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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 10-17-2004, 10:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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my 1990 525i headlight sucks. it was not a bad bulb. curious on what people would recomend for the best bulb to buy.
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Old 10-17-2004, 10:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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besides converting to HID

definately buy SilverStars, theyre so much brighter and whiter. theyre made by Silvania, and you can get them at any autoparts store
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Old 10-17-2004, 10:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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what about these?

PIAA Xtreme White Bulbs
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Old 10-17-2004, 11:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I took this off another site; I did not write it - you will note that the Silver Stars are not called Sylvania's but are the one and same thing: I just bought them, but my headlights I believe are also aimed to low and am having them adjusted slightly further up the road as well.

H7 Philips VisionPlus Head Lamp reviews
by: Vincent528i on 2002-03-28





I highly recommend Philips VisionPlus - they are great. Here is a review:


Excerpt from Auto Express magazine UK
H7Bulbs
The pace of development in headlight bulb technology has never been faster, with more and more effective lights hitting our roads with big claims of improved performance. But do they make a real difference? Nearly two years ago, we put twin-filament dip-and-beam H4 bulbs through their paces. Our results showed that the manufacturers' claims were justified - if you read the small print.

The Test
Our assessments were carried out independently using specialised testing equipment at Philips Automotive Lighting in Aachen, Germany, and under the watchful eye of AA Technical Information Centre engineer Rory Stockbridge. Before we could begin, we illuminated the bulbs for an hour to settle light output. After that, the illumination was measured in a photometric sphere, which also calculated the power draw.

The Verdict
We were shocked to discover that nearly half our random sample failed to meet legal requirements. It is incredible that such a quantity of safety-related products is on sale - and on our roads. The regulations are simply not being enforced, jeopardising road safety. And buying a name is no guarantee of ensuring quality.


The Winners, H7Bulbs

1 Philips VisionPlus
2 Philips Premium
3 Philips BlueVision
4 Ring Ice Blue
5 Halfords Laser Blue


Philips VisionPlus
Rating *****
Price: 24
Output: 1,590
Power: 57.2W
Geometry: OK
75m: 34.5 50m kerb: 57.7
50m centre: 28.6
Overall beam: 155.4

The original '50 per cent extra' bulb can certainly justify the claims. It places massive amounts of light on the road in all areas. We saw the difference in the tunnel, and you will on the road. Well worth buying.


Osram Silver Star (Not in production at time of review)
Rating ****
Price: 25
Output: 1,584
Power: 57W
Geometry: OK
75m: 33.4 50m kerb: 58.6 50m centre: 26
Overall beam: 151.5

The Silver Stars we looked at were pre-production examples - the maker's answer to Philips' '50 per cent extra' bulbs. If the final version works as well as these when it goes on sale in February, we would happily recommend it.


Philips Premium
Rating ****
Price: 18
Output: 1,498
Power: 57.7W
Geometry: OK
75m: 34.1 50m kerb: 56.8
50m centre: 24.6
Overall beam: 149.6

Philips' entry-level H7 sells at the standard price and is an easy choice for budget-buy award. It puts plenty of light on the road at 75m yet manages a sharp cut-off, avoiding too much glare. Top stuff.


Philips BlueVision
Rating ****
Price: 25.64
Output: 1,409
Power: 57W
Geometry: OK
75m: 34.3 50m kerb: 57.2
50m centre: 23.6
Overall beam: 149.3

Yet again, Philips is our pick of the blue bulbs It was less 'white' than its rivals, which may explain the better result. It really scores at 75m where its superiority is clear.


Ring Ice Blue
Rating ***
Price: 15.90
Output: 1,400
Power: 56.3W
Geometry: OK
75m: 30.8 50m kerb: 51.5 50m centre: 30.6
Overall beam: 143.6

IF GE's results elsewhere may suggest otherwise, it supplied this one, proving it can make decent bulbs. The beam is noticeably white. But if you want to see well rather than look good, ignore blue and go for premium.


Halfords Laser Blue
Rating ***
Price: 39.98
Output: 1,407
Power: 56.3W
Geometry: OK
75m: 31.7 50m kerb: 53.1 50m centre: 26.3
Overall beam: 142.7

The blue-and-white look does not seem to affect H7 light output as badly as H1 and H4s, as there are three in our top six. Halfords' version brings up the rear of group, but tops the price charts. Ouch...


Bosch Xenon Power
Rating ***
Price: 45.90
Output: 1,474
Power: 57.2W
Geometry: OK
75m: 31.8 50m kerb: 56.1 50m centre: 23.1
Overall beam: 142.7

Bosch went to Osram for this one. Light closer to the car was decent, but the 75m result was a bit behind the best despite a good power output. For this kind of money, we would expect excellence.


Halfords HBU 477
Rating ***
Price: 15.98
Output: 1,449
Power: 56.4W
Geometry: OK
75m: 30.5 50m kerb: 54 50m centre: 22
Overall beam: 136.9

Another Narva-built bulb so, not surprisingly, a similar result to Ring (see left). It can claim to be the best of the standard bulbs. Light output is better, which explains the improved tunnel results.


Ring
Rating ***
Price: 11.90
Output: 1,383
Power: 56.4W
Geometry: OK
75m: 28.1 50m kerb: 53.6 50m centre: 20.2
Overall beam: 130

Built by Narva, with light output near the bottom of the scale it is hardly surprising that this example struggled to match the beam performance of the best on test. Not bad, but you could shop around for better.
rated


Osram
Rating **
Price: 5.87
Output: 1,411
Power: 57.1W
Geometry: OK
75m: 27.3 50m kerb: 49.7 50m centre: 20.2
Overall beam: 124.2

After its stablemates' performance, it was a shock to see this Osram among the also-rans. The glare cut-off could have been sharper, but the bulb simply did not put enough light on the road.


General Electric
Rating **
Price: 19
Output: 1,417
Power: 55.4W
Geometry: OK
75m: 26.5 50m kerb: 50.6 50m centre: 19.5
Overall beam: 123.2

Build was within the regulations, but in the tunnel the beam looked too low, which would explain the relatively poor results. It does the job, but your money would be better spent on a higher-rating product.


Astralamp

Rating
Price: 19.98
Output: 1,395
Power: 55.4W
Geometry: 3 fail
75m: 23.3 50m kerb: 49.2 50m centre: 19.1 verall beam: 114.8

Three geometry failures, including the filament in the wrong place, meant the Astralamp wouldn't get far. Positioning is critical with H7s and a poor set-up meant little light down the road, despite a reasonable output. Not rated


Lucas
Rating
Price: 20.74
Output: fail
Power: 55.8W
Geometry: 4 fail
75m: 26.3 50m kerb: 48 50m centre: 17.2
Overall beam: 117.8

A well known UK make, Lucas shares the dubious honour with Hella of not having a single legal bulb in this test. This time, poor light output is compounded by dodgy build, which meant a poor beam performance. Not rated


Power Train
Rating
Price: 13.98
Output: fail
Power: 55.1W
Geometry: 3 fail
75m: 27.9 50m kerb: 49.7 50m centre: 20.9
Overall beam: 126.4

Eaglite bravely stamped its name on this less-than-brilliant bulb but the results hardly do it credit. Meagre light output was made worse by poor build quality, leaving less light on the road than was desirable. Not


Bosch Blue
Rating
Price: 39.90
Output: 1,387
Power: 57.2W
Geometry: 3 fails
75m: 28.8 50m kerb: 48.4 50m centre: 21.8
Overall beam: 127.7

Build quality let down Bosch's high-power blue bulb although, unlike other failures, the result on the road was acceptable. Bosch needs more consistency from suppliers if its bulbs are to live up to its reputation. Not rated


Osram Cool Blue
Rating
Price: 17.27
Output: 1,387
Power: 57.2W
Geometry: 3 fails
75m: 33 50m kerb: 59 50m centre: 24.6
Overall beam: 149.6

An excellent beam pattern with plenty of light at 75m, and more closer to the car. However, three geometric fails cannot be excused, even if it's the sort of problem we'd expect from an OE bulb maker. Not rated


PIAA Super White
Rating
Price: 52.95
Output: fail
Power: fail
Geometry: 4 fails
75m: 23.1 50m kerb: 42.1 50m centre: 18.4
Overall beam: 106.8

Boasts a 55W bulb with 100W output - but our tests didn't agree. The light output is below the legal minimum, it draws excess power, geometry is non-reg and the beam's one of the worst. And what a price! Not rated


Bosch Premium
Rating
Price: 23.90
Output: fail
Power: 55.8W
Geometry: 3 fails
75m: 23.2 50m kerb: 41.9 50m centre: 19.5
Overall beam: 107.8

Sheer lack of power pushes this Bosch into the doldrums. When the best standard bulbs can push out 1,450+ lumens, it is not good enough to fall some 200 shy. A rethink is needed. Not rated


Hella
Rating
Price: 16.49
Output: 1,384
Power: 55.5W
Geometry: 2 fails
75m: 23.4 50m kerb: 45.6 50m centre: 17.7
Overall beam: 110.1

Our final Hella H7 failed, which means that we did not buy one legal bulb from the top German electrics giant. Not only did it fail to measure up, the illumination it put out was woeful. Not rated


Lucas Blue Lightning
Rating
Price: 29.98
Output: 1,014
Power: 55.1W
Geometry: 4 fails
75m: 24.8 50m kerb: 44.8 50m centre: 18.2
Overall beam: 112.6

At east this failure was safe for oncoming road users. The build was well out of the required specification and the light output was some 200 lumens behind the next worst. How this got an E mark is a mystery. Not rated
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Old 10-18-2004, 08:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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sylvania silverstars will cost you about 40-50 dollars and somewhere i read they last like 3 months and then die....

for 150-200 you can buy euro elipsoid lights on eBay and those allow you to run h1 bulbs, which is the best thing you can do short of a hid conversion.
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm confused on this one. I thought that 5 series in US come standard w/HID elipsoids in the low-beam bulb? I've got a 95 525i and it's got the same looking headlight setup as in Torque's signature. Isn't that a HID elipsoid on the outside light?
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by frank3@Oct 18 2004, 11:41 AM
I'm confused on this one. I thought that 5 series in US come standard w/HID elipsoids in the low-beam bulb? I've got a 95 525i and it's got the same looking headlight setup as in Torque's signature. Isn't that a HID elipsoid on the outside light?
[snapback]213327[/snapback]
well what my car has is a 'US elipsoid' which is pretty much the same as no elipsoid at all.... and hid can look either way on the outside, but it's what's on the inside that counts.

btw. some people used late model Lincoln Mark VIII hid lights to do the conversion... but it costs much
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