Halogen Vs. Standard Headlight Assemblies?

upsbroke

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Location
Homosassa, Florida
TDI
98 NB and '13 JSW
My son now has my 98 new beetle tdi and I've done all the life saving that I can do for the fogged up headlights for the last 15 years. I've been searching aftermarket headlight assemblies and I see some companies offer a standard headlight or a halogen assembly. Humor me... what's the difference between them- for those that have dealt with this?
 

Powder Hound

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 25, 1999
Location
Under a Bridge, Crestview, FL, USA
TDI
'00 Golf 4dr White 5sp, '02 Jettachero 5sp, Wife's '03 NB Platinum Gray auto(!)
"Standard" is the old incandescent bulb/assemblies. Halogen bulbs are the very high temperature bulbs filled with a halogen gas, run at high temps, and use high purity fused silica for glass that is extremely sensitive to stuff like fingerprints on the glass. If you leave fingerprints on the bulb when you install it, the bulb lifetime will be measured in minutes.

HID, or high intensity discharge, is an arc through gas, usually xenon. It makes a very nice bright light that is best used within a 'projector' type enclosure to focus the light and keep it from spreading and blinding oncoming drivers.

And yes, halogens are standard from the factory. The old 'standard' bulbs were also known as sealed beam, and the oldest are round, then the newer ones were rectangular. The entire enclosure was sealed as a giant headlight. They are the ones that would be somewhat yellowed, and would dim with age because the filament slowly boils off and deposits on the enclosure, which is why they get dimmer. The halogen advantage is that when run correctly, the halogen gas bounces the hot metal vapor from the filament back onto the filament to keep it bright and lasting longer.

I don't know of any cars within the last 20 years or so that use sealed beams. So the current 'standard' probably would be considered halogen bulbs.

Cheers,

PH
 

gforce1108

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Location
Newburgh, NY
TDI
04 Jetta GLS BEW, 14 Audi A7 V6 TDI
I think the turbo (gas) beetle came with HIDs? All TDIs I've come across have the H1 in every slot halogens.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Even the NB Turbo S did not come standard with HIDs. Halogens are standard in all US spec NBs.

I would recommend if you can find them some "E-code" OEM (Bosch or Hella) headlamp assemblies.
 

upsbroke

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Location
Homosassa, Florida
TDI
98 NB and '13 JSW
Even the NB Turbo S did not come standard with HIDs. Halogens are standard in all US spec NBs.
I would recommend if you can find them some "E-code" OEM (Bosch or Hella) headlamp assemblies.
Funny as I was just thinking of sending you as message as I'm sure you're well experienced in these things. Any recommendations for vendors Brian?
 

upsbroke

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Location
Homosassa, Florida
TDI
98 NB and '13 JSW
Funny as I was just thinking of sending you as message as I'm sure you're well experienced in these things. Any recommendations for vendors Brian?
Brian- you're more a pro at this but are the OEM headlight assemblies at $500 a pair worth the extra coin over the $250 pr. aftermarkets. I love my son but geez! ;-)
 

gforce1108

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Location
Newburgh, NY
TDI
04 Jetta GLS BEW, 14 Audi A7 V6 TDI
Can't you replace the lenses on a NB like a MkIV Golf or Jetta?
They are easy to replace if you have a set. There are differences between OEM and aftermarket assemblies though - I have several sets and tried to make 1 good out of 2 bad and the lenses would not interchange even though the whole assembly does.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Brian- you're more a pro at this but are the OEM headlight assemblies at $500 a pair worth the extra coin over the $250 pr. aftermarkets. I love my son but geez! ;-)

Brands like TYC (we jokingly refer to them as "Thank You China") are often poor fitting, have beams that splatter all over, and will not aim correctly let alone hold up as long as the original Bosch or Hella.

I think there may be some other aftermarket units that are perhaps better, I've not got any experience with any, sorry.
 

PakProtector

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
AnnArbor, MI
TDI
Mk.4 and the Cummins-es
For Jetta's, the Helix/DEPO brand of e-code works pretty well. None of those that run Halogen bulbs can hold a candle to HID. I kept the H4 bulb and reflector, and mounted a 2" HID projector in mine( in the fog light spot)...when I took it in for its timing belt, my Guru remarked quite positively on the light performance.

2" micro plus projectors from Lightwerkz
H1, 4500k Morimoto bulbs
XB35 Mori ballast
H4 Motocontrol relay harness( keeps the lights lit when switching between high and low

cheers,
Douglas

**there are pics in my Album here if you want to look...:)
 
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