November 4, 2017
PLEASE NOTE: Results and recommendations on this page are based on our version 1.0 test bench. For the latest results, please see our test chart and recommendations pages which are results from our version 2.0 testing.
Welcome lighting enthusiasts! Because you are like me, you too are confused by all of the marketing jargon and just want to know one in for all what the best xenon look headlight bulbs truly are, and this is why we developed Bulb Facts!
You’ll find out what the best Xenon/HID look headlight and fog light replacement bulbs are, so you can get that high-end luxury look, or just more of a clean look for your car or truck. We tested all the main bulb sets to find the very best for you. You’ll see the whitest ones, but we also have a few extras that are not quite as white, but will produce more lumens or brightness, so read all the way until the very end.
The runner up is the Philips Diamond Vision’s. These were tested at 5160k (kelvin), which is 67% whiter than OEM or original bulbs. [Kelvin if you aren’t familiar is basically the color of your headlight bulbs, with 5000k being a pure white like daylight color. Most original long-life bulbs will be around 3200k, which as you probably know has a very strong yellow color to it making your car look outdated by today’s standards]. Brightness compared to originals will be lower by about 41%, so it’s certainly a bit of a trade-off. Average cost for these on Amazon is about $31, so they’re a very good upgrade choice.
Now the very best, whitest, xenon looking bulbs are the OSRAM Cool Blue Hyper’s. These came out at 5240k, which actually have a slight blue tint to them, and a great xenon look. That’s 70% whiter than your original headlights, big difference. Most people will probably be fooled and think your running true, xenon lights. These are about 38% less bright over OEM. That’s 3% brighter than the Philips Diamond Visions. Cost is a little higher for these at an average price on Amazon of about $35, but if the whiter color and a small bump in brightness is worth it to you, you’ll want to pick them up.
Two more sets that I want to mention are the ones that still have a much whiter color than originals, not quite as high as the last two we reviewed, but these will brighter over stock bulbs while still being whiter.
The first set are the GE Nighthawk Sports. These tested at 1657 lumens, which is only 5% dimmer than OEM, but has a color temperature of 4200 kelvin, that’ll be 36% whiter than OEM, giving you more white, with less trade-off. Average cost for these on Amazon is only about $23, so they’re definitely worth an upgrade.
The final set I want to share are the Sylvania Silverstar zXe’s. These are actually my personal favorite because they fall in that sweet spot where they’re whiter at just under 4000 kelvin, or 29% whiter than OEM, and actually 10% brighter as well. The next set after these on our charts for whitest falls down to 3640 kelvin, and are not quite as bright. The cost is a bit higher at around $39 on Amazon, but pick these up if you want the perfect all-around bulbs. They come in a few extra sizes too which is certainly a bonus.
Be sure to either check out the video above, or see our testing charts and simply sort any way you like.
Be safe out there, and until next time!