See The Light!


I've always wondered about those new fangled headlight bulbs you see coming at you on the hwy.   Some of them have that bluish tint while others a kind of gold tint, and some just plain take your retina out!  I figured I'd give some of them a try just to see if they are worth the extra money to buy them and pass along my loss of money to other unsuspecting consumers.  I will say that if there is one thing that I like the most about night driving, its having a great set of lights to help out the night vision.

My last truck had a set of Helo driving lights and with a set of 85W halogen bulbs in them, I could have sent Morse code to Commander Hadfield in outer space!  This newer truck I now have has separate high beam and low beam headlights, rather than one headlight and high/low in the same bulb, I think that in itself can make a huge difference for the lights.  That and the new reflectors they have in the headlight shell also has greatly improved the reflective ability of whatever bulb you do have in.  The stock GMC headlights are way better than the stock ones ever were on my '02 Ford F350.

My quest began when a low beam bulb had burnt out, and in Sicamous you don't have much choice as to where you can buy stuff.  So, off to NAPA I went and picked up their brand of bulb, built in Korea, and cost 18 bucks!!!  And that was with my "good guy" discount too!  I later found out, but kinda already knew, that Crappy Tire or Walmart is the place to get bulbs, the same one was 8 bucks, made by Sylvania whose company is in Germany but for some reason these were made in the USA.  FYI the stock GMC bulb is also made in Germany.  So, I opted to buy low beam bulbs made by Sylvania, reportedly 50% brighter than the stock ones but, lifespan is only 2/3 of a stock bulb.  Price, 50 bucks.

For the high beam bulbs I went all out with the brightest I could find, a set of GE Nighthawks, price 60 bucks, unknown the life span but reportedly 90% brighter than stock bulbs!  That's huge, so go big or go home, or just stick with stock bulbs and save a fortune, and let me spend money instead!

The test results, well, lets say that the pictures I tried to take do not do justice at all as to what the human eye can see.  I left one side stock and the other with the new bulbs in it, and the results were, sorry for the cliché, night and day!  In fact, I'm sure I melted a portion of my retina when I looked into the new high beam bulb, I couldn't see squat for about a half an hour!  The camera adjusts for bright light and so couldn't pick up the differences that the eye can, but it is huge.  At the time of this writing I still have to do a night time road test to really tell the difference so I'll report that once its done. 

The other alternative is the separate driving lights which, I'm just guessing, is what I may go to once the high beam bulbs burn out this time.  However, if they have some staying power I just may stick with them, and it may be cheaper than buying the driving lights at about $200.00 for good ones.  The bulbs for the driving lights are $20-30 but seem to last quite a while.   Stay tuned!