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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks to alvin for pointing me to Autozone* I got a hold of some SilverStars. Changed out the lows and highs. I'm gonna leave the fogs as stock - a little yellow in a foglight never hurt anyone :)

*They're indicated as "not yet available" online; local stores have 'em, or should.

I was looking for whiter -- brighter's a bonus -- because I found the stock bulbs a bit yellow (albeit illumination itself was adequate). I didn't (and don't) care about the "HID look" but did want something that lit up the road with a color temp similar to the HIDs in our Lexus. My preference was not to go overwattage, either. The SilverStars met those criteria.

I really like 'em! They do seem brighter than stock (no official testing, however - wife refused to stand in the rain holding a reflector), and they're definitely whiter than stock. Plus, there's no discernable hotspot, either. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a head-on comparison pic without totally washing out the shot (any photographers out there have a tip?).

The pic below understates the difference (raining, offwhite garage door). Easily worth the ~$25-$30 each IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here's another...same config as above w/SilverStars on the driverside and stocks on the pax.
 

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I'm not sure if you want to go through the trouble of swapping out the bulbs again, but this is what I would do:

Put the camera on a tripod.

Assuming you are taking side/side pictures:

Block the new bulb so that it doesn't show up in the picture.
Take a picture using the automatic setting and note the shutter speed and aperture.
Switch to manual mode and use the noted shutter speed and aperture as a starting point.
Adjust shutter and or aperture until you get a decent picture.
Unblock the other bulb and take another picture.
If there is any significant difference, it should be obvious.

In another post I explained how to adjust the JPEG settings to reduce the file size to under 100K.

Kodak, Jobo, and some others make color charts that you can illuminate with your lights to judge color quality.

Another way to measure brightness would be to use your camera as a light meter. These tests should be done from the same lamp on the same subject at the same distance with the camera on a tripod. Set your camera to aperture mode and note the shutter speed with the old bulb and do the same with the new bulb. If the new bulb has a faster shutter speed (e.g. it went from 1/4 second to 1/8 second) then it is measurably brighter.

Those of you with Minolta IV flashmeters can actually measure lumens.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks bef...unfortunately on my digital I can't adjust shutter speed or aperature. There are some adjustable settings, including ambient lighting and some form of exposure compensation (can't remember what Kodak calls it) so maybe I'll give that a whirl. If you don't see any more pics, it means the available settings didn't make enough of a difference...
 

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I thought I would share my recent comparison of light bulbs here on this thread since I ended up with the Silverstars.

Here are all the bulbs I did try.
9006 Philips Bluevision - 1000 lumens
9005 Philips Bluevision (modified to fit the 9006) - 1700 lumens
9006 Sylvania Silverstar - 1000 lumens
9005 Sylvania Silverstar (modified to fit the 9006) - 1700 lumens

Someone in another thread mentioned modifying the 9005 (highbeam) bulbs to fit the as a regular headlight so I thought I would try it for both Bluevision and Silverstar.

First, I drove around with the modified-9005 Philips Bluevision for about two weeks and had no problems as far as someone flashing their highbeams. As you can imagine, they are remarkably brighter and whiter than the stock. Last week, I drove around with one Bluevision and one Silverstar, both 9005s' modified to fit as a regular headlight.

Appearance wise, the 9005 Silverstars are whiter and brighter than the 9005 Bluevision. Signs and reflectors on the road glow. I also noticed that the 9005 Silverstars side had more spots of light.

The other day, on the way back from a "out of town" trip, I changed both sides to the 9005-modified Silverstars. This is where I had problems. Within 200 miles, 3 people flashed thier brights at me and when I got to the California Inspection point, the officer waved everyone through except he stopped me just to ask if I had my highbeams on.

Final light setup:
-I installed regular 9006 Sylvania Silverstar bulbs for headlights.
-9005 Silverstar bulbs for Highbeams
-9005 Bluevision (modified) for the fog/aux. lights. Do foglights have to be yellow? Yellow fog lights glare back too much when there is thick fog and on the X, using the foglights seem to just give more horizontal (side-to-side) illumination.

I'm considering putting back the modified 9005 Bluevisions as headlights. They don't appear to be so obtrusive to other drivers and the extra 700 lumens do make a noticeable difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Proskunetes,

That's a great comparo of bulbs & positions. I hadn't considered clipping the ridges off the 9005's to fit the 9006 mounts. Not gonna do it myself (1000 lumens is adequate for me) but certainly food-for-thought.

I'm not sure on the "ideal" setup for fogs (insofar as color and brightness). We just don't use them enough around here for me to have researched it.

I was driving for around 90 mins last night. The lowbeams are a definite improvement -- I'm not there muttering "jeez, these lights are yellow" (esp compared to our HIDs in the other car) like with the stock bulbs. In addition, I found the difference with the highbeams nothing short of remarkable!
 

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Silverstars contd....

Hello Worm...

I have installed the Silverstar Bulbs on our '02 MDX and results pretty much mirror your observations. Comparisons on garage door are the same -- much whiter light with Silverstars along with more tightly focused light dispersion...

One thing I noticed when compared to the stock bulbs was that the aiming on the Silverstars appeared slightly lower than the stock bulbs using my aligned garage wall settings... did you find this at all?
I'm seriously considering slightly raising the aiming position of the Silverstars slightly to compensate for this... obviously not wanting to blind oncoming drivers... but just to increase forward road coverage slightly... The new lights are SO good and sharp at their limits, that the abrupt change from light/dark is taking me a little time to adjust to... how about you?

p.s. you're right about the Silverstar high bulbs... Astounding brightness....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Silverstars contd....

HypoDenny said:
...One thing I noticed when compared to the stock bulbs was that the aiming on the Silverstars appeared slightly lower than the stock bulbs using my aligned garage wall settings... did you find this at all?....
Unfortunately, I can't really say; I don't have markings on the garage wall, and the garage door isn't much help since, as you can tell, the driveway is slightly canted to the left. I tried to compare my old DRL pics light alignment (you can click the link in my sig) w/the silverstar comparo but I'm not certain the car was parked the same distance from the garage door. It was probably close, but I didn't measure.

There's definitely a more definitive "cutoff" with the SilverStars rather than the "fading away" of the stocks, which might give the impression they're aimed lower. Since you've got the garage alignment thing going, you'll be able to tell for sure -- it's certainly possible for the aim to be slightly different from removing and inserting bulbs into the housing.
 

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Re: Silverstars contd....

HypoDenny said:
One thing I noticed when compared to the stock bulbs was that the aiming on the Silverstars appeared slightly lower than the stock bulbs using my aligned garage wall settings... did you find this at all?
I didn't notice this after my install.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was messing with some photoediting software to see if I could get a decent shot of the headlights straight-on. No luck, but I thought this pic, which is the same as the one @ the top of the thread, was interesting. I just ramped down the "gamma" all the way. It does a neat job of showing the hotspots.
 

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Razo vs Silverstar

I put the Silverstars in the other day (high beams) and they are not as "white" as the Razo low beams. This is doing a test on the white garage wall. Compared to the Razo's they appear a little yellow (no big deal). I have not drove the MDX since putting them in so I don't have any clue what they look like on the road. I, like the Worm thought the stock high beams did a good job and I didn't think the Razo's provided any more illumination over the stock ones. I know I won't replace the Razo's when they burn out, I will put in Silverstars. One thing I have a question about is. What did the tinting on the Silverstars look like? One of mine was kind of blue and the other was a little purple. The guy in the auto store even commented on it when he sold them to me.
 

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TheWorm said:
I was messing with some photoediting software to see if I could get a decent shot of the headlights straight-on. No luck, but I thought this pic, which is the same as the one @ the top of the thread, was interesting. I just ramped down the "gamma" all the way. It does a neat job of showing the hotspots.
Eerily, Worm, the hotspots are in the shape of ... of ... an SUV!

Aieeee!

- ablank
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ablank said:
Eerily, Worm, the hotspots are in the shape of ... of ... an SUV!
Aieeee!
This "easter egg" obviously means these bulbs were designed by former software programmers :)

(Niles -- I didn't spend a lot of time eyeballing 'em before installation: I was too excited to install 'em. I'd characterize the coloring as a very slight blue/light-blue-gray tint. I didn't notice any significant difference between bulbs.)
 

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Changed stock bulbs today and installed the praised Silverstars... drove in the dark for 10-15 miles and returned quite disappointed: while whiter and slightly brighter they appeared to aim lower and too focused. Couldn't drive above 45-50 without a feeling of insecurity. The brights are quite good but the low beam is too short and I couldn't see beyond say 100 feet ahead. Went back to the stock bulbs and voila, less bright in close range but definitely better visibility ahead AND sides, more dispersed I'd say. My wife said she would never drive at night if I left the new bulbs in so you know what happened... I'll keep the brights though.

ubik

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year everybody!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ubik said:
...while whiter and slightly brighter they appeared to aim lower and too focused.
Well at least that confirms HypoDenny isn't imagining it! Perhaps you ought to try adjusting the aim. Dunno if the instructions are in the standard owner's manual -- they are in the service manual. Email me if you want 'em!
 

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Thanks for the Silverstars rec! Installed them last night and we are very happy with the light output, so much better than the stock bulbs.

Thanks again.
 

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s2ktaxi said:
Are these higher wattage?
I don't think so, just a whiter light with better light patterns, no 'hot spots'.

My wife is finally happy with the headlights, it was the only thing she disliked about the MDX. What she really wants is the HID's from our S2000. But these are as close as I have seen to Xenon's.
 

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Modifing 9005 to fit the 9006

I dont understand. By looking at the bulbs the 9005's base is smaller and the seal is smaller. I know it will fit but will it seal in the head light housing?? I know that you need to modify the connector so it will plug together. I am really concerned about the seal. Please help?
 
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