About a year back I got fed up with the less than ideal outputs from the dipped headlightsof 54 reg cmax. It was only when I was a passenger in a friends car (a Saab) that I realised just how hopeless the cmax headlamps were!
So I replaced them with a pair of Philips x-treme Power (+80%) H7 bulbswhich cost about £25 quid per pair from ebay. There was an immediate improvement!
I had a close look at the part numbers on the original bulbs and found they were Philips long life bulbs (marked on the bulb as LL). As far as I understand it long life bulbs give youlonger service life by using a lower working temperature -you getless light output for the same amount of electrical power (which is limited at 55 watts per bulb for a road legal H7 bulb).
Conversely the downside of high output bulbs is that they don't last as long - the driver side bulb has already gone after amost a year. I decided to replace it with the same brand of high output bulb.
For me the expense of these bulbs, their shorter life and the hassle of changing themis more than out weighed by their higher output - it's a safety thing, you can't be too careful.
Related to headlight maintainance - I found that the headlamp units were starting to look a little cloudy, it almost looks like a layer ofcondensation inside the unit. This is actually just abrasion of the outside surfaceof the headlamp lens (which is plastic not glass). After some research on the internet, I used some autosol chrome polish on a rag to polish up the lens and was very impressed by just how clear the lens surface became - they looked like new and it only took 5 mins of polishing by hand. Take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvY2SBIFewgEdited by: standard dude