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Introducing OSRAM Night Breaker Laser (Next Generation)

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THE NEXT GENERATION OF HALOGEN BULBS

Discover OSRAM’s new bulb range that’s destined to set the highest standards in the latest halogen technology; Night Breaker Laser (Next Generation). We’re really excited to announce this because the statistics & figures OSRAM have provided to us are very impressive indeed. Compared to standard halogen bulbs, OSRAM have produced a striking new bulb family that can achieve up to 150% more brightness in the halogen range (succeeding its predecessor of up to 130%) and up to 200% more brightness in the brand new Xenarc (HID, Xenon) range.

AVAILABLE NOW!


Impressive packaging has always been at the forefront of OSRAM products

 

 

 

 

Tips

The Osram Approved Partner & Trust Programs

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Fighting Counterfeits

Today, the global automotive industry is being bombarded with counterfeit Xenon HID bulbs. If you do a quick online search about it, then you’ll see what we mean; it’s shocking.

The fake bulbs in question are sheep in wolves clothing, imitating the real product so well that to any average person they’re just normal Osram bulbs. The worry sinks in however on the first night time drive, where other motorists have been flashing at you constantly due to being blinded. It all begins to make sense when you pull up to a wall or garage back at home and realise the beam pattern is completely all over the place.

Bulb changes commonly means a recalibration of the headlight aim is usually necessary so don’t jump to the worst conclusion straight away. However if the beam pattern is worse than your previous bulbs the chances are high that they’re indeed fake. The unfortunate reality is that fake bulbs are next to useless, completely illegal, a risk to your life and an expense waiting to happen. Fake bulbs are not only a safety worry, but the performance and lifetime are where there’s simply no comparison to that of a genuine bulb. Osram takes this problem very seriously and the result of it all was The Osram Trust and Approved Partner Programs.

 

What is an Approved Partner?

An OSRAM Approved Partner is an online retailer that is approved to sell genuine OSRAM products online. They only stock and sell genuine OSRAM automotive parts and accessories, so if you buy any OSRAM product from them, it will be 100% genuine.

How Do I Know I Am Buying from an Approved Partner?

Wherever you see the Approved Partner Logo youcan be rest assured that they are approved to sell genuine OSRAM products. Every Approved Partner has been issued with a unique AP reference number and logo (which also shows their unique reference).

 

Is Driven 2 Automotive an Osram Approved Partner?

Yes we are indeed! See our official page on Osram’s Night Breaker Unlimited website here. Our unique reference is# AP1001 and our badge is displayed here.

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What Are the Dangers of Fake or Cheap Xenon Bulbs?

  • HID Ballasts can catch fire due to abnormal loads
  • Bulb bases can melt inside the headlight, damaging the reflector and/or bulb mount system
  • Light glare that can dazzle other motorists and cause a collision
  • Premature bulb failures
  • Poor lumen output (brightness) compared to that of genuine bulbs

So How Do I Check My Bulbs?

First things first are as we already mentioned, if you purchase from an official Osram Approved Partner it means it’s an immediate way to ensure you’ll receive a genuine OSRAM product in the post.

Next, follow the guide below to verify the authenticity of your Xenon bulbs:

 

Step 1) Check the Security Label on the Packaging for a 7-Digit Code

Since October 2015, all OSRAM Xenon HID bulbs feature a special 7-digit code which you can use on their Trust Program website to verify authenticity. If you can’t find a label on your packaging it’s possible the bulbs you’ve purchased were produced before the said date. So do take note that some vendors still stock genuine Osram products without security labels added. In this case, Osram recommends contacting them directly if you’re worried.

  • The 7-digit code is located to the left-hand side of the sticker label – Then enter the code here
  • The 3 digits in the bottom right hand corner should be holographic
  • A QR code that’s linked to the Trust verification process website
  • The OSRAM logo with the following URL www.osram.com/trust
  • A security strip featuring micro-sized text which you can read with a magnifying glass

Step 2) Check the Data on the Bulb Bases

After entering the 7-digit code which authenticates the packaging, you’ll see a display of data which includes the Osram order number, product designation and lamp numbers. The important one here is to check the lamp numbers displayed on the verification site match the numbers on the bulbs inside the packaging. The numbers are found in the locations as shown:


But There’s No Label on the Packaging of My Bulbs?

We mentioned before that some companies will still hold stock of older Osram products which don’t have a security label on them. In this case OSRAM states the following:

The OSRAM Trust system was introduced in fall 2015. Since then, the lamp packaging contains the two security features. However, it is still possible that several vendors have warehouse stock older than fall 2015 without the new labelling. Should you have doubts regarding your package, please get in touch with OSRAM.

So there you go, no security label doesn’t mean it’s a fake straight off the bat.

 

Conclusion

In the end we are proud to be part of something which is combating the issue and the two programs are a great step in the right direction.

If you have any more questions, Osram have an FAQ section on their website located here.

Mechanics CornerTips

Osram Cool Blue Boost Xenarc Bulbs

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The Modern Looker

Meet Cool Blue Boost Xenarc, Osrams newest contender to the xenon market. The bulb that features a superb colour temperature of up to 7000 kelvin with enhanced brightness.

With an impressive 3200 lumens of light output combined with state-of-the-art beam projection, there’s certainly no qualms with the overall package. Once fitted, the track will be transformed into a high contrast surface which is far closer to daytime colours.

From the sleek, well-refined packaging design to the impressive light output, you’ll soon realise that the whole experience with Osram Xenarc Cool Blue Boost bulbs just ooze quality with incomparable style, yet also providing an overall improvement to brightness. Transform your car into a new era with Cool Blue Boost Xenarc!

These bulbs are available now in our shop!

Up to 7000 K

Illumination with more natural daylight colours which helps reduce fatigue whilst giving incomparable
style.

Enhanced Brightness

3200 lumens of light to help guide your way

Xenon Hyper Blue

Modern blue tint due to a special filling system

Please note these are not ECE approved therefore they’re for track use only.




Tips

Why Do My Headlight Bulbs Keep Blowing?

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Hold on a Minute

Most of us with vehicle ownership experience will know that changing light bulbs on a vehicle should be as easy as just removing the cover from the back of the light, and slotting a new one straight in; easy peasy right? Unfortunately not, some vehicles can become your nemesis when it comes to bulb changes. Who would of thought that a very few specially selected vehicle designers have a unique ambition in life to make headlight bulb changes one of the most frustrating, time consuming, expensive, hand-torturing maintenance process there possibly is to do on a car?

The point is proven when last week you spent most of Sunday morning removing the front bumper and 100,000 of those dreaded, rusty bottom engine cover bolts just to swap out some pesky little light bulbs!

So what are the most common reasons bulbs just keep blowing?

1. Faulty Voltage / Alternator Regulator (A.K.A Voltage Stabilizer)

The voltage regulator is a critical piece of electrical equipment in a vehicle, they can usually be found attached to the side of alternators or mounted separately. In easy-to-understand terms, it limits the maximum amount of voltage that runs through the electrical system to a safe and usable amount for all components to utilise.

If the voltage regulator is intermittently having problems then it could definitely be the source of your bulb problems due to spikes of high voltage jumping through the system, which in-turn blow the bulb filaments and/or headlight fuses.

 

You can perform a simple test to check if the voltage regulator is faulty, however you will need another person to help you rev the engine whilst you take a multimeter reading.

  • Acquire a multimeter if you don’t have one, you can usually purchase one for under £10
  • Open the bonnet and remove the positive red terminal safety cover from the battery (if there is one)
  • Set your multimeter to 20 DC volts as shown in the photo. The DC Volts symbol is a V, and next to it there should be three dots with a straight line on top
  • Don’t use the symbol with a V and a squiggly line next to it, as that’s AC volts. Useful tip – think of the squiggly line as alternating current (AC) to remember this!
  • Before you begin testing, make sure the ignition and all of your vehicle’s lights are off.
  • Connect the red + (positive) multimeter test lead to your battery’s positive terminal.
  • Then, connect the black – (negative) multimeter test lead to your battery’s negative terminal.
  • Have your assistant turn on the engine (check it’s in neutral first)
  • The multimeter reading should rise to around 13.8 volts whilst the car is idling, this means the alternator is charging the battery correctly
  • Ask the person helping to slowly rev the engine until it reaches 1500 – 2000 RPM
  • Check the multimeter reading and jot it down, the voltage regulator should cap the amount to 14.5v. If the reading is over 14.5v then your voltage regulator is most definitely faulty.

Another known problem in the same category is that some poorly manufactured alternator belts can cause power surges due to static build up. This problem can be found by performing the check above and hopefully fixed by replacing the alternator belt with a premium brand or by installing resistors to the low and high beam circuits which is a common ‘online forum’ notable fix. The problem is that the surge may also be the voltage regulator, so try replacing the regulator first to see if it fixes the problem.

2. Loose wiring connections to the bulb holder/bulb

This can cause the current or ‘flow’ of electricity to arc between the connections on and off which in-turn can suddenly cause an increase in heat. Temperatures that go beyond what the bulb is designed to cater for will easily cause the filament inside to blow.

Vibrations in the headlight can also increase this problem, so check to make sure all headlight bolts are tight, that no headlight mounts are cracked and that the electrical connectors to the bulbs are secure. We recommend fitting new connectors to the bulb to completely eradicate them as the source of problems, especially if they look burnt, melted or show signs of corrosion inside.

H4 Plug Connector

3. Poor quality bulbs

This one might sound like a bit of a cliché, however the truth is that dirt cheap bulbs are no where near the quality standards of high-end brands and this why we will never sell them. The wire filaments are usually made from a far thinner gauge of tungsten which can see them fail in a matter of hours. Vibrations are the most common cause of failure on cheap bulbs, and this combined with thin gauge wire results in easy failures, especially if there are voltage fluctuations going on with a dodgy regulator. It’s an obvious sign of household technology put into a car bulb, so failures are bound to happen easily, have you ever seen the wire wobble around inside a household bulb? Stick to a high quality German brand such as Osram, they’re available in our shop.

 

4. Touching the bulbs glass on installation

Halogen bulbs obviously get very hot during operation and the chances are that by the time you get to the stage of actually fitting the bulb, your hands look like this. Bulbs need to heat evenly throughout the whole of the bulbs surface for optimum lifetime, leaving traces of dirt and grime or even the oil from your skin can sometimes cause uneven heating when the bulb is in use.

In some extreme cases, dirt on the bulbs glass can cause a complete structural failure and they end up exploding! Use clean latex gloves and only try to touch the bulbs metal base when installing, this can be very tricky when sometimes they’re hard to position correctly with limited amounts of space.

Dirty Hands

5. Excessive vibration

Vibration is not a good thing for halogen filaments, which is also another reason why Xenon HID bulbs excel on lifetime as they don’t have any! Check the bulb holders retaining spring is clipped in correctly and as said before, check the headlight is secured nice and tight. In extreme scenarios it may be worth checking the condition of wheel bearings, suspension springs and wheel balance, literally anything that can cause major vibrations at the front usually contribute to bulbs blowing.

 

6. Excessive condensation in the headlight

Too much condensation in headlights can cause electrical shorts and diminish the lifetime of bulbs rapidly, so it’s important to check if they’re getting too damp inside.

Headlights are usually ventilated through the top and bottom of the unit through small holes or tubes usually found with a 90 degree bend to them. They’re designed to only allow a certain amount of air to flow in and out for heat dissipation but also to help reduce moisture in the lens. If the bulb covers on the back of the headlight aren’t mounted correctly or any seals have broken around the lens, then you can expect a higher amount of condensation in the headlight than normal.

Some after-market ‘copy’ headlights are made so poorly that a large amount of condensation can be seen after just a couple weeks. The staff here have their own experiences with after-market headlights and can safely say that they’re a waste of time and are a catalyst for condensation. For this reason we only sell Original (OEM) branded headlights such as Hella, due to only wanting the very best for our customers.

 

Headlight Condensation

 

Have you had a really bad experience changing headlight bulbs? Let us know in the comments section below.




Mechanics CornerTips

Upgrading Headlight Bulbs – Which is the best for you?

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Let’s face it, nobody likes eye strain while driving in the dark. The scenario of driving in a storm with rain lashing down and very little headlight visibility isn’t a situation that’s ever one to be desired. Upgrading your headlight bulbs can make all the difference between spotting hazards earlier while also keeping you more alert thanks to less eye strain.

We’ve put together a guide to help you through this somewhat mind boggling process.

Mechanics CornerTips

Are Blue Coated Headlight Bulbs Road Legal? What Is the Best Bulb for Me?

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When it comes to car ‘styling’ headlight bulbs, there can be a lot of confusion around the legality of blue coated halogen bulbs. We are really shocked when we read some information other companies present on their websites and listings where they purely rely on the average Joe who knows very little about bulbs to get an easy sale. With blue coated bulbs, it basically comes down to colour temperature and wattage.

How to Spot FakesTips

Fighting Fake HID Bulbs – The OSRAM Trust Program

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With an estimated 40 million HID bulbs fitted to vehicles from new in 2016, you can see why Xenon bulbs are leading the way in automotive lighting at the moment. LED and Laser headlights are on the horizon, however they are still very much super premium pieces of kit, and to the average Joe; pretty hard to come by.

HID Xenon bulbs were introduced in the 1990’s and became popular in luxury cars, they lit up our roads with daytime like colours and improved overall visibility on the road. However no bulb is immune to failure, and with the first HID bulbs that went into circulation beginning to fail, consumer’s are looking for quality replacements. A common way to spot a failing HID bulb is the discolouration of the emitted light which is known as cycling, a shift towards a very blue/purple colour can be emitted due to the higher temperature and increased voltage required to maintain the arc inside the bulb.