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Old 05-15-2002, 01:09 AM   #1
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Member#: 5349
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Central New York
Default PIAA in Review/Walmart bulbs

I like my light. So about a year ago I purchased the PIAA Pro XT80 driving lights and PIAA Superwhite 80/80's h4's for uptop along with an upgraded direct to battery wiring harness for them.

Output from the Pro XT80's is unrivaled (120 watt bulbs standard). I have yet to see anything of its size put out so much light - just buy them there isnt anything but a pair of cibies that will even come close (friends RS has those very nice). I have blown one 120 watt bulb in the year I've had them. I think it was a defect in the bulb. It had a slight crack in the base near where the wires went in. Eh.. what are you going to do. I deemed it a fair blowout.

PIAA 80/80's. Best bulb I've ever seen for brightness and whiteness other than real HID. Best part is its' wide bright beam. You'll see the difference. Downside - I blow both bulbs ~ every six months (relatively close to each other a few weeks apart). Each one has been a covered warranty replacement (always low beam). Best bulb, poor life span. Are we seeing a performance vs. reliablity issue.... maybe. Either way its poor.

Last night I'm driving with one of the 120 watts blown (haven't got around to ordering the new bulb) and suddenly one 80/80 goes out. Same side. Great. I stop at 24x7 Superwalmart at 1 am agrivated as it was raining hard.

I go to their bulb isle and see GE Super Blue Halogen Bulbs. They looked really similar to the Piaa's. Even the tint was close (not obsurd like some I've seen). The color was like the piaa's except less purple.

What the heck its either these or a stocker till I get this one warrantied.... I spent the $17

I wondered if they had high wattage H3's. nope wait, I see.. What! 100 Watt H3. How much... $4!! Saweet. Picked it up.

So tonight I threw them in. Left side all Piaa bulbs. Right side all walmart bulbs. Here's what I thought about them.

Walmart bulbs if you bought all 4 (pack super blue + 2 h3's) = $25

Piaa if you bought all 4 (PIAA 80/80's + 2 120 watt clear h3's) = $100 plus shipping.

The PIAA 80/80 vs. "Super Blue" was a no contest. PIAA was Defintely whiter - Brighter yes. How much brighter - no more than 15-20%. PIAA wins but the cost difference is almost $50. You decide.

The PIAA 120 watt H3 vs the Walmart 100 watt H3 in the PRO XT80. Walmart special was a tad whiter and noticeably brighter than the PIAA. Savings $10 bucks or more a bulb and 20 watts. By a Walmart special and try it yourself. Pleasant surprise.

So overall - I'll never buy a PIAA H3 bulb. You will defintely pay a premium for the extra 20% of light from a PIAA 80/80 and its longetevity is poor. Comparably walmart's GE super blue is the deal (and legal).

That being said. I'm sending the 80/80 in for warranty replacement. I love them too much.
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Last edited by Joncas; 05-15-2002 at 09:54 AM.
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