Can I Use 100w Bulb Instead Of 55W?

Hello! Let’s try and do a little prediction: you have a vehicle and you’re looking at using a 100w bulb, right? We know our prediction will be over 70% correct — but the most important thing is, you came into this page because you’re looking at getting a 100w bulb. The good news is, you are at the right place; in this article, we’ll cover answering the question – Can I Use 100w Bulb Instead Of 55W and talking a little about the 100w and 55w bulb.

Can I Use 100w Bulb Instead Of 55W?

Higher wattage bulbs will last a lot less time than a 55W bulb. Therefore, you shouldn’t be making use of them for normal driving. If your vehicle is using 55w bulbs, that is what you have to use. The 100-watt bulbs are drawing too much power causing the fuse to blow. Your low beams are likely 55 watts and your high beam bulbs are most likely 65 watts.

The Simple Maths: More Power = More Light

It’s just going to be almost like a 100w vs 55w, so read attentively. So, let’s move some steps back into the basics. We are sure that most of you have observed that, let’s use the simple bulbs you have in your house, for example, if you get a bulb of higher wattage and fix it into your light fitting, it’ll definitely be a lot brighter than before. The reason it happened that way is, the increase in power has a way of causing the filament to burn brighter, and this results in giving more light.

This is also how it is in car bulbs — there’s no difference. The higher wattage bulbs will come with a filament that burns much brighter and because of that, will produce even more light. Is the higher wattage power with more light something you really want to go for? Well, before you make that decision, read on.

Power Isn’t Everything

As long as a filament bulb is concerned, you have to always remember one inherent rule. The more power that passes through the filament, the shorter will the bulb’s lifespan be. Let’s use a standard 60/55W Osram Original H4 bulb as an example, its lifespan ranges from 400 to 900 hours of constant use. Depending on the habits you’ve developed around driving, it could last for up to five years or even more without giving you the need to bother yourself about “changing it.”

However, this other type of bulb — 100/90W Osram H4 Super Bright Premium bulb — has a lifespan that ranges from 100 to 200 hours. Also, depending on the habits you’ve nurtured around driving, this could last for a period of 1-2 years. Those people who regularly drive at night might not have this bulb last for up to a year. Another key point you must take note of, as long as a high power bulb is concerned, is the response to “is it legal to use a high power bulb?” The answer is, they’re simply not road legal and they’re specifically sold for only off-road use.

It is necessary to note that the Ring Rally Sport bulbs used in carrying out this test clearly warn users against using them with wiring and fuses rated fewer than 20 amps. Always ensure that, before fitting, you check the ratings for high-power bulbs. Lastly, also know that, to a little extent, higher power bulbs are likely to decrease the fuel economy. This is simply because you’ll have your battery drain rapidly when you have them on — and therefore the stress will have to be on the alternator in a bid to keep it charged. This process makes use of more fuel, because of the power that’s being produced.

So, having made mention of these three points, we’re sure you can give an answer to the question, is the extra light worth it?

Let’s take a look at them in action. A set of professionals tested the brightest road legal bulb one can find in the market, as of today, the H7 Ring Rally Sport 100W versus the H7 Philips Racing Vision +150%. At almost x2 of the power, the Ring Bulb is definitely going to be a lot brighter, but what we don’t know is the “by how much?” Let’s look at the result of their experiment:

First: H7 Philips Racing Vision

Now: H7 Ring Rally Sport 100W

So, you can easily spot the difference in the pictures above. After they conducted the test, below is how it came out:

Racing Vision Average Lux: 210.5
Ring Rally Sport 100W Average Lux: 252.7

Racing Vision Outer Beam Average Lux: 48.4
Ring Rally Sport 100W Outer Beam Average Lux: 60.03

With the test, the 100w bulb is considered to have 20% more light than the nearest road legal bulbs — irrespective of the fact that they’re making use of 80% more power. From a lamp with 55w, that’s really not a bad performance. 100w vs 55w.

Jim Campbell, a member of Quora, has something to say about this topic:

My understanding is that those high-wattage bulbs are only legal for off-road use. You’d also need to inform your insurance company, as the additional load on the standard wiring loom would create extra heat which could burn through the cable insulation, cause a short circuit, and start a fire. My experience with these high-wattage bulbs is that there is very little discernible difference in light output in normal driving conditions. When I found this out I removed my high wattage bulbs and replaced them with the original 60/55. Also do not be tempted to fit LED bulbs into standard reflectors designed for halogens, as they will only randomly disperse the light, to the detriment of oncoming traffic. This makes them illegal too.

Why You Should Replace Headlights

Having burned out or dimmed headlight bulbs mean you’ll have difficulty in seeing the road and other drivers won’t be able to see you. It is a recipe for danger. If you delay in getting them fixed, it can cost you an expensive ticket from your local authorities. Besides, you have to understand that there is a truckload of options for improved visibility. Even something as little as changing out your old halogen headlights for a newer model can go a long way in providing 30% brighter light and up to 25% more down-road visibility.

When To Replace Your Headlights

Make sure you don’t wait until you see that your bulbs are burned out before you even think of replacing them. It’s not only unsafe to have your bulbs burned out, but it also exposes you to the risk of being pulled over. If you notice that those bulbs of yours are flickering and dim, then it’s high time you replaced them.

Being a rule of thumb, if one of the bulbs is fading or gone, it won’t take long before the other follows. So, ensure you replace both of the bulbs at the same time. For a lot of vehicles these days, one single bulb serves for both low and high beams. As for the older models, however, about two separate headlight bulbs were used on both sides. For you to have a consistent field-of-vision down-road, either ensure you replace both bulbs or even all four bulbs right at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will 100w Bulbs Melt My Headlights?

This is the most common misconception. Many people notice that the upgrades produce more light than standard bulbs, meaning that they’ll run at a higher wattage and therefore produce more heat. The worry is that this heat could potentially melt your headlights or pose a safety risk. However, this is not the case.

Are 100w Bulbs Safe?

A 100-watt bulb will draw more power through the wires than they safely can handle. (It is okay, however, to put a bulb with lower wattage in that fixture—drawing less than the wire’s maximum load isn’t a problem.) Some specialty lamps or other fixtures may have even lower watt ratings for other safety reasons.

Can I Use 100w Bulb Instead Of 55W – Conclusion

As a recap of the response we gave to the question — Can I Use 100w Bulb Instead Of 55W? — we stated that:

Higher wattage bulbs will last a lot less time than a 55W bulb. Therefore, you shouldn’t be making use of them for normal driving. If your vehicle is using 55w bulbs, that is what you have to use. The 100-watt bulbs are drawing too much power causing the fuse to blow. Your low beams are likely 55 watts and your high beam bulbs are most likely 65 watts.

To go over what we have been said in the afore-paragraphs, you mustn’t forget that higher wattage bulbs are not legal. They’ll last a lot less time than a 55w bulb. Therefore, it’s better you don’t make use of them for normal driving. However, for off-road situations, they can be very useful. There are people out there who opt for the option of having additional lamps in order to have extra lamps.

So, if what you have in mind is to upgrade your headlights and you desire to have the brightest lights possible, make sure you put into consideration the wider picture of high-power bulbs.

Thanks for reading.

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