IPF H4 Bulbs And Wiring Harness Upgrade - Brighter LightsPosted in How To on October 1, 2009
It may never occur to you except on the darkest, rainy nights, but it's typically in those instances when you say to yourself, "Boy do I wish my headlights were brighter!" Quite often the addition of lighting equipment comes in the way of auxiliary lights mounted to the bumper or overhead rack that can't legally be used on the highway. Since many of our 4x4s serve as daily drivers we needed something that would address the factory headlamps. IPF had the answer with its plug-in headlamp harness, high-intensity bulbs, and H4 Halogen headlight inserts.
The factory headlamp setup offers a 55/60W output. This means the low beam offers a 55W output and the high beam a 60W output. We decided to try IPF's Super Clear 3200K H4 12V 60/80W bulbs, which offer a true (optical equivalent) 150W low and 195W high beam. The Super Clear bulbs use a high-pressure, exotic-gas mix within a huge clear bulb, along with proprietary processes, to optically deliver this ultra bright, clear beam. The bulbs also feature a unique vibration damper designed to extend bulb life. As an option IPF also supplied a set of its Dual Range Xenon Blue 4600K H4 12V 60/80W bulbs (140/185W). We're told that these offer a more bluish-colored light output. We'll try these out in the coming months and report on the results at 4wdsu.com.
Along with the new bulbs we received the IPF plug-in headlamp harness. The wiring for most factory headlight set ups can only safely handle a 5.5-amp draw, and the more powerful IPF bulbs exceed this. The IPF harness, however, draws power directly from the battery and bypasses all factory wiring that might limit output. The IPF harness relays are triggered by the factory headlight switch so no additional wiring of switches is necessary. The IPF harness simply plugs in place of or in between the factory headlight harness and the headlight insert. While you could use the higher wattage bulbs with the factory harness you won't obtain the greatest results. There is also the risk of melting wires and losing the headlights completely.
We've been more than pleased with the performance of the IPF harness and Super Clear H4 bulbs. The path ahead is well lit with just the low beams and can be seen even better with high beams at the flip of the factory headlamp switch. Improving your stock headlight system isn't difficult in the least, and the results are well worth the minimal effort.