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Old 05-04-2008, 08:10 AM   #1
IllNastyImpreza
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Location: East Kingston NH
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98 2.5RS
tuning student...

Default with upgraded wiring...how big a bulb can I use ??

i'm about to do the relay/ground upgrade on my RS...

I want to get as much light output as possible without going HID.

How high of a wattage rating bulb should I be able to run ?

any recomendations ??
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:46 AM   #2
Handsdown
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I recommend you read the bulb faq and the 'bugeye lighting bliss' thread(your h4 won't have the options in the bulb faq, nor will it have the 9007 bulbs of the bliss thread, but it's all very pertinent and useful information about bulbs and relay harnesses)

to answer your question directly, 55w. any higher is not legal nor safe for on road use.

i recommend you get auxillary lighting to use when there are no other motorists around, and do the relay harness as well as polish your lamps to remove haze/yellowing/pitting from the decade of use they've had.

output is meaningless if it's not controlled. you need to address the optics before you address the light source, and even then you should not use high watt bulbs for lowbeams.

if you didn't have to worry about glare and being a hazard to other motorists, the wattage of the bulbs you can use depends entirely on the wiring you use. the highest watt you can find(130w?) is what you can use if you make a supporting harness... but you should only be using 16-18g wire at the most for lowbeams because it's unsafe, unlawful and unwise to use anything over 55w for lowbeams.
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:51 PM   #3
IllNastyImpreza
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Default

awesome info. thanks.

I guess thats really why they moved to projector style headlights rather than reflector ? More acurate light dispursion ?

what is the wattage of my stock bulbs ??

So... it looks like in order to really inhance my light output I will need to invest some time and money into a projector Light or do a full HID retrofit...
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:28 PM   #4
Handsdown
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all bulbs are 55w but bulbs get dimmer and dimmer as they are used, so unless you've replaced yours they could be very dim.

and yeah, projectors project a more controlled beam than reflectors and are more efficient(less light is lost, scattered, or absorbed). reflectors can be good, but generally- projectors can be better.

the best bang for the buck is hella 90mm projector H9 lights, and they're 60 dollars a piece. the H9 is a better design and the projector controls the beam well so they're actually 65w and put out more light than any other bulb type.

you will have to find a place to mount them, but they mount very easily and are completely sealed so you don't have to retrofit them, you can just mount them in the grill or in place of the lights(or in the lights... without a morette housing or whatever you're going to want something there)... i'd suggest just wiring them up on a relay and mounting them in the grill. you're not supposed to run two sets of lowbeams but you can probably get away with running the 90mms in the grill if you take the h4 lowbeam out by not connecting them.

if you retrofit, you'll lose your highbeams... unless you do bixenons or retrofit the 90mm lowbeams and the 90mm highbeams, which may not fit in your lights side by side...

here's the link:
http://www.rallylights.com/hella/90mm_modules.asp

definitely check out those other threads.
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:32 PM   #5
Mulder
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Your stock H4 bulbs are 60/55W.
Even though the wiring may now be safe for higher wattage bulbs, there are things to keep in mind. Besides what Handsdown said, the added heat from high-watt bulbs will eventually discolor the reflectors and may cause other heat-related damage. Also, the lifespan of those bulbs is MUCH shorter than standard wattage ones, so you will be replacing them often. The higher you go in wattage, the less time they last.
But, upgrading the wiring is still a worthwhile endeavor. Just doing the ground side alone will reduce the voltage loss from the Subaru switched-ground system and will make a noticeable improvement in lighting performance even with the stock bulbs. Also, there are high-efficacy +50 type H4's available that produce more usable light than OEM's even with stock wattage and without a blue coating. With a set of those, plus a wiring upgrade to take full advantage of them, you will probably be very happy with your lights.
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