PIAA Corp., based out of Portland, Oregon, has been making headlights for decades (since 1963 to be exact). They’ve got sponsorships up the wazoo, and can be seen on nearly every offroading vehicle. PIAA Headlights are manufactured in Japan, and are generally pretty decent headlights for the price. If you’re not in the mood to change out any wiring in your car, don’t want to draw attention to yourself with blue headlights, but want a safe nighttime driving experience, then PIAA Headlights are the ones for you! We’ve tested them up against the Sylvania’s that came in our stock Nissan Pathfinder, and noticed a pretty big difference in luminosity of the headlight.
The main difference, however, was not in the color of the bulb. In fact, as you can see from the picture above, PIAA tries to indirectly convey to the consumer that their headlamps will emit blue light due to the color of the bulb. Well, it turns out that it’s not the color of the bulb that determines the color of the light being emitted, but the actual temperature inside the bulb. So, the light that came from the PIAA bulbs was actually more of a pure white light, as opposed to blue.
In fact, we’ve tried a cheap blue headlight off of eBay, and it did in fact make the light blue, but the light was so dim that it didn’t seem like our headlights were on. So, the headlights were performing the same way that stage lights might perform at a concert; they were not emitting blue light, but the light was actually white light passing through a blue piece of plastic, causing less light output with a blueish color to it. The headlights looked “okay” if you looked directly at them, but if you were driving in the car, you might as well have been driving while shining a flashlight ahead.
So, where do these PIAA blue bulbs fit in? Well, the light they emitted was a more pure white light, but was not the blueish light emitted by HID bulbs. That being said, the PIAA Headlights were actually considerably brighter than the stock headlights that came in the vehicle. So, if the look you are going for is an unmodified look, but want 20% more luminosity out of your headlights, then the PIAA bulbs are definitely the ticket. In fact, compared to the Hella Headlights we also tested, the PIAA bulbs have ranked much higher among Amazon users, achieving 4 out of 5 stars, as opposed to Hella’s 1.5 stars.