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Car lights compared

So, whilst driving in the dark I though it might be interesting to actually see what the difference is between the different car lights. Especially since my xenon lights died on my Citroen.

What I dtried to do was make a setup where I can compare different bulbs. Not in absolute values, but relatively. So I got a cardboard box and a light meter.

The light meter was set to max 20.000 lux (the 2000 lux range is not enough). All bulbs were put into the same hole and set to their highest light output position.

I tested 4 bulbs:

  • Standard halogen 55Watt bulb (used)
  • Osram Night breaker halogen 55Watt bulb (new)
  • HID (xenon) 4300K bulb (used)
  • HID (xenon) 8000K bulb (new)
As you can see from the bulb destriptions it is not really a fair test because not all the lights are new. However, it should give a fair indication of how the lights rougly compare.

First started with the Osram bulb.

Then the 4300K xenon bulb.

Then the 8000K xenon bulb.

And lastly the standard halogen bulb.

To put everything together:

BulbAmount of light
Standard halogen 55Watt bulb (used)1970 Lux
Osram Night breaker halogen 55Watt bulb (new)2330 Lux
HID (xenon) 4300K bulb (used)6210 Lux
HID (xenon) 8000K bulb (new)7410 Lux

From the results it seems that new and used makes quite a difference. I think the 8000K should be lower then the 4300K when new, but it isn't in the test. If the same would go for halogen bulbs, then the Osram lights don't seem to be a big improvement on standard lights.