Tech Info >> Halogen Bulb Shootout: The Good, the Blue, and the UGLY > Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 

Page Five: Conclusion

As with all upgrades, its important to note that enhusiasts seeking to increase their headlamp's light output should first look at the entire picture - what is right for one vehicle, may not be ideal for another. Here are a few suggestions:

Collectors Car: If the car is a collectors car, it would not be prudent to make any drastic changes that would negatively effect the vehicles value. It may be wise to consider upgrades that are easy to revert back to, incase a future buyer doesn't have the same taste as you do. In this case, your upgrade should be clean, simple and tasteful.

Personal Toy: If the vehicle is your toy and you don't mind spending on a fancier setup, a quality xenon upgrade should be considered. With situations like this, the performance and safety benefits easily outweigh the higher expenditure. Afterall, when your car is your baby, price is rarely a concern as long as its in the budget.

Trusty Steed: Ah yes, the daily driven car which is oh-so relied on. We typically recommend that daily driven cars get upgrades that are effective and economical. Rarely do these two characteristics coincide, but can happen. In this situation, pick a setup that is proven and effective.

Once you have a mind-set and budget established, inspect your vehicle and start to balance your options. If your lamps are hazy and need replacement, consider either having them repaired and polished, or, replaced. Plastic headlamps require special care, if your lamps were neglected - dont expect a bulb upgrade to be effective. In order for light to reflect out of your headlamp assembly and onto the road, it must go through the lens first. Much like humans cannot read with scratched glasses, lights cannot shine through scratched lenses. But wait... what if your lamps are in poor condition and newer, better quality headlamps exist? Consider this an opportunity to upgrade.

If better headlamps exist and are in the budget, go for it. Personally, you can never go wrong with a good set of headlamps. Honestly, the benefits easily outweigh the loss(es). Think about it, by nature.. human vision is easily impaired at night. Without light at night, our vision is practically useless. Even when driving with the best of modern-day headlamps, many of us admit that we could always benefit from seeing better at night, especially as we age. In this case, its not just a matter of performance - its a matter of safety. It costs money because it saves money. Bumping into something can cause damage to your car. Causing an accident can cause personal injury (or worse). And much like the price of gas, the cost of hospital bills don't ever seem to go down. The reality is, better lighting not only helps you see better, but it also helps others see you better. Remember, we share the road with numerous types of people: old, young, cautious, careless and maybe even drunk. Do you're share, be safe.

In addition to the above recommendations, we always suggest simple solutions like running a heavy-duty relay wiring harnesses. Much like why people upgrade their wiring when installing better quality speakers, it would be stupid not to run a relay wiring harness - even with stock bulbs. The bottom line is this, almost every factory vehicle being sold uses the bare-minimum in terms of wiring thickness. And to further cut costs, only a select amount of vehicles on the road use relayed headlamp circuits. Most headlamp wires run from the battery (engine bay) to the headlamp switch (cabin), and then back out to the headlamps. This causes a significant voltage drop, especially as the vehicle and its wires begin to age. Corrosion, acid, oil and debri on the connectors and contacts only further compound the problems at hand. So, be smart and run a heavy-duty relay wiring harness - it provides maximum current to your bulbs and increases the amount of bulb options you have to chose from. Cheers!