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Brighter headlights? Answered

Hey all!

I drive a 1984 BMW 318i (that's the E30) with the standard H1 bulbs for the low and high beams (4 x H1 in total). I want better visibility at night and have been looking at options. Can anyone help with the following:

1. do i have to use high wattage bulbs to see a significant difference or would "upto 90% more light" 55W osram bulbs help? I would hate to spend the money on the 55W osrams only to end up with 5 extra lumens.

2. am i correct in saying that ALL xenon bulbs require the whole ballast and starter setup like fluorescents? are there some that don't?

3. Is there anyone who has used a high wattage bulb? what are your experiences? is the shorter life worth it? where on the continuum of wattage VS lifespan would you recommend?

Right now I'm leaning towards the high wattage option, something like 80-100W. MY local hardware doesn't stock these and I doubt my local auto-electrical supplier would either. I'm thinking I may have to do some digging, maybe 4x4 accessory stores would have them since they are technically only meant for offroad use.

K thanks, your help is much appreciated, I'll try to post an 'ible of old VS new and the installation procedure once I decide on the bulbs.


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9 years ago

Whichever option you choose, please remember to aim them correctly so as not to blind the other drivers. Five minutes with a screwdriver will buy you a lot of goodwill out on the roads.


Reply 9 years ago

thanks person! I was certainly intending to do so. One of my pet peeves is being blinded by rectums who can't be bothered to switch off their high beams so I try hard to not be like that.