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PIAA bulbs vs the rest

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by ~RS~, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Feb 25, 2009]
    I've been looking at replacement bulbs for my dipped beams and after a few days of reading many threads about bulbs I still can't choose which ones to go with! Hopefully those of you that are running these bulbs will chime in with your experiences.

    Choices are-

    PIAA xtreme whites plus - 4000K
    PIAA chrome mirror white - 4100K
    Hoen Xenonmatch - Kelvin unkown
    philips Xtreme power - 3400K

    Feel free to add other bulbs you think maybe better!

    Essentially what I'd like is to match the colour of the OEM xenon projector based headlamps as closely as possible and also improve illumination (in that order :) )

    Any help, especially pics or any advice would be appreciated!
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  2. frenchy2475
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    frenchy2475 Tetbury Audi Parts Man

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    [Feb 25, 2009]
    Factory xenon is approx 4300k so the 4100k isnt going to be far off. But I have had Piaa in the past and I don't believe the power outputs that they claim.

    They tend to tint the glass to give that white/blue look and both sets i have had lasted less than a year. They are way over priced for what they are. The phillips extreme power are very good. My dad has them on his car and give you a noticeable brighter whiter light. But dont think you will ever get exactly a match to factory xenon.

    hope that helps.

    Si
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  3. I'mRonBurgundy?
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    I'mRonBurgundy? Lets make that kitten purr...

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    [Feb 25, 2009]
    I've just odered some Osram Nightbreakers from powerbulbs.com.

    I think a few on here have/do use them.
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  4. Rabbit222
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    Rabbit222 Active Member

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    [Feb 25, 2009]
    Do they make a DRL bulb for the S3 in the Osram nightbreaker range?
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  5. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Feb 25, 2009]
    Cheers guys,

    @ frenchy2475- Thanks for providing the kelvin for factory xenons. I'll probably retrofit some xenons somewhere down the line, but I want to do some other mods first. I keep hearing conflicting reports about the life of the PIAA bulbs. Alot of people have had a similar experience to you- with them dying before 12months are up. DO they have a warranty at all?

    Thanks for the vote for Philips xtreme can you tell me if the light is brilliant white/ faint blue. It seems to low on the scale to be producing that slight blue look xenon produce.

    @ Gcon- how would you describe the light colour? Was there any difference in colour between the 2 you tried?

    Cheers I'mRon, I forgot to add those to my list as I also note they got good reviews.

    Any body tried the Hoen's? They get good reviews on Fortitude...
    Seems like the PIAA chrome mirror bulbs would produce the closest match to factory colour alongside providing a significant improvement to visibility. They are damn pricey though!
    Doesn't anyone do one to rival the PIAA in terms of colour & brightness?

    Does anybody have a shot of their philips xtreme/ osram nightbreakers or either of the PIAA any bulb upgrade pics would be great! I'll shoot a few when mine are done in a couple days. Maybe it'll help the next guy looking to upgrade their bulbs out, as lack of pics is what led me to post my thread in the first place.

    Thanks for the help guys!
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  6. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Feb 25, 2009]
    Ignoring the fact that the PIAA bulbs are expensive I'm running (as are plenty of others) a set of the chrome mirror white bulbs as my side lights and DRL bulbs - they are definitely the closest match. Pic below if of my stock xenons with the chrome mirror side lights:

    [​IMG]

    We did run a group buy on the PIAA bulbs from PRI Racing a while back - if you get in contact with Naveed at PRI Racing and tell him I sent you, he might be able to offer you a nice discount.

    The bulbs themselves do have a slight blue tinge to them, but it's not as bad as some makes and doesn't reflect too much when the bulbs are off.
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  7. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Feb 25, 2009]
    Hi Redbutcher,

    I read your thread on the PIAA's. I missed out on that but will definitely give your man a call and see what he can do... Thanks for that much appreciated!
    Cheers for the pic too, that's pretty much the colour I'm looking for right there. I missed the link you posted on the PIAA group buy thread with pics of the lights running on first read, but if the sides in this pic are anything to go by I think I'll grab some of the dipped beam ones in chrome. Are they as blue as they look in this photo? They look to have a darker blue tinge on them compared to your xenons

    [​IMG]


    Cheers Gcon, seems like the philips are also a good choice. The bulb got a very good review by Auto Express 3 years on the trot so it must be very good. I can't seem to find any pics showing the bulb on a vehicle in the night time on google images, strange considering it's so popular. I haven't tried the obvious yet so I'll look at Philips' website for car bulbs (if they have one).

    RS
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  8. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Feb 26, 2009]
    Well found on the picture! I'd forgotten i'd done a pic with just the sides. There is a slight blue tinge to them, but some of the 'xenon like' bulbs are really blue, whereas these are closer to a white light than anything else I've seen.

    I think MarcQunlivian bought a set of the dip beam bulbs in the chrome mirror, so I'm sure he wouldn't mind a PM if you want to get his opinion/pics.

    You're right though, the dip beam bulbs are not cheap, so you might want to get these as sides initially and then perhaps source the Philips or Osram bulbs as dip beams. There is definitely a thread on the Osram Nightbreakers as I think a member has a set fitted and was really pleased with them.
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  9. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Feb 26, 2009]
    I'm looking for the Nightbreaker thread now, I did see a oic of a MKV golf with them on and they looked alot whiter than stock bulbs but seemed to still have a yellow'ish hue going on.
    Hopefully some kind fellow will have some pics or take some of them running. So far I am pretty much set on the PIAA's though. They look great BTW! So does your car mate, nice clean lines :thumbsup:
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  10. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Feb 26, 2009]
    :happy: thanks mate
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  11. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Feb 26, 2009]
    Found a picture of the colour & brightness differences between the osram nightbreaker and philip's xtreme for anyone interested. Not looking at the vehicle unfortunately, but gives a good reference all the same

    philips on the left, osram right

    [​IMG]

    Same again...

    [​IMG]
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  12. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Feb 26, 2009]
    Nightbreaker on right, stock bulb on left

    [​IMG]
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  13. I'mRonBurgundy?
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    I'mRonBurgundy? Lets make that kitten purr...

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    [Feb 26, 2009]
    IIRC Mikey on here posted up a comparison when he changed his bulbs to Osram Nightbreakers. Just did a serach though but couldn't find it.
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  14. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Feb 27, 2009]
    I ended up going with the PIAA mirror chrome white bulbs... seemed to get universal good reviews, apart from blowing at around 11 months for many. At £60 (inc postage) they are expensive but seem to be worth the extra dosh for that faux HID look :) More importantly (to me) they have the slight tinge of ice blue that HID's have and also improve visibility significantly.

    I was very tempted to get the Philips xtreme as these do really have rave reviews and few awards to back em up , also as you probably know philips is a great company for bulbs.

    Anyway, I ended up buying mine from motaman, if anybody else is interested... Cheapest I could find at £55.50 + £4.50 postal costs.
    I Will post pics of these fitted when they arrive vs the stock bulbs I'm running now.

    Cheers to all for the advice!:icon_thumright:
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  15. I'mRonBurgundy?
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    I'mRonBurgundy? Lets make that kitten purr...

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    [Feb 27, 2009]
    Will be collecting my Osram's tomorrow and fitting over the weekend. Not looked into how to do this yet but assume it's just a matter of removing some sort of cover and replacing the bulb. :think:
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  16. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Feb 27, 2009]
    Yeah, I think it's pretty much that simple... although I read the gap to squeeze your hand into is pretty small... read a few stories about scuffed/ cut knuckles, all in the name of love ay :)
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  17. I'mRonBurgundy?
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    I'mRonBurgundy? Lets make that kitten purr...

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    [Feb 27, 2009]
    Cool - will report back once done (if I've still got the use of my hands).
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  18. Astakos
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    Astakos Member

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    [Mar 7, 2009]
    @redbutcher:

    Do you happen to have a pic with just the DRL on?
    I am about to order some PIAA chrome mirror for DRL and I would very much like to see how they look.

    Cheers!!
    #18
  19. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Mar 7, 2009]
    Here you go....

    [​IMG]
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  20. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Mar 8, 2009]
    Forgot to post up pics of the PIAA's in action, I was in a rush to fit them so unfortunately no before/ after pics. I can firmly say that there is a noticible improvement in distance and intensity of the light, over the bulbs I was using before. Nice HID like effect as well, slight blue tinge at distance.
    Good bulbs for anyone wanting those those 2 features.

    I was being cheap and bought some halfords blue side lights in an attempt to match the PIAA's, which was a complete waste of money as they are only just slightly brighter and whiter than the stock. Also taking the side lights out is a right PITA!! Looks like I'll need to get the PIAA sidelights too.

    Redbutcher, is the DRL your talking about the 501 fitment sidelight?
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  21. redbutcher
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    redbutcher Member

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    [Mar 8, 2009]
    No mate, with Xenons in the 8P the DRL bulbs are a 382 bayonet fitment and are a seperate bulb from the 501 sides.
    #21
  22. ~RS~
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    ~RS~ Active Member

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    [Mar 8, 2009]
    ohhh, ok... cheers
    #22
  23. Astakos
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    Astakos Member

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    [Mar 8, 2009]
    Excellent mate!!! Thank you very much! :salute:
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