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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Discussion Starter #1
My daughter has an '04 Pontiac Grand Am and is not happy with the headlights (too dim). What should I look for? Seem to me that I did some research several years ago when she complained, but forgot what I found. I thought some of the brighter bulbs did not last as long. What is your guys experience. I'm all ears.
 

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See you in the funny papers
04 CTS-V, 05 STS, 07 SRX- All sold :(
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The brighter bulbs (Sylvania Silverstars) I put in my Miata literally died every 3 to 4 months- total waste of money, IMO, but it might have been caused by my uber stiff suspension too.

Check and make sure that the plastic isn't fogging up and becoming opaque from age and blocking the light. If so, you can buff them back clear with some 2000 grit and a high speed buffer. If not, you might want to invest in an HID conversion kit, but for the love of God don't buy one of those 8,000,000,000 Kelvin kits that the ricers following me always have. It's like being chased by the fracking sun.
 

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97 Deville
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169 Posts
TS is right, the Silverstars die soon. Also, giving the headlight lens a treatment does wonders. I've got the GE Nighthawks, after researching, I found that they are almost as bright as the Silverstars, offer a normal headlight color (more yellowish than bluish white), and last longer. I got them buy one get one free at Amazon w/free shipping. I haven't had them long enough to testify about how long they last, but they are definitely a nice improvement for not a lot of dough.
 

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'79 Phaeton (crushed), '94 Brougham, 78 Mark V DJ
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Strange, my Silverstars have been in over a year in my FWB, and it has a brutal aftermarket suspension as well. Another option is simply increasing the guage of wiring from the battery to the headlights.
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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I just got a HID kit from SharpHID.com for my Brougham and I like it. Mine is 6000k, which is a little bit past pure white (around 5000K) and has a very, very slight tinge of blue. Most factory kits are 4300k. I will get some pictures up later. These suckers are BRIGHT. I had to re-aim the headlights afterward but now they light up the road at least 3 times better than the cheepo halogen bulbs that were in there before.

I have had Silverstars in my Fleetwood for over 6 months now with no problems at all. As long as you take precautions and use gloves so you don't touch the bulb they should last just as long as regular halogen bulbs.
 

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1998 Seville STS / 2013 Chevrolet Impala
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4300k HID's are some of the brightest lights you can get. I'm getting some 5000k for my Deville, 35w for low beam, 55w for high.

The rule of thumb is: lower bulb temperature= more lumens, and vice versa.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Discussion Starter #8
Lenses are clear as glass. Maybe I'll look for some Nighthawks and see if they make her happy.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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Lenses are clear as glass. Maybe I'll look for some Nighthawks and see if they make her happy.
Try the Nighthawks, if they don't make her happy then I'm afraid you'll have to go the HID route.

I am a HID fanatic, but I really don't condone putting them into vehicles that were not designed for them to begin with because of the risk of dazzling other oncoming traffic. With that being said, some of these cars have such SHITTY factory headlamps you don't really have a choice. It's either smash into someone because YOU didn't see them, or possibly risking a collision for the guy on the OTHER side of the road because he saw your too bright headlights so far away he couldn't see anything else. I'd rather take the chance on the other guy rather than myself hitting something, so I'd go ahead and drop them in.
 

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1998 Seville STS / 2013 Chevrolet Impala
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The trick to properly installing an HID conversion is to try to fabricate/find clear lenses. The standard halogen lenses are usually faceted use the most of what light is available, but with HID's that causes the light to scatter, because they don't need faceting.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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The trick to properly installing an HID conversion is to try to fabricate/find clear lenses. The standard halogen lenses are usually faceted use the most of what light is available, but with HID's that causes the light to scatter, because they don't need faceting.
Actually that is a misconception. Look at 90 percent of the cars on the road today, they already HAVE clear lenses so that's no big deal. You are correct that clear lenses assist in not FURTHER scattering the light, but the science of HID actually comes down to the REFLECTOR that is BEHIND the HID burner. In halogen lights, the reflectors have much wider "sections" to them, while HID headlamps have very tightly spaced reflective "filets" or sections that keep the reflected light TIGHTLY focused and with a sharp cut-off.

In addition to THAT there are also distinct differences between HID projectors and Halogen projectors. You can get a similarly disastrous effect throwing HIDs into a vehicle with projectors designed for halogen.

To make matters even -more- confusing, you have cars like Chad's Mercedes and the 1999 Acura TL that *do* have faceted headlamps AND ARE HID. So having facets also does not necessarily equal poor HID performance.
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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4300k HID's are some of the brightest lights you can get. I'm getting some 5000k for my Deville, 35w for low beam, 55w for high.

The rule of thumb is: lower bulb temperature= more lumens, and vice versa.
Dude, go with the 6000K, it is worth it. Everywhere I drive at night stuff lights up PURE white. What I see is pure white but to someone coming at me the lights have a slightly blue tinge. You won't even need the 55W ones, 35 is so much brighter than the stock halogens it is unbelievable. Once I get my LED situation I will make a thread in the appearance section about both.
 

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2005 STS4 1SG: GM Acc Lights, Corsa, Platnium Grille, Volant
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GE Nighthawks period
I have Silverstar Ultras in the ETC but thats cuz of my discount at Advance I can deal with them burning out
Nighthawks are much better imho
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Discussion Starter #14
Try the Nighthawks, if they don't make her happy then I'm afraid you'll have to go the HID route.
HID's ain't gonna happen..................Period. I got enough votes for night hawks. I'll go out and see what I can find locally tomorrow.

EDIT:
Started looking online and am getting confused. Did you guys replace low, high or both? What should I expect to pay? I'm seeing prices all over the place.
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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I only replaced my low beams. I use those 99% of the time so no need to waste money on high beams that work well enough. Silverstars are $40 a pair, so I assume the Nighthawks are comparable.
 

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97 Deville
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Yeah, I only replaced my low beams. The best price I could find was $19.99/per bulb, but with a promotion on amazon for buy one get one, and for some reason, even though it net to $19.99 for TWO bulbs, I still got free shipping. Nighthawks also have a "sport" bulb which has the end dipped in blue paint to give it that more whitish color if that's what you're going for, I didn't opt for that.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Discussion Starter #17
I think she just want's low beams (after I asked her) and is looking for a little brighter light, not sport I guess. I'm having a hell of a time trying to figure out which ones she needs. I'll go have another look at Amazon. Thanks for all the advice.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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I think she just want's low beams (after I asked her) and is looking for a little brighter light, not sport I guess. I'm having a hell of a time trying to figure out which ones she needs. I'll go have another look at Amazon. Thanks for all the advice.
What's with the HID hate? You just don't want to do the work the install requires or you have something against Xenons in general?
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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Xenons are rather expensive and time consuming compared with simply changing the light bulbs. Plus you have to go through the hassle of re-aiming the headlights. However, nothing else compares to them. These are the ones I just put in my car. I will get some night pics later.

 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Light-output-wise, xenons are no more or less brighter than high end halogens in a clean lens. The acronym "HID" is becoming sort of like "billet", "CNC machined", "CAI", and "track tested" in the aftermarket world. Yes, a tad of blue in the spectrum is distinctive, but does it put more light on the road? No. It is Euro, bling, whatever. Which is less expensive to install, maintain and has longer life ??

Want more light on the road in suburban/rural night driving ??? Replace those tacky fogs with a pair of Hella 1,000,000 candlepower pencil beam driving lights. Just don't ever get caught with them turned on. Those puppies make your HID's look like a BIC cigarette lighter.
 
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