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MG MGF Technical - better headlight bulbs

hi all,
what upgrade headlight bulbs to you recommend??(brighter)

as im finding the standard ones very poor.
cheers in advance


I got "extra bright" ones on eBay. They have a slight blue tint and certainly throw out more light than the standard ones.

They were only a few quid, so nothing to lose.
Sam Murray

You may find that the poor illumination is more due to dull reflectors than the bulb style. Huge tracts have been written in the archive about this hoary old chestnut. Click on the small underlined topic 'archive' at the top of this page then search under 'headlights' - rather a lot there! HTH,
C.R.B. Simeon

Several years ago I fitted some not quite legal 100W bulbs from in the main beam. The car has passed at least 3 MOTs with them fitted.

I would not fit them in the dipped beam position because of the well known milky lens issue.
Brian Highe

I have just taken by headlamp apart too send them off for the reflecter coating to be replaced around 120

But the diffuser lens on the dip was very dirty so as a first step i would take off the front lens and clean the dip diffusser lens.

Instructions are on the wed under misty lens mgf.

Best of luck Roger
RJ Rowlinson

Putting the whole re-chroming thing to one side. Is if possible to do anything to improve the state of the diffuser lens on the dip?

Is the milky on the surface of the glass or has it changed the structure of the glass to be more opaque?

Steve Ratledge

Most of the problem is the reflector, but the glass itself does degrade too. On my car (with re-chromed backing - that incidentally is still going strong), the lens is yellowed. I doubt that there is any solution to this problem other than replacement. Not that replacement is going to be particularly easy to come by...

Interesting that no one has mentioned HID technology? Loop hole in the law appears to make these legal as a retrofitment, although the jury is out as to whether they are a genuine improvement over more conventional bulbs (other than simply being brighter...)
Rob Bell


I don't think that there is any doubt that the HID setup is much better than the OEM one. However, I thought that the latest was that because the MGF lights do not have the correct type approval that fitting this new technology is indeed illegal.
David Clelland

In my car Philips Crystal Vision bulbs made a definitive difference improving the head lights. Very strong, white, extended beams.
JM Vega-P.

HID bulbs are very bright, but they don't always sit at the focal point of the reflector, so they can cause dazzle. I also wonder if the extra UV emitted by the bluer bulbs might cause even faster degradation of lamp components as well.


I notice Trophy lights are available. How are they different to ordinary early MGF lights? Are they a straight swap?
Mike Howlett

The only real difference is the painted part of the internal suround.
Andrew W Regens

It is the heat that ultimately stuffs the reflector. HID bulbs run a permanent arc(no hot parts), not heating a wire filament like a small bar fire. They consequently use 2/3 of the power of the OEM bulbs without producing so much waste heat and regardless of the colour are infinitely superior. They are available in several different wavelengths including blue for chavs.
All modern quality cars fit them(blue is becoming less popular). I think they have only been widely F fitted for a couple years so we will find out if they also preserve the lens from opacity over time.
I am certain that if anyone who has fitted HID ever gets pulled up they will be shouting about it on here and other sites immediately.
Touching wood, nothing heard yet.
C.R.B. Simeon

went to halfords yesterday to see what they had.............anyway bought 2 x halfords super brillance headlight bulbs xenon gas filled 14.99 each which was ok i thought but,.........................................................its buy 1 get one free so both lights changed for 15.
will report my findings on weather they are any better or not.,,looks good on the advert.


David - you're right that neither F nor TF are type-approved for use with HID. But the law appears not to prevent retrospective fitment in the UK - so for all effective purposes, they are "legal" to fit.

The point that Chris makes regarding the position of the bulb in relation to the reflector's focal point is well made - and certainly F head lamps are not designed for HID technology bulbs. IMO this does result in dazzling due to diffuse reflection (Dave Livingstone has a set on his F, and you are very aware of the lamps performance when being followed, and I gather that Dave has had to reset the lamp position to stop blinding on-coming drivers). And unhelpfully, the HID appears to throw a sharp cut off between light and dark that isn't particularly helpful seeing into the distance...

Personally I would dearly love to fit better performing lamps/ bulbs to my F, but feel that HID may not be the best solution for the F... Not tried these bulbs in a TF, so can't comment on that application.
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 29/11/2007 and 02/12/2007

MG MGF Technical index

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