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Discussion Starter #1
The other night I did a back to back test comparing the Hella and Cibie E-code 7" round headlights. I've had the Hellas on for 6 months, but when I was able to find the Cibies for only a few more dollars than what I paid for the Hellas, I had to swoop. I used the 60Hi/55Lo that came with the Hellas in both reflectors. I have also added relays for both low and high beam.

To compare the two, I first went down the tightest, twistiest, hilliest, darkest road I know in the immediate Blacksburg, VA area, down and back with the Hellas installed. I used high beams on straight sections when possible, and low beams in corners to see how far I could see through them. I then went to a well lit parking lot less than a mile away, removed the Hellas, swapped the same Hella bulbs to the Cibies, and reinstalled. The Cibies horizontal cutoff was much higher, so I did a quick aiming of the lights and did the same loop.

The difference was incredible. The Cibies put a lot more light out to the sides on low beam. I was able to drive the loop much faster and more comfortably because I could see so much better through the corners. The high beams were also better, putting less light up into the trees. This seems to agree with a lot of what I have read comparing the two. I spotted a rabbit at corner exit on one of the tightest turns, and I feel he would have been a lot harder to see with the Hellas.

If you drive mostly on straight roads or in the city, the difference probably won't be as impressive. But if you do any night driving on twisty roads, I wholeheartedly recommend the Cibies over the Hellas. In fact, given that the Cibies are only $4 more per set (plus a set of bulbs you need to purchase) on Amazon right now, I wouldn't recommend the Hellas to anyone who doesn't buy them used. I bought the Hellas because at the time I could only find the Cibies through boutique sellers who wanted twice the price of the Hellas. If I had been able to compare them like this before purchasing, I would have gladly paid that boutique price. The difference between Cibie and Hella was more dramatic than Hella and the sealed beams. They're that good.

If you want a set, search for Cibie 082440. These things will be incredible with the 100/80W bulbs I also ordered.

Pictures? Here are two Isocandela graphs created by Daniel Stern, as well as a discussion link where Mr. Stern discusses them. I found the images elsewhere as the original discussion links do not work. If you want pictures of the backside of a reflector, I don't know what to tell you. They're shiny and you'll rarely see them again.

Cibies


Hellas


Discussion
http://classicbroncos.com/forums/showpost.php?p=419137&postcount=1
 

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Thanks! Was considering options, and I'll definitely go for the Cibes now. I'd love to see the OEMs on that fancy tool too, though it'd probably just depress me and make me scared to drive at night.
 

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Glad to have found this. Definitely makes the case for Cibies quite clear as I'm considering replacing the glowlights on my car before I head back to school this fall. Will be spending a lot more time driving at night and would prefer to be able to see where I'm going without straining.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! Was considering options, and I'll definitely go for the Cibes now. I'd love to see the OEMs on that fancy tool too, though it'd probably just depress me and make me scared to drive at night.
Sealed beams are made by so many different manufacturers, and the cars are so old (headlights have been replaced...), that it wouldn't be very useful unless your exact brand of bulb was used.

...Will be spending a lot more time driving at night and would prefer to be able to see where I'm going without straining.
If you really want to see on the cheap, grab some Hella high wattage bulbs as well and power your headlights off relays. That said, most of the magic is in the reflector - getting the light where it should be. Simply having more light to shine isn't anywhere near as good.
 

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Also recommended... HELLA H4 130/90W bulbs for either the Hellas or Cibie lenses.
About $5 each from Amazon.

Zero issues running them on the stock wiring harness now for over six months.
 

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Do you experience any issues with other drivers running bulbs that hot? I used to run a hot set in a 944 and would still get flashed every once in a while. Compared to the stock lights it made a world of difference though so I put up with it well enough.
 

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Here is a quick test I did some time ago. Cibie with a stock wattage bulb versus Sylvania sealed beams, whatever their best was at the time. This is with the same manual exposure for the two images I used to make this GIF. That way the camera's auto exposure aspect won't throw things off.



Yet..the low glare seen below, is from the Cibie.

 

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Good lord that's a massive improvement and if I follow correctly, impressive focusing of the beam to reduce the glare. That sells me on it then. I didn't get this done before the winter, and thankfully its been mild with respect to all precipitation so its been manageable, but like the 944 before, the stock lights just aren't going to be okay just being manageable.
 

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The Hella thing came about after several Group Buys gave people some cheap prices. But the Cibie was better all along. Plus it has one "aim" that works for both high and low beam. The Hella tends to make you choose which you want to emphasize. It can't do both well from one "aim".

Careful with GBs, they can be fun to pile onto...but the tech of it all does not care.
 

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That might explain my previous experience then. My prior experience was with a set of Hella lights. Makes me wonder if I'd erred towards the wrong end of the aiming spectrum ;).

Thanks for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hellas were/are popular because the only sources for Cibies were twice the price of Hellas. That's a hard sell when people are already talking about how good the Hellas are. Thankfully, things have changed.

Also recommended... HELLA H4 130/90W bulbs for either the Hellas or Cibie lenses.
About $5 each from Amazon.

Zero issues running them on the stock wiring harness now for over six months.
High wattage bulbs were awesome, but it's not just about not frying the harness. You're getting a large voltage drop across thin wires and multiple switches. Relays and large wires get the most voltage to the headlight and probably would make a noticeable difference on bulbs drawing that much current.

My ultimate halogen setup would be $80 Cibies, $10 high wattage Hellas, and about $50 invested in a high quality relay harness. I made mine for much less, but if I did it again I would buy a Daniel Stern kit for cleanliness and fewer wire joints. Spend much more than that and you might as well save up for a 7" HID drop in swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's still homebrew, you're not buying a complete harness from Daniel Stern, just the parts with no wires included. I got my relays and fuses out of the junkyard, my relay connector and fuse block off amazon, and the high temp headlight sockets at the parts store.

I paid less but had extra connections and smaller wire in places. Probably no noticeable different in performance, but I like doing stuff clean.
 

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Hmm, alright, I'll have to get my head back into the books on this one then ;). I would certainly like to explore it further though at the end of the day.

There's something to be said for doing things cleanly and being certain that the wiring that's in place will be more than sufficient. I usually stay clear of electrical in favour of just being mechanical, but in the pursuit of doing this properly, looks like I'll have to dabble.
 

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Hmm, alright, I'll have to get my head back into the books on this one then ;). I would certainly like to explore it further though at the end of the day.

There's something to be said for doing things cleanly and being certain that the wiring that's in place will be more than sufficient. I usually stay clear of electrical in favour of just being mechanical, but in the pursuit of doing this properly, looks like I'll have to dabble.
It's not complicated. I did my rewire cheap and a bonus is that I also use it for my LOUD horns too.

Folks don't get sucked in by "Forum Frenzy", the tech of it all does not care. Like 99% of the conventional lighting upgraders went Hella due to the whole crowd acceptance thing. I posted the example above of the Cibie advantage at the time but a fad is stronger than actual results. For a stronger person there are more options in all sorts of things related to car mods and other stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The most complicated part of it for me was making it look OEM. If you care less the harness can be thrown together with some thick wire and inline fuse holders with relays rattling everywhere in about 1 hour.

I pulled power off the fuse box directly into a high amperage main fuse, then to a seperate fuse block on the other side of the engine bay. Those power leads went to a custom relay mount, then onwards to the headlights. I made room to expand for the anticipated horn and driving light upgrades, but never got around to it before stuffing my car into a wall.

 

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It's not complicated. I did my rewire cheap and a bonus is that I also use it for my LOUD horns too.

Folks don't get sucked in by "Forum Frenzy", the tech of it all does not care. Like 99% of the conventional lighting upgraders went Hella due to the whole crowd acceptance thing. I posted the example above of the Cibie advantage at the time but a fad is stronger than actual results. For a stronger person there are more options in all sorts of things related to car mods and other stuff.
I read about the Cibies here and in a few places last year about this time and that's about whne I concluded they were the way to go regardless of any other costs. Looking at those graphs included in the first post just makes it clear they address most of my concerns with the stockers and go above and beyond the Hella's in doing so. Having said that, I won't deny having fallen victim to group buys from time to time. It can all be very exciting ;). Sometimes.
 
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