Eco headlights compared and measured

Discussion in 'My Ride' started by PaleMelanesian, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I bought a pair each of Sylvania EcoBright bulbs and Philips EcoVision, both 9003/HB2 size.

    BulbWatts (ea)
    OEM51 (spec 55W)
    Sylvania44 *

    *Sylvania's bulbs start out at 48W and slowly drop to 44 after about a minute. The Philips bulbs start and stay at 44. It's possible the Sylvania's would drop even lower with more time but I stopped to not drain my battery.

    Combined results (with LED tail & marker lights), car on but not running
    Watts OEMWatts Eco
    No lights3838
    Marker lights6641

    That's a 23% improvement. :D

    I am currently running the Sylvania Ecobrights because of the dropping power consumption. They might (probably will?) settle at lower power than the Philips after a minute of warmup.

    Brightness and color are the same with all 3 (oem, philips, sylvania) under the scientific test of "stand 50 feet away and look at them".
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  2. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    In summary, the LED taillights and markers saved 25W and cost $110.
    These headlights saved 14W and cost only $13. Definitely better bang-for-buck.

    Overall I've gone from an estimated 12 minutes of headlights-on FAS ability to 16 minutes.
  3. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Not bad.. all that energy is coming out of your gasoline tank. The voltage was constant during this test?
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Andrew:

    How are you measuring the individual lights consumption as that sounds really interesting in itself!

  5. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Roughly constant mid 11 volts with the engine off. I retested with both OEM bulbs at the end and it came out the same.

    I'm not too concerned by the gas consumed to power the lights - the savings really are minimal. What I'm aiming for is better engine-off ability, which is a huge savings over running the engine just to power some light bulbs.
  6. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    How did I measure?

    I disconnected the positive battery cable and inserted my ammeter in between the battery and cable. Turn on the lights, measure amps. Turn off. Swap bulbs, repeat. Then I converted to Watts with a simple Amps * 12V.

    The car draws 0.18A = 2.16W just sitting there. Security, remote door locks, clock and radio memory, etc.

    OEM headlights = 8.85A
    subtract .18A standby = 8.67
    times 12V = 104W
    subtract 3W for taillights = 101W
    divide by 2 for each headlight = 50.5W
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Andrew:

    Thanks. Simple and effective data collection!

  8. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Good point!

    Brake lights are an interesting special case. When one is braking in gear, power to operate them effectively comes not from the fuel tank, but from a slight reduction in energy wasted by the brakes. That is, brake lights assist the brakes a bit. Of course it's a different story when the wheels aren't driving the engine.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013

Share This Page