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View Full Version : The Best Sealed Beam Headlight?



Hookecho
09-08-2011, 04:51 PM
I want new headlights for my Celica but I want to stick with the sealed beams. I don't want to spend a lot of money either. I just want to have something better than the Sylvania's. Not that they are horrible lamps. I'm just curious if there is something better.

Anybody have any experience with better lamps?

Luni
09-08-2011, 05:36 PM
Sealed beams suck. You really should look into getting some H4 housing and some H4 bulbs at least.

You can get Silverstar sealed beams that are OK, but all of them pale in comparison to a decent H4 bulb. Which pales in comparison to even a cheap HID.

Hookecho
09-08-2011, 05:59 PM
Well, I have no problem switching to the H4. I found these housings which are reasonable. Will I have to replace the stock headlight bulb harness to accommodate the H4 bulb. I'm guessing I can buy the bulb at the parts store?

http://www.stylintrucks.com/parts/h4_headlight_conversion_kit_by_hella/3142/universalhellah57003427011-.aspx

Hookecho
09-08-2011, 06:01 PM
Dang, that price is for one housing. Nevermind.

Car_Barn_Bandit
09-08-2011, 06:08 PM
Dang, that price is for one housing. Nevermind.

They're typically ~$50 a housing. WELL worth it. You may get someone at Summit Auto to match and beat that price. Worth a try, because these housings are fantastic. I've gone through 3 sets of bulbs with them. They have paid for themselves.

Hookecho
09-08-2011, 06:25 PM
Do the bulbs plug into the oem harness.

Car_Barn_Bandit
09-08-2011, 06:28 PM
Do the bulbs plug into the oem harness.

Yup.

Hookecho
09-08-2011, 06:33 PM
Cool.

celica9303
09-08-2011, 09:39 PM
I love my H4 autopal housings paired with ddmtuning.com 5000k hid kit

bzdweezy
09-08-2011, 10:22 PM
I love my H4 autopal housings paired with ddmtuning.com 5000k hid kit

Do other drivers get mad and high beam you?

Funkycheeze
09-08-2011, 10:28 PM
I use E-code hella housings from rallylights.com. Pair them with a decent bulb, and you are good to go.

celica9303
09-09-2011, 12:02 AM
Do other drivers get mad and high beam you?

No not usually, i know how to aim my e-codes, i have had complements on them though.

celica9303
09-09-2011, 12:05 AM
If they do hi beam me its normally cuz they can't see with their lights and want me to speed up to use my lights as their own

Nitro_Alltrac
09-09-2011, 01:22 AM
It's a straight bolt in Bruce. The bulbs plug right in to the OEM harness. I've got E code Hellas in mine. I really like them. Big improvement over the sealed beams.

lalojamesliz
09-09-2011, 01:27 AM
well right now im currently using the cheap ebay h4 housings that have a glass shield. i like them but they have 90/100w bulbs i tried the pilot brand housings that i purchased for my hid retrofit im going to attempt this weekend with 55/60w bulbs and did not like them. the ebay ones have a better spread of light for me and the pilot ones almost look like i have broken glass reflecting the light. most people here say ebay housings suck because of the glare they pruduce (im sure they do but i like them) but for $25 and if you aim them lower i think they are good for the money. another option is $350ish for a hid retrofit parts list ;)

Galcobar
09-09-2011, 01:48 AM
Just to be clear, our sealed beam headlights are H4, sort of. The bulb inside is the same as as you can buy separately. The name means that you have an H4 bulb sealed inside a cheap (disposable) housing. North America got stuck with H6054 (sealed H4 200 mm housings) because of the U.S.'s antiquated lighting standards. Everywhere else got Koito H4 units which were designed for the Celica, right down to curving with the hood.

Going to a separate H4 housing with replaceable bulbs mean better quality glass in the lens; it'll be thinner, letting more light through, with a more accurate design. You can also move from the DOT beam pattern to one designed in the 21st century, an ECE (European) spec with the sharp cutoff. This cutoff is what allows for HID to be used without blinding people, as it keeps the light below the eye line.

The best H4 replacements are by Cibie (missing an accent over the e, pronounced C-B-A), but they cost quite a bit. Hella and Bosch are a step down in quality and price, running about $90 for a pair of housings and bulbs. The cheap version which is still good enough to recommend are Autopal at about $30 for a pair, but you must ensure they have the E marking.

The H4 bulb is also an old design, and there's been some substantial improvements in the last few years to bulb technology. High and ultra-high efficiency H4 bulbs can now be purchased producing 30% up to 50-60% more usable light than the standard H4. Beyond 30% this comes at a cost of bulb life. The Sylvania Silverstars are +50% bulbs, with a light blue tint. Their actual light production is only about 10% greater than that of a standard halogen, but they have a whiter look at 4000K rather than the standard colour temperature of 3200K.

If price is an issue, go with the Autopal and standard wattage bulbs. High wattage bulbs can burn out wiring, particularly in our old cars. There will be a substantial improvement in the usable light, both in quantity and dispersion (DOT mandates half of the light is aimed upwards to illuminate overhead signs, and concentrates the rest in a couple of hotspots). Then if you're not satisfied, look at upgrading the bulbs to Philips Premium or Sylvania XL (30% bulbs), or Osram Silverstars (same bulbs as Sylvania Silverstars without the tint), Philips VisionPlus, or GE Nightbreaker (ultra-high efficiency bulbs).

acidice333
09-09-2011, 01:50 AM
Spend $300 on a set of pegasus from NorCalMR2 (http://www.norcalmr2.com/store/)

I bought a set of lenses and the hid kit from Tom. sadly its H7 so no high beams :( you can modify the H4 brackets to fit the H7 halogen bulbs but you definately won't be able to fit H4 hids in there.

Pegasus™ Projectors & GiSi™ Xenon H7 HID system, with White Angel Eyes and 55w 8000k.

They are not installed right now but I bench tested them and they are so nice! especially the cut off :)

Galcobar
09-09-2011, 04:20 AM
Re-basing the bulbs to make them fit into a socket does not make for a proper conversion, if I'm reading that site correctly.

Installing a projector module with H7 bulbs is an improvement, at least at low beam, over the parabolic reflectors with H4 bulbs, but sticking a D2S bulb into an H7 projector is as mismatched as in an H4 housing.

saki10man
09-09-2011, 04:25 AM
I use E-code hella housings from rallylights.com. Pair them with a decent bulb, and you are good to go.

+1 All my vehicles with sealed beams have been replaced with Hella E-codes.......well worth the money. When paired with the right bulb or 4300k HID, you wont have any problems seeing ahead of you again!

acidice333
09-09-2011, 06:24 AM
I said you "can" modify them to fit but its some doing.

But now that I look at the site -- looks like Tom has finished with prototyping the H7 hi/low kit.

But I'm pretty satisfied with my Pegasus H7 kit even tho I have only tested it on the bench comparing with other lenses



Re-basing the bulbs to make them fit into a socket does not make for a proper conversion, if I'm reading that site correctly.

Installing a projector module with H7 bulbs is an improvement, at least at low beam, over the parabolic reflectors with H4 bulbs, but sticking a D2S bulb into an H7 projector is as mismatched as in an H4 housing.

Hookecho
09-09-2011, 07:08 AM
Thanks for the informative post Glacobar. It really helped me understand my options. I will go with the AutoPal housings and a standard H4 bulb for now.

I can't see myself spending $300 on something that doesn't make my car faster.

acidice333
09-09-2011, 07:17 AM
True its not performance, but it will help keep you performing with greater visibility at night :)

Car_Barn_Bandit
09-09-2011, 07:37 AM
I can't see myself spending $300 on something that doesn't make my car faster.

My Hella lights help me drive faster and more confidently at night.

Hookecho
09-09-2011, 07:49 AM
I'll just mount 2 glass jars with a candle inside. Probably an improvement over sealed beams anyway.

Car_Barn_Bandit
09-09-2011, 07:52 AM
I'll just mount 2 glass jars with a candle inside. Probably an improvement over sealed beams anyway.

Worked well on lighthouses for years. Ask Fresnel.

Luni
09-09-2011, 03:42 PM
I also had a McCullogh HID kit mounted in Autopals on my last MR2.

Heres what my lamp looked like. Very defined

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/ATT4098936.jpg

Heres from the front

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/ATT4098937.jpg

Heres from the side

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/ATT4098938.jpg

I never once got high beamed when I had em. They were aimed nice.

Murgatroy
09-09-2011, 03:59 PM
I have a set of EDM H4 housings. I run cheap bulbs in them. I want to go to HIDs, but I haven't bothered yet.

If you can find the EDM housings for a good price, I don't think there is anything better, as they are OEM.

Tecker184
09-09-2011, 04:02 PM
Hella e-codes here, check out m2oc get them used for bout $100. Thats were i found mine came with bulbs i love them.

Maruki-kun
09-09-2011, 04:27 PM
why no Autopal love?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/86-95-TOYOTA-MR2-EURO-200mm-H4-H6054-HEADLIGHTS-KIT-/330326008538?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4ce8f6e2da#ht_1972wt_1165


as long as you don't get the "Diamond Lense" BS they are fantastic and pretty cheap.

Car_Barn_Bandit
09-09-2011, 04:46 PM
Hellas are better quality glass. I've seen the difference. Autopals are a good cheap alternative, but they are a good CHEAP alternative. They make their money making knockoffs of high quality light manufacturers.

I do loathe HIDs in reflector housings. The glare and beam pattern is awful.

Luni
09-09-2011, 04:54 PM
I disagree with that statement. Ive had both Autopals and Hellas, with HIDs in both and there was no difference whatsoever in my eyes.

Car_Barn_Bandit
09-09-2011, 05:04 PM
I disagree with that statement. Ive had both Autopals and Hellas, with HIDs in both and there was no difference whatsoever in my eyes.

There will be little difference using a reflector housing and an HID. The higher the lumens, the less you'll be able to notice.

Quality is in the glass. Autopal uses a thinner, weaker glass, which is where they save their money.

Hookecho
09-09-2011, 06:32 PM
I'm ordering the Autopal set. They offer some other bulb upgrades. Should I use the standard bulb that comes with the set or upgrade to one of these.

Ultra Blue 60/55W Add $4.00
Ultra Blue 100/55W Add $6.00
Ultra Blue 100/90W Add $8.00
WHITE 100/55W Add $4.00
WHITE 100/90W Add $6.00

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/200mm-H6054-H4-EURO-CONVERSION-HEADLIGHTS-KIT-/330594258615?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4cf8f40eb7#ht_2675wt_1165

85gtsblackman
09-09-2011, 06:40 PM
i love my autopals in my 3rd gen

i think you have to upgrade the wiring and such if you go over 55/65 watt

i still have the bulbs that came with my autopals, pretty good but at the same time i ordered them i found some hella bulbs cheap so i used them

Luni
09-09-2011, 08:47 PM
Hellas are better quality glass. I've seen the difference. Autopals are a good cheap alternative, but they are a good CHEAP alternative. They make their money making knockoffs of high quality light manufacturers.

I do loathe HIDs in reflector housings. The glare and beam pattern is awful.

Theres things you gotta do to get rid of the glare and unscatter the beam pattern. When you put HIDs in reflector housings.

1) Remove the parabolic reflector from the center of the housing. Its the teepee shaped little thing that hides the actual bulb. You dont want that.
2) dont buy diamond cut reflective housings. You want just shiny single plane housings
3) on the HID bulbs, they have a reflective metal half moon thing that is screwed to the bulb they tell you to remove. Leave it on. It will isolate the beam output to a specific place of the housing of your choosing (you can put it on the bottom or the top - if you look at my MR2s pictures, youll see mine is on the bottom so it keeps all the light on the top side of the housing, and you can see my beam output runs even with the cut of the housings so its where you want it)

I never got brighted a single time with those. I never got crap from cops, and I never felt my headlights were blinding to other drivers on the road. I even set a test where I had a buddy drive my car down one side of the road while I drove his on the other side opposite, so I could experience the glare others would get and it was less than 90 percent of the trucks on the road, so I was happy with that.

And finally, I had that HID kit for some 3 years, and although my glass may have been thinner, it never discolored, cracked, or otherwise gave me indications of quality issues. My bulb output wasnt any different than my current MR2 with Hellas, and overall I never felt the Autopals were any cheaper in general. Again this is a side by side comparison from someone whos had them both, not just made assumptions (Im not saying anyone in here did).

Compared to the Autopals, the Hellas arent worth the asking price IMO.

Galcobar
09-09-2011, 10:49 PM
I'm ordering the Autopal set. They offer some other bulb upgrades. Should I use the standard bulb that comes with the set or upgrade to one of these.

Ultra Blue 60/55W Add $4.00
Ultra Blue 100/55W Add $6.00
Ultra Blue 100/90W Add $8.00
WHITE 100/55W Add $4.00
WHITE 100/90W Add $6.00

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/200mm-H6054-H4-EURO-CONVERSION-HEADLIGHTS-KIT-/330594258615?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4cf8f40eb7#ht_2675wt_1165

Ultra Blue = heavy blue tint.

Blue tints make for poor headlights for several reasons. The first is that a tint is actually a filter, blocking (in this case) the red and yellow wavelengths. That means less light escapes the bulb, which in turn means your headlights are dimmer. The whole point of this exercise is to increase the amount of usable light, so avoid tinted bulbs. Secondly, blue light runs contrary to how human night vision works. In low-light situations, we use a different set of sensors in our eyes than we do in full illumination. These low-light sensors work well with yellow and orange light, but cannot properly process blue light. This is why blue light makes for glare at night -- HIDs being blue, they are more likely to blind other drivers which is why OEM versions have a sharp cutoff and retrofits are usually illegal. If your headlights are blue, you either have to deal with glare from your own lights, or your eyes adjust to the blue light and you end up with tunnel vision, unable to see anything not illuminated by your headlights. The third reason is that blue light is more easily scattered by water (this is why the sky appears blue and solid, rather than transparent, in daylight). Shine blue headlights into fog, snow or heavy rain and you end up with a wall of light which is difficult to see past.

High wattage bulbs endanger your wiring, which is 20 years old, and produce a lot more heat than standard bulbs, potentially endangering your housings. Plus they're illegal for road use.

Use the standard bulb. You'll enjoy improvements in beam pattern (all light put onto the road instead of just a portion) and output (better lens means more light gets through it). If it's not enough, get better bulbs. Powerbulbs.com has the best prices I can find, such as US$24 for a set of Osram Silverstars (+50% more light), and free shipping.

celica9303
09-10-2011, 06:35 AM
Thats the same set i have! Youll love em