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Thread: Sylvania Silverstar Ultra vs. Philips CrystalVision Ultra (vs. OEM)

  1. #1
    H36
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    Sylvania Silverstar Ultra vs. Philips CrystalVision Ultra (vs. OEM)

    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.

    Of note:
    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!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member NotTheGeeks's Avatar
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    Excellent job H36! This answers alot of questions and makes it much easier to decide which bulbs to purchase. I also like the pure white color of the CrystalVision Ultra. I plan to buy those as soon as possible. Thanks for your information, testing and pictures.
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    I used the SSU's in my Boxster and burned the lenses as they were very hot. Let us know if you have any issues.

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    Great review. Thanks for all the info and the aide by side comparison

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    Member mikej32514's Avatar
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    Looks great H36. So you were able to change the bulbs without removing the buckets? I am looking to do the same thing but cant get my hand in behind the dust caps. Please PM me how you got it done.

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    Super Moderator only1db's Avatar
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    i use silver stars in my elantra...along with piaa fog lights
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    Senior Member SkyriderAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikej32514 View Post
    Looks great H36. So you were able to change the bulbs without removing the buckets? I am looking to do the same thing but cant get my hand in behind the dust caps. Please PM me how you got it done.
    Trying first removing one of the high beam bulbs. All four are mounted identically, so anything you learn from the high beam can be used to help you with the low beams with less access. I'll admit the low beam on the driver side is a bugger. Small hands help. The sockets are a 1/8th turn twist lock. Turn counter clockwise looking from the rear to remove them. They are tight when locked in place. the sealing cover also removes in the same direction.
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    Senior Member VelosteRyan's Avatar
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    I've been fighting the urge to spend the money and money and retrofit HID's... Those Philips bulbs look dang close to the color of a 4300-5000K HID bulb... I may have to go this route. Thanks for the photo comparison!
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  10. #9
    H36
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    Philips CVUs are rated at just 4000k, so I wouldn't expect 4300-5000k HID looks.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Toyger's Avatar
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    I've always used Silverstar Ultras. Love the output!
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    Junior Member Sanduneboi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyger View Post
    I've always used Silverstar Ultras. Love the output!
    Ditto.


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    How about something like this?
    Philips Crystal Vision 4300K H7 | eBay

  14. #13
    H36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobster View Post
    How about something like this?
    Philips Crystal Vision 4300K H7 | eBay
    Don't see anything on Philips' website about those. YouTube videos that have it date back to at least 2008...guess it's an old product.

    If true, probably pulled due to lack of light produced.
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    Good write up, I'd also consider the Osram Rallye 65w H7 bulbs as they're one of the best out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyger View Post
    I've always used Silverstar Ultras. Love the output!
    Silverstars = scam. Try Osrams and you'll throw the silverstars away.
    XanRules likes this.

  17. #16
    MTD
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    I've used the Silverstars in the past. They have decent output, but in my experience they don't last. 2 sets in 2 separate cars both burned out within days of each other, about after only 1 year use. I replaced them with Nokya bulbs and they were bright and lasted several years.

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    Osram are grea, but I've heard you have to order them right from Europe to get the good ones.
    Last edited by MTD; 01-22-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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  18. #17
    Super Moderator GreyGhost12's Avatar
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    There's nothing wrong with the SS bulbs but try CANDLEPOWER.COM for the OSRAM 65s as wanted stated. You'll be glad you did. Sorry but I'm not sure how to hyperlink in this forum yet so just copy and paste it to your browser. Oh wait, nevermind, it hyperlinked it for me :-)

  19. #18
    AFZ
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    Best post about Bulb Replacement on Veloster

    It definitely helped me a lot...

    I have one other question; How well does the "Philips CVU"s look with LED eyelines??? I mean are they closer color? compared to stock bulbs.
    I want to change my low beams to get the nearly same color from the LEDs and bulb. as bright as stock if not brighter. (but brightness is important too)

    <<Sorry for my bad English cuz its not my first language>>

  20. #19
    Senior Member Dmilinare's Avatar
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    so anyone got pics of the Nokya or the Osrams?
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    Are the Nokya Arctic White street legal?


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