silverstar 9004

Brett Dikeman brett@cloud9.net
Fri, 17 Jan 2003 17:32:49 -0500


At 2:34 PM -0800 1/17/03, scott thomas wrote:
>I just checked out the Sylvania site to be sure, but the Silverstars
>50/70 watts. That's an extra 5 over the factory bulbs.

I think you mean 60/70...stock is 55/65 right?

The extra wattage is probably to make up for the loss due to the blue
tint(which makes the bulb look like it has a higher color
temperature).  5W out of 60 makes for an 8.3% loss.

So you may say "okay, so no difference!"  WRONG.  In order to give
the appearance of a hotter color temperature, the filter is cutting
back longer wavelengths so shorter wavelengths are more pronounced.

So, you say, "ah, but it's just like those HID lights and they're
BETTER!"  The reason they're better is a)they have a higher color
temperature AND a wider spectrum range(multiple metals are mixed in
different quantities to give different emissions), AND b)they produce
light for much less power; anywhere from a 1:2 to 1:4 ratio(!)
compared to incandescent bulbs.  It's a 'free lunch', and makes for
power you can use for something else(like, say, navigation units,
seat massagers, heated steering wheels and other doodads in your
bLoatXUS 430....or for a smaller alternator or smaller battery.)
Sneak Attack Trivia Question: who knows why HIDs are NOT used for
highbeams?

With regular bulbs tinted blue, the problem is, you just sacrificed
one band to boost another; you're getting 55W of light, but in
different bands.  Is that better?  Sure, if all you see on the road
are objects which reflect mostly shorter wavelength stuff(ie, blue
colored objects and the like.)

Analogy- when you want to listen to music louder, which control do
you reach for? Volume control- ie, wattage.

It's nothing new- it's barely a step above the companies that tint
stock wattage bulbs, and it's still just a stupid marketing gimmick.
Buy an UNTINTED 60/70 and you'll get an 'extra' 8% light...except
that it will be illegal, since it'll put out, well, an extra 8% light
over DOT standards :-)

The whole "looks whiter" business is dumb anyway.  Your brain, after
a few minutes, adjusts to different color temperatures; we've all got
little automatic white balances inside of us :-)  It's cool, because
you can, in theater, exploit it.  Let's say you have warm gels and
ungelled lights, but no cool gels- if you have a scene where you need
warm light followed by a cool scene, no prob.  The audience, having
adjusted to the warm lighting in the first scene will see the second
as cooler than if you showed them the second scene first.

Incidentally, your brain does the same thing for soun; we all do
automatic noise reduction, too :-)  Ever notice after you shut off a
fan you've been listening to for hours, the silence feels odd?

Brett
(former lighting geek)
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