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2007 Saab 9-3SS 2.0T
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think my car has factory 35W xenons (see my profile pic). They're a little dim, and I heard that happens when the reflector behind the bulbs deteriorate. Has anyone faced this? I wanted to replace the bulbs to a 50W system but not sure how to replace the ballast.
Also considered changing the headlight assembly reflectors but not sure where to find replacements.
 

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Aged xenon bulbs are dim. Change them ASAP with Philips or Osram D2S bulbs. Do not use chinese crap.
 

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Higher wattage will just destroy any remaining reflecting coating that much sooner.

The problem could be old bulbs, or poor optics. It's hard to tell if the optics are bad without disassembly, and that is not so easy. The headlights are glued together and not designed to be taken apart.

You can try new quality bulbs.

There are plenty of these cars I see in the junkyards around here with decent-looking HID headlights. Alas, my car uses halogen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Aged xenon bulbs are dim. Change them ASAP with Philips or Osram D2S bulbs. Do not use chinese crap.
Just bought some new Philips ones. Payed a pretty penny... will see if they improve things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
hids either dim or colour shift near end of life..
That’s what I thought too, will return if things don’t improve. Honestly I think they might because they look a little green right now and the new ones are whiter, perhaps not because they are old

Edit: I googled and it seems a lot of people think Xenons dim with age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Update:
Hated the Phillips bulbs I got. Way too yellow, the ones I have now are a cool color. Also only marginally brighter. Going to polish my headlights and see if that helps brighten things. They are slightly foggy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
what k did you go with..
The description says "4800K (Bright White) "
I guess it's my fault. I impulse bought these.
I am definitely aiming for 6000K or a bit cooler

But this also told me that getting a new bulb may not be the answer. A new 6000K might be brighter? Not sure
 

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5 - 5.5k bulbs should be bright white with the slightest tinge of blue at the higher end of that spectrum. Above that you get into the blue/purple range and actually have less available light on unlit roads
 

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5500 vs 4300

 

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A new 6000K might be brighter?
6000°K will be whiter. <-- this is a color spec
A bulb rated > 3200 lumens (ISTR that's what the Phillips are) will be brighter. <-- this is a brightness spec
HID Xenon Color Chart
The color temp of sunlight is a hair under 6000°K, and 6000°K HIDs are not as bright as the sun.

EDITS: trying to get the **** post right
 

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4300-5500k is white,6000k has a hint of blue,each manufacturer of lamps is different..Higher the kelvin lower the light output..
 

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I'd hazard a guess that 6000°K HIDs are actually 6000°+. Sunlight hasn't a blue tint (sky color is an entirely different subject). TV studios are usually lit at 6000°K and there's no blue in that lighting (or it's color balanced out if studio uses metal-halide lighting). It's important to remember the actual spectrum of any light source isn't just flat; there are peaks and valleys in it.

EDIT: Xenon headlamps aren't really xenon; they're metal-halide. The xenon arc at startup vaporizes metal (sodium and scandium} salts to get full brightness. The xenon is there so you get light immediately for safety regulations. Older HIDs vaporized mercury instead of the salts. These produced much more blue light.
 
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