Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

UK forum for general and technical discussion about the Z3 roadster

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Bertie
Joined: Sun 06 Oct, 2019 03:46
Posts: 46

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Montreal Canada

Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by Bertie »

The Knowledge Base article on upgraded bulbs is rather old . Does any one have recommendations for more recent upgrades??
I simply want to change out the bulbs, I don't want to modify the original lights .
Cheers
Bertie

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Gazza
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Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 20:58
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  M roadster S54
Location: Romford Essex

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by Gazza »

I read an article recently about bulbs and the claims of brightness.
It seems the claim of ‘50% brighter’ is in comparison to old worn out bulbs.

Basically if you replace your bulbs with the equivalent they will be much brighter than the old ones.

There is a rather long winded video on YouTube comparing Halogen vs HID vs LED https://youtu.be/TJ7nqrRv7Ww
Gazza

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Bertie
Joined: Sun 06 Oct, 2019 03:46
Posts: 46

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Montreal Canada

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by Bertie »

I am looking for a review of the current halogen replacement options . I have no wish to install advanced death ray optics .
There are several makers claiming improvements on standard replacements of OEM halogen bulbs, at multiples of the OEM replacement cost .An independent test to sort out real life performance on the road as opposed to advertising BS would be welcome .
Bertie

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Robert T
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Joined: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 10:35
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  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by Robert T »

I can testify that the upgrade bulbs are noticeably brighter than new OEMs, having swapped them a few years back. I have since had to replace the ones I fitted then and I am on Philips Nightbreakers IIRC.

I did recently see some 200% brighter bulbs being advertised by AutoBulbs Direct that might be worth investing.

So it's not to say that bulbs don't degrade over time, and that any new bulb will be an improvement, but the brighter bulbs definitely offer a cleaner whiter light with more intensity that really helps with driving on unlit roads.

Cheers R.

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Bertie
Joined: Sun 06 Oct, 2019 03:46
Posts: 46

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Montreal Canada

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by Bertie »

Thanks
Philipps seem to be the way to go .
Bertie

wonderloaf
Joined: Mon 02 Aug, 2010 20:55
Posts: 517

  Z3 roadster 2.2i
Location: Basingstoke

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by wonderloaf »

+1 for the Nightbreakers Osram not Phillips).
2001 Titan Silver 2.2 Sport

137699
Joined: Wed 04 Mar, 2020 21:40
Posts: 17

  M coupe S50

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by 137699 »

PIAA Xtreme White Plus - simply the best bulbs I have ever used.

LaRy
Joined: Mon 12 Nov, 2018 17:47
Posts: 74

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by LaRy »

The Osram Nightbreakers is the strongest legal bulb accoding to tests, but my personal experience is that the lifetime of those are short. But you can definitely see the difference.

137699
Joined: Wed 04 Mar, 2020 21:40
Posts: 17

  M coupe S50

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by 137699 »

LaRy wrote:
Thu 08 Oct, 2020 06:16
The Osram Nightbreakers is the strongest legal bulb accoding to tests, but my personal experience is that the lifetime of those are short. But you can definitely see the difference.
Which is why I recommend the PIAA bulbs. They're as bright, if not brighter than Nightbreakers, but are extremely long life.
I have a pair currently that I bought 4 cars and 300,000 miles ago and they're still going strong & lighting up incredibly well.

Mike Fishwick
Joined: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 10:27
Posts: 2055

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Daglan, France

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by Mike Fishwick »

If you want bulbs which are in the top league by the best from either Osram or Philips. Other brands seem to have caught up with them (they probably re-badge Osram or Philips products) but charge more.

I bet PIAA are in this category, as they do not make bulbs, and used to be notorious for producing dazzle. Their bulbs now have a better reputation, but cost far too much for their performance of what is doubless a badge-engineered product.

If you want really wonderful H7 bulbs - at a price - buy the Philips LED type, but ask yourself if you really need them for the usual motoring procession which passes for night driving in the UK.
A Z3 is not just for Christmas - it's for life!

Bertie
Joined: Sun 06 Oct, 2019 03:46
Posts: 46

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Montreal Canada

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by Bertie »

Thanks Mike and all the other contributors
Autumn is on us and the car is about to go into winter hibernation , -30 C , snow and rear wheel drive are not ideal driving conditions for a convertible . I will put new Osram or Phillips bulbs on my Christmas list and spend the winter stripping out the front end to change them.
Cheers
Bertie

Mike Fishwick
Joined: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 10:27
Posts: 2055

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Daglan, France

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by Mike Fishwick »

'Strip the front end?' - you are dealing with an old design, so all it takes is to remove the air box and then follow your nose - and easy job.

If you have a newer design like the Z4 then things are more involved, and a VW Golf handbook states that 'It is no longer possible to replace the headlamp bulbs!' This means -Take it to the dealer and pay £120 plus the price of the bulb - You would think they could give the bulb free . . . how penny-pinching can you get? In fact it takes about half an hour and two torx keys to remove the apron and the offending headlamp, altough some heros claim to have changed the bulbs in situ.
A Z3 is not just for Christmas - it's for life!

Bertie
Joined: Sun 06 Oct, 2019 03:46
Posts: 46

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Montreal Canada

Re: Head light bulb upgrades , any recommendations

Post by Bertie »

I'm used to older cars where it's literally a 5 minute job tp change a light bulb
Removing a load of fragile looking plastic on one side and a 5 litre plastic jug of washer fluid on the other , just to get at the back of the head lights ,and even more to access the fog lights and little twinky lights on the bumper is a bit like one of those old
" How many BMW engineers does it take to ***** " jokes
Cheers
Bertie

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