H4 bulb questions
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Thread: H4 bulb questions

  1. #1
    Member turbofiat124's Avatar
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    Default H4 bulb questions

    The LED bulb I installed works great. The ones I used for the park lamps inside the headlamps are about as bright as the H4 bulbs themselves.


    I also ordered some LED H4 bulbs. I've ran into this problem trying to mount US spec H4 headlamps in European spec cars and "black market" H4s in US spec headlight buckets but never the bulbs themselves. Back in the 1990s, the DOT finally made H4 headlamps legal. From about 1940 on, we had to use sealed beam headlamps which were horrible. I guess they altered their fitting to make them hard to install (but not impossible without some hacking) the alignment tabs are in different locations and sealed beam headlamps use a ring to secure the housing in the bucket where Euro spec headlamps use a clamp and spring. So I had to buy some H4 headlamps from Britain to go in my Trabant.


    I should have taken photos but I didn't have my cell phone with me out in my garage at the time.


    The headlamps in my 2CV are made by Cibie. When I went to install the LED bulb, I noticed the headlamp/bulb uses two spring clamps that pivot inward where a typical H4 bulb uses a single clamp/spring. The center of original H4 bulb appears to be deeper and lacks the three alignment tits that fits into the housing.


    So for the meantime I put the original bulbs back in the housings.One idea was to either cut the three tits off the LEB bulbs and pull the clamps together and secure them with wire (if necessary).


    I'm not sure what I'm trying to say but do the Cibie headlamps use proprietor H4 bulbs?


    I could cut slots in the headlamps to make these LED H4s but fit better but would rather hack the bulbs instead. I've hacked black market H4 housings in the past to fit US spec housings but kind of hate to do that.

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    1987 2CV faux Charleston edition (One of many other makes)

    Mount Carmel, TN. (Outside Kingsport) USA

    http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/Citroen%202CV?sort=2&page=1

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    I think you'll find that original headlamps for A series Citroens used bulbs with a P45t base, however 'converters' are available to allow P43t bulbs to be installed.

    Alternatively, some of the aftermarket headlamp reflectors for LHD use which are on the market nowadays use P43t bulbs...

    http://www.ecas2cvparts.co.uk/images/4543-1.jpg

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    Member turbofiat124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken H View Post
    I think you'll find that original headlamps for A series Citroens used bulbs with a P45t base, however 'converters' are available to allow P43t bulbs to be installed.

    Alternatively, some of the aftermarket headlamp reflectors for LHD use which are on the market nowadays use P43t bulbs...

    http://www.ecas2cvparts.co.uk/images/4543-1.jpg

    My Trabant came with 6 volt R2 bulbs and I ordered some adapters off Ebay.UK so I could use 6V H4s in my headlamps but either reflectors were either dull or they made the beam pattern look funky. So I ended up buying some actual H4 housings.

    I was under the impression that all H4 bulbs had the same base. I didn't know there were two different bases.

    I still have the adapters. I'll check and see what happens.

    Thanks.


    Last edited by turbofiat124; 14th January 2017 at 07:32 AM.
    1987 2CV faux Charleston edition (One of many other makes)

    Mount Carmel, TN. (Outside Kingsport) USA

    http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/Citroen%202CV?sort=2&page=1

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    Member turbofiat124's Avatar
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    I snapped some photos this morning before heading off to work so I hope they turned out OK.

    Above is the headlight I removed from my Trabant (for reference purposes only) which is supposed to use a P45T 40/45 watt R2 incandescent bulb. Below that is the 2CV Cibie headlamp that came with an H4 bulb but doesn't seem to match a standard H4. Notice there housing on the 2CV housing lacks the three notches for the bulb, yet has as small alignment notch.







    P45T to P43T adapter. Hole is too narrow for the adapter to fit:



    Without adapter, bulb sort of fits but lacks notches.



    H4 bulb from 2CV housing (left), standard H4 bulb (P43T)






    So what's the deal?

    I suppose I could notch out the 2CV lense to accept the H4 bulb and hog out the center if the bulb won't drop into the housing but like I say, I've had to hack several H4 housings to fit US spec sealed beam headlamps in the past I really hate to have to do this. But I've never had to actually notch out a housing to make a bulb fit.

    Here they are calling this bulb an HB12P45T which looks like what I have:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Citroen-2C...YAAOSwQYZWxhEb
    Last edited by turbofiat124; 15th January 2017 at 12:48 AM.
    1987 2CV faux Charleston edition (One of many other makes)

    Mount Carmel, TN. (Outside Kingsport) USA

    http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/Citroen%202CV?sort=2&page=1

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    One more try?
    From the Owner's Manual provided with each new 2CV, Dyane, Ami, etc.
    Bulb table.
    P45 t 41 type - 45/40 W - Main/dipped beam

    It looks as though some clown has shoe-horned an H4 P43t bulb into your headlamp shell, whereas if they'd taken the trouble to look around, they could easily have found H4 bulbs with a P45t base...

    Philips Rally Bulbs Headlamps - Team-BHP

    Note, do not be tempted to fit those 100/90W bulbs; your light switch won't like it and the silvering on the reflectors also suffers.

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    Member turbofiat124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken H View Post
    One more try?
    From the Owner's Manual provided with each new 2CV, Dyane, Ami, etc.
    Bulb table.
    P45 t 41 type - 45/40 W - Main/dipped beam

    It looks as though some clown has shoe-horned an H4 P43t bulb into your headlamp shell, whereas if they'd taken the trouble to look around, they could easily have found H4 bulbs with a P45t base...

    Philips Rally Bulbs Headlamps - Team-BHP

    Note, do not be tempted to fit those 100/90W bulbs; your light switch won't like it and the silvering on the reflectors also suffers.

    The bulbs that were in the housings fit.

    It's the LED H4s with the P43T base I bought is what I'm trying to fit. I didn't know there were two different bulb bases used on H4 bulbs. I thought they all were P43T because I've never seen anything else until now.

    I *thought* the R2 bulbs were what came with the P45T base.

    As to why the P43T to P45T adapters I have fit (somewhat) my Trabant headlights but not my 2CV headlights I don't know.
    1987 2CV faux Charleston edition (One of many other makes)

    Mount Carmel, TN. (Outside Kingsport) USA

    http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/Citroen%202CV?sort=2&page=1

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    Member turbofiat124's Avatar
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    Well to make a long story short, these $10 Chinese LED H4 bulbs did not work out too well. What did I expect? I modified the bulbs and got them to fit the housings but could only get them to work on high/main beams. For some odd reason if I test the bulb by hooking only two wires directly to the car battery, the low/dipped beams works. Switch wires and the high/main works. But if the bulb is plugged into the socket, only the high/main beam burns (both bulbs). I initially thought it was a bad connection so I replaced the headlight connectors (which is a good idea anyway) but the same thing happens. So in other words, the low/dipped beams will not work with all three wires connected to the bulb! So that attempt was all for naught. I don't know if this is something to do with the way the car is wired and these bulbs might work on something else. This is crazy!

    When I was in the UK back in the late 90s I hit every autopart store looking for unusual stuff and came across these Xenon H4 bulbs which were not yet on the US market (or I had never seen them). That was before Ebay got going.

    I put them in my Fiat Spider and they have been in there for almost 20 years and have not caused any ill effects although I am running relays to take the load off the switches which is always a good idea.

    I discovered one headlight had a halogen and the other one had an incandescent! Both bulbs are 40/45 watt.

    Here is my question. Does these Xenon bulbs really pull less current?

    The reason I ask is, the wiring going to the headlight connectors seems a bit "wimpy" compared to my other cars. So if I want more light, I can add relays, run heavier gauge wiring to them or find a bulb that pulls less current but puts out more wattage. I'd like to do the later. So I found some 60/55 watt Xenons. Do you think they would pull the same or less current than the 40/45 watts?

    I was curious before I ordered these:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/390971836335?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageNa me=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
    1987 2CV faux Charleston edition (One of many other makes)

    Mount Carmel, TN. (Outside Kingsport) USA

    http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/Citroen%202CV?sort=2&page=1

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Richard W's Avatar
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    The wattage rating of a bulb measures the power it draws, not its efficiency or the amount of light it puts out. It doesn't matter whether it is halogen, incandescent, LED or xenon - a 12V 60W bulb is going to pull 50% more current than a 12V 40W bulb.

    Assuming the voltage stays constant, if you want to reduce current draw you need to reduce the wattage.

    Since LED is much more efficient than other lights, it may be possible to decrease wattage whilst still increasing the light output. Who knows, however, whether an LED bulb that generates light at a range of different points will work properly in a H4 light designed to reflect light from a single point source. It seems to me unlikely that it would. Dodgy xenon conversion kits have the same problem.

    The bulbs that you have linked to, however, are not xenon - they appear to be halogen bulbs with a blue filter to make the light look a bit like the light from HID. They would be a bad option on all fronts because, at that price, they will not be good quality and the blue filter will just make them less efficient than a normal halogen bulb.
    Last edited by Richard W; 18th January 2017 at 06:11 PM.

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    Maybe a better solution is to add auxiliary lights for more light? I'm kind of concerned about using anything higher than 40/45 watts. The wiring going to the headlight connectors doesn't seem like it would handle anymore current. That's why I was going to try these LED bulbs thinking they would pull less amps.

    I could add relays and run thicker wiring to the headlamps like I have done on other cars but I'd have to tear into that wiring loom and harness that runs through the light bar and that maybe more trouble than it's worth.

    I was able to get away with stepping up from 40/45 watt bulbs to 50/55 watt bulbs in my Trabant without having to do anything. Being a 6 volt system, the wiring on that car is quite thick. I measured the current with a meter and across the fuses and it didn't seem to change all that much between 40 and 50 watts.
    1987 2CV faux Charleston edition (One of many other makes)

    Mount Carmel, TN. (Outside Kingsport) USA

    http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/Citroen%202CV?sort=2&page=1

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    This wiring upgrade works well

    H4 Halogen Head Lamp Front Light 12V 100/90W Wiring Harness relay Upgrade Kit | eBay

    I fitted those blue tinted bulbs, waste of time and money

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    I may need to clarify something. I should have used the word lumens or equivalent wattage instead of actual wattage in my original post.


    I was thinking there were modern bulbs that would produce the same amount or more lumens than incandescents or halogens bulbs produced say 40 years ago, but pull the same amount of current or less.


    A household incandescent versus florescent bulb is a good example. The florescent bulb that produces the equivalent "watt" or "lumen" as the incandescent bulb will use less electricity or pull less current.


    That was the point I was trying to make.


    When I first saw these Xenon bulbs that fit H4 halogen headlamps, I was under the impression they used a different type of gas or filament and pulled the same current as a 50/55 watt H4 halogen but produced the equivalent light of an 80/85 watt halogen. So in other words, they were just a marketing gimmick?


    Does that make sense?
    1987 2CV faux Charleston edition (One of many other makes)

    Mount Carmel, TN. (Outside Kingsport) USA

    http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/Citroen%202CV?sort=2&page=1

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbofiat124 View Post
    I may need to clarify something. I should have used the word lumens or equivalent wattage instead of actual wattage in my original post.


    I was thinking there were modern bulbs that would produce the same amount or more lumens than incandescents or halogens bulbs produced say 40 years ago, but pull the same amount of current or less.


    A household incandescent versus florescent bulb is a good example. The florescent bulb that produces the equivalent "watt" or "lumen" as the incandescent bulb will use less electricity or pull less current.


    That was the point I was trying to make.


    When I first saw these Xenon bulbs that fit H4 halogen headlamps, I was under the impression they used a different type of gas or filament and pulled the same current as a 50/55 watt H4 halogen but produced the equivalent light of an 80/85 watt halogen. So in other words, they were just a marketing gimmick?


    Does that make sense?
    The proper Xenon head lights are actually HID (high intensity discharge) they work similarly to you florescent light in your house, when they first come on they give a little flicker.These lights are usually used for low beam as they are not really suitable for high beam with the constant dipping of lights form low to high beam.
    Regards Col

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    The proper Xenon head lights are actually HID (high intensity discharge) they work similarly to you florescent light in your house, when they first come on they give a little flicker.These lights are usually used for low beam as they are not really suitable for high beam with the constant dipping of lights form low to high beam.
    I beg to differ with your comparison.

    Fluorescent tubes have filaments at each end that are heated on start and ionise the gas inside the tube. This ionised gas acts upon the inner coating of the tube, which in turn causes the lamp to fluoresce. The fluorescing coating produces the light.

    A HID lamp has a pair of electrodes, and a noble gas inside the quartz envelope. A high voltage igniter "strikes" the arc which sustains across the electrodes. The arc between the electrodes is source of light. The flicker you speak of is igniter.

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    A better comparison would be with the mercury vapour (bluish) and sodium (yellow) discharge lamps used as streetlights and floodlights. These also need an igniter to get going.

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    I beg to differ with your comparison.

    Fluorescent tubes have filaments at each end that are heated on start and ionise the gas inside the tube. This ionised gas acts upon the inner coating of the tube, which in turn causes the lamp to fluoresce. The fluorescing coating produces the light.

    A HID lamp has a pair of electrodes, and a noble gas inside the quartz envelope. A high voltage igniter "strikes" the arc which sustains across the electrodes. The arc between the electrodes is source of light. The flicker you speak of is igniter.
    My humble apologies for being over simplistic.
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
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    They installed sodium bulbs in our plant 25 years ago and started replacing these bulbs some new type of bulb that emits and brighter and whiter light. I'm wanting to say they are LED but I don't think so. I'll ask a mechanic here at work.

    The beam is so bright it looks like someone cut a hole in the ceiling and the beam is from the sun!

    I installed these "HID" lighting system (low/dipped only) on my Chevy van about a year ago:




    This isn't the exact system I used but sort of like it:

    Two 35W 55W Xentec Xenon HID Kit 's Replacement High & Low Light Bulbs H4 9007 | eBay

    It uses a ballast or transformer goes between the original bulb connector and the HID bulb.

    I realize this is not a true HID system. For the price I'm actually pleased with the system. I will admit the beam pattern is a bit odd but the light is much better. For whatever reason GM installed tiny headlamps in these vans and trucks so they had crappy lighting to begin with. On the other hand replacing the 20 year old bulbs may have done the same thing.

    Now as to whether they pull less current than the original I do not know. I'd have to rig up a meter between the plug and ballast to see. I do know that I've never blown a fuse so they must not pull anymore current than the original 9006 Halogens.
    1987 2CV faux Charleston edition (One of many other makes)

    Mount Carmel, TN. (Outside Kingsport) USA

    http://s222.photobucket.com/user/turbofiat/library/Citroen%202CV?sort=2&page=1

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    Unreservedly accepted.
    COL likes this.

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    The new lamps in the factory are probably metal halides, an efficient development of the old mercury vapour discharge lamp. They are a great deal brighter, and the sodium iodide vapour adds orange-red to the spectrum, giving an appearance of brilliant white. They take a while to "warm up".

    They use argon gas mostly, but are similar to the xenon car equivalent.

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