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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear forum friends:

I just read in the latest Consumer Reports with cell phones on the front cover. There is a one page write-up on aftermarket lights. Consumer reports looked objectively at several different bulbs vs oem. OEM halogens were equal or better than all but one type of aftermarket bulb. Sylvania superstars actually had lower light output than halogen oems. Study was done in a dark building with special equipment and light meters. IF you are looking for better lighting DO NOT REPLACE OEMS. Save your money!!!!!!!!!! If you are looking for whiter lights to emulate HID's but with less illumination then go ahead and waste your money. I did after reading these forums. I suspected light output was not better but not worse as CR reported. I do like the whiter lights so I am not really as dismayed as I sound. I just hate wasting money for purely cosmetic reasons. I enjoy spending money that promotes aesthetics but also has some science behind it i.e. performance.

In conclusion, yes I wasted my money on sylvania superstars. The light is whiter so I can justify my purchase. BUT at night when it counts you are not buying better performance i.e. illumination. FOR the record, piaa was not tested.
 

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I don't agree with Consumer Reports. I rarely do. I have been using silverstars for years. They aren't brighter than stock bulbs, but objects show up better at night with them. I don't care how they measure up inside buildings or using light meters, etc. All I care about is how well they light up the road and objects in and along the road. The SilverStars do a better job of that than the stock bulbs. I drive quite a bit at night, and lane markers, roadside signs, reflectors, etc show up much farther down the road with the SSs. Better visibility is the only reason I would replace the stock bulds. I couldn't care less about any cosmetic reasons, or how the lights look to other drivers.
 

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GasDoc said:
Dear forum friends:

I just read in the latest Consumer Reports with cell phones on the front cover. There is a one page write-up on aftermarket lights. Consumer reports looked objectively at several different bulbs vs oem. OEM halogens were equal or better than all but one type of aftermarket bulb. Sylvania superstars actually had lower light output than halogen oems. Study was done in a dark building with special equipment and light meters. IF you are looking for better lighting DO NOT REPLACE OEMS. Save your money!!!!!!!!!! If you are looking for whiter lights to emulate HID's but with less illumination then go ahead and waste your money. I did after reading these forums. I suspected light output was not better but not worse as CR reported. I do like the whiter lights so I am not really as dismayed as I sound. I just hate wasting money for purely cosmetic reasons. I enjoy spending money that promotes aesthetics but also has some science behind it i.e. performance.

In conclusion, yes I wasted my money on sylvania superstars. The light is whiter so I can justify my purchase. BUT at night when it counts you are not buying better performance i.e. illumination. FOR the record, piaa was not tested.
IF you mean Silverstars from Sylvania, that's a crock. I've replaced them on mine and they are markedly better. Just goes to show again how bad CR is. Remember, they are the ones who slam the '06s saying they will be unreliable based on '04 brake problems.

The only reason I can think of for the difference is the measurment of light vs. usable light. White light around 4300K is the best for human eyes to have at night. Silverstars are 3800k, halogens 2400k. There may be more light in a stock 2400k bulb, but not more you can use to see with for driving.

Only thing I can say is put one stock on one side, a silverstar on the other, and compare. Then after you have decided, cancel your subscription to CR unless you need paper for your birdcage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Agree silverstars are GOOD

Thanks for the corrections, I meant silverstars and not superstars :)

In regards to CR, yeah they claim to be unbiased and objective but based on historical data the armada was not perfect out of the assembly line. It's true that report doesn't reflect the quality improvements nissan has made plus it's also based on a survey of armada owners and it could have been that armada owners are more passionate and thus more vocal. I definitely disagree with CR in this regard.

With regards to CR and this test comparing OEM halogens vs aftermarket lights though, it's kind of hard to criticize CR since this test is more objective. It's not based on historical surveys etc. They use the same light meters on the same cars in the same condition so I really can't find fault with the study and thus the report. We can bash CR but don't bash the analysis if it is a well designed study. I personally love my silverstars because I think the whiter light makes night driving better for me, but in terms of illuminating objects in front of me or allowing me to see further and better, I can't bet my life on it and say yes the silverstars kick OEM halogen lights.

I started a thread awhile ago about trying to use high beam bulbs i.e. higher wattage in the housing of the low beams to improve lumen output but someone said this could not be done. Has anyone tried this or is there no way to get around the wiring harness?
 

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GasDoc said:
Thanks for the corrections, I meant silverstars and not superstars :)

In regards to CR, yeah they claim to be unbiased and objective but based on historical data the armada was not perfect out of the assembly line. It's true that report doesn't reflect the quality improvements nissan has made plus it's also based on a survey of armada owners and it could have been that armada owners are more passionate and thus more vocal. I definitely disagree with CR in this regard.

With regards to CR and this test comparing OEM halogens vs aftermarket lights though, it's kind of hard to criticize CR since this test is more objective. It's not based on historical surveys etc. They use the same light meters on the same cars in the same condition so I really can't find fault with the study and thus the report. We can bash CR but don't bash the analysis if it is a well designed study. I personally love my silverstars because I think the whiter light makes night driving better for me, but in terms of illuminating objects in front of me or allowing me to see further and better, I can't bet my life on it and say yes the silverstars kick OEM halogen lights.

I started a thread awhile ago about trying to use high beam bulbs i.e. higher wattage in the housing of the low beams to improve lumen output but someone said this could not be done. Has anyone tried this or is there no way to get around the wiring harness?
It could be done, but its illegal. The low beams are at the legal limit for street use. This is why they make the plugs different. You can get pulled over for them. If you want more than silverstars, go HID.
 

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92TripleBlack said:
Only thing I can say is put one stock on one side, a silverstar on the other, and compare. Then after you have decided, cancel your subscription to CR unless you need paper for your birdcage.

That is hilarious.

I got my 04 in December of 04 with 6000 miles. It had a little bit of the brake judder - wasn't nearly as bad as what I had in my Excursion :eek: But they did their turn em deal at 8k. And it actually fixed the problem, then I read about the kit when I had around 18k on THIS FORUM -thanks - and told Nissan the judder had come back at 80 miles an hour on the interstate when I was breaking hard(figured they wouldn't go to the trouble to check --- they didn't) and they gave me the kit. I mostly wanted the kit b/c I also read here that it would help with brake dust and I was afraid the judder would come back. Overall I was very happy with the Nissan service and have had no other problems with the 04. But I do realize others have had worse brake problems than I.

But as far as I'm concerned the CR reliability report doesn't apply for me. So, I think they make some gross generalizations. But I must admit, it is nice to see a mag that isn't manipulated by their advertising $, even if they are sometimes misguided.

TTY
 

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just put them all in. First I tested on half and there was a very noticable difference in OEMs and ss's. My plan is to eventually put in low beam hid's and use the ss's to be a close match without spending another 600$. But I'm liking my setup as is for now
 

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jagfirst said:
just put them all in. First I tested on half and there was a very noticable difference in OEMs and ss's. My plan is to eventually put in low beam hid's and use the ss's to be a close match without spending another 600$. But I'm liking my setup as is for now
I just bought the 6000K 9006 bulb HID kit from Burtman Industries, I am very impressed with the results. It was only like $350 with shipping. The install was a snap. Take one screw out of your wheel well and everything is there for you to change. It's a top notch kit. Check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Forget HID or Sylvania Silverstars use OEM

Dear Forum:

After driving around with the silverstars high and low beam for about 2 months now, I've come to the conclusion that light output is worse than my OEM halogens. I like the whiter light i.e. closer to 4000K but lumens output is less than the OEMs. I removed the silverstar lows and replaced them with my factory OEM high beams. The light output is incredible. If you look at the light housing for the lows you can see that the light is reflected back into a parabolic mirror focusing the beams lower than the high beams. In other words, you can use a higher wattage i.e. more light output bulb without blinding oncoming cars. It's the design of the light housing that aims and focuses the light.

To do this you need your OEM highs and a utility knife. It took me 5 minutes per bulb but all you do is shave the 2 rails flush with the utility knife. Becareful not to touch the bulbs. The oil in your finger will shorten the lifespan of the bulbs. Once the rails are shaved off (doesn't have to be perfectly flat) they just plug in. I was so excited I did not take pics comparing the silverstars and the OEM highs in the low beam housing but driving around at night, I've found that illumination is much much better. I know how well HID's illuminiate b/c my wife has xenons in her Lexus and I've got them in my Porsche. I can honestly say that they are comparable or better.

Try it out! YOu can always reverse the process easily if you don't like it.
 

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What a crock of crap. I have Silverstars in all three of my cars and they are a much better source of light as far as color and providing real life visibilty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Totally Disagree

Masterwong,

I respectfully disagree with your crock comment. Just because you spent money on all silverstar bulbs and like the prettier "white" color does not equal better light output or visibility. I did the same thing but found objectively that visibility is slightly better but lumen output definitely is worse! No matter how much slack CR gets, you cannot fault their study design which used light meters and subjective evals from different drivers in a closed darkened warehouse.

What I did was move the OEM high beams into the low beam housing and kept my silverstar highs. I have been driving around for 2 days now and I KNOW THAT LIGHT OUTPUT IS BETTER. If you don't believe me try it. You have all the spare OEM bulbs laying around. It takes 5 minutes to do. Do it on one side to make a better comparison. But don't talk out of your ishiorectal fossa.
 

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Actually I threw out my OEM bulbs, why keep them. I never said " "white" color does not equal better light output or visibility." you are saying that. I am just saying that with the human eye the white actually gives a better illumination of things on the road then the OEM beams do including the highs. I have driven around the first week I had my Armada with the OEM high's on and wasn't impressed, so what makes you think that I am going to be impressed with moving the OEM high's to my low position. :moon:

Have fun reading CR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Driving with High beams is different DUH

Masterwong,

Driving around with High beams using OEM bulbs is totally different than normal driving, duh! What kind of driver are you driving around with high beams all the time. I guess the kind that likes to blind oncoming traffic!!!!!!!!

Listen to what you are saying, MAN. The high beam housing focuses the light to project further and higher than the standard low beams. Park your beast in front of a white wall at night and flick on your high beams. Mark out the illumination pattern and then switch to low beams and compare. You will see the difference. When you make a comment make sure you are comparing apples to apples and not oranges. Use the high beam oem bulb in your low beam housing and compare OEM to silverstars (std low beam). You will see there is no comparison. Light output is much better with the HIGH beam OEM bulbs compared to the silversatar lows. If you like the "whiter" lights which I do like also consider using silverstar HIGH bulbs in the LOW beam housing. That may be the best solution if you've got the bucks to spare.
 

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GasDoc said:
Dear Forum:

After driving around with the silverstars high and low beam for about 2 months now, I've come to the conclusion that light output is worse than my OEM halogens. I like the whiter light i.e. closer to 4000K but lumens output is less than the OEMs. I removed the silverstar lows and replaced them with my factory OEM high beams. The light output is incredible. If you look at the light housing for the lows you can see that the light is reflected back into a parabolic mirror focusing the beams lower than the high beams. In other words, you can use a higher wattage i.e. more light output bulb without blinding oncoming cars. It's the design of the light housing that aims and focuses the light.

To do this you need your OEM highs and a utility knife. It took me 5 minutes per bulb but all you do is shave the 2 rails flush with the utility knife. Becareful not to touch the bulbs. The oil in your finger will shorten the lifespan of the bulbs. Once the rails are shaved off (doesn't have to be perfectly flat) they just plug in. I was so excited I did not take pics comparing the silverstars and the OEM highs in the low beam housing but driving around at night, I've found that illumination is much much better. I know how well HID's illuminiate b/c my wife has xenons in her Lexus and I've got them in my Porsche. I can honestly say that they are comparable or better.

Try it out! YOu can always reverse the process easily if you don't like it.
Gasdoc....going back to your comments regarding you confirming you OEM bulbs do in fact have more light output. I'm just curious, how you determined that? I have the silverstars in my other car and they do seem quite a bit brighter. It might be the fact they are whiter....I don't know. My old OEM lights were actually pretty weak unfortunately. Then again....maybe its just me?? I was coming from a Maxima with HID's to a BMW without HIDs. I know immediately it was a big change, but I figured I'd adapt after a couple of years. Well one of my OEMs finally blew, so I plugged in a set of the Silverstars and they sure "seem" like they are putting out more light...but I don't have any way of measuring. Anyway...I was just curious how you came to that conclusion, and maybe I'll consider going back to OEM, unless I can afford to go HID next time around. I'm not looking for what it looks like. I just want good night vision! Thanks!
 

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I agree. The Silverstars do have more USABLE light output. I could care less about "pretty white" color. I bought them only for extra light. I had one silverstar in one housing, OEM in the other. Did a side by side. Silverstars kicked the crap out of OEM. However, a light meter reads ALL light, not the light that is usable by the human eye for night vision. Whiter light, around 4300k is optimal for human vision. This is why even though OEM may have more overall light, Silverstars work better for night vision. It is also why the higher 6000k+ lamps loose usable light. They put out as much light, but the human eye can't use it for night vision. It is also why the manufacturers of HIDs use 4300k for stock HID.

Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment and agree with everyone else on the board who has owned Silverstars.

As for CR, they are junk. They use data from prior years and "ASSume" it applies to current models. This is junk journalism. Makers react to problems and repair them. Now they have dramatically improved the ratings of the Armada and QX, even though the fixes were in 3 years ago. It took them 2 years to catch up. Meanwhile, Nissan was black eyed with bogus reports and as a result, people bought junky TOYotas. Crock.

Wanna make some legitimate gripes about the Nissan? First year had some bugs including rattles squeeks, and switches.
Second year fixed the first year problems except for brake rotors, which were fixed end of second year.
Some people don't like the dash materials. They will change next year. But for me, dash materials are about #72 in priority for buying a car, right behind back seat cup holders.
The only other thing I'd gripe about is the junky tires that come on them. That's about it.

If CR wanted to be truly a valuable reference about cars, they should either wait until a car is a year old, or if they have a problem they want to use from a prior year car to project the next year's performance, they should ask the manufacturer if they have addressed the problem and put in their article that the maker states they have fixed XYZ so you have an idea as to where the current vehicle stands. Also, they shouldn't group stuff together as they do.
For us, Brake rotor warping as as bad as transmission failures in the eyes of CR. Both were "drivetrain" problems. A window switch working intermittently was "electrical" problems and as serious as the electrical problems Ford was having that caused countless engine fires. Ridiculous. Don't state general cateories of problems, state the top 5 or better yet state the specific problems that happen in 5% or more of the production run. This way a consumer can decide for themselves how serious the problems are and if they care. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tripleblack is right on!

mm759:

The silverstar lows compared to the OEM lows do not provide greater illumination as concluded by Consumer Reports in a study they did in a darkened warehouse with identical light meters and exact same conditions. What Tripleblack says is true regarding the wavelength of light that the human eye can use to contrast objects. A quick example is looking at colors in your master closet. My wife complained that the flourescent bulbs in our master closet make dark navy look like black and other colors seem off. For women color matching is key and if accessories don't match they will and do get PISSED. I changed the cooler i.e. bluer standard flourescent rods with newer whiter rods that simulate the wavelenght of sunlight from Home Depot. They cost a little more but they are less blue. Wow what a difference. My wife thinks I am genious. Blacks look like blacks and dark navy blue looks like dark navy blue. The take home is that the wavelength makes a big difference in looking at objects but not in terms of illumination i.e. can you see something in the dark or not. The light output of the silverstars LOW beam was definitively weaker than OEM halogens but objects appear better. In other words what you see looks better but doesn't mean you can see farther i.e. illumination. WHat I did was buy silverstar HIGH BEAMS and use the OEM high beams in my low beam housing. THe light output is definitely better because it has a higher wattage.

Hopes this helps
 
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