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2015 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i
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I started this thread not because I was concerned that H9 bulbs will smoke the wires or melt the lamps, they clearly will not, but as a warning that we may be shortening the life of the bulb sockets. It may take many months or several years, but in my opinion, the lamp socket design is not robust enough to last for long with H9 bulbs. The three metal tabs on the bulb are held in place with three thin plastic tabs in the lamp socket. I know that over time, heat will degrade plastic causing it to become brittle and weak. Once a tab is broken the lamp is toast.


I am now looking at an upgrade to HID bulbs. I have ready tired LED bulbs and while bright up close, they lack the distance of the halogens (I moved them to the fogs lamps where they are OK but not great). If any of you can recommend one of the HID kits please let me know.
I just installed the xenondepot 4300k phillips hid kit and it's terrific. I should have a full review with pictures and video by midweek. I have had Amazon kits before and you can immediately tell the difference in quality you get with a higher end kit. If you can wait a few days, I will show you the entire kit.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited EyeSight
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Discussion Starter #23
I just installed the xenondepot 4300k phillips hid kit and it's terrific. I should have a full review with pictures and video by midweek. I have had Amazon kits before and you can immediately tell the difference in quality you get with a higher end kit. If you can wait a few days, I will show you the entire kit.
Thanks Reeko I will wait for your review.
 

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2015 2.5i Limited Carbide Gray
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If you sincerely want a better output, I would seriously consider a retrofit of a proper HID projector and the associated ballast/bulb/wiring to go along with it. There are many posts about the upgrade to HID's, and using a halogen housing certainly sacrifices some quality.
 

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2016 Outback Premium PZEV
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I made the switch to Phillips H9 bulbs 37 months ago. The passenger side died this week. I put the H11 OEM that I had saved for emergencies back in and examined the socket carefully. It looked like new. I will be getting another pair of H9 bulbs right away. They make a huge difference. With the H11s, I was outdriving my low beams at 30 mph!
 

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2018 Limited 2.5i
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I would look into xenondepots HID kits- I ran them in my old grand Cherokee and they performed rather well. has anyone looked into an upgraded headlight harness? i see morimoto offers these and it would allow you to run the h9, adds a fuse and heavier duty wiring. I feel like that would allow you to run the h9s safely and would add peace of mind.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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... has anyone looked into an upgraded headlight harness?
I use inexpensive six-inch adapter harnesses for the H9 conversions in both our 2015 Legacy and 2016 Outback. This approach has two benefits: 1) You don't have to remove the extra "rib" in the H9 lamp base, and 2) It provides thermal isolation between the H9 lamp and the OE harness.

See: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TXRWOPA/ You do have to slightly modify the connector on the adapter harness that plugs into the H9 lamp (rather than modifying the lamp base), but that's a one-time thing and it only takes a few minutes with a Dremel tool and/or a hand file.
 

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I've installed Diode Dynamic's SL1s for low & hi beams. Expensive? Yes. But my experience with upgraded H9s is they last about a year +/-. The LEDs are waranteed for 3 years so they become more cost effective. The big plus? They run at 20 watts, there's more reach with a defined top cutoff and the horizontal spill easily covers the shoulders.
 

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... my experience with upgraded H9s is they last about a year +/-.
The rated life of H9 lamps is indeed shorter than the OE H11s, but my experience has been different than yours. I have yet to have a burned-out H9 in either our 2015 Legacy (~4 years) or our 2016 Outback (~2.5 years). For reference, I'm using "standard" Hella/Osram H9s.

The LEDs ... horizontal spill easily covers the shoulders.
Sounds like you're throwing light all over the place, some of which will be into oncoming drivers' eyes.
 

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As near as I can tell, the spill is designed to stay low. In 3 years of use I've never been 'flashed'. >shrug< They work for me.

From their website [ https://www.diodedynamics.com/h9-sl1-led-headlight-pair.html ]:

"Street Legal Output. Don't be fooled by high lumen numbers or "projector specific" bulbs. Your car's headlights are designed to focus light. If the light source is out of focus, it doesn't matter how bright it is - you won't have a focused hotspot of light to shine down the road - just more glare. To correct this, the SL1 LED headlight bulb was engineered with advanced optical design software, to perfectly match filament location. This allows the SL1 LED to focus light just like an original bulb, preserving the focus and hotspot, with no added glare. It produces a functional beam pattern on the road, in compliance with photometric standards, for a safe, functional output, which we call Street Legal.



Tested to Perform. We test the SL1 bulb in factory headlamps, and measure the entire beam pattern using specialized equipment. It's an elaborate affair: a headlight is mounted to a computer-controlled rotating head called a goniometer. Light shines down a tunnel, where a sensor collects data as the headlight is rotated. The entire beam pattern is mapped, and we compare the total output to the original halogen, confirming that the SL1 bulb shines more light in the hotspot, without adding extra glare on the road. The test results speak for themselves: in most lamps, like the 2015 F-150 Halogen lamp below, there is 30-70% more light in the critical hotspot, with no added glare or spread of light. With optical engineering, testing, and validation in the application, we can assure correct optical performance."
 

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one thing to consider is your location, while temps might be a concern in TX, FL, CA, ... here in the Midwest in June you only have to use them after 10pm and it doesn't get as warm here, while in the winter you need them 5 hours earlier BUT, it is currently only 20-30F out and only will get colder down to -20F or even colder so heat shouldn't be the concern it might be a warmer areas

the headlights really were the only disappointment when I got my Outback, and since I often travel over the AM hours in my job and since I put on a lot of miles they burn out quicker than for most which gives me an opportunity to experiment with different bulbs. I considered changing to LED or HID, but figured I'd first find a low cost easy solution if there is one, and there is.

Although I wanted to give the Phillips XtremeVision bulb a try, their bulbs were on sale and they were sold out so I ended up getting the one step below bulb, Vision Plus which were $23 for the pair while the XV was $38. Turns out the bulb changed the performance slightly from disappointing to acceptable. Since there are few cars at night I can run with high beam on, which are very good IMO. I'm sure the XV would be slightly better.
In addition, I added the Subaru fog lights with H11 bulbs and although their ability to improve visability in fog is questionable, they give good lighting to the side for pedestrians/bikers and also when cornering and mine are probably set higher than they are supposed to be so they add illumination to the side road far ahead for deer as well.

I have also use Sylvania Xtravision which are slightly above OEM but slightly below my present bulb, the Phillips Vision Plus. IOW, very little improvement, but also no more cost than OEM. Don't bother trying them in the Outback unless you are satisfied (!?) with the OEM halogen.

In addition I have use Sylvania SilverStar which IMO are great but as you no doubt know they burn out quickly. If simplicity is the main priority (just swap 'em out) and cost not a factor, this is what I would go with. But I plan on switching to Phillips XtremeVision or doing the H9 conversion, IMO, LED and HID ain't worth the bother or cost.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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I use inexpensive six-inch adapter harnesses for the H9 conversions in both our 2015 Legacy and 2016 Outback. This approach has two benefits: 1) You don't have to remove the extra "rib" in the H9 lamp base, and 2) It provides thermal isolation between the H9 lamp and the OE harness.

See: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TXRWOPA/ You do have to slightly modify the connector on the adapter harness that plugs into the H9 lamp (rather than modifying the lamp base), but that's a one-time thing and it only takes a few minutes with a Dremel tool and/or a hand file.
Is your 6-inch adapter harness still working out for you?
Is the modification you mention obvious once I look at it?
Is there any wire cutting and soldering involved?
 

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Is your 6-inch adapter harness still working out for you?
Yes. Approaching five years now.

Is the modification you mention obvious once I look at it?
Yes, I think so. It's a very simple mod: Just remove a thin web of plastic from between two connector pins.

Is there any wire cutting and soldering involved?
No.
 
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