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Old 04-17-2017, 04:24 PM   #1
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Headlight bulbs: Samsung LED's vs. Silverstar Ultra vs. CrystalVision

I've never been happy wth the output of the headlights on my motorhome. In the past, I did replace both headlight assemblies and all the headlight bulbs, but only with replacement OEM parts. It didn't improve night-driving visibility, and I didn't expect it to; just did it because the assemblies had a yellow tint to them from sun exposure. You know you have crummy light output when you can drive with your high-beams on for hundreds of miles on a major highway and not a single on-coming vehicle flashes their lights at you. Many times I've felt the factory lighting is down-right dangerous, especially when it's raining and the lane markings haven't been repainted in a long time.

Doing a little research on bulb replacements and wondering if anyone has tried Samsung 30 SMD LED bulbs, Sylvania Silverstar Ultra's or Philips CrystalVision Ultra bulbs. The upside of the Sylvania or Phillips compared to the more yellow OEM bulbs is a whiter light, with more depth and width. A downside is a bulb life expectancy of about one-third. The LED's claim a huge life expectancy over all the other style of bulbs.

Anyone have any insight to these bulbs and whether the extra cost and shorter lifespan is worth what should be better night-driving visibility?

Thank-you. RT
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:29 PM   #2
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Have you checked the voltage at your headlights? Some coaches ran the headlight circuit up through the headlight switch, even though the switch is not rated for all the current the headlights draw. Longer wire run = less voltage= less light at the lamps. If yours is low, you can correct by using a couple of relays to take the load off the switch.
Bright idea?
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:37 PM   #3
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For sure check your voltage. I ended up adding relays and much heavier wiring. Brightness was increased a significant amount. The other change I made was putting in the real headlight assemblies vs the cheap replacements that were installed as original equipment.
I did also upgrade bulbs as a last step but it was different model bulb that had a much higher output.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:02 PM   #4
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For sure check your voltage.
Thank you cruzbill and Spk64 for the suggestion of checking voltage. I my case, not a voltage issue, just more of a design issue thing. I wish the assembly housing were a lot larger. The assemblies used by Winnebago are actually from a 2000 / 2004 Chevrolet Suburban. Works fine in the Suburban, as I have one, but not so great when you are sitting a lot higher and further back, like in a motorhome.

I thought for sure other others would have tried some of the three replacement bulbs now available and offered their input. Maybe I could be the guinea pig, I guess. -RT
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RTegarini View Post
Thank you cruzbill and Spk64 for the suggestion of checking voltage. I my case, not a voltage issue, just more of a design issue thing. I wish the assembly housing were a lot larger. The assemblies used by Winnebago are actually from a 2000 / 2004 Chevrolet Suburban. Works fine in the Suburban, as I have one, but not so great when you are sitting a lot higher and further back, like in a motorhome.

I thought for sure other others would have tried some of the three replacement bulbs now available and offered their input. Maybe I could be the guinea pig, I guess. -RT
Ricardo,
While your Suburban's lights may be working good, the same style of lights in a motor home, can and often do, perform with less than desired results. It would behoove you to take the advice of the above and at least get a voltage reading, right at the connection pins, as they enter the back side of the bulb. Heck, I did that on my last Jeep and was astounded at what I found. The battery in my Jeep was sitting at 13.5 V. With the engine off, I turned on the headlight low beams. I back-pinned the connection's positive pin for low beam and it came in as 12.0 volts.

I fired the engine up and, the same test revealed the pins voltage was 12.6V. So, just for grins, I made a jumper out of some 12GA wire from the positive battery post to the pin I was testing the lights with on the low beam pin. Wow, you should have seen how much brighter the low beam became.

So, this is just some info for you. If you're dead sure you've got correct and max voltage at your headlights now, then yes, move on to maybe your intended LEDs. But, just some small info for you here. Over on a Jeep forum, there's a few miles of threads on LED head lights, LED bulb changes and more. About 98% of the ones who've used the standard housings when changing to LED bulbs, had little to no real improvement. Their claim in their experiences is that the stock housings are just not designed for the type of light an LED emits.

Most of them have changed the entire head light, to an LED head light, including myself. Now, that's more than likely not possible with your style head lights but, just something to think about. Yep, I too have lousy headlights on our '04 Itasca Horizon. I've recently put BRAND NEW head lights on and, with minimal results of improvement.
Scott
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:00 PM   #6
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Check out Daniel stern lighting
He has a ton of useful info about headlight, bulbs, modifications. Not rv specific but great info nonetheless you have to dig a bit though
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Ricardo,
While your Suburban's lights may be working good, the same style of lights in a motor home, can and often do, perform with less than desired results. It would behoove you to take the advice of the above and at least get a voltage reading, right at the connection pins, as they enter the back side of the bulb. Heck, I did that on my last Jeep and was astounded at what I found. The battery in my Jeep was sitting at 13.5 V. With the engine off, I turned on the headlight low beams. I back-pinned the connection's positive pin for low beam and it came in as 12.0 volts.

I fired the engine up and, the same test revealed the pins voltage was 12.6V. So, just for grins, I made a jumper out of some 12GA wire from the positive battery post to the pin I was testing the lights with on the low beam pin. Wow, you should have seen how much brighter the low beam became.

Scott

I had 11.5 volts at the headlights with 13.5 at the battery. Now I am just below 13 at the headlights.
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/2002...de-301283.html
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:25 PM   #8
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Ricardo,

Most of them have changed the entire head light, to an LED head light, including myself. Now, that's more than likely not possible with your style head lights but, just something to think about. Yep, I too have lousy headlights on our '04 Itasca Horizon. I've recently put BRAND NEW head lights on and, with minimal results of improvement.
Scott
I have a set of LED in my minivan The ones that have the fan on the back . Im really happy with them as they burn the pavement .
On my Journey due to the lack of space I tried a set of LEDs without the fan . Needless to say I took them right out . I tried and tried to remove the complete light housing with no luck ! What a chore to change those bulbs with minimal space .
How did you do that ? Which style LED did you use ?
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:48 PM   #9
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We have been using the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra's in our Chevy Trailblazer for 12 years. They seem to last as long as the OEM, maybe longer and are definitely much better lights. Just bought them for our "NEW" 2000 HR Endeavor but have not installed them yet.
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Old 04-22-2017, 11:31 PM   #10
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I've been using the silverstar's (4 of them) for about 10 years now. They are much better than the original headlights for my old eyes.
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Old 04-22-2017, 11:32 PM   #11
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I have a set of LED in my minivan The ones that have the fan on the back . Im really happy with them as they burn the pavement .
On my Journey due to the lack of space I tried a set of LEDs without the fan . Needless to say I took them right out . I tried and tried to remove the complete light housing with no luck ! What a chore to change those bulbs with minimal space .
How did you do that ? Which style LED did you use ?
Journey cat,
If you're asking about which brand new headlights I installed, I didn't just replace bulbs. I replace the entire housing on each side. My head lights on the front of our '04 Horizon, are derived from a Nissan Frontier. I cruised on over to Ebay and, got a set of brane new Frontier headlights for a whopping $67.00. The same exact headlights for a new Itasca Horizon, are very close to $150.00. So, the $67 ones are what I installed. As stated, brand new but, not all that much difference in light output.
Scott
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:51 AM   #12
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Journey cat,
If you're asking about which brand new headlights I installed, I didn't just replace bulbs. I replace the entire housing on each side. My head lights on the front of our '04 Horizon, are derived from a Nissan Frontier. I cruised on over to Ebay and, got a set of brane new Frontier headlights for a whopping $67.00. The same exact headlights for a new Itasca Horizon, are very close to $150.00. So, the $67 ones are what I installed. As stated, brand new but, not all that much difference in light output.
Scott
I may have spoken out of line .
I googled pictures of your year & model after reading you say Nissan lights .
My 05 Journey I believe uses 98 Gran Am lights .
I was asking how to remove the complete housing . Mine do not need replacement as they are clear . I just want to know how they come out to ease in any further maintence . I have removed the 2 screws on top from the outside . I have un bolted the iron brackets from inside . wedged wood ect to change those bulbs . I got it done but if ever a side marker bulb dies there is no way .
What woud a person do if ever a lenz were cracked ? Some one has to know the answer as google does not !
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:00 AM   #13
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I put LED's in my rig, great pattern out to about 50', my fog lights do a better job beyond that. The LED's I got have the lights in a different spot than the standard bulbs so the focal distance is not right. Have high output bulbs waiting to go in if it ever stops raining long enough.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Journey cat View Post
I may have spoken out of line .
I googled pictures of your year & model after reading you say Nissan lights .
My 05 Journey I believe uses 98 Gran Am lights .
I was asking how to remove the complete housing . Mine do not need replacement as they are clear . I just want to know how they come out to ease in any further maintence . I have removed the 2 screws on top from the outside . I have un bolted the iron brackets from inside . wedged wood ect to change those bulbs . I got it done but if ever a side marker bulb dies there is no way .
What woud a person do if ever a lenz were cracked ? Some one has to know the answer as google does not !
JC,
If your lights are what I think they are, yep, it's a bear to replace the total assembly. A good buddy of mine has an '05 Meridian 34H and his headlights are pretty opaque. He's tried a time or two to rescue them but, to no avail. He has a brand new set ready to be installed and is waiting for my help. Replacing his looks to be about twice as hard as ours were. I'm not looking forward to this project.
Scott

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
I put LED's in my rig, great pattern out to about 50', my fog lights do a better job beyond that. The LED's I got have the lights in a different spot than the standard bulbs so the focal distance is not right. Have high output bulbs waiting to go in if it ever stops raining long enough.
Mr_D,
Over on the Jeep JK forum, there's a few miles of threads pertaining to LED headlights. Some of those LED headlights are costing upwards of $800. But, many of those boys have done lots of experimentation with just about every form of headlight alteration, bucket, housings, bulbs, separate wiring harness's, and more. And, the ones who played with just replacing regular bulbs with LED bulbs, ALL OF THEM stated that it was was a worthless effort. The standard stock housings are not designed for the type of light an LED emits.

So, most of them changed the housings which, were way better designed to handle the more effecient LED bulbs. And many, like myself, just purchased factory designed headlights with LED technology already built in. Waaaaaaaaay better. Now, to come up with better headlights for the coach!!
Scott
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