Sylvania – Silverstar Ultra – Short lifespan?

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Discussion Starter · #1 · Jan 10, 2009

This post is meant to be partially a rant as well as a question on other experiences with Sylvania halogen products (low beams in particular)

So here’s my rant, I purchased a set of Sylvania Ultra halogen headlights as a replacement for the weak yellowish OEM halogen headlights. I was quite happy with the result as it was very bright white with a very slight tinge of blue (not obnoxiously blue). However, after 8 months, one side has already burned out, and after 12 months the other side also burned out. How long are headlights expected to last? Is this normal? If not, what brand and product would you recommend for a replacement that will last longer than 1 year.

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Yeah i had mine for less than six months.

then i bough HIDs for $70

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Yeah, I find that typically all of the more blue halogens seem to burn out more quickly. I don’t know of any brands that are going to last much longer than the silverstars “should.” I know PIAA makes really high quality bulbs, but they are usually pretty pricey.

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piaa are $80 a set! BOOO!!!! my brother had those and they lasted.. a year?

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LOL, true that. If you want a more “blue” look just go with an HID set like Red Devil.

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I’ve used nothing but Silvania Silverstars and Silverstar Ultras for years and years. The lifespan for mine is usually just short of a year to just over a year.

They are pricey, but there is usually a rebate going on once in awhile. eBay has some pretty good deals once in a great while, too.

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Discussion Starter · #7 · Jan 10, 2009

Seems to me like an HID upgrade seems to be the financially responsible thing to do given that they’re supposed to last much longer than halogens and are pretty affordable these days. I’m currently reading this tutorial intellexual net · m k i v (I’m actually quite familiar with this website as I also own a 93 SC300 ) and am about 1/8th of the way down lol. Those of you who’ve switched over to HID chose the D2R or D2S variant? I’m fairly new to lighting so any pointers to other tutorials or where to buy and installation guides would be greatly appreciated!

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Discussion Starter · #8 · Jan 10, 2009 (Edited)

Oh crap. I just realized that I would have to get my headlights retrofitted for an HID setup…. I’m not sure if I’m willing to embark on that quest just yet…. This is true right guys? There is no drop in and install ballast w/o retrofit HID kit is there?

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I would recommend against silverstars just because the reason they are brighter is they’re over stressed and the filament burns out sooner.

Habitat: most HID kits are the D2S bulbs that have been re-based for 9006 type headlights or which ever type your car uses. Most OEM non-projector HIDs are D2R because they have ceramic paint on them to reduce the amount of glare produced from the bulb. D2S bulbs do not have this ceramic stripe on them which is designed for use in projector style headlights

And no you don’t necessarily have to get a Retro for HIDs they sell kits that are PnP that just plug in and work, but for a more safer option to other drivers I would go with a Retro if you can afford it. PnP kits are usually cheaper, XenonDepot is a sponsor here and has decent prices.

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save your money, get HIDs, $62 on ebay.

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Discussion Starter · #12 · Jan 10, 2009

I would recommend against silverstars just because the reason they are brighter is they’re over stressed and the filament burns out sooner.

Habitat: most HID kits are the D2S bulbs that have been re-based for 9006 type headlights or which ever type your car uses. Most OEM non-projector HIDs are D2R because they have ceramic paint on them to reduce the amount of glare produced from the bulb. D2S bulbs do not have this ceramic stripe on them which is designed for use in projector style headlights

And no you don’t necessarily have to get a Retro for HIDs they sell kits that are PnP that just plug in and work, but for a more safer option to other drivers I would go with a Retro if you can afford it. PnP kits are usually cheaper, XenonDepot is a sponsor here and has decent prices.

Oh nice, thanks for the tip. I’ll def. check out XenonDepot!

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I just put in some SilverStar Ultras and I’m liking them so far. But I kind of wish I went with an HID kit. Oh well, I’ll install a kit over the summer when my bulbs burn out.

The only thing that worries me about HID is Honda telling me that they caused a problem somewhere and decides not to warranty something.

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ive had the sylvanis on for almost 16 months and i havent had a single problem

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on the package they give the bulbs one out of like five stars for lifespan

so they are advertised to not last long

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I had Silverstars (both high and low beams) on my accord for over 2 years, and on my civic I’ve had them in the high beams for over a year now. I’ve had good luck with them so far.

Not saying the shorter lifespan is BS, but they can last a while. I’ve also had regular halogen bulbs burn out after 3 or so months…

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Discussion Starter · #18 · Jan 16, 2009

Yea I suppose it really depends on how much you drive with the lights on. These halogens are estimated to have ~400hrs of life where as HIDs are estimated @ 2400hrs! On XenonDepot.com I found the Philips HID 4300k kit for $264.99. With a little math, 2400hr/400hr=6x more life than halogen. While $265/$50=5.3x more expensive. So it seems (at least with retail prices) the HID kits are technically cheaper than the halogens given that they last ~11.7% longer. I think I may invest in one of those kits by the end of the year (since my new set will probably die by then).

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Yea I suppose it really depends on how much you drive with the lights on. These halogens are estimated to have ~400hrs of life where as HIDs are estimated @ 2400hrs! On XenonDepot.com I found the Philips HID 4300k kit for $264.99. With a little math, 2400hr/400hr=6x more life than halogen. While $265/$50=5.3x more expensive. So it seems (at least with retail prices) the HID kits are technically cheaper than the halogens given that they last ~11.7% longer. I think I may invest in one of those kits by the end of the year (since my new set will probably die by then).

:clapping:

nice analysis, although they dont last 11.7% longer, they would just be 11.7% cheaper in the long run, if i’m reading this correctly. either way – when i migrate to HID (with a retro fit, most likely) it wont be for cost savings, it will be because i need at least adequate lighting at night. The stock headlights are dismal no matter what fancy bulb you put in.

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Discussion Starter · #20 · Jan 16, 2009

:clapping:

nice analysis, although they dont last 11.7% longer, they would just be 11.7% cheaper in the long run, if i’m reading this correctly. either way – when i migrate to HID (with a retro fit, most likely) it wont be for cost savings, it will be because i need at least adequate lighting at night. The stock headlights are dismal no matter what fancy bulb you put in.

I think you maybe right with the 11.7% cheaper in the long run statement. Whatever the case, I actually have no gripes about the brightness of my Silverstar Ultras. They are much brighter (and wider) than the OEM setup and very adequate IMO. The only issue I have is having to replace them on an annual (and sometimes shorter) basis. Our cars don’t make it the easiest task to swap out/in a set of headlights! (that coolant reservoir tank is such a PITA to get back in…)

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