Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Washington State
I tried several of the high end bulbs a few years ago when on a quest for better light in my truck. There MAY have been some slight increase in light output with the Sylvania over OEM, but it was really hard to tell. I even put one in one headlight and left the OEM in the other to compare. The Sylvania did have a slightly whiter light when staring straight into the headlight lens, but on the road or shining on a wall I couldn't tell much difference in either color or brightness. Certainly not enough difference to justify paying several times the price for it. I suppose the difference could be measured with testing equipment like they did in the article, but I was more interested in seeing better than in making a needle on a meter move. I found the tiny increase in light wasn't worth the cost of the bulbs, and they didn't last very long compared to OEM, which had lasted 10 years. (Yes, I know not to touch the bulbs with my fingers. That was not the problem.)
I also tried the PIAAs with the blue tint. They claimed that our eyes see blue light better than other colors so the blue light put out by their bulbs let you see so much better than white light. Not true. I felt like my headlights were turned off on all but the darkest of roads, and then could only see a very dim blue glow in front of me.
I ended up going back to the cheapest bulb on the shelf at Auto Zone and I can see every bit as good as with the Sylvanias and much better than the PIAAs. Also, in 4 years I haven't had any of the cheap ones burn out.
1987 Softail Custom, stock except for added chrome, and still running like new after 100,000 miles.