Keep Your Hand on Your Wallet
Sylvania's full page ad for Silverstar Ultra headlight bulbs caught my attention. See farther, see wider, see better read the banner. Up to 50% brighter light, 50% increased peripheral visibility, 40% increased downroad visibility and as much as 50 - 100 feet more visibility at night was promised. That sounds pretty good to me, maybe I should buy a set! Spending $30 each instead of $10 each for standard replacements might be worth it.
Reading more carefully, I saw that all of these promises were made based on a comparison to a worn standard halogen bulb. Wait a moment, we're comparing a new bulb to an old one? We should at least compare new bulbs, so I went to Sylvania's web site, found an e-mail address for automotive lighting and asked. One month later, no response had appeared in my inbox.
I read the ad again and found the Facebook logo. I used the DriveSmartBC Facebook account to direct message them. "These are not OEM bulbs, they aren't meant to be replacement bulbs for your standard bulbs." Say what? The ad speaks of making a safe choice for me and my family, but you know, it never once mentions the word highway. Are these off road lights? No Facebook response to that question yet.
Consumer Reports is a trusted source of information for me and they have a full article regarding headlight bulbs like this on their web site. The bottom line? "Don’t expect big changes in the distance you can see compared with standard or new OE bulbs." Keep your hand on your wallet, the 300% premium on the standard price may not be worth the up to 19% greater light output.