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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reading a lot about HIR headlight bulbs and how it can produce a better light as compared to conventional halogen bulbs. I have and will never be a fan of HID kits that are installed in conventional headlight housings designed for halogen bulbs. This cause unwanted beam scatter and spread as well as a poor beam cutoff, resulting to unwanted glare especially to oncoming traffic and compromise security for both drivers. The only proper way to do an HID install would be to do a HID retrofit by using projector housings as seen here: Home - HIDRetrofit.Net

Anyway, back to the topic. HIR bulbs have been in existence since 2000. More information can be read here: HIR Headlights 9011 9012 bulbs

I purchased a set of Philips HIR bulbs from an ebay seller specializing in bulbs. According to the site, Philips HIR bulbs are more efficient and are 20% brighter than the first generation Toshiba HIR bulbs.

The 2010 Forester and 2011 STI GVF use HB3 bulbs for the highbeam. HB3 is synonymous with 9005 which are the HIR bulbs for the lows. For the HB4 low beam (in non-HID subarus), you use the 9006 which is synonymous with the 9012.

The 9005 and 9011 are almost the same except for the size of the tab at the topmost. Here is a good read on how the tabs must be cut in order for the 9011 to fit into the 9005 housing: How to Modify HIR bulb bases

These are the bulbs that I purchased:



Taking out the RH highbeam bulb was easy on my STI because I had an aftermarket air intake. For those with the stock airbox, the air intake duct may have to be removed:


Care should be taken in handling the bulbs properly. Avoid smudging the glass surface with any dirt or your fingerprints. Surface contaminants may decrease the service life of the bulb and also result to shattering due to the high temperature. Hold the bulb only at its flange at all times. In case of contamination, wipe it off with alcohol using either cotton buds or a lint-free cloth.

Side by side comparison between the stock Sylvania bulb (above) and the Philips HIR (below):


Rear pic. Notice the bigger size of the upper tab of the 9005 stock bulb as compared to the 9011 Philips HIR.


The tab will have to be trimmed following this template:


However, on closer inspection of the HIR bulb, there is already an outline for the cutout! Saved me from having to measure the stock bulb :)


Some forumers advocated using a file in order to trim it exactly. I wanted to avoid using it because the residue from the filing might contaminate the glass. So this was what I used:

It allowed me to trim it by following the markings in less than 15 seconds.

Here's the result:


And finally, installed:


Thanks for looking!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Taken a few minutes ago outside my home. Will try to get better pics on an open road.

Low beams with OEM HID lows:


High beams on:


The pics don't do justice to the light throw. Based on my own humble estimate, it is about 50-60percent better than the stock bulbs. Definitely a cheap and effective mod to do!
 

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Wiretap, what a great writeup...but you left us hanging. Do you have before/after pix? Perhaps one side with the OEM and another with the new bulb.
 

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Very cool and simple.
 

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great write up! i've been eyeballing this conversion long time. i am running nokya yellow high beam now though
 

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Thats awesome, I think I will be doing this.
I had the stock 9005s in and they were really bright, and then downgraded to 5000k bluer highs and they don't throw as bright a light.

So I might do these 9011s in a yellow hue :)

Thanks for the write up! Very detailed
 

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I have an 06 STi and one of my high beams finally went out, so Im looking to pick up one of these. I believe the right bulb for me is the 9011 HIR1, but I have been reading that the 9012 HIR2 is a third generation bulb from philips that is even better than the HIR1?

Is this so, and is it possible to put the HIR2 in my STi?
 

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The 9011HIR bulb fits the 9005high beam, which is what our 2006 STi's use.

You'll probably want to get the Phillips HIR 9011 ;)
 

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Can a 9011HIR be modified to fit in a 9006 socket. 2011 STI fog light. The tab at the top looks large enough to be cut either way (9005 or 9006). That way you can have 65w for fogs.
 

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I don't think so, sir.

9006 bulb is for 9012 HIR. And I don't think you're supposed to go over the OEM wattage without other precautions.

I think the 9012 would be bright enough for you. At least some improvement over stock.

You could always check google though.
 

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Just a heads-up. Don't throw your stock bulbs away. I did this using the Phillips bulbs. Lasted about a month before both bulbs blew. Was careful not to fingerprint the glass when I put them in. Stock bulbs now refitted. No problems.
 

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I'm getting ready to do this on my 06 Sti. You have to remove the headlights to remove the bulbs, right? If so I'll look for a DIY on how to do that. Thx
 

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I have the 9011 in the Highs and the 9012 in the fogs. While these are definitely better they are a long way from really doing anything like what a good light set up should do. One of the bigger problems with the 9012 in the fogs is the aiming of the fog. While you have your hand in there (go in from the vent in front of the front wheel) take the time to play with the little aiming screw to bring the fogs up a bit. They are aimed one foot in front of the hood from the factory.
 

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The HIR bulbs are definitley a worthy upgrade. I live in an area where the lighting is poor, mountain roads. This, plus a little re-aiming really helped.
 
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