unreal

    unreal Junior Member

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    Double rainbow lmao.. Great vid
  15. Paul58

    Paul58 Mileage Miser

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    They are standard replacement H11 halogen bulbs, nothing else to install, just remove the stock bulb and replace it with the Halo bulb.

    The color is a brighter white than the stock bulb and they do project further down the road, but not quite as far as HIDs.

    The problem I found with the HID Kits is the cost of the kit is reasonable, but replacement bulbs can cost as much as the entire kit! For example, the HID Kit I had installed originally cost $29.99 for two bulbs, two ballast, and the associated wiring harness. One bulb has alreay burned out after only 7 months and one replacement bulb costs $29.99. Thus my decision to go back to Halogen bulbs, and at $19.99 a pair, they are more economical, especially if they last longer than 7 months... And because they are replacement bulbs, they are much easier to install and replace when the time comes.
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  16. Feri

    Feri Active Member

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    I installed a Phillips HID kit 4300K. Nice white light. Had it 2 months and no problems. $132.00 (Aussie) . I wouldn't go near no name brands. Also installed same brand HIDs for high beam. A bit slow to fire up but not a problem where I travell. I will install halogen driving lights to give instant light soon. The High beam is unbeleivable!
  17. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    DDM sells replacement HID bulbs for $15/pr. If you want cheap bulbs that is. The Morimoto bulbs are $30/pr.

    HID bulbs generally last much longer than halogen bulbs so I don't see how you think it is more economical to go back to halogens.
  18. Paul58

    Paul58 Mileage Miser

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    You kind of answered your own question... Generally HIDs are more reliable, if you stay away from the cheap no-name brands. As I previously stated, I bought a cheap, no-name $30 kit and one bulb blew after only 7 months. Sure, cheap replacements may be found for only $15 a pair (I couldn't find any less than $29 when I was looking), but if they only last 7 months then the cyle starts again.

    The $20 pair I purchased through Amazon.com provides good light, and if they last 12 months then I'm ahead of where I was financially. Had I installed a $300 HID kit then I would have certainly expected them to last longer, and I'd be contacting the manufacturer if they didn't, but considering my initial investment was less than a pair of Sylvania SilverStars, it was more economical for me to just pull the HID kit and return to halogen bulbs. (anyone interested in my HID Kit, minus one bulb, PM me with an offer.)

    Also, the question posed to me was from an individual who did not want to modify his vehicle and I was merely offering an economical option that will provide a bit brighter, whiter light, at a reasonable price. I'm not arguing the differences between halogen and HID as there is clearly a difference, if you want to invest in a quality set of HIDs to ensure longevity.
  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    My point was that HIDs generally last longer than halogens. Even the cheap HID bulbs. I think you just got a bunk bulb which can happen with any halogen as well. I've seen plenty of $70/pr PIAA bulbs go back back when I sold them. Sometimes it is a quality control issue and sometimes it's an installer issue (think greasy fingers touching a bulb's glass).

    Obviously if one has to purchase an HID kit then the halogen route is the most economical if you buy cheap halogen but the increase in lighting with HIDs makes this an apples to oranges comparison. Quality halogens usually run $30+ and so does an HID kit. :)
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