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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 09-04-2006, 02:28 PM   #1
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Exclamation What is the final word on 55w vs 80w vs 100w?!

I have a huge dilemma.

After a full night browsing these forums I am getting very mixed messages when it comes to replacement bulbs for the high-beams (H7) and fog-lights (9006 HB4).

I have basically narrowed it down to two types. The Predator Xenix 100w bulbs and the SPP Superwhite 55w (or 80w) bulbs.

What bothers me about this process is some owners claim having 100w bulbs will fry electrical wiring, melt housings, and even start a freaking engine fire??! Yet despite this, I have seen members with older Bimmers (1999's and 2000's) claim they never had a problem with 80w or 100w bulbs... they never mentioned that they put in better wiring either to replace the factory ones.

My car is a 2001 330i Premium with xenon low-beams. I live in Montreal, Canada, where the majority of the year is rather cold (that should ease things with 100w bulbs a bit). I have found out that installing 100w H7s in the High-Beams only run at 55w when the DRL's are active, and 100w when the high-beams are activated.

The fog-lights are a different story. I'd like to put them on during the night continuously while driving (for a little bling factor and it gets humid/foggy around here too)... so I'm more worried about that than the H7's.


What are your experiences with 100w, 55w, and 80w bulbs? I would hate to go ahead with the 100w purchase and then have to pay an arm and a leg to get it repaired if something goes wrong... but 55w for xenon-colored lights seems like low light output.

Thanks!

(BTW I'm about to buy chromiums, and the Xenix bulbs from JleviSW but need these answered first!)
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:08 PM   #2
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:17 PM   #3
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While we do not advocate that you install 100W into just any light housing, we've seen that 100W when used in the high beams for less than 10 minutes at a time has caused no ill effects.
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:25 PM   #4
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While we do not advocate that you install 100W into just any light housing, we've seen that 100W when used in the high beams for less than 10 minutes at a time has caused no ill effects.
Meaning... the high-beams are on high-beam mode for 10 minutes at a time, right?

What about the 100w fogs? These Xenix lights are Umnitza manufactured if I'm not mistaken (even though JLeviSW carries them). Have you had customers burn out their fogs and wiring in the past on 2001 330i's or older?

Why don't you boys carry 55w or 80w like the competitors? From what I can tell most E46s come with 55w stock and clearly state in the manual it should be replaced with 55w.
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:27 PM   #5
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We usually do, but most of our customers request more output from their xenix bulbs, and we give our customers what they want.

At this time, the only thing we support is the actual product. We have no experience with any product installations leading to failures of OE wiring.
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:36 PM   #6
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What I'm really trying to accomplish here is to make a huge purchase at the same time without having to go anywhere else. I am deadset on the Chromiums, and to purchase the H7 and 9006 bulbs as part of a package is what I want to do. Shipping costs to Canada can get annoyingly pricey (looks like NAFTA was just a lie), and purchasing 100w bulbs at Umnitza or JLeviSW, the only real carriers of Predator Chromiums, is risky.

Some say do it, there are no problems. Others say don't do it, you'll destroy your car.

I'm trying to figure out which side is ultimately going to give me the desired results.
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:39 PM   #7
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i would NOT suggest using anything other than a 55w bulb. If you seriously want to upgrade your light output, buy xenons.

Putting in a higher wattage bulb could cause your wiring to short circuit or even start an electrical fire in your engine compartment...

It would be far more expensive to repair damages done from higher wattage bulbs than it would be to upgrade to xenons...

Bottom line: spend the extra money needed and buy xenon fogs
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:45 PM   #8
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I first read this particular post in '04 and have prescribed by it ever since:

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Originally Posted by russ330 View Post
I know that there's several folks that run the bulbs from SPP and are happy with them. I don't have any first-hand knowledge, as I am a yellow fog light kinda guy. As far as the wattage, the car is wired for 55W bulbs. If you insert 80W bulbs you are drawing more current through the lines than the car was designed for, one of the by-products of drawing more current is: heat! That's right, higher wattage bulbs = hot ass wires = can/will melt the wiring in your car. Now if you only use your fog lights for a little bit at a time then you might be okay as the lines will not have sufficient time to heat up to the point of melting... Hope I was able to help you out some, and remember, yellow works better in the fog.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:03 PM   #9
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Alright I have given-in to buying the SPP Superwhites 55watt H7's and 9006's. Someone just pmed me a horror story and I wasn't willing to go ahead with the Xenix 100watt bulbs after reading that.

I did however place an order at JLeviSW for the Chromiums.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JmeC View Post
Alright I have given-in to buying the SPP Superwhites 55watt H7's and 9006's. Someone just pmed me a horror story and I wasn't willing to go ahead with the Xenix 100watt bulbs after reading that.

I did however place an order at JLeviSW for the Chromiums.
FYI - anything under 80W for "hyperwhite" bulbs from anyone will be dimmer than stock.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umnitza View Post
FYI - anything under 80W for "hyperwhite" bulbs from anyone will be dimmer than stock.
true... but i would take lower light output from fog lights (which are more or less used by e46ers for show anyeway) than deal with burnt wires...
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:15 PM   #12
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true... but i would take lower light output from fog lights (which are more or less used by e46ers for show anyeway) than deal with burnt wires...
I don't think anyone here is terribly qualified to judge one way or the other.

I know from experience using our bulbs that 100W is fine up to 20 minutes of usage, of course, I agree, 80W is probably best if you don't want that last bit of output and peace of mind...that being said, you should never buy these for output unless you go higher wattage.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:30 PM   #13
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I don't think anyone here is terribly qualified to judge one way or the other.

I know from experience using our bulbs that 100W is fine up to 20 minutes of usage, of course, I agree, 80W is probably best if you don't want that last bit of output and peace of mind...that being said, you should never buy these for output unless you go higher wattage.
I was never really concerned about light output to begin with... I just want to get rid of that damn ugly yellow stock color on the high-beams and fogs to match the gorgeous Umnitza Chromiums, the LED turn signal kits and xenon low-beams. The fogs are really for show, the high-beams might be used for more than "20 minutes" when driving up north to my country place.

There is some SERIOUS compromising of the electrical wiring going on if I can't keep my fogs on or High-beams on for more than 20 minutes don't you think? I'm not talking about Xenix particularly, but 100w bulbs for 55w specced wiring systems in general.

This guy in my pm box told me how he purchased some 100w Nokyas and it caused a small fire in his engine compartment, melted the harness right off and he had to get the wires replaced, and it even damaged the computer transmitter in the dash somehow. He spent 600$ to get it all repaired and 2 weeks in the shop.


I wonder if I got the 100w and I forgot to turn my high-beams off one night. My god.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JmeC View Post
I was never really concerned about light output to begin with... I just want to get rid of that damn ugly yellow stock color on the high-beams and fogs to match the gorgeous Umnitza Chromiums, the LED turn signal kits and xenon low-beams. The fogs are really for show, the high-beams might be used for more than "20 minutes" when driving up north to my country place.

There is some SERIOUS compromising of the electrical wiring going on if I can't keep my fogs on or High-beams on for more than 20 minutes don't you think? I'm not talking about Xenix particularly, but 100w bulbs for 55w specced wiring systems in general.

This guy in my pm box told me how he purchased some 100w Nokyas and it caused a small fire in his engine compartment, melted the harness right off and he had to get the wires replaced, and it even damaged the computer transmitter in the dash somehow. He spent 600$ to get it all repaired and 2 weeks in the shop.


I wonder if I got the 100w and I forgot to turn my high-beams off one night. My god.
First off, we don't sell anything resembling Nokyas product. So it's not fair to lump them in. There are many factories that develop good products, we take the time to look for the ones that work best and get those.

No cheap stuff.

Secondly, if he touched/put oil on it, then it would cause a fire, if it was improperly inserted it would as well.

Generally, I agree, I'm just saying, my experience with our product has been very good and I'm hoping some of our customers can chime in.
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:49 AM   #15
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I have 100W bulbs from Umnitza as my high beams. I notice that most of my driving doesn't require high beams with projector headlights and HID fog lights, so I never have my high beams on for more than 5 minutes anyways. but, when the time comes to actually use the high beams I am happy that extra wattage is there
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