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Thread: Osram H11 Nightbreaker

  1. #16
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Some years ago I did some rather extensive testing and plotting of the output of various bulbs for the BMW Car Club magazine Roundel. This included the high-output Osram bulbs. Daniel Stern was a great help in this testing and article. The testing took several months to complete (working steadily at night..)

    Some quick conclusions (I only tested the +50 bulbs in the higher-output bulbs, I also tested HIR bulbs - Google them - HID conversions and about 10 different halogen bulbs.):

    - The Osram Nightcutter +50 euro bulbs DO put out more light then a standard bulb. They put out more light then the Sylvania/Osram Nightcutter bulb sold in the US. The US version has a bit of blue coating so the color is different (and not actually what you want) The tradeoff with a high-output bulb is a shorter life. The filament is wound tighter and burns hotter. Current consumption (IE - AMPS) is the same as a standard bulb. (FWIW Watts = Amps x Volts and using "Watts" to measure light output is really questionable since different bulbs produce different amounts of light when drawing the same current at the same voltage.) Real measurements use "FC - footcandles, or Candella, or Lumens" - all are measures of the quantity of light. Also significant is how useful the light is - ie - the pattern. That changes with bulb type due to differences in how the filament, or arc (for an HID) is shaped.

    - Some of the blue bulbs, including one very large aftermarket* brand's version put out less light then a new standard halogen bulb. Blue coatings are an immediate sign to me of marketing over performance. I'd avoid them.

    - As someone pointed out - bulbs age. Replacing an old halogen with an identical new one can increase light output about 20-25% with no other change.

    - HID conversions can blind oncoming traffic, which is never a good thing. HID specific headlights are designed not to do this.. the halogen headlight converted to HID will not be optimal for the HID light source. I know people will say they never get flashed, or it doesn't make a difference, but I agree with Daniel Stern on this - it's really a questionable practice. IMHO - if you need that much more light, consider auxiliary lights which can be setup to switch on with your highbeams. You can aim the auxiliary lights so they are useful and fill in spots where your headlight doesn't reach.

    * the aftermarket bulb brand starts with P, has 4 letters and ends with A..

    Your Lumens May Vary..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  2. #17
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Don's right about blue headlight bulbs.

    However, it's kind of fun to use blue-coated park light bulbs, i.e. W5W.

    They look white when lit instead of yellow and look kind of cool when off.
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  3. #18
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    - HID conversions can blind oncoming traffic, which is never a good thing. HID specific headlights are designed not to do this.. the halogen headlight converted to HID will not be optimal for the HID light source.
    It depends on the reflector and if the HID light source is in the same spot as the halogen it replaces. For me, HID works great on one bike, not so much in the Toyota.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post

    - The Osram Nightcutter +50 euro bulbs DO put out more light then a standard bulb. They put out more light then the Sylvania/Osram Nightcutter bulb sold in the US. The US version has a bit of blue coating so the color is different (and not actually what you want)
    Don,

    I COULD be wrong, but I think you meant the Osram SILVERSTAR and the Sylvania SILVERSTAR.

    I read your article several years ago and ever since have been using the OSRAM Silverstars. A DEFINITE improvement with not much notice loss of life (I'm still going strong on my second bulb in 40,000 miles).

    I have since read in several other lighting reports that they are indeed way better than the Sylvania Silverstars that are readily available in car part stores.

    One of the few places in the US that carries the Osram Silverstars is:

    http://www.casporttouring.com/cst/mo...SR/144737.html



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  5. #20
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    It depends on the reflector and if the HID light source is in the same spot as the halogen it replaces. For me, HID works great on one bike, not so much in the Toyota.
    The DDM HID in my K1200RS has the same pattern as the halogen with no glare outside of the cutoff lines, as judged by the light on the garage wall.
    FWIW, I've ordered the Osrams from Powerbulbs to try in the Toyota, still getting conflicting reports re the Toyota projectors and HID's.
    Bob Weis
    '04 K12RS - Hannigan Hack
    www.earplugco.com

  6. #21
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobmws View Post
    I've ordered the Osrams from Powerbulbs to try in the Toyota, still getting conflicting reports re the Toyota projectors and HID's.
    I like the color temp (4300k) of the HIDs through the Toyota (Scion) projectors, but whether the light output is better is quite debatable. These are 35watt HIDs.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  7. #22
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98lee View Post
    Don,

    I COULD be wrong, but I think you meant the Osram SILVERSTAR and the Sylvania SILVERSTAR.

    I read your article several years ago and ever since have been using the OSRAM Silverstars. A DEFINITE improvement with not much notice loss of life (I'm still going strong on my second bulb in 40,000 miles).

    I have since read in several other lighting reports that they are indeed way better than the Sylvania Silverstars that are readily available in car part stores.

    One of the few places in the US that carries the Osram Silverstars is:

    http://www.casporttouring.com/cst/mo...SR/144737.html



    Lee - you're absolutely right. NightCutters were another companies product and they also tested out reasonably well to the claimed specs.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  8. #23
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobmws View Post
    The DDM HID in my K1200RS has the same pattern as the halogen with no glare outside of the cutoff lines, as judged by the light on the garage wall.
    FWIW, I've ordered the Osrams from Powerbulbs to try in the Toyota, still getting conflicting reports re the Toyota projectors and HID's.
    Bob,

    Part of the reason for glare is - many halogen bulbs come with a black coating on the end of the bulb.. to prevent the driver of an oncoming car from seeing the filament directly. That is a cause of glare if the coating isn't there (these are primarily low-beam bulbs) and it won't necessarily show in a pattern on a garage door. The HID bulbs don't have that coating. Can't due to the way the two connections to the bulb are made.

    It's also true that the patterns may match, but that doesn't mean there isn't more light above the cutoff line. More light above the cutoff will cause glare. Since you're increasing the overall light output of the lamp assembly, there is almost certainly more light all over the bulb pattern (above and below the cutoff line.) On an HID designed reflector - this is accounted for, and the actual light above the cutoff is no more then the light a halogen bulb puts out.

    FWIW - there are Federal standards for these, and no HID conversion light I know of meets the standards.

    More is not always better. Better often is light that is used better, better pattern, or a good set of auxiliary lights that can be turned off when there is oncoming traffic.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  9. #24
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    +1
    On the current RT, HID conversion works pretty well but as Don notes there is a bit more light above the cutoff even though the pattern doesn't change. I found the swap works well enough providing one lowers the aim a small amount to compensate for the difference. But HID swaps aren't very satisfactory on some things and actually impossible on some new cars that have engineered light sockets so the usual HID bulb swaps can't be fitted.

  10. #25
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    +1
    On the current RT, HID conversion works pretty well but as Don notes there is a bit more light above the cutoff even though the pattern doesn't change. I found the swap works well enough providing one lowers the aim a small amount to compensate for the difference. But HID swaps aren't very satisfactory on some things and actually impossible on some new cars that have engineered light sockets so the usual HID bulb swaps can't be fitted.
    My K is hacked and has a trail reducer which sits the front end a bit lower than stock, even with the Hyperpro shock & spring adjusted for the proper sag. I have not raised the headlight to where it was when the bike was solo. The last mile of my road is tree lined with no atreet lights, I'm well aware if additional light is at a higher level than acceptable for oncoming traffic.
    Now when I go the halogen high beam and the ADVMonster LED's come on, I can see the treetops..............
    Bob Weis
    '04 K12RS - Hannigan Hack
    www.earplugco.com

  11. #26
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    Update

    FWIW I have had the Nightbreakers in my Camry for a week now. They are definitely whiter as I can see the yellow of the halogen fog lights (clear bulbs, not yellow) against the low beams. They definitely throw the light further down the road, at least 1/4 mile, this based on the reflection of a stop sign that is visible much sooner, again a 2 lane road with no street lights.
    I think part of the 'magic' is the bulbs have 1/4" mirrored band against the top capped end of the bulb and also at the base of the bulb. I suspect this is to focus the light to emit from the center of the filament/bulb and work with the lens/reflectors.
    Personally I'm pleased with the performance of these bulbs, time will tell what the longevity is.
    I also replaced the high beams with a similar bulb. The high beams are also used at partial power as DRL's. The old bulbs had some discoloration on the glass capsule after 22 months, 52k miles of use.
    OBMWC, I'll most likely replace the high beam in my K12RS with a Nightbreaker.
    Bob Weis
    '04 K12RS - Hannigan Hack
    www.earplugco.com

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