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9005 bulbs vs 9006 bulbs

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by CyberSniper, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    As many of you know, modern vehicles no longer have sealed beam headlights. By law, you're limited to 55 watts on lowbeam and 65 watts on highbeam... and 35 watts on foglights or driving lights. It all depends on the lighting system actually.

    9006 bulbs are lowbeams... 51-55 watts.
    9005 bulbs are highbeams... 60-65 watts.

    The only difference between the bulbs physically are locator tabs in the electrical connector. Easily removed with a Stanley knife.

    Anyone run 9005 bulbs in their lowbeam headlights? I'm looking for a better pattern. I aim my headlights low compared to the factory so oncoming traffic shouldn't be a problem. Not to mention HID lights put out 3 times the lumens as a halogen bulb anyway.
     
  2. Big89Burban

    Big89Burban 1/2 ton status

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    why not just get a decent set of driving lights to help out?

    Or get HID's. I had them on my previous car. I swapped the headlights to bi-xenon projectors from a bmw, and put HID's in my foglights too. It was too much really. The glare off the road would actually limit the distance I could see :haha:

    BTW. If you were looking for a better pattern I would suggest getting/making some projector headlights. NOT the cheap POS that Anti-Christ Product Company (APC) sells. If you can snag a few of the projector units from a bmw, audi, mercedes.. etc. Any highline car with HID's will work. I'm just saying that cause from experience the projectors will spread the light nice & even over the road not patchy like a lot of halogen reflector headlights.

    Just my $0.02
     
  3. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I don't like driving lights because they're so low they tend to create shadows. Plus, to get them out beyond where my regular lowbeams go I have to blind oncoming traffic. Not to mention in the wintertime they tend to spend all their time covered with dirty ice. I was thinking about putting foglights in where the stock driving lights would be.

    Right now, my lowbeams go out plenty far. But they die out quick, giving like no light to illuminate critters' eyeballs. I suspect that they do this so you can have your headlights aimed pretty high without blinding oncoming traffic. If you aim them as high as the manufacturer seems to have designed them... it makes your highbeam headlights borderline useless because they actually project out too far. Not a big deal since I run lowbeams on at the same time as highbeams... but it means oncoming traffic is going to get blasted if I'm not fast enough.

    HID seems kind of expensive...

    Maybe I'm just too picky about headlights? The composite headlights on my 99 are nice but yet a nuissance at the same time.
     
  4. 55Willy

    55Willy 3/4 ton status

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    the 9005 for the lows are commom. any apc or like brand conversion headlight "projector" style use a 9005 as the low with a pigtail to convert the plugs.
     
  5. BillyTungsten

    BillyTungsten Registered Member

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    I would be very surprised if a 9005 used in the low beam socket would work well at all... the reason is the designed focal point of the parabola (the shape of the reflector) versus the location of the filament in the bulb. If these two points do not align, the parabola will be out of focus (ever play with a Mag-Light by twisting the focusing ring?).

    HID's rock. Yes, they are expensive... but they draw a small fraction of the power that halogen (incandescent) does.

    Make sure your lights are aimed right, also. Small changes make a huge difference.
     
  6. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Way ahead of you on the parabolic reflector part. The filament in the bulb is the same distance from the O-ring on all the aftermarket 9005 and 9006 bulbs I eyeballed at Wally-world. That was the first thing I noticed. That and the 9006s usually have some kind of tint on the end of the bulb. The shape of the bulb also varies a bit between the two. This is the part I was worried about... thinking maybe this is part of the tuning they do.

    It actually doesn't make sense to change the bulb setup between 9005 and 9006 bulbs due to ease of manufacturing. Why wouldn't the composite headlight manufacturer design around the bulb instead?

    Aiming headlights is a moot point.
     
  7. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    You can buy aftermarket bulbs that are higher wattage. I tried some 80-watt lows and 100 watt highs in the suck a$$ factory headlights on our '94 Suburban. The poor pattern wasn't any better, but it was a tad brighter. :( It now has a set of Bosch fog lights from a BMW to help the low beams and a set of Hella 500 series driving lights to help out the high beams. I think it's still pretty weak on the low beams, but when I hit the high beam switch I can see WAY down the road. :cool1:
     
  8. burbBoy

    burbBoy 1/2 ton status

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    Just do some mods with a couple diods so when your highbeams are on you have lows also. I have mine wired this way on my '04. Now i have highs, lows and fogs all on with the high beam switch. Makes the road light up nicely. I also upgraded to silverstar bulbs. these also made it much easier to see.
     
  9. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    Run the highs in the lows. Adjust the pigtail. The reflector in the low beam spot will reflect the light where it needs to be. Huge difference. Seen it, done it, love it.
     
  10. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I don't have a lot of faith in GM's wiring/circuit breakers to take the added load on the high beam side for another 10 amps. I thought about doing the diode thing as I've done in the past... but those wires can't be bigger than 16 gauge. I was going to do it at the switch since it has the ability to turn all four on at once for passing purposes... but that looks like a lot of work to get to. So I have a relay and socket I'm going to use.

    I bought a couple Sylvania Cool Blue 9005 bulbs to experiment with tonight. They're 60w.
     
  11. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Are you running your lights with relays now, or are you still with the standard light wiring? (sorry if I've been ignorant about any previous posts by you regarding lighting, I'm assuming we are talking 73-91 C/K/R/V)

    I'm curious myself as to what difference relays will make. IF I'm around my truck in the near future I'm going to try and actually "measure" the difference in output before/after a relay conversion. More for curiousity than gains that can easily be translated to efficiency. I've got a spare GM relay (same ones running 90% of my EFI/fan stuff) and I got my hands on a few pieces of solar panels.

    I figure at 20-30 ft, mount up a panel and measure output before and after the relay conversion, using one headlight only.

    I really have no doubt that will be a big difference of course, with my poor voltage regulator in the alternator before, a 2V difference to the headlights was immense, and even 1V was quite noticeable, so I have high hopes that this will be an easily demonstarted difference.

    If you aren't on relays now, wouldn't that be a good first step?
     
  12. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Nah, I'm talking about GM 800 series pickups... I have a 99 Silverado whose headlights don't impress me much.

    I haven't tested it yet, but it appears to get alternator voltage to the headlights. Doesn't appear to be nearly as many losses as earlier trucks. My 84 has moderate losses but it has the quad headlight setup with 89-91 headlights.
     
  13. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Definitely an improvement with 9005s in place of 9006s. Replaced the stock (?) Sylvania standard halogen 51w 9006s with some Sylvania Cool Blue 60w 9005s. Ground out the locator tabs in the bulb bases with a dremel tool.

    I liked them so much I went back to wally-world to buy two more to replace my highbeams. Definitely a cleaner light. Kind of like the difference between a Mercury light and a Sodium light.

    The pattern is pretty much the same, seems like there is less of a hollow spot near the truck but that's probably my imagination. Looking at them from the front of the truck they seem brighter but that's probably just because there is no tint on the end of the bulb so you can directly look at the filament of the bulb now. From inside the truck they just look more crisp.

    They do put residual light out further than the old bulbs. It let me aim my headlights lower, down where I like them out of oncoming traffic's eyes. I don't like giving a geriatric the excuse to go "to the light at the end of the tunnel" and smack me.

    It's probably worth the $40 to do it.
     
  14. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    I've had great results with the Sylvania Silverstar bulbs. Got a set this past spring for my '97 Eclipse when one of my OEM bulbs died... loved 'em. Couple weeks later I put Silverstars in our '03 Mountaineer, too.
     

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