Hella Xenon Blue Halogen Bulbs: Something Special?

April 11, 2010


 

Hella's Blue-Light Special

Looking for a new view?  Headlamp makers now offer daylight bulbs that work in replaceable halogen fitments.

Like foodstuff, these bulbs have fancy names--a string of modifiers that describe their sensory quality but not necessarily their ingredients.  For instance, Hella's High Performance Xenon Blue Halogen Bulbs are not high-intensity bi-Xenon upgrades.  Instead, the Xenon Blue refers to light color, which is closer to daylight than conventional halogen bulbs.

Since they cast a bluer or whiter light (4200 degrees Kelvin vs. 3200), these SAE/DOT compliant bulbs appear to the eye as brighter than a conventional halogen lamp.  They're not.   Nonetheless, like compact fluorescents, selecting a daylight bulb has benefits.

My informal survey indicates that people like Hella's blue lights.  They report that these lamps improve their ability to see reflective objects.  Some relish the fact that their car's headlights ape expensive high-intensity Xenon lamps.

I tried Hella's lamps.  They were displayed in a neat, informative bulb-shaped kiosk.  Indeed these lights make your car's dirty laundry ‘whiter' than white.  Hella sells 11 types of DOT/SAE-approved Xenon Blue Bulbs.

Hella claims that its blue bulbs are slightly tinted with normal light output.  They also say they've added a very small amount of Xenon gas with halogen.  Halogen prevents the tungsten filament from blackening the bulb envelope.  Xenon tweaks light quality to compensate for the blue-tinted glass.   How much?  Hella didn't provide its retail pricing.  Expect to pay less than $50 for a pair.

My evaluation only compared standard halogen bulbs with the Xenon Blues.  The latter performed well.  Other bulb makers offer daylight bulbs including Sylvania's SilverStar and GE's Nighthawk Sport.

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