Philips D3S HID Edition: Real Vs. FAKE
In the past, it was easy to separate the genuine Philips HID bulb from fake Philips HID bulbs. Counterfeit Philips bulb makers are who they are, and their technic is getting better each year. In this blog, we will put three Philips D3S HID Xenon bulbs (One fake purchase online, and two genuine Philips D3S 43403C1) on the table and go through a step-by-step guide to set apart and recognize the genuine Philips D3S HID Xenon bulbs from fake Philips D3S HID Xenon bulbs.
The first thing to know is that Philips bulbs are packaged differently depending on the region and where you purchase the bulbs. For example, if you get a Philips 42403 OEM D3S replacement bulb from Pacific West vs. Europe, both packages are in a yellow shade. However, the European Philips package has the COA label in contrast to the Pacific West package has the SL (Security Label) label. The second example is where you purchase the bulb. If you buy an Osram OEM 66140 D1S HID bulb from a dealership, a box store like Autozone, or HIDCONCEPT.COM, the packages will be three different designs. The dealership has its automobile name with "Genuine OEM Parts" written on the package. In North America, Sylvania sells Osram bulbs, and the one you get from Autozone has "Sylvania" written on the package. Finally, our Osram bulb will be in Osram 66140 package. Any auto products sold outside of the dealership are called, "aftermarket," but open all three packages, and the bulbs are the same, "66140." If you get the bulb from the dealership or Autozone, you'd probably pay more, but we can guarantee that all three bulbs are genuine Philips or Osram bulbs. Now that we got that out of the way, let's go expose the fake Philips D3S HID Xenon bulbs.
This is something you may not notice right away. Although the xenon gas in the center arc does produce a bit of "salt" residue, the fake Philips bulb usually has a unusually heavy residue inside the center arc. It is a sign that the quality of xenon gas in the fake bulb is poor quality, which would most likely lead to faster failure of the bulb. The global xenon gas market is highly consolidated because the top producers hold about 85% of the overall market. However, with everything, there are quality producers like Messer Group GmbH which Philips and Osram use, and there are the lesser quality makers. Also, the process of vacuuming the xenon gas inside the center arc is crucial, and most fake Philips HID bulbs do not have the high-quality standard as the real Philips and Osram bulbs. The other point is the shape of the center arc. The real Philips D3S HID bulbs have a perfect circular center arc, whereas the fake Philips has an irregular oblong center arc.
The counterfeiters can make the bulb look like the real Philips D3S HID bulb, put the fake Philips label on the bulb, and even make a fake Philips package, but small details tell us that the fake Philips D3S HID bulbs are nothing more than illegal fakes. All xenon capsules for the Philips HID bulbs (Osram as well) are made with high-quality quartz glass. Compared with the ordinary glass capsule that the fake Philips uses, quartz glass has superior light transmittance and heat-resistance characteristics. One way to tell is how the top of the glasses are cut. The fake Philips with the ordinary glass has a frosted-like cutting. Since quartz glass used in Philips are much dense, Philips uses the rough laser cutter which leaves a clear colored cut. Why is this important? Besides the superior light transmittance, using the weaker ordinary glass have a higher chance of bulb failure which could include the bulb just blowing up to pieces.
Other points are very minor details, but nevertheless important. The plug terminal used in the fake Philips is different from the real Philips D3S HID bulb. The igniter base of a real Philips HID bulb has a brushed aluminum finish vs. the fake Philips body has a regular shiny look. These are consequently minor details, but one thing that tells us is that fake Philips D3S bulbs are what it is, they are not made in Germany, and certainly not with the real Philips parts.
The igniter base looks very similar, but if you look at the real Philips D3S base, the top portion is tightly wrapped without any gaps showing like the fake Philips D3S base. This is something that the fake Philips bulb counterfeiters may never duplicate. What this tells us is that the assembly line and the machinery that the fake Philips Counterfeiters use are different than the real Philips assembly line. For the fake Philips to have the same looking base as the real one, they would have to entirely change their factory setting, and I don't think that is something that they are willing to do.
The following two critical points that the fake Philips cannot duplicate the real Philips D3S HID bulbs. On the back of the chrome capsule brace, you can see a tiny QR-code-looking mark on all of the real Philips HID bulbs, including D3S. The fake Philips HID bulbs do not have the mark. This is not a QR code, but a scanning mark for the factory assembly line. The scanning mark is used for many purposes, including quantity counts. The fake Philips D3S HID bulbs missed this important detail. These minor details are present in many of the following pictures. The other one is the "dimpled" mark above the scanning mark. We don't quite know what this mark is, but this "dimpled" mark is present on all Philips D3S (Also with Philips D4S and D4R) That being said, this is sort of a "signature" mark that separates the real Philips D3S vs. fake Philips. (Note: The "dimpled" mark is not present only for the above Philips HID bulbs)
In many cases, most automotive bulb customers are purchasing for the first time, and most customers does not have deep information on these products. Afterall, when your headlight goes out, it is vital that you replace the part for the safety and avoid getting citation from the law enforcement. Unfortunately, these fake Philips HID bulb makers are fully aware of this and that is why they are selling fake Philips HID bulbs in the market to unsuspected buyers. It is a commitment of HIDCONCEPT.COM to educate the customers as much as possible, though this battle with fake Philips bulbs still goes on.