Hey everyone, I'm new here and thought I'd post up about some bulb replacement I did on my new Veloster!
I've had my Triathlon Grey Veloster w/ Tech pkg for about a week now and I love it. Nothing is without faults and the Veloster is no exception (when I upshift into 2nd, this seems to trigger traction control a lot? ...can't Pandora via USB? ...engine in 6th really can't handle any highway hills) and I wanted to address one: the OEM headlights.
First, I simply dislike yellow-ish hues from lowbeams and highbeams. Second, the OEM headlights seem extra yellow-ish against the maybe-too-purple LED eyebrow/running lights.
I considered an HID conversion kit, but am not a fan of it being illegal nor any potential glare issues with using a halogen reflector assembly. A KDM projector kit + HID conversion kit may be an option down the road but it's too expensive and too intensive right now (not really a fan of tinkering with a brand new car).
So that limited things to near-white halogen bulbs.
I looked around online and a few options stuck out: Osram Night Breaker Plus, Philips X-treme Power, Philips CrystalVision Ultra, Sylvania Silverstar Ultra, GE Nighthawk Platinum. I could only find the Sylvania and Philips varieties locally (within a very short drive) and wanted to get this done today, so I limited myself to just those three. I further researched them and found out the X-treme Powers are 'only' 3400k are primarily meant for increased lumens (a great thing but not my highest priority right now).
That left two to try: CrystalVision Ultras are spec'd at 4000k and the Silverstar Ultras are spec'd at 4100k. I also read online that the Sylvanias have notoriously poor lifetimes and customer satisfaction. I had CrystalVision Ultras in my previous car and they lasted for at least two years (didn't get to see them through to their death) in use as always-on lowbeams, so I had no qualms about their lifetime. Knowing lifetime was good and that the CVUs emphasized color (and partially did so with blue tinted glass), I expected CVU lumens to be as low as or lower than OEM.
So I had to find out what OEM bulbs my Veloster came with: both high and lowbeams were Philips H7 "12972 LL". This gave promise to some tinkering as I wouldn't have to throw out any purchased bulbs as the ones I liked less could go in as highbeams and it allowed me to test left vs. right as whole (LB + HB) units.
Back to the OEM bulbs, the Philips 12972 LL are long-life bulbs so the lumens are going to be slightly down compared to standard bulbs, giving me hope that no matter what replacement bulbs I chose would be a slight increase in lumens in addition to noticeably improved color/aesthetics.
So I picked up a pair of Philips CrystalVision Ultra H7s and a pair of Sylvania Silverstar Ultra H7s, each came out to about $21-23/bulb locally.
Based on what I had read about SSSU lifetime and my own experiences with CVUs, I expected to use the CVUs for lowbeams and SSSUs for highbeams, but I wanted to test them all against each other first.
Drivers side bulb replacement was particularly cramped and I had a very tough time tightening the bulb/wiring in the lowbeams (no pliers/wrenches/grips could fit)...so I installed the CVUs on that side to compare to the OEM bulbs:
Philips CrystalVision Ultra lowbeam (left) vs. OEM Philips 12972LL lowbeam (right)
Philips CrystalVision Ultra low and highbeam (left) vs. OEM Philips 12972LL low and highbeam (right)
The CVUs were gratifying: in person and in photos it's so much whiter (less yellow). From just parking a few feet from the garage door, I can't tell the difference in actual brightness and I didn't do any sort of ranged testing.
Next up was placing the Sylvania Silverstar Ultras into the passenger side housings.
Philips CrystalVision Ultra lowbeam (left) vs. Sylvania Silverstar Ultra lowbeam (right)
Philips CrystalVision Ultra low and highbeam (left) vs. Sylvania Silverstar Ultra low and highbeam (right)
The SSSUs were not impressive in this test: in person and in photos the SSSUs weren't as white (slightly more magenta and yellow?). I don't want blue or purple lighting but I certainly do not want any yellow or magenta (also a warm tone). From just parking a few feet from the garage door, I can't tell the difference in actual brightness and I didn't do any sort of ranged testing.
So I went with what I originally expected: CVUs for lowbeams and SSSUs for highbeams.
CrystalVision Ultra lowbeam (driver and passenger sides)
CrystalVision Ultra lowbeam and Sylvania Silverstar Ultra highbeam (driver and passenger sides)
Very happy with how things turned out and hopefully this will be a long-term holdover until I convince myself of an HID conversion.
I found the wiring attachments difficult to remove from the bulbs without accidentally touching the glass of the bulbs, this was problematic as I did want to reuse bulbs. Hopefully wiping the bulbs down with 70% isopropyl alcohol was good enough to remove any oils from my fingers.
I did nothing to the OEM fog lights as I really don't know what to do or how to (easily) do it. If I were to modify them, I think I'd either like to have them match the lowbeams or actually be useful as fog lights (making them very yellow, from what I know). They'll just have to wait, I suppose.
The CVU lowbeam was not completely tightened until the finished pictures (as I said way up above, I found it very difficult to tighten), so that's why there is some aberrant glare in the CVU vs. OEM and CVU vs. SSSU lowbeam pictures.
All pictures were taken with an iPhone 4, so blame any poor picture quality on it and my lack of photographic ability.
I know I'm very wordy. Hopefully I wasn't wasting words, however.
I'm sorry I have no front-on photos...ranged photography wasn't possible (for what the beams look like down the road or what the car looks like down the road). I did take photos of just the housings and I can't tell the different bulbs apart at all; I know which picture is which bulb based on timestamps, but the pictures say nothing.
Thanks for reading and I hope someone finds this helpful!