I’ve always considered my foglights to be one of the least useful parts of my car… as whenever I was in a situation where I needed that extra light, the 35W H3C halogen bulbs failed me. The underpowered halogen bulbs were unable light my way.
Also, in foggy situations, my Xenon headlights are not of much use, due to their high color temperature (6000K). The higher the color temperature is, light becomes whiter (or more blue etc), but less penetrative.
So I made my self a humble birthday present (as I’m saving for the Lexus 😉 ). I ordered a 55W H3 3000K (Golden) Xenon kit.
The H3 bulb is almost direct replacement of the H3C ones. If you try a bit, you can fit them in place, or even better, you can make some more permanent changes on it and make it fit perfectly. This involves a small risk though as the output light pattern might be a bit difference though, due to the H3 bulb being longer… but who cares 😉
It took me a while to properly communicate with the Chinese seller. I almost learnt Chinese on the way, but the correct item eventually arrived! 🙂
The installation is pretty straight forward. You have to try really hard to get it wrong! It would normally take me less than an hour to complete the whole thing, but I couldn’t make up my mind on the ballasts’ installation location. I finally decided to install the ballast behind/under the front indicators.
And the results were… enlightful! 🙂
Here are several photos comparing the Xenon and the original halogen foglights.
In the past I tried using a 55W halogen H3C bulb in my foglights, the result was uncontrolled light all over the place, blinding the other drivers. The H3 bulb I installed now, are physically much longer as I already mentioned, with result a big part of the bulb is hidden in the foglights’ reflection cap.
The purpose of this cap, is to block the direct light beam and reflect it back to the foglights’ main reflector. So, due to the longer H3 being inside that cap, the light’s output pattern was a bit weird. There is an intense 90 degree angle reflection. Driving by a car, feels like “scanning” it 🙂
But the good thing is that I’ve been driving around last night for an hour with the foglights on, and I had no complains at all from the other drivers… with exception a guy in a Suzuki Swift (you cry baby)!
Finally, I might remove the reflective cap at some point, just to see how that improves situation and how blinding 4000+ lumens of light can be 🙂 I gave this idea a try, but the bulbs’ base is part of the reflective cap. So this plan was abandoned
[UPDATE 30/08/08]: the next day, one of the bulbs simply died. Just my luck i guess! Now back to the tough part… trying to communicate with the Chinese seller for a replacement bulb! I hate this!
Hopefully it will arrive soon 🙁
[UPDATE 08/09/08]: at last my replacement bulb arrived. And this time I played it safe. I also bought an extra bulb for backup, just in case! This time extra care was given into properly sealing the foglight’s housing with the new bulb in it, due to an incident I had during car wash, when the foglight suddenly became a fishbowl 😛