I have been researching this for the past two days on and off. I heard of HIR bulbs from GE, the company was approached by John Deere to make a bulb that produces more light output but without the added wattage. They use a special coating on the bulb to reflect Infrared light from the glass back to the filament, making it burn brighter w/o using extra wattage. The result is a bulb that produces way more light 40% and no glare effect. A standard Halogen bulb produces approximately 1000 Lumens, the HIR is rated at over 1700!
I also found that these bulbs were first on the scene in 1996 when they came out by GE. They were at the SEMA show and were originally found on the Dodge Viper. GE eventually sold the patent to Toshiba and they manufacture them mainly from China now.
They are standard bulbs that have a more rounded look to the glass, but fit all the same.
I personally have been using Silverstars for over two years now, both in my Civic when I had it, and now in my Matrix. But it never fails with the Silverstars, that they tend to burn out after only 3 months. I am careful to put them in and use a cloth each time. After researching this I noticed that the Silverstar lifespan was not very long in terms of hours compared to standard OEM halogens.
So again, I researched and looking around brought me to a few sites that I listed below, one is very informative as to HIRs and their specs. It also allows for you to order from this person directly or through Ebay for $26.95 per bulb. That is essentially the price of a Silverstar right now ($19.99) and I did not feel like cashing $60 for bulbs again. But I cannot stand OEM, and do not want deep blue crap bulbs.
Ok, now for the fun part. Your local John Deere dealer stocks these HIR bulbs for $9-12 a piece. So for less than the price of ONE bulb on Ebay, you can get a set of two. The only drawback is that JD only sells them for low beam. But I ordered a pair through my local dealer and will be installing this week. They last longer than a Halogen or Silverstar and produce a lot more light.
Information site with their $26.95 ordering price
John Deere parts site
(make an account before using, its free, no ad)
Here is the Toshiba page regarding the product
Be sure when ordering from JDparts.com that you search for the product by part# which is AH211917
. Please also note that this is for 9006 Low Beam Only! If you want high beam applications you need to order from the first linked site. Also, note that the 9012 bulb may look very similar to a 9006. But it is different in one aspect (hence it is called a 9012), one tab on the base is slightly larger than the others. This means that you do have to trim it slightly to make it fit into a stock housing. The plastic is soft enough where a simple pair of nail clippers can do the job in a few moments. After that, enjoy! I will post pics this week.
Any other questions or information requests, please write me.