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Premium headlights can be incredibly useful for someone who regularly drives down dark, unsealed country roads during the night. However, it isn’t always easy to find the right pair of headlights. The market is filled with the “brightest” bulbs, and choosing the right option can be tricky.
You need to consider many things, like brightness, color profile, and lifespan. Typically, halogen lights are widely known as the best, most popular option for bright headlights. These are different from your average incandescent bulbs because they use halogen gas instead of argon gas for the filament.
Using halogen gas results in a longer-lasting, brighter, and cost-efficient headlight. These lights are brighter than their LED counterparts. Sylvania is a popular brand for headlights and is known for producing some of the most premium and sophisticated halogen bulbs for headlights.
Two of their top halogen bulb options are Silverstar Ultra and Silverstar ZXE, which we will compare today to help you understand which is better.
Sylvania Silverstar Ultra vs. ZXE
Let’s start our comparison with an overview of Sylvania Silverstar Ultra and ZXE.
Sylvania Silverstar Ultra Headlight Overview
The Sylvania Silverstar Ultra bulbs are another excellent choice from the brand. They allow you to see everything ahead of you clearly, from debris to stopped cars and cyclists. They offer a perfect balance of brightness and whiteness that can replace almost any headlight.
On the performance front, they can increase your visibility by up to 40 percent and your peripheral vision by up to 50 percent, which is immensely useful for nighttime driving. The beam from these bulbs is around twice as powerful and bright as conventional halogen bulbs in the market.
They are easy to install and allow the driver to conveniently see things much wider and farther on the road than typical factory-fitted headlights. Sylvania Silverstar Ultra bulbs are DOT-approved, street legal, and compatible with a wide range of vehicles.
They come with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer but will likely last you much longer.
Sylvania Silverstar ZXE Headlight Overview
Your factory-fitted headlights may not have a premium look, style, or brightness you want from your headlights. The Sylvania Silverstar ZXE bulbs are a great option for upgrading your vehicle’s front-end, giving it the look and style of premium HID headlights.
These bulbs use premium xenon halogen gas, allowing your headlights to produce bright, bold white lights that offer premium HID lights’ color temperature and look. However, unlike aftermarket HID kits, these bulbs are approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and street legal.
The Sylvania Silverstar ZXE headlights are the whitest in the Silverstar line of high-performance headlights. They are designed for longevity and efficiency. These bulbs typically consume less energy than conventional halogen gas bulbs and factory-fitted headlights.
This makes them a great replacement for most vehicles. Like the Ultra, these bulbs are easy to install and come with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Comparing Key Headlight Features
In this section, we will compare the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra and ZXE bulbs in terms of key features like brightness, design, longevity, and more.
The brightness or intensity of headlights and bulbs are calculated in lumens. It is an important aspect of any high-performance aftermarket bulb or headlight and is often the determining factor of its performance in the market.
In terms of brightness, the Silverstar ZXE bulbs easily outperform the Silverstar Ultra bulbs due to their higher lumen output of 1400. In comparison, the Ultra bulbs provide an output of 900 lumens.
Generally, such a huge difference means that Sylvania Silverstar ZXE bulbs offer better clarity, enhanced visibility, and greater safety on the roads at night time.
The color preference for your beams is a subjective matter. However, most enthusiasts and nighttime drivers prefer aftermarket headlights and bulbs that offer a whiter, cooler color profile. The color profile of headlights and bulbs are measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000.
Here, the Silverstar ZXE takes a slight edge over the Silverstar Ultra. They provide a color temperature of around 4200K compared to around 4100K of the Ultra. These numbers do not result in the same premium, ultra white, and crisp color temperatures of LED or HID headlights, but they are still good.
Physically, you won’t be able to tell much difference in the color profile of these Sylvania Silverstar headlights, but on paper, the ZXE bulbs win by a slight edge over the Ultra bulbs.
Sylvania uses various coatings for their premium bulbs, which is also true for their halogen bulbs. These coatings make the appearance of your headlights appealing and stand out from conventional aftermarket headlights.
The Silverstar Ultra bulbs come with Sylvania’s proprietary cobalt blue coating, which makes the bulb filament appearance a cooler blue when you turn off your headlights. While it appears nice when turned off, it can take away some of the practicality of the bulbs when you turn them on.
The blue coating slightly lowers the brightness and level of clarity when the headlights are turned on, which is not ideal. On the other hand, the ZXE bulbs have a uniform bream pattern and crystal clear focus, which adds to their nighttime performance.
There aren’t many aftermarket halogen bulbs that offer this appearance and precise calibration of beam pattern and clarity. Most onlookers will think you are using an aftermarket HID kit instead of the ZXE halogen bulbs, which is quite an attractive feature for any vehicle.
Therefore, we think it is safe to say that the Sylvania Silverstar ZXE bulbs also win in the appearance department.
Sylvania produces premium halogen bulbs designed for longevity, and their Silverstar line is no exception. Hence, both the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra and ZXE bulbs are backed by a 1-year warranty. However, when we compared Sylvania Silverstar Ultra vs. ZXE for lifespan, there was a clear winner.
The ZXE bulbs easily last for around two years compared to around one and a half years of lifespan you get from the Ultra bulbs. Of course, there are always exceptions, and both these halogen bulbs may last you even longer, depending on your usage and driving conditions.
However, it is our strong belief that the ZXE bulbs will outlast the Ultra bulbs in similar conditions.
Which Headlight Is Better?
There is an obvious winner of our Sylvania Silverstar Ultra vs. ZXE comparison. However, when factoring in the price of these bulbs, you may be inclined to pick one over the other. The Sylvania Silverstar Ultra bulbs cost less and deliver excellent performance for their price.
However, the slightly higher price of the Sylvania Silverstar ZXE bulbs will give you all the extra benefits mentioned in this comparison, which we think is well worth it.
Having tested both these Sylvania halogen bulbs thoroughly, we saw the ZXE bulbs outperform the Ultra bulbs in every aspect. We are confident that they are the superior Silverstar options.
Still, this does not mean that the Ultra bulbs aren’t good. We recommend getting the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra bulbs for anyone who wants premium halogen headlights for less money. These bulbs offer great value for money.