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Daniel Stern Lighting and Subaru headlight options


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On Thu, 19 Oct 2006 f1anatic wrote:


> Hello there,


Hi there.


> I have a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT and after 23,000 miles one of my OEM low

> beam headlights just burnt out.


Yep. H7 is an inherently short-lived bulb, and Subaru rather unwisely chose to use the low beams as daytime running lamps, which further shortens the already short life of an H7. There are much better ways of implementing DRLs. If you wish to correct this error on Subaru's part (one of the only errors they made; those are well built and very capable cars),

it is neither difficult nor expensive to do -- just let me know; I carry the parts.


> I would like to replace them with something better. For me, if it > doesn't improve performance, it will not go on the car. I have read a bit about bulbs and I am a bit partial to the OSRAM (not Sylvania) Silverstars.


That is a Plus+50 bulb, equivalent to Philips VisionPlus, Narva

Rangepower+50 and Tungsram Megalicht+50. It'll improve beam performance slightly but at a cost of greatly reduced bulb life. You'd be much happier with Osram's Rallye+65 H7, which works beautifully in the well-designed lampset on your Subaru.


Standard H7: 55w, 1400 lumens, 500 hours

H7 ultra "Plus+50": 55w, 1550 lumens, 225 hours, $17.50/ea

H7 rallye+65: 65w, 2100 lumens, 500 hours, $26.40/ea <--Obvious choice!


The extra 10w is of no consequence as far as electrical power or heat. (those 80w to 100w bulbs are a different story!)


Can also materially improve the high beams with the 9011 bulbs in place of your present 9005s.


The new bulbs are not some tinted or overwattage version of 9005, but rather employ a relatively new technology called HIR, Halogen Infrared. The mechanical dimensions of the bulb are all virtually identical to the 9005, but the bulb glass is spherical instead of tubular, with the sphere centered around the filament. There is a "Durable IR Reflective" coating

on the spherical glass. Infrared = heat, so the coating causes heat to be reflected back to the filament at the center of the sphere. This causes the filament to become much hotter (producing more light) than it can by passing electricity through it, *without* the shorter life or greater heat production that comes with overwattage bulbs (to say nothing of overwattage bulbs' incompatibility with stock wiring.)


Here's the comparison:


stock: 9005, 12.8V, 65W, 1700 lumens, 320 hours

new: HIR1, 12.8V, 65W, 2530 lumens, 320 hours


These bulbs are spendy - $27/ea - but their cost is worth considering in context: Any number of companies will charge you more than this for a tarted-up 9005 with blue colored glass (PIAA and Sylvania Silverstar come to mind) that doesn't produce more light and has a very short lifespan.


The HIR bulbs have a double-wide top ear on the plastic bulb base, this is to comply with the law requiring different bulbs to have different bases. The extra-wide plastic top ear is easily trimmed or filed to make the bulb fit your headlamp's bulb receptacle. Once that's done, they go directly into the headlamp, and the existing sockets snap on.


> I do a considerable amount of night driving and bad weather visibility > is something I emphasize.


Put H3 Gold bulbs ($13.50/ea) in the fog lamps.


> Bulbs are a pain to replace in my GT so i would like something that will burn out in another 20,000 miles.


You're kind of doomed to short low beam life unless you rework those low-beam DRLs, either deactivating them entirely or moving the DRL function to the front turn signals (as is done on most current cadillacs, a couple of Lincolns, many Toyotas and Lexus, etc.). As I say, it's neither difficult nor expensive.




Please indicate:


The quantity of each item you wish

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(UPS trackable ground shipping is standard; all UPS service levels are available)

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Whether the UPS driver has permission to leave the parcel at your doorstep if you are not available to accept it in person.


You may voicemail or fax your order toll-free on 1-866-861-8668. Please note this is a recorded orderline only.


Orders may also be sent via e-mail to: dastern AT torque DOT net


We accept Visa and Mastercard. Orders are processed securely.


Whatever method you use, the following information is required in order to process a credit card order:


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Please don't forget to include a note (such as a printout of our e-mail) stating exactly which items you are ordering, and where you wish them sent.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Best Regards,





So I regard Mr. Daniel Stern as a reference and most automotive forums quote him. My question is...if I order:



Standard H7: 55w, 1400 lumens, 500 hours

H7 ultra "Plus+50": 55w, 1550 lumens, 225 hours, $17.50/ea

H7 rallye+65: 65w, 2100 lumens, 500 hours, $26.40/ea <--Obvious choice!


do I really need to address the HIGH BEAMS ?

stock: 9005, 12.8V, 65W, 1700 lumens, 320 hours

new: HIR1, 12.8V, 65W, 2530 lumens, 320 hours



Put H3 Gold bulbs ($13.50/ea) in the fog lamps.

I mean one could literally get a sun tan from that !

Anyone else sporting them ?

Any obvious risks to the headlight assembly from running 10 W higher ? HE claims no danger. Anyone else on the site claiming the contrary ?



Osram H7 65w + Toshiba HIR 9011 Pictures




(I included the entire e-mail to be used as reference by others)




Edited by f1anatic
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Why not?


Lumens are lumens. more lumens down range is good, especially on high beam, because that throw is further, and more lumens will either throw further yet, or fill the existing pattern with brighter light, or maybe a bit of both. 800 more lumens for the HIR is almost a 50% increase. not inconsequential... and the Legacy's reflectors can put those lumens to use.


I'd probably do that mod eventually, and pair the HIR high beams with ~4300k HID lows. And yellow fogs for the clarity on a short-throw pattern.


Lumens are GOOD, Lumens are GOOOOD.

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I am waiting on an answer for another question and will probably pull the trigger on the lows and the H3 fogs. I will get around to doing the high beams as well...but realistically I rarely use them. As I said...you could tan if basking in them already and for me mid field power, torque, visibility are more important than top end.
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That seems like a rational approach. and probably a really good choice.


But keep in mind, there is more light and less light... not really "mid-range" light. and light doesn't cost quite as much to upgrade as power, and light is useable when power is not...


And luckily, like traction (with good tires), Light (with good bulbs) is one thing Legacy has going for it, in spades.


Four really good light fixtures are SOO nice, compared to all my previous cars having just two fixtures of varying quality.


I love the projectors being able to focus all of their available light on the strict low beam pattern, rather than compromizing half of the reflector or lens focus to high beams... and vice versa for the high beams not having to compromize reflector space for the low beam pattern.


Plus, that just means that high output light sources like HIR, and HID (especially with a HID reflector and cutoff retrofit) can do their best in their own dedicated fixture, and not waste as much of that extra output.


It's like playing really good music through really good speakers. neither gets wasted.

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More light is always good.


My 95 Civic had 135 watt high beams and 80 watt lows. Wonderful!


My dad was driving behind me when we were driving through the mountains going on a ski trip and he said a lit up the whole side of the mountian!:icon_cool


I never had heat problems, but it was a different car. Or maybe I never had problems because I was always going so fast that they never had a chance to get hot.:icon_wink

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Most of those extra lumens seem to go to lighting up a broader field of view with little added depth. The tree tops are nicely illuminated and reflective surfaces normally above the low beam cut-off are visible further ahead, but when I use my brights they don't seem add much distance. I was driving the wife's ride the other night, which has a pair of Hella driving lights wired to switch on with the highs. Now those throw some extra light waaaay down the road.
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Thanks for the info, f1 ! :D


I think I'm going to go for a set of the Osram Rallye +65s to replace my Silverstar lows.


I'm currently rocking a set of the Narva Golds in the fogs. Combined with just a slight bit of re-aiming (I've got it set to throw just a tiny further down the road, but still angled *quite* downwards), it does really nicely on wet pavement and even as nav-lights, and now also gives excellent mid-field edge-rendition in snowy weather and on plowed-edge roads.




Brothers LBGT and IWSS -


Brother TRS's response is precisely the case. Yes, you've got extra light being put out, but how much of that light is truly useable?


Remember that it's not just the number of lumens - but how the light is focused and shaped that will determine how and what you see under specific conditions.


The average 60W household light bulb puts out something like 4,000 lumen - yes, it'll light up your bedroom nicely, but use it as a porch-light, and see how far you can see out into the back yard....


At the same time, while a hand-held flashlight is a horrible substitute for a proper lantern as room-lighting when the power goes out, it sure can "throw" that light pretty far down a dark hallway or outdoor path, no?




Any measure of light only tells half the story - the other half is told by the optics, reflector housing design, etc.


If you truly want to see farther down the road at night, get a set of properly designed, high-power "driving lights," and set them up correctly to properly supplement your high-beams (and remember to dim them for oncoming traffic!).


I won't say that the HIRs aren't nice. They are - but to me, they are only so for the reasons that TRS cited above, that they seem to light up a broader field and highlight reflective surfaces farther away, both of which adds a bit to my night-time driving "comfort." However, they are still limited by the size and design of your current reflectors.


But to think that they're going to be a substitute for a good set of properly designed and set-up driving lamps in terms of pure throw and penetration - that's definitely not going to happen. :)

<-- I love Winky, my "periwinkle" (ABP) LGT! - Allen / Usual Suspect "DumboRAT" / One of the Three Stooges

'16 Outback, '16 WRX, 7th Subaru Family

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It is actually closer to 1000 if you are referring to the single walled (cheap) non-halogen bulbs. Most household bulbs put out 16-20 lumens per watt when new. Much less when they are aged.




My mistake! Sorry, my recall is going to crap with the little sleep I've had since Anna. :) I can barely make-change at the supermarket, and the other day, I actually tried to shoplift from my local Advance Auto. :lol: Good thing that they know me there - and that I tried to shoplift from the checkout counter! :lol:


Again, my apologies.


Most embarrassing for a confessed flashaholic who EDCs 3 lights (SureFire E2D in left pants pocket, SureFire KL1/E1e combo in holster on strong side, belt, FireFly II on keychain) and totes 3 lights (SureFire C2/Z2, SureFire L6, and Br.Bulk VIP with BBBH) in his trunk..... :redface:




However, even at 800 to 1000 lumen, my comparison stands - it'll nicely illuminate a confined space, but it won't "penetrate" open-distances. Even a 60 lumen hand-held, POORLY focused, will easily "out throw" a totally unfocused household bulb.




How much light a system puts out truly is only half the story - the other half is how that light is put to-use.


Yes, the HIRs in high-beam application should increase your overall night-time driving "comfort" (which is what I'll be getting this for) as well as marginally improve safety, but it still will not throw far enough (as that's a limitation of the reflector sizing and design) when compared against a good set of dedicated driving lamps, properly aimed to supplement the high-beams.

<-- I love Winky, my "periwinkle" (ABP) LGT! - Allen / Usual Suspect "DumboRAT" / One of the Three Stooges

'16 Outback, '16 WRX, 7th Subaru Family

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I did the HIRs for high beams l18 months ago. So far, so good, in that my GT is now > 2 years old, and has yet to burn out a bulb (knocks wood).


I really like the way the extra lumens project - I see a noticable, better difference from the stock hi-beams.


I used to sport cibie replacement headlights in my saab 900 turbo, along with driving lights below the bumper. Just the thing for late nights driving in back woods Georgia (when I lived there in 88-89).


So - what are the options for adding on driving lights to the GT? Any decent brackets available yet? I'd kinda like to add some PIAAs or similar - but have not seen any doing similar mods to date...

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^ I'm actually in the process of trying a couple of places on the *inside* of the grill. I haven't started work on it, yet, as baby and work duties have been heavy as of late, but I should have something set up by the middle of next month.


For now, I've just used the local AutoZone and gotten an el-cheapo set of the physically smallest pencil-beams (or so goes the claim on the package...) that I can find - my main concern now is finding a good place to put the lights so that I can properly co-aim them, and then datalogging to see if there's any adverse effect on engine cooling. :) Once I have these concerns covered, I'll start looking for "better" lights. ;)

<-- I love Winky, my "periwinkle" (ABP) LGT! - Allen / Usual Suspect "DumboRAT" / One of the Three Stooges

'16 Outback, '16 WRX, 7th Subaru Family

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^ Not first-hand, sorry, bruddah. :redface:


The unit to the left looked attractive to me due to its packaging, but I don't have a trusted, personal and first-hand, source to go to for a performance review.


The later units are "shaped" more like ones which some of my friends have used before, and I would be comfortable purchasing them for "performance" based on such similarities (i.e. reflector shape), but I am not certain, yet, if they would be too "wide" to fit nicely behind our stock grill without one of the bar supports cutting into the beam pattern and rendering an annoying shadow.


I wish I could help better! :redface:

<-- I love Winky, my "periwinkle" (ABP) LGT! - Allen / Usual Suspect "DumboRAT" / One of the Three Stooges

'16 Outback, '16 WRX, 7th Subaru Family

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Wider spread on high beams could be good. taller maybe not necessary, but brighter in the upper regions of the pattern isn't all bad for high-overhead signs.


I do a fair amount of rural night driving on the highway, both two and four lane. Wide pattern is good to see obstacles and deer in the distance, especially in the ditches, and the shoulders.


An appropriate vertical height to the high beams is good, to, for going down hills, where the headlights light the valley very well, but not necessarily the rise on the other side. and also giving lead time to read overhead signs on interstates and overpasses.


No doubt driving lights would be a welcome addition. Again, even more lumens, and even more specific focus. I wish one could add nice driving lights to an agressive car like the Legacy, without looking like pie plates stuck to the front, and limiting airflow to the radiator. I wish more cars were designed like 80's/90s porsches, with both fog and driving lights integrated nicely into the design, not as an add-on.


Too bad that would also break most US state laws that say no more than four forward facing headlight beams. lows and fogs, ok. Highs and Lows, ok. Highs, lows, and driving beams, not... unfortunately. What are you going to give up? close range definition, moderate to long range wide angle view, or very long range detection? they always give up the last one, by not having driving lights from the factory. I can't say I'd do differently under mandate, like manufacturers are.


My biggest issue, is on four lane interstates, is getting long range enough to the shoulders (legacy is better than all my previous cars at this, but is still strictly cut off, of course) and far enough down range, when there are very few cars ahead of me in my traffic lane, but still enough oncoming traffic on the other side of the median to not really want to blind them with the high beams. I can't see very far down my dark lane of traffic, but I can't blind oncoming traffic (because if they did it to me, I'd see even worse...)


This is why I like HIDS in properly cut off and focused fixtures, HIRs (what downside for more light?), driving lights, fog lights on appropriate occaisions, and more lumens all around. I like LEDs, too, for their instant flash indicator aspects, and stark on or off behavior, which tends to grab attention.


But I am to technical for my own good, anyway. The wife says so, and she's always right :D

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