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Discussion Starter #1
To start, I have read several other threads and been totally confused between better halogens, LED kits, and HIDs needing ballast.

My model has halogens. The OEM low beams are not bright enough where I live, in a rural area with lots of curvy roads and deer. The IIHS tests give my model a "poor" rating for headlights and the low beam graphs confirm my own, subjective experience. I did slightly raise the aim but it didn't make enough difference.

I would like to find a simple, plug in replacement bulb with a little brighter output. In the earlier threads, there are comments about not having too high a Kelvin, that is, not too blue. That sounds good to me. There are also warnings about various brands of bulbs that don't last long so should be avoided. Also sounds like a good idea. Finally, there are some comments about some bulbs presenting more glare to ongoing traffic. IIHS tests do mention this, too.

So, I'm asking for help in finding a simple replacement bulb. I do know how to physically do the replacement. I have already replaced burned out bulbs once since I got the car. I don't want to do any rewiring.

Thanks in advance.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Search this site for threads on the simple H11-to-H9 halogen conversion: almost twice the light output, inexpensive, dead-simple modification, no re-aiming required, 100% reversible, and as close to legal as you'll find. If you buy simple conversion harnesses (less than $10 on Amazon) you won't even have to modify the lamp bases.
 

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Search this site for threads on the simple H11-to-H9 halogen conversion: almost twice the light output, inexpensive, dead-simple modification, no re-aiming required, 100% reversible, and as close to legal as you'll find. If you buy simple conversion harnesses (less than $10 on Amazon) you won't even have to modify the lamp bases.
last time I did that I should have built some conversion harnesses.... although I was changing bulbs so infrequently that it was easy enough with a narrow wood chisel.

as they said - it's a great conversion. Bulbs won't have the same lifespan, but they still last a long time.
 

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Bulbs won't have the same lifespan, but they still last a long time.
Yes, the rated lifetime of the H9 lamps is only ~250 hours vs. ~400 hours for the OE H11s. In practice, it's pretty much a non-issue though. After ~5 years and ~48,000 miles, the original set of H9s I swapped into our 2015 Legacy are still going strong, and the original H9s in our 2016 Outback (~3 years and ~36,000 miles) have performed just as well. The specific lamps installed in both cars are basic Hella H9s.
 

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Yes, the rated lifetime of the H9 lamps is only ~250 hours vs. ~400 hours for the OE H11s. In practice, it's pretty much a non-issue though. After ~5 years and ~48,000 miles, the original set of H9s I swapped into our 2015 Legacy are still going strong, and the original H9s in our 2016 Outback (~3 years and ~36,000 miles) have performed just as well. The specific lamps installed in both cars are basic Hella H9s.
mine were still going at about that mileage when I traded in that car. Very cost effective mod.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your comments. I also asked Daniel Stern, the lighting expert often mentioned in posts. He recommended:
Osram H9
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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I also want to change out my halogen bulbs. I just want the best option. Would changing to a complete OE setup be better than a conversion? If so, what is needed to convert to an original equipment HID or LED?

(Excuse me if my terminology is off. I know very little about this. Fill in any blanks.)
 

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Thank you all for your comments. I also asked Daniel Stern, the lighting expert often mentioned in posts. He recommended:
Osram H9
I think those are what I was using. There was another brand I was getting from candlepower.com , but I don’t think they carry those anymore... the Osram were decent quality and easier to find.
 

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I also want to change out my halogen bulbs. I just want the best option. Would changing to a complete OE setup be better than a conversion? If so, what is needed to convert to an original equipment HID or LED?

(Excuse me if my terminology is off. I know very little about this. Fill in any blanks.)
To convert to a quality HID setup you would need to open your headlights and swap the projector with one specifically designed for HIDs. You can get a full kit with instructions that is plug and play although you still have to mod your headlights from TRS. They typically have fantastic Black Friday sales.

You can't just swap in OE quality LEDs as they tend to be more integrated.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Before you buy any HID conversion kit, I strongly recommend that your read Daniel Stern's article about the problems with conversion.
I read that whole article. They make a convincing case for not doing an HID conversion. OK fine, but the correct solution is barely discussed. They briefly mention the need for an entire HID headlamp that is specifically built for HID. OK fine, so let’s talk more about that. What is the cost? Is it even possible? What exactly needs to be done? Etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For me, the best and simplest solution is the conversion from H11 to H9. That is about 50% brighter. At most, there is a small, plastic tab on a connector to break off. After that, aiming the headlights correctly is also critical.

There are others in this forum who favor HID conversion. I'm sure they can advise, or do a search for "HID conversion". It has come up many times before.

Good luck, and do report back if you make the conversion and are happy (or unhappy) with it.
 

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For me, the best and simplest solution is the conversion from H11 to H9. That is about 50% brighter. At most, there is a small, plastic tab on a connector to break off. After that, aiming the headlights correctly is also critical.

There are others in this forum who favor HID conversion. I'm sure they can advise, or do a search for "HID conversion". It has come up many times before.

Good luck, and do report back if you make the conversion and are happy (or unhappy) with it.

Did you read the article you posted?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I did read it, and I followed up with some emails to and from Daniel. Personally, I wouldn't go near an HID conversion. But you seem determined so I made my reply assuming you were going ahead with it.
 

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I did read it, and I followed up with some emails to and from David. Personally, I wouldn't go near an HID conversion. But you seem determined so I made my reply assuming you were going ahead with it.
Perhaps I miscommunicated. I am asking if there is a way to change out the entire halogen headlamp assembly to an HID headlamp assembly. And what would the cost be? I am talking about doing more than the less intrusive HID conversion that I see posted everywhere. The article you posted briefly mentions the distinction.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok. Sorry I can't help with that. But why don't you ask Daniel directly. He has an email address on his website for questions like that. He was very kind in answering mine.
 

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Ok. Sorry I can't help with that. But why don't you ask Daniel directly. He has an email address on his website for questions like that. He was very kind in answering mine.

I am leaning toward installing H9 halogen. I just want to understand all the options.

Another plus about the 65W of the H9 halogen is that it should melt snow better than H11 halogen, HID, and LED. When you installed the H9 halogen, did you have to shave off anything else besides the little plastic tab?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I just got started on my quest to improve visibility from my Outback. Right now I'm out of the country, just doing the research. I'll do the install when I get back in the US.
 

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Why not just swap them out with some Diode Dynamics LED's and be done with it? They crush the original bulbs and are plug and play.
 
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