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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New member here!! I have a 2000 Outback and both my headlights went out about a week ago. I’ve recently decided to invest some money into her in opposed to buying a new car but with that I wanna replace failing parts with the best possible options.

I live in Denver so snow could be factored into visibility. With that being said, what are the best bulbs on the market?

Thanks, Mr. Blount
 

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Complicated question....

There is an enormous amount of engineering that goes into the optics of a headlight lens and reflector. The best thing, is what it was designed to use, a genuine Subaru bulb. Make sure they are OEM assemblies, and the lenses are nice and clear.

There are HID drop-in bulbs. But an HID "filament" is a long arc, and will cast light from many angles that was never intended. This pretty much always leads to light scattered all over the place....

There are LED drop-in "bulbs". On LEDs, the light originates from just a point, smaller than a halogen filament. This means you actually get a little less coverage (I have these for low beams in 2 of our Outbacks, and find it to be tolerable, but I still use halogens for High beam). The vast majority of LEDS are 6500k, which is more on the blue side of the color spectrum, which is not ideal for snow.

There are many people who have retrofitted HID projectors into the factory housing. Not a small job, and must be done with a high degree of accuracy for correct performance.

Some people swap for headlight housings from other markets. But keep in mind, the optics are not symmetrical, using RHD lenses and then driving on the RH side of the road is bad juju.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Complicated question....

There is an enormous amount of engineering that goes into the optics of a headlight lens and reflector. The best thing, is what it was designed to use, a genuine Subaru bulb. Make sure they are OEM assemblies, and the lenses are nice and clear.

There are HID drop-in bulbs. But an HID "filament" is a long arc, and will cast light from many angles that was never intended. This pretty much always leads to light scattered all over the place....

There are LED drop-in "bulbs". On LEDs, the light originates from just a point, smaller than a halogen filament. This means you actually get a little less coverage (I have these for low beams in 2 of our Outbacks, and find it to be tolerable, but I still use halogens for High beam). The vast majority of LEDS are 6500k, which is more on the blue side of the color spectrum, which is not ideal for snow.

There are many people who have retrofitted HID projectors into the factory housing. Not a small job, and must be done with a high degree of accuracy for correct performance.

Some people swap for headlight housings from other markets. But keep in mind, the optics are not symmetrical, using RHD lenses and then driving on the RH side of the road is bad juju.
Thanks for the reply! I guess the best option is something similar to the factory bulb. I’ll go with aftermarket lights (ie Piaa , Hella etc) at some point. I saw a guy that had some for his and he said it was incredible for low visibility due to fog or snow. Any input on aftermarket lights? I’d love to hear!
 

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I have put these in a 2013 Impreza and a 2016 outback and it was a big improvement over OEM. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TQLGGBR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The IIHS, I believe in 2016, started including headlights in their safety reading. Subaru lost its 5-star safety rating until they reengineer their headlights. Most early 2016 vehicles and before OEM headlights do not have enough illumination in my opinion, to be safe. Brighter high beams are only of help if you live and/or drive in the country and use them. If you mostly drive in the city at night then only get the LED regular beam bulbs and save money.
 

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Sylvania Silverstar Ultra. Watch for when they go on sale. You do sacrifice some lifetime to get the additional brightness these offer. Used them in my '99 Legacy GT Wagon and was very satisfied.

With car of this vintage, make sure outer lens is clear; use restorer kit if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have put these in a 2013 Impreza and a 2016 outback and it was a big improvement over OEM. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TQLGGBR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The IIHS, I believe in 2016, started including headlights in their safety reading. Subaru lost its 5-star safety rating until they reengineer their headlights. Most early 2016 vehicles and before OEM headlights do not have enough illumination in my opinion, to be safe. Brighter high beams are only of help if you live and/or drive in the country and use them. If you mostly drive in the city at night then only get the LED regular beam bulbs and save money.
I checked the link you posted and Amazon says it won’t fit my model. Is there another link (I wanna get you paid if your using an affiliate link) to the bulb that fits? If not, no big deal. Just trying to help if I decide to go with them! Also, how long have your lasted since you bought them?
 

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I am not an affiliate, just sharing what worked well for me. When I first put these in my Impreza two years ago LED replacement bulbs were fairly new, kind of like LED home lights used to be. A lot of them took electric adapters and many had built-in fans for cooling. I took a gamble on these because the electric adapter and the heat displacement were built into the bulb, making them easy to swap. There were a few negative reviews of people saying they burnt out quickly, which is a real concern with Amazon items where longevity is an issue, especially with so many cheap items from China, because Amazon seems to cut off the ability to leave reviews about 3 months after purchase, so all the reviews are from people who haven't used the products long. I have done a lot of night driving and heat doesn't seem to be an issue, because we live in Texas and it is hot. We have had multiple days over 100 the last three weeks. Looks like Amazon has now made this brand an Amazon Choice, which they were not when I purchased them.

If you have your vehicle in Amazon Auto Parts and Accessories, there should be a "See Similar Products that fit this vehicle" link where you might be able to find the same AUXITO brand, or find any bulb that fits your vehicle and find the bulb fitting distinction, like for this one it is a H11, and then try to find an AUXITO bulb with that.
 

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Sylvania/Philips have been good bulbs. I have sold 1000's of bulbs in my years wrench bending. The "upgrade" bulbs, anything that promises better/or different colors die quicker. Buy from a reputable supplier. Stay out of Walmart, Amazon, Ebay. The bulbs have the same packaging, part numbers, and look identical to "jobber/commercial" bulbs. The filaments are thinner and just don't last. Like many parts manufactures, there are different "quality" levels of the same parts for different markets. Pay the extra $3 a bulb from a real auto parts store. The bulbs will last 2-3x longer.
 

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OP, you need H1 bulbs for the Outback low beam. Osram, Philips and Sylvania are good brands. I've been using them so long I forgot what's in the car now, probably Crystalvision blabla, but the other thing you want to do is keep the headlight lenses polished with a dab of something like Plastx. At the ages of these cars, unless you've installed new headlight assemblies recently, the plastic lenses/covers are oxidized and need that buffed out (by hand) with some PlastX. The shine only lasts a few months, but at $5-8/bottle, the PlastX lasts a long time (years).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OP, you need H1 bulbs for the Outback low beam. Osram, Philips and Sylvania are good brands. I've been using them so long I forgot what's in the car now, probably Crystalvision blabla, but the other thing you want to do is keep the headlight lenses polished with a dab of something like Plastx. At the ages of these cars, unless you've installed new headlight assemblies recently, the plastic lenses/covers are oxidized and need that buffed out (by hand) with some PlastX. The shine only lasts a few months, but at $5-8/bottle, the PlastX lasts a long time (years).
Thanks for the reply! By “low beam” you’re meaning just your headlight being on correct? Im probably going to go with Sylvania to be honest. I’m actually going to a friends house tomorrow to buff out the headlight assembly. They do look pretty rough as it sits!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sylvania/Philips have been good bulbs. I have sold 1000's of bulbs in my years wrench bending. The "upgrade" bulbs, anything that promises better/or different colors die quicker. Buy from a reputable supplier. Stay out of Walmart, Amazon, Ebay. The bulbs have the same packaging, part numbers, and look identical to "jobber/commercial" bulbs. The filaments are thinner and just don't last. Like many parts manufactures, there are different "quality" levels of the same parts for different markets. Pay the extra $3 a bulb from a real auto parts store. The bulbs will last 2-3x longer.
Thanks for the input. I almost got them from Walmart until I read this post LOL . I’ll try Autozone or O’Rileys tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sylvania Silverstar Ultra. Watch for when they go on sale. You do sacrifice some lifetime to get the additional brightness these offer. Used them in my '99 Legacy GT Wagon and was very satisfied.

With car of this vintage, make sure outer lens is clear; use restorer kit if necessary.
Thanks Ragnar! I’m going with these bulbs tomorrow as well as cleaning my headlights up!
 

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Thanks Ragnar! I’m going with these bulbs tomorrow as well as cleaning my headlights up!
Be sure to wear latex gloves when handling bulbs / installing. The slight amount of oils from your skin, if allowed to contact the bulb, will cause premature burnout or shortened lifetime.
 

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Thanks for the reply! By “low beam” you’re meaning just your headlight being on correct? Im probably going to go with Sylvania to be honest. I’m actually going to a friends house tomorrow to buff out the headlight assembly. They do look pretty rough as it sits!
Well, most of the time. But the Outback also is equipped with a hi-beam bulb, which .... er, I think is 9006. So each assembly has two bulbs. Also, if you haven't installed these on that car before, bear in mind it's possible to install them a bit "cockeyed", so make sure you get them seated straight/flat before clipping them down, or your beam pattern could be weird.

While you're at it, make sure all your exterior bulbs are good. The stock Koito brand bulbs (turn signals, taillights, etc) from Subaru lasted me longer than anything else, and were priced below the other brands (not sure if that's still true ....).
 

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Oh, good advice from Ragnar. These halogen bulbs have to be clean to last their rated lifetimes. I would add, though, that if you plan to use any gloves, put them on fresh *after you have the back of the housing opened up and removed the old bulbs, otherwise the gloves will be dirty too. Another option is just moisten a kleenex with some rubbing alcohol and wipe the new bulb down right before it goes into place.
 

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I has wagons.
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Restore the headlights to deal with haze.
I disabled my Daytime Running Lights to increase bulb life on my old 2nd Gens.
H1 low beam. I've had good luck with Phillips bulbs, usually in the +90 range.
Look into HIR1 9011 modification for you high beams. Nearly doubles the light output for a few minutes of work.

In poor weather, I like having yellow fog lights (9006 style bulb for that era) for the contrast in fog/rain/snow. Personally, I like the look of yellow fogs, so I added LaminX yellow film to my fog light assemblies. I've had the same set of Nokya yellow bulbs in since around 2010 over 2 different Outbacks.
 
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