Since their introduction to the market just a few years ago, modern plug-and-play Xenon bulbs have got rid of the headache of replacing faulty headlamps. In the past, when your lights bust, you knew you were in for a lengthy search and often, a troublesome installation process. Now, it’s as simple as choosing the colour you want and popping it in. Not only is it that easy, but Xenon bulbs are also brighter now than ever before, they last much longer, and they’re environmentally friendly.
In this post, we’re looking at some of the biggest errors you can make when buying a pair of replacement Xenon D3S bulbs. Don’t have much time to spare and keen to get things sorted? Before you rush off and buy the cheapest set going, have a look through the following points to make sure you get the job done right the first time around and avoid frustrating blunders. Here are the big mistakes you’ll want to dodge:
Going for cheap knock-offs
A quick google will bring up a tonne of options from as far afield as China, some for around the same price as a decent Sunday lunch. The thing you have to remember is, these bulbs serve a very important function that’s directly linked to you and your families safety. Knock-offs will burn out faster, provide substandard visual performance, and in some cases, may not even be E-marked (road legal).
The best manufacturers of these bulbs tend to be German-based brands with stellar international reputations. Philips Xenstart and Lumro are two example brands that both offer D3S Xenon bulbs that are E-marked, come with a years warranty, and at least 2600 lumens ensuring outstanding light quality for years into the future. Choose a quality bulb produced by a market-leading brand.
There are lots of attractive colour options available but think carefully before you choose your favourite shade. If you know you’ll be spending large amounts of time driving at you need to prioritise good visibility over colour. Every colour temperature is given a Kelvin rating to let you know the ratio of visibility to tint that has been applied to the bulb. The more colour, then the less visual clarity provided by the light. The standard 4300K original white provides optimum visual clarity, while a strong colour like Lumro’s 10000K sapphire blue will deliver less light and not be as good for night driving.
If you mainly drive around the city, then you might not think it’s too important to prioritise visual clarity. Spend most of your time driving at night in undeveloped areas and you might want to make sure you stick to lower K colour variations.
Thinking premium brands are a waste of money
If you’ve handled very little automotive maintenance in your life, you’d be forgiven for thinking top brands are a total rip-off. The truth is, when it comes to mechanics and technology, you almost always get what you pay for. The main difference between a Philips D3S Xenon bulb and a Lumro D3S apart from the price is the life expectancy. A Philips d3s Xenstart 35w is estimated to last up to 5 years. The Lumro d3s 4300k (usually priced at around £25 less) is expected to last just a bit longer than 3 years. It’s best not to rush to save a few pounds in the short-term without actually weighing up the consequences long-term. Want to change the bulbs less often above anything else? Then going for a premium brand like Philips makes perfect sense.