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2001 Outback, EJ25, 5mt
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BULB Information *Please Sticky*

Hi everyone, I thought this email that I recieved would benefit a lot of people information wise on bulb upgrades for the Outback, mainly the 2000-2004 models, but essentially the information can be used for other years I'm sure, but if anyone else wants to contribute for the other years that would be great. This is the email from Daniel Stern from Daniel Stern Lighting, and gave me a wealth of info on lighting. This email is posted word for word, nothing changed from my email.


> I'm looking to get upgraded bulbs for my 2001 Subaru
> Outback Wagon, I'd like to know what I need and what I can get for
> better and brighter lighting,

Here's manufacturer data, from internal engineering databases, for output and lifespan at 13.2v for H1 bulbs. The numbers here are a composite of values applicable to the products of the big three makers (Osram-Sylvania, Philips-Narva, Tungsram-GE). Each manufacturer's product in each category is slightly different but not significantly so. I picked H1-type bulbs for this comparison, and while the absolute numbers differ with different bulb types, the relative comparison patterns hold good for whatever bulb type you consider. Lifespan is given as Tc, the hour figure at which 63.2 percent of the bulbs have failed.

H1 (regular normal):
1550 lumens, 650 hours

Long Life (or "HalogenPlus+")
1460 lumens, 1200 hours

Plus-30 High Efficacy (Osram Super, Sylvania Xtravision, Narva Rangepower, Candlepower Bright Light, Tungsram High Output, Philips Premium):
1700 lumens, 350 hours

Plus-50 Ultra High Efficacy (Philips VisionPlus, Osram Silverstar, Narva
Rangepower+50, Tungsram Megalicht, but not Sylvania Silverstar):
1750 lumens, 350 hours

Blue coated 'extra white' (Osram CoolBlue, Narva Rangepower Blue, Philips BlueVision or CrystalVision, Tungsram Super Blue or EuroBlue, Sylvania Silverstar or Silverstar Ultra, which is just a rebrand of the Silverstar product, also PIAA, Hoen, Nokya, Polarg, etc):
1380 lumens, 250 hours

Now, looking over these results, which one would you rather:

(a) Buy and drive with?
(b) Sell?

The answer to (a) depends on how well you want to see versus how often to change the bulb. If you want the best possible seeing, you pick the Plus-50. If you don't care as long as it works and you don't want to hassle with it, you pick the long life.

The answer to (b) is determined by how rich your company's shareholders want you to be, and is obvious: You want to sell the bulb with the shortest lifespan, highest promotability and highest price. That'd be the blue unit, e.g. Sylvania Silverstar.

Direct order link for the H1+50 bulb is here:
http://store.candlepower.com/naraulhiou55.html

Your high beams can also be significantly upgraded if you will Replace the existing 9005 bulbs with 9011. The new bulbs are not some tinted or overwattage version of 9005, but rather employ a relatively new technology called HIR, Halogen Infrared Reflection. The mechanical dimensions of the bulb are all virtually identical to the 9005, but the bulb glass is spherical instead of tubular, with the sphere centered around the filament. There is a "Durable IR Reflective" coating on the spherical glass. Infrared = heat, so the coating causes heat to be reflected back to the filament at the center of the sphere. This causes the filament to become much hotter (producing more light) than it can by passing electricity through it, *without* the shorter life or greater heat production that comes with overwattage bulbs (to say nothing of overwattage bulbs' incompatibility with stock wiring.)

Here's the comparison:

stock: 9005, 12.8V, 65W, 1700 lumens, 320 hours
compare: 9005+50, 12.8V, 55W, 1830 lumens, 175 hours
new: HIR1, 12.8V, 65W, 2530 lumens, 320 hours

These bulbs are costly as bulbs go - $29/ea - but their cost is worth considering in context: Any number of companies will charge you more than this for a tarted-up 9005 with blue colored glass (PIAA and Sylvania Silverstar come to mind) that doesn't produce more light and has a very short lifespan.

The HIR bulbs have a double-wide top ear on the plastic bulb base, this is to comply with the law requiring different bulbs to have different bases.
The extra-wide plastic top ear is easily trimmed or filed to make the bulb fit your headlamp's bulb receptacle. Once that's done, they go directly into the headlamp, and the existing sockets snap on. Please see http://dastern.torque.net/Mods/HIRmod.html for details.

The direct order link for these bulbs is http://store.candlepower.com/9011.html

Can also make your brake lamps (all four of them) 40% brighter:
http://store.candlepower.com/p3496.html

And your reversing (back-up) lamps nearly 100% brighter:
http://store.candlepower.com/reli.html

Fog lamps more effective:
http://store.candlepower.com/naal90hye55w.html

> I also want a whiter color if possible

Naw, ya don't. Unfortunately, the "whiter light" and "high kelvin"
verbiage that's being used to sell lighting is essentially a marketeering scam. There is no light that is "whiter" than that from a properly-powered halogen bulb with colorless clear glass. All of the so-called "extra white" bulbs, including the ones we have, use blue or purple glass to tint the light. This does not make the light "whiter", but it does make it significantly less intense; the colored glass steals a great deal of light that would otherwise reach the road. There is no seeing advantage to so-called "whiter" light from bulbs with colored glass; in fact such bulbs put you at a distinct seeing disadvantage because of the reduced intensity. In addition, these bulbs have a very short lifespan because the filament must be driven very hard to get minimally legal levels of light through the light-stealing colored glass.

There is also no such thing as "cleaner" light. The High Intensity Discharge headlamps available on many European and Japanese vehicles and a few American models produce light by means of a wholly different technology. The colored-glass bulbs imitate the color, but not the performance of the HID ("Xenon") headlamps. There is no advantage to the color of light produced by HID headlamps, it is just an artifact of the technology used to produce the light. So-called "HID kits" with HID bulbs modified so as to fit in place of halogen bulbs are illegal and unsafe; the whole headlamp must be designed for HID usage.

"Color temperature" / "Kelvin rating" (correct terminology: CCT) is a real phenomenon, but its use in the advertisement of automotive lighting products is almost entirely fraudulent. Higher-CCT light, contrary to misinformed and disinformed advertising hype, is not "closer to natural daylight" and does _not_ help you see better in any way, and it produces significantly worse seeing performance in any kind of bad weather. All higher-CCT light does is change the appearance of the operating headlamp and, outside of a very small range created by different surface luminance characteristics of different legitimate bulb designs, increase glare and reduce total and usable light output.

If you are trying to see better, what you need is _more_ light, which will look whiter *because* there's more light (not because it's tinted to try to fool you into thinking there's more).

We've got a 2000 Outback in our family. Same lighting all around as your
'01 model. The headlamp focus is not very good -- that's built into the optics. Put in the better bulbs listed above to make the most of a not-very-good set of headlamps.

Cars like yours with headlamp-based DRLs come equipped with Long Life bulbs. These are exceptionally warranty-friendly and conducive to use as DRLs due to their long life, but their output is low and the beam focus (and resultant beam reach) they produce is poor, due to the filament modifications made to get extra long life out of them -- see above for specifics. This is a bad trade: A very small potential increase in daytime safety for a very large and definite decrease in nighttime safety.

Regardless of bulb variant, using the low beams as daytime running lamps shortens the effective life of the bulb in terms of days' runtime between bulb changes. Not only that, but headlamp-based DRLs are not optimal *as* DRLs in terms of safety performance, and they consume significant fuel.
Using headlamps as DRLs is akin to opening the fridge door, pulling up a chair and using the fridge light to read a book! There are much better-performing and less costly ways of implementing DRLs. If you wish to correct this error on Subaru's part (one of the only errors they made; those are well built and very capable cars), it is neither difficult nor expensive to do. The first step is to deactivate the factory DRLs. This is not a hard job; takes about 2 minutes in the driveway and is non-permanent (easily reversible):

Stick your head under the dash on the driver's side, just to the left of the steering column, and you will see 2 plastic modules about 1" by 2" by 3" held to the lower edge of the dash by a single bolt and mini-bracket.
One has only 1 white connector (seat belt/lights on/key in chime), the other (drl module) will have 2 connectors, one black and one white. Unplug the white connector and bolt the modules back onto the dash -- that's it, you're done, everything else works normally, just no more DRLs.

If for whatever reason you wish to continue to have DRL functionality on your car, you would do well to install a DRL-1 module ($42 here). This module runs the bright amber front turn signals full time as DRLs (except when they are actually flashing as turn signals). See http://dastern.torque.net/Mods/DRL/DRL1.html for installation info. The turn signal DRL is legal under US and Canadian Federal standards, and in all states and provinces. It gives greater conspicuity and wider-angle visibility to the daytime lights, uses less fuel, does not encourage improper nighttime use of DRLs instead of headlamps, and burns bulbs that are considerably longer-lived and less costly than headlamp bulbs.

ORDERING INSTRUCTIONS

Please indicate:

The quantity of each item you wish
The type of shipping you wish
(UPS trackable ground shipping is standard; all UPS service levels are
available)
The address to which you want the items shipped (if different from billing
address)
Whether the UPS driver has permission to leave the parcel at your doorstep if you are not available to accept it in person.

You may voicemail or fax your order toll-free on 1-866-861-8668. Please note this is a recorded orderline only. If you wish to speak to me in person, please use 416-766-2327.

Orders may also be sent via e-mail to: [email protected]

We accept Visa and Mastercard. Orders are processed securely.

Whatever method you use, the following information is required in order to process a credit card order:

Card type
Card number
Expiry date
CVV code (last group of 3 or 4 digits on back of card) Your name as it appears on the card Billing address Phone number

Please don't forget to include a note (such as a printout of our e-mail) stating exactly which items you are ordering, and where you wish them sent.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

DS
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, satin white pearl
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That is great information.

Thanks.
 

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Submod , ,
2000 BMW R1150gs
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Good information.

Stuck by moi!
 

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2001 Outback, 2.5L H4. Deep Sapphire Pearl Blue, Grey Interior
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Daniel Stern is THE expert to use when it comes to automotive lighting. He's great, no BS, and isn't into gimmicks. Just gives the facts and cares only about optimal performance and safety. The fact that he also drives a Subie is a bonus!

I have purchased four bulbs from him to replace my OEM bulbs. I switched to the Narva +50 bulbs for my low beams and they are much better than the original bulbs. He is right however when he says that these are poorly designed lenses, and all we do is make do and improve the bulbs.

I switched to the new 9011 HIR bulbs for the high beams and wow, what a difference! My high beams are now acceptable whereas before they were completely useless. I highly recommend to anyone with a 2000-04 Outback to switch to these bulbs to get safe performance out of your high beams.

The only are where I disagree with Daniel is on the topic of DRLs. I do believe that the dimmer DRL setting on any car is inadequate. This is why I always drive with my full headlighting systems on. I find it that my brain detects a car much more quickly if they have all there lights on. Cars without any lighting on during the day seem positively dangerous and old fashioned. I know that my bulbs will burn out faster, but I think that is a small price to pay for accident avoidance.

But all in all, he's the lighting god

I'll be switching my fogs to the selective yellow bulbs soon.

Cheers,

PL
 

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2008 Outback 2.5i limited
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I have a 2008 Outback and contacted Daniel Stern regarding low beam bulb that would assist me in seeing better at night especially when the roads are wet.
He recommended the OSRAM H7 rallye+65
which is 65W, 2100 lumens, 500 hours

Has anyone have experince with the above bulb?
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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6,673 Posts
Good post, but I edited it to remove the italics, for easier reading.
 

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What to get for older OBWs?

Great info, but not sure if I can apply this to my '97 OBW Limited. I need to upgrade all the exterior lights. A friend put in some brighter headlamp bulbs, 2 months back, that he had lying around his shop for his '94 GMC Jimmy or maybe they were for his wife's VW Jetta. Anyway, it helped some, but I'm thinking I should probably get upgrades stocked in my own garage too.

I looked at the website you gave link for, but I couldn't make heads or tails out of it. I think talking to someone would be best. Got a phone number?
 

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2016 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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New Bulbs

I ordered and installed Stern's H7 recommendation (OSRAM H7 Rallye 65W) and went with the The Narva® Rangepower+30® 9005 (HB3) 65w for the high beams. I did not want to trim the plastic to make the HIR bulbs fit.

There is a very noticeable improvement from the stock bulbs. No one has flashed me so the bulbs don't appear to aggrivate other drivers. With the OSRAM bulbs, I can see much father - almost distractingly so. With the high beams on, I can't believe how much more is visible, again almost to distraction.

I bought the bulbs from Candlepower.com.
 

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Based on the information on this thread and an e-mail exchange with Daniel Stern (you can see it at torontosubaruclub.org), I went with the H7 Rallye+65 for low beams and HIR1 for high. In 40 years, I've driven every thing from Porsches to BMWs to 240Zs to ... well, you get the picture. This change made my 08 OB as much of a pleasure to drive at night as it is during the day.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5i
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Oh, forgot to mention...Sanding the ears off the new bulbs is easy. Follow Daniel's link, take it easy and even a mechanically challenged guy like me can do it. Seriously, it was a snap. three minutes at most. just sand off a little on each side, keep trying the fit, and there you go!
 

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09 Outback PZEV, H4, 4EAT
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gordongolf said:
Based on the information on this thread and an e-mail exchange with Daniel Stern (you can see it at torontosubaruclub.org), I went with the H7 Rallye+65 for low beams and HIR1 for high. In 40 years, I've driven every thing from Porsches to BMWs to 240Zs to ... well, you get the picture. This change made my 08 OB as much of a pleasure to drive at night as it is during the day.
I believe you'll find the correct address is http://www.toronto-subaru-club.com/index.php
 

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My first subie was a white '87 DL wagon 1800cc and my fifth subie is a White Frost Pearl '03 OBW 2.5L
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Great info, just what i was lookin for to upgrade my 03 OBW lighting.
 

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04 Outback H6
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I ran the Philips x-Treme Power bulbs on my old Impreza and was also equally impressed.

I'm currently running the Osram Nightbreakers (+90) and have been impressed with their brightness as well.

They are currently on sale @ powerbulbs.co.uk for 20% off. Free shipping, and you get a set of bluevision sidemarker bulbs as well. (194/W5W wedge bulbs)
 

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1999 Subaru Outback Wagon 4 Cyl
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The first post is awesome, but almost too much for my head. heh I have a 99 Outback Wagon and I can't see sh*t at night. I have adjustment issues and stuck adjusting screws...I intend to remove the headlights very soon (as night's beginning to come way too early these days) and take care of the adjustment situation...new adjustment screws...whatever I have to do besides replacing the whole lamp. Anyway....I love the idea of finding just the right bulbs to fit my stock lights and increase my night vision. Anybody here with a 99 OBW have any insight as to what they upgraded to for bulbs to get a greater visibility? Much appreciated.

Rick

Oh...and cost is somewhat of an issue...I'd be interested in a balance of visibility, life and cost. I know...I want it all....
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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Keep in mind you can also restore cloudy lenses to clarity, there are threads about it on this board.
 

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07 OBW 2.5i Limited, 02 Audi A6 3.0 Avant Quattro
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I bought a 'Twin Pack' OSRAM Night Breaker H7 $43.99 + $4.99 shipping in Amazon.com, sold by After Market Bulbs Shop. Made in germany, and DOT street legal in Europe.

This is cheaper than Candle Power's $29.99/ea
 

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1999 Subaru Outback Wagon 4 Cyl
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I did just get back from NAPA getting parts for the wifes Trailblazer and saw they had a lense buffing kit for just under $10. I spent enough on HER parts, so I'll hold off a week on stuff for my lights. I will probably pick up that buffing kit, got one fog lamp to replace the bulb in and once I figure out (from this awesome board) which bulbs to go with....I'll pick them up too. I may try to yank the light assemblies off today to make the adjustment screws useable....thanks for the replies guys. Oh...are you saying the H7's will fit the 99 OBW? I'm pretty lost as to what's compatible with what....thanks very much.

Rick
 

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07 OBW 2.5i Limited, 02 Audi A6 3.0 Avant Quattro
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bond1973 said:
I did just get back from NAPA getting parts for the wifes Trailblazer and saw they had a lense buffing kit for just under $10. I spent enough on HER parts, so I'll hold off a week on stuff for my lights. I will probably pick up that buffing kit, got one fog lamp to replace the bulb in and once I figure out (from this awesome board) which bulbs to go with....I'll pick them up too. I may try to yank the light assemblies off today to make the adjustment screws useable....thanks for the replies guys. Oh...are you saying the H7's will fit the 99 OBW? I'm pretty lost as to what's compatible with what....thanks very much.

Rick
My 2007 OBW low-beam is H7 and you can find your one at www.sylvania.com ...

check the toothpaste to restoring the lense ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKAshYmrExc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f_GW4_qK2E

EDIT : I replaced the OEM H7 with OSRAM's Night Breaker today. Light is much brighter, whiter and further down the road (35Meter). Feel very satified. Now need to find out how long they will last with OB's DRL.
 
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