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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
hi, I recently bought new genuine SAAB headlights for my '04 9-3. These replacements are made by Hella of Germany just like the originals. I've noticed several improvements, including a clear rather than matte projector lens and metal retainers for the low and high beam bulb sockets. However, when I took out the H7 bulb for the low beam and looked inside the hole, I see a kind of semi-circular metal shield that seems to absorb a lot of the bulb's bightness, thus dimming the low beam, as this shield if about 1.5 centimeters in front and a little above of the bulb's tip; has anyone tried removing this shield? it seems somewhat simple by just undoing the three lock nuts that hold the bottom of the reflector cone to it's top part, then pulling off the bottom and then removing this shield, which appears to be sandwiched between these halves. I'm just not sure about:
1. will the bottom part of the cone come out from the light fixture temporarily? (will it fit?)
2. will the reassembled cone without this metal shield hold together okay without play/looseness?

maybe someone else has already done this and knows

(in the attached pics, you can see this shield and the three lock nuts holding the assembly together)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
oh I see; okay, won't touch it
out of curiosity, what would happen without it? wouldn't the light at least be brighter without the obstruction?
 

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oh I see; okay, won't touch it
out of curiosity, what would happen without it? wouldn't the light at least be brighter without the obstruction?
You would have a permanent high beam lamp. That shutter blocks the light going above the horizontal, so that you have a nice cutoff.

On the HID lamps, that shutter is movable; on high beam it lifts. That's why they are marketed as "Bi-Xenon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
don't you mean "blocks the light going below the horizontal? (since the shade blocks the lower half portion of the reflector cone) also, what is the point of that glass lens in front of the low beam assembly?

I don't have the Xenons, so don't fully get your second paragraph, especially regarding high beam lifting & bi-xenon
 

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Discussion Starter #7
oh thanks for explanatory link Diggs. so that concave glass lens in the front focuses the light into an accurate beam so that it does not scatter in all directions; the shield/shade directs the light a little down & straight on so that its path is essentially parallel with the ground or at least the unibody of the SAAB and does not shine up or left/right, this intensifying the beam while not blinding oncoming drivers. I do still wonder though if that shield also dims the emitted light a little or just changes its direction?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ok, just got off the phone with Kensun, and they were able to shed some additional light (pun unintended) on the big question: does this shade/shield reduce the brightness of the beam??? this shield prevents the top half of the beam from ever emitting from the headlamp by acting as an obstruction for it; this is done b/c this top half would illuminate trees and blind oncoming drivers (serve no practical purpose) the lower half of the beam comes out just as bright as it would have without this shield and illuminates what is directly in front of the car and even some of the road surface; this lower half of the beam is essentially the useful half; I do still wonder if this assembly is able to not just block the top portion of the beam, but redirect it, or merge it with the lower half so that overall light intensity is not diminished, but simply concentrated?
 

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don't you mean "blocks the light going below the horizontal? (since the shade blocks the lower half portion of the reflector cone) also, what is the point of that glass lens in front of the low beam assembly?

I don't have the Xenons, so don't fully get your second paragraph, especially regarding high beam lifting & bi-xenon
You can do a search on "projector headlight diagram" and there are plenty of images that show how the light travels through the headlight, and the function of the shutter and lens.

The HID headlights (on my 9-5, anyway) have the same general arrangement with a shutter/cutoff and lens. However the shutter moves (via a motor) so on high beam it drops out of the way. When low beam is selected, it moves back to a position similar to what you see in your halogen headlight.

Yes, some light from the bulb is "wasted", but your low beams should be plenty effective given that you have new optical assemblies, and I would presume you got good quality new bulbs. GE Nighthawk, Hella +50, Sylvania Xtravision are all good. Stay away from bulbs which are entirely blue-tinted, they are not as bright (despite the claims) and tend to burn out very quickly (because the filaments are overdriven).

Using a shield to block unwanted light is hardly a horrible thing. Take a look at any H4/9003 bulb, there's a shield cupping the low beam filament, again with the same purpose of getting an effective cutoff. In fact, the shield may allow a brighter beam anyway, because there's no worry about light going where it shouldn't, so the rest of the assembly can be more efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You can do a search on "projector headlight diagram" and there are plenty of images that show how the light travels through the headlight, and the function of the shutter and lens.

The HID headlights (on my 9-5, anyway) have the same general arrangement with a shutter/cutoff and lens. However the shutter moves (via a motor) so on high beam it drops out of the way. When low beam is selected, it moves back to a position similar to what you see in your halogen headlight.

Yes, some light from the bulb is "wasted", but your low beams should be plenty effective given that you have new optical assemblies, and I would presume you got good quality new bulbs. GE Nighthawk, Hella +50, Sylvania Xtravision are all good. Stay away from bulbs which are entirely blue-tinted, they are not as bright (despite the claims) and tend to burn out very quickly (because the filaments are overdriven).

Using a shield to block unwanted light is hardly a horrible thing. Take a look at any H4/9003 bulb, there's a shield cupping the low beam filament, again with the same purpose of getting an effective cutoff. In fact, the shield may allow a brighter beam anyway, because there's no worry about light going where it shouldn't, so the rest of the assembly can be more efficient.
yes I bought the ultra bright h7 halogens from Flosser for low and high (the brightest they make) and put those in place of the factory H7s supplied with the headlight; I also removed, with acetone, the grey coating on the tip of the Flossers; hopefully it will make it even brighter (guessing that is there due to some US regulatory stuff) and it revealed a beautiful blue color (just the tip is blue so no probs with overheating)

I don't mind them using a shield to block unwanted light; just hope that, as you say, the shield doesn't just block the unwanted section of the beam, but also redirects it to the wanted portion so the result is actually a brighter beam in the right location
 

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yes I bought the ultra bright h7 halogens from Flosser for low and high (the brightest they make) and put those in place of the factory H7s supplied with the headlight; I also removed, with acetone, the grey coating on the tip of the Flossers; hopefully it will make it even brighter (guessing that is there due to some US regulatory stuff)
Two things to watch out for in this statement: "ultra bright" halogens typically are brighter because they use more wattage. If the cars wiring and socket are not capable of handling the excess amperage, it will burn/melt/etc. I don't believe these cars are designed to handle any more than the typical 55W bulb.

Also, the tips of the bulbs are apparently painted dark for a couple reasons. The headlight projector assembly or reflector housing really only uses the light from the sides of the bulb, which is where most of it comes from anyways and passes through a simpler glass layer. Painting the tips dark prevents the more 'uncontrolled' light (coming through the oddly shaped sealed glass tip) from creating sharp/blinding conditions for oncoming drivers. Removing it may be unsafe to others' vision. Playing with US road laws is a dangerous game if something ever happens and they find out you were using modded equipment. So, I hope you're either not US (still doesn't make it completely ok) or this is for a track or non-road use.

I don't mind them using a shield to block unwanted light; just hope that, as you say, the shield doesn't just block the unwanted section of the beam, but also redirects it to the wanted portion so the result is actually a brighter beam in the right location
This may be the case, but since it doesn't look reflective or spherical/parabolic to reflect it properly, it probably doesn't work that way. Pretty much the only way to get better light from the low beams on these cars is to do an HID xenon conversion. 55W H7 halogen puts out about 1100-1500 lumens, 35W xenon puts out around 3200 lumens (this is what I run, very big improvement), and 55W xenon is about 4000 lumens.
 

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from Orio's Pensylvennia warehouse; why do you ask?
Because I got excited that this appears different from the ones I generally see for sale, with the plastic H7 bulb retainer and frosted low beam lens. But, I may have gotten ahead of myself, thinking this was the headlight housing for the halogen bulb units, not the bi-xenon. I'm now guessing you got the bi-xenon?
 

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Two things to watch out for in this statement: "ultra bright" halogens typically are brighter because they use more wattage. If the cars wiring and socket are not capable of handling the excess amperage, it will burn/melt/etc. I don't believe these cars are designed to handle any more than the typical 55W bulb
The typical "+50%" or "+80%" or whatever, from reputable bulb companies, are still nominally 55W bulbs. However they sit at the high end of the tolearnce for wattage and lumens output. That also means that their service life can be shorter. I am assuming that is what the OP got. I haven't seen overwattage H7 bulbs, unlike say H4 where I have a pair of 100/90W bulbs I picked up in the Azores years ago and never used.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
yes my Flosser H7s are still 55W; they're just German and they're called ultrabrite; the filament and wiring is thicker in it than in standard H7 bulb when compared; by my estimate they're 30% brighter than factory bulbs (which are good quality already) though they claim up to 70% on box, which must refer to when you compare Flosser to the cheapest aftermarket H7s; def no risk of overheating for my wiring/reflector; hmm interesting have no experience with H4 bulbs; wow, 100W must be mental!!!
 
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