Originally Posted by LiKe_WhOa!
question from cousin:
whats the dif. with all the bulbs? like 9004 - 9007 or hb1 hb3 hb4 hb5, is it a size thing? wattage, color?
thanks for any help!
Just like an AAA battery is similar to an AA battery, but totally different.
The 900X and HBx are two different names for the same thing. 9003 is an HB2, but IS NOT an H4 technically speaking, though mechanically some H4s and 9003s are the same. Heck, some manufacturers manufacture one bulb and label it BOTH as 9003 and H4. H4 is a motorcycle designation.
9004 is similar in size and shape as 9007. Main difference is the axial orientation of the filament. 9004 is transverse, 9007 is longitudinal. Both are dual filament bulbs, meaning that one bulb has low and high beams. The drawback is that you have to buy a whole new bulb if one filament breaks (usually the low beam because it's used more).
9005 and 9006 bulbs are for cars (Accord, Integra) that use separate bulbs for low and high beams. Thus, both are single filament bulbs. The filaments have a longitudinal orientation. 9005 and 9006 look the same, though the 9005s have no bulb cap, unlike 9006. 9005s are for high beams. 9006 are low beams, and are sometimes used in foglights too.
9003/HB2 aka H4 is a dual filament bulb with a longitudinal orientation. For all intents and purposes, consider them to be the same thing (in some cases they are, such as Sylvania's bulbs that have 9003, HB2, and H4 on the base). Interestingly, the same bulb can have different prices depending on if the package states the bulb as H4 (motorcycle) or 9003 (automotive). A true H4 will fit in either an H4 housing or 9003 housing, while a true 9003 will not fit in a true H4 housing. But most housings allow both bulbs to be used, so that realistically, there is no difference. Legally, you shouldn't have an H4 bulb (think PIAA, blue bulb, etc) because it's a motorcycle bulb in a car and only 9003 is regulated by law.
Of course, newer bulb sizes are becoming more prevalent, such as H1 and H7. The last generation Prelude uses four of the same bulb...two for low beam and two for high beam.
The smaller single filament bulbs such as H3 are usually for auxiliary lights (fog or driving).
Higher wattage does not mean the same corresponding increase in lumens output. That is, a 100w H4 bulb is NOT twice as bright as a stock 55w H4. The increased wattage may or may not affect colour temperature...probably a 50k difference not noticeable.
Capsule color has the most influence on colour temperature, followed by filament wind. Don't believe the PIAA hype about a 55w bulb equaling a 110w bulb. Marketing BS plain and simple.
Most aftermarket wannabe-HID bulbs use higher wattage to somewhat compensate for the inherent lumens loss caused by coloured bulb capsules. The tint subtracts certain colour wavelengths of light to make the light whiter, thus reducing the total lumens output.
There are street legal "high output" bulbs aka "30%" bulbs or whatever the company claims. General Electric Hi Output and Sylvania Xtravision are examples. They use a different gas mixture and a tighter filament wind to achieve maybe a 50-100K colour temperature increase (again, not really noticeable). The drawback is reduced bulb life compared to a normal bulb. The package usually has something along the lines of "30% more light" or "30% brighter", hence the "30%" name. The packaging also points out "Whiter and Brighter!" or something similar.
Those high output bulbs form the basis for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #108-compliant (FMVSS108-compliant) blue bulbs such as Philips BlueVision, Sylvania Cool Blue, and GE Super Blue. The blue tint subtracts from the total lumens output, making it less than a normal bulb. The gas mixture and tighter filament wind bring the lumens output back to about the same as a normal bulb. The "blue" in the brand name is a marketing term, and the light is actually whiter than stock by about 500K or so. A stock bulb is about 3200K, while FMVSS108-compliant blue bulbs are in the 3500K-3800K area, depending on bulb size.
PIAA Super White 3800K
PIAA Platinum Spark 4000K
PIAA Xtreme White 4000k-4100K depending on bulb size
Typical generic blue bulb that looks like HID are in the 4200K-4800K range.
PIAA Super Plasma is about 5000K or so.
Typical HID is around 4500K and higher.
It's 0500hrs and I can't think of anything else to put...