It’s 5 pm on a Tuesday and I’m driving to a friend’s house in my 2009 Lexus LX570. I enter his neighbourhood in a sleepy suburb of Ottawa and look for his address. I can’t find it because nobody seems to have a light on anymore (maybe something to do with the cost of electricity in Ontario) and more importantly I can’t see where the heck I’m going either. Why are the headlights on my late model Lexus so bad? I suppose it doesn’t help that the LX570 is the only late model Lexus to not adorn HID headlamps (they were added in 2014), but perhaps the fact that my halogen bulbs have over 100,000 km on them is a factor.
This particular neighbourhood is lit by lamps at the end of each home’s driveway – except they are all off – again a shout out to electricity costs in Ontario. My friend mentions to me that all his neighbours have removed the bulbs due to the cost. Certainly makes walking the dog at night an interesting affair he notes – safety first people! The cost is minor… but I digress.
Sylvania SilverStar Ultra headlights. Click image to enlarge
Upset by the horrible performance of my headlamps I venture to the go to automotive aftermarket supply store that is open until 9 pm – Canadian Tire. I poke around at the available bulb replacements for my Lexus and the selection is good. I can buy a generic model for $9.99 but I wanted an improvement. Like most automotive enthusiasts I had heard that Sylvania Silverstar were bright but didn’t last very long so I was a little hesitant to jump to those but decided to read the box a little more.
So a look in the cabinet and there is more than one version of SilverStar; it is actually a full line of headlights including the regular version, Ultra and the new zXe. I decided to settle for the mid-priced Ultras. The packaging mentioned a one-year satisfaction warranty on the bulb, so I was happy with that and it quelled my fears of short life. The Ultras are certainly more expensive than regular bulbs but promise a whiter light and a beam that reaches further down the road.
The SilverStar bulbs start at $49.99 (for a 2-pack) at Canadian Tire and vary in price by type and application. The top-line zXe are $69.99 for a 2-pack while the Ultras have an MSRP of $59.99.