Halogen Headlamps Bulb Upgrade - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 06-01-2015
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Cool Halogen Headlamps Bulb Upgrade

I've just picked up a 2015 250 CDI with the standard halogen headlamps and have already read about their dim performance on this site.

I've upgraded them to Osram 65W H7s for both the dipped and main beams. These are effectively re-bodied H9 lamps and yield a significant increase in output from around 1400 lumens (standard bulbs) to 2100 lumens.

This is also better than the 'upgrade' bulbs such as 'nightbreaker' and 'extreme power' which utilise smaller and harder driven filaments to achieve their '+110%' claims. The output from these is around 1500-1600 lumens (there is only so much that can be achieved if they are still rated at 55W)

The increased current is insignificant enough to be no cause for worry. Check 'Daniel Stern Lighting' for additional evidence of this.

The practical improvement is significant. When combined with an adjusted aim (they are set low from the factory - see 'Halogen Headlamp Aim' in this section for instructions) the illumination is absolutely transformed.

Proceed as follows:

Dipped Beams:

For the right hand headlamp, turn the steering fully left & vice versa.
Access the sliding panel within the wheel arch liner. Slide it up and move it aside
Access the bulb by removing the cover. Twist it anti clockwise. It is fairly tight.
Carefully remove the plug from the bulb
Push the wire clip upwards about 5mm. Be careful not to let it spring out.
Remove the bulb and replace with the new once. Be careful not to touch the 'glass'
Push the wire clip down and replace the remaining bits.

High Beams:

The right hand side is the tricky one due to the position of the coolant expansion tank. Do this one last as it will need to be done 'by feel'. The left hand one will provide the experience needed.

Remove the cover in the same way as for the dipped beams.
Grasp the plug and lift slightly upwards and pull. The bulb will unclip.
Remove the plug
When replacing, practice first with the old bulb so you can do it without touching the 'glass'. Push the bulb back into the clip with the plug attached and push down slightly. Look into the front of the headlamp to check you are located correctly.

For the right hand side I managed to push the bonnet release cables out of the way. This gave me just enough room to slide my hand in. Again, check your position by looking through the front of the headlamp - this really helps.
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#2 Old 07-24-2015
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Hi Still Learning,

After a couple of months with the upgraded headlights, are you still happy with the change? Any problems?

Thanks & regards,
Malcolm
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#3 Old 07-24-2015
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Hi Malcolm,

All is good. The lights have been transformed from below par to very impressive when combined with the adjusted aim.

I have no heat issues (I've left the car stationary in a hot garage with the lights on for half an hour to test).

All the best
Jon
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#4 Old 07-25-2015
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Great - and thanks for the tip!
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#5 Old 07-25-2015
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One more question: looks like you are also in the UK, so I'd be interested to know where you bought them. Thanks.
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#6 Old 07-25-2015
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Any motor factors will stock them .
But due to heat issues and higher output these will not last as long as standard h7 osram bulbs .
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#7 Old 07-25-2015
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I had trouble finding them at motor factors. I purchased them from Car & Headlight Bulbs | H1, H4, H7 | Phoenix Autobulbs

I agree, their life expectancy is shorter than standard H7 bulbs, but remember they are just re-bodied H9 bulbs, so not in the realms of the 'higher risk' 80/100W types.

Data from various decent sources shows:

Normal H7 55W, 1500 lumens, 500-hours

'Long Life' H7 55W, 1400 lumens, 600-hours (I suspect these are OEM fit)

'Extreme Power / Night Breaker' H7 55W, 1500-1600 lumens, 200-hours

Osram H7 65W, 2100 lumens, 250-hours (same as a H9)


The increased brightness from the so-called '+110%' bulbs like night breaker and extreme power results from using a smaller, harder driven filament. This causes their short lifespan.

For me, the 65W bulbs are a good trade off for brightness vs. lifespan.
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#8 Old 07-25-2015
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The part number for the Osram 65w H7 is 'Osram 64217'
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#9 Old 07-25-2015
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Ive had osram standard H7 bulbs last 8.5 years but then i sold the car .
So brighter = half the life of the brighter bulbs as such .
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#10 Old 05-15-2016
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One year on, any complaints or compliment on using the 65w bulb? Thanks...
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#11 Old 05-15-2016
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I don't know about the others......


I bought and fitted the Osram 65w H7 bulbs at the end of September last year, IMHO they made a considerable improvement to the amount of light on the road.
To date no one has flashed or complained I was dazzling them and they are still running ok.......
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#12 Old 05-15-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey63 View Post
I don't know about the others......


I bought and fitted the Osram 65w H7 bulbs at the end of September last year, IMHO they made a considerable improvement to the amount of light on the road.
To date no one has flashed or complained I was dazzling them and they are still running ok.......
Cool! I can't seems to find the 65w bulb in the UK. They are selling the 80w version. Not sure it it causes any prb with t+E extra wattage needed.
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#13 Old 09-08-2016
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Hi,

Does anyone have any tips on how to access the main beam bulb on the right hand side? I have fairly small hands but still wasn't able to access the bulb cover due to the various obstructions (coolant tank, hoses etc). Even if I could get my hand in to access the cover, not sure that I could manipulate the old bulb out and the new bulb in. For anyone who has successfully done this, did you have to disassemble any stuff or use any special tools?

Thanks,
Malcolm
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#14 Old 09-08-2016
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Sorry to be flippant but it helps with access if you break your forearm in 3 places before you attempt this feat!

I haven't got small arms but I'm not built like a brick outhouse either and I have to say it's the most difficult headlamp bulb I've ever had to change. I considered all sorts of things... removing the headlamp, coolant pipe etc. I ended up just taking off the cool air intake pipe (mine's a diesel too).

You really just have to persevere, just keep working your arm around gently and feeding it in, it seem to go in forever and then you have to do the whole lot by feel. Good luck, you have my deepest sympathies.
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#15 Old 09-08-2016
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I's a particular bugbear of mine, the way manufacturers make it so difficult to change bulbs on modern cars. It should be simple to do this kind of routine maintenance quickly and without tools as a DIY job, after all they are safety items. I don't want to imagine trying to change the headlight bulbs on my SLK on a dark night or in the rain.
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#16 Old 09-09-2016
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Thanks for the info, much appreciated. For the moment, I've just changed the dipped beam bulbs. I'll check out the difference and see whether I want to tackle the main beams next. I fully agree that this type of routine maintenance shouldn't be so hard!

Regards,
Malcolm
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#17 Old 09-10-2016
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Well, having driven last night I am impressed with the difference in the dipped beams. The light on the road is indeed transformed. So I am interested in any thoughts from StillLearning and Mickey63 (to add to bastivock's comments) on:

a) Is it worth upgrading the main beams as well?
b) Any tips on fitting the problematic right hand main beam?

Thanks,
Malcolm
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#18 Old 09-10-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malbry View Post
Well, having driven last night I am impressed with the difference in the dipped beams. The light on the road is indeed transformed. So I am interested in any thoughts from StillLearning and Mickey63 (to add to bastivock's comments) on:

a) Is it worth upgrading the main beams as well?
b) Any tips on fitting the problematic right hand main beam?

Thanks,
Malcolm
Hi Malcolm

I only did the dipped beams.
Over the last number of years I do very little driving (read none) that has caused me to use main beam, so I haven't bothered to upgrade them.....
I'm sure I've tried main beam driving when i first got the car to see how good they were, but I honestly can't remember.

Mick.
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#19 Old 09-10-2016
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Hi Malcolm

I only did the dipped beams.
Over the last number of years I do very little driving (read none) that has caused me to use main beam, so I haven't bothered to upgrade them.....
I'm sure I've tried main beam driving when i first got the car to see how good they were, but I honestly can't remember.

Mick.
Thanks for the reply. Like you, I drive very infrequently on main beam so I'll have to decide if it's worth the effort to change.
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#20 Old 09-10-2016
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Originally Posted by malbry View Post
Thanks for the reply. Like you, I drive very infrequently on main beam so I'll have to decide if it's worth the effort to change.
To be honest, I do very little driving on main beam and they weren't really the issue anyway, with the extra cost and hassle I don't think I'd bother with them if I were doing it again
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