Bulb Review: Ring Xenon Ultima Headlights

Ring Xenon Ultima headlight bulbs twin pack

Disclosure: I received a free review sample of these bulbs. I did not receive any payment and was not required to write a positive review. Links marked with (eBay⇒) or (Amazon⇒) are affiliate links. This means I get paid a small commission if you buy something after clicking on the links. This money helps to pay for the running of the website.

Back in December 2010, I received a set of Ring Automotive’s Xenon Max headlight bulbs to review. I was highly impressed with them and after using them for all of last winter, I loved them even more. You can see a video I made showing the difference between my standard bulbs and the Xenon Max bulbs here.

I do quite a lot of driving on unlit rural roads at night in winter and I would hate to have to go back to standard bulbs – the difference between the Xenon Max bulbs and standard bulbs is massive.

Given all of that, you can imagine my enthusiasm when Ring Automotive contacted me again to ask if I would like to try their latest and greatest high performance headlight bulb, the Xenon Ultima.

Ring Automotive Xenon Ultima (approx. £25/pair)

The Xenon Ultima claims to put up to 120% more light on the road than a standard bulb – up from a claim of 100% for its predecessor, the Xenon Max.

The Xenon Ultima contains 100% xenon gas – a claim not made for previous models. In my video below, you can see how much difference there is between these two high performance bulbs.

Fitting the Xenon Ultima Bulbs

Ring Automotive Xenon Ultima H4 bulb
A Xenon Ultima bulb – this is the H4 fitting, which my car uses

The Xenon Ultima bulbs are direct replacements for standard headlight bulbs. They are fully road legal (E marked) and have the same power rating as standard bulbs (60W/55W).

Fitting them is therefore exactly as described in the changing headlight bulbs section of your car’s user manual. In my case, simple enough but extremely fiddly, because the backs of the headlights are hard to reach and impossible to see…

(These bulbs are not a Xenon HID conversion kit.)

On the Road With  Xenon Ultima

The big question is whether the Xenon Ultima bulbs provide a noticeable improvement over the Xenon Max bulbs.

To put this to the test, I revisited my road testing site from last year where I filmed both the standard and Xenon Max bulbs in action. I repeated the test with the Xenon Ultima and have produced two video clips – Xenon Ultima vs. Standard bulbs and Xenon Ultima vs. Xenon Max.

Let’s look at the Xenon Ultima bulbs vs. a set of standard bulbs:

Now let’s compare the Xenon Ultima bulbs with the Xenon Max bulbs:

SimpleMotoring.co.uk Verdict

The Xenon Ultima bulbs are a definite improvement on the Xenon Max bulbs. Driving at night is really a pleasure – visibility is the best I have ever experienced.

It may be possible to buy slightly better bulbs than these, but not at this price – the few competitors to these bulbs cost £40+.

Pros: The Xenon Ultimas provide superb visibility, lighting the road with a white, bright light that reveals every detail and penetrates well ahead.

Cons: None, especially at this price.

Buy Ring Automotive Xenon Ultima bulbs on Amazon (Amazon⇒).

13 thoughts on “Bulb Review: Ring Xenon Ultima Headlights

  • November 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

    WARNING…….i purchased and fitted these bulbs last night and in my opinion they are DANGEROUS !!!!
    they do not extend the length of beam, they actually made mine at least 50% shorter than the original standard bulbs !!!!
    however, they do widen the beam significantly, to such an extent that when overtaking someone you light up their whole car and blind the driver in the other car !!!!!
    I am taking these back for a full refund this morning and refitting my standard bulbs.

    • November 9, 2011 at 9:34 am

      Sorry to hear this Simon. My experience with the Xenon Ultima bulbs is that they do not change the length of the beam very much. The main advantage is that they light up all of the area within the beam much more effectively than standard bulbs, right up to the far end of the beam. I cannot say that I have had a problem with the width of the beam – I don’t think it is much wider.

      You describe these bulbs as making your beam shorter and wider – this sounds like the bulbs are pointing down towards the ground too much – perhaps your headlight alignment has been disturbed by fitting the new bulbs and you need to realign your headlights?

      Incidentally, a couple of days after fitting the Xenon Ultima bulbs, my car passed its MOT with no problems – so the beam pattern is obviously acceptable to the law.

      I used the Xenon Max bulbs successfully for a year and intend to continue using the Xenon Ultima bulbs throughout this winter as they definitely offer a benefit for me.

      Regards, Roland

  • November 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Roland, I respect your opinion about these bulbs but I had to post my honest opinion and personal experience of these bulbs as I considered them a danger on my car.
    I have a Volvo C30 with projector lenses not reflector ones, the while light housing has to be removed to change a bulb and can only be refitted exactly as it came out, the bulbs only fit into the socket one way so they cannot be fitted incorrectly, so there is no problem with my light allignment after fitting these bulbs, I had the level of my lights at the highest setting and I could barely see where I was going on an input country road….that is why I said they are dangerous.
    I have now spent a little extra money after getting a refund, and fitted the Philips extreme power 80% bulbs which are absolutely fantastic, I am now happy and feel much safer driving in dark conditions.

    • November 11, 2011 at 9:47 am

      Hi Simon, That’s fair enough – I appreciate your feedback. Perhaps you got a dud pair of Ring bulbs or perhaps for some reason they just don’t work well with your headlights.

      In any case, I’m glad you have found a pair of bulbs that work well and are enjoying the benefits – having been driving with high performance bulbs for a year now, I would hate to have to go back to standard bulbs.

      I have heard good things about Philips high performance bulbs, although I haven’t tried them.


  • December 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I have to agree with Simon……..I bought mine [Xenon Max] about 11/12 months ago, found not an appreciable improvement in performance and they have both stopped working – one after about 10 months and the other one a couple of weeks back.
    So it seems not a lot of benefit and an expensive experience !!


    • December 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      Hi Mark,

      I guess it must depend a lot on what your original equipment bulbs are. I saw a massive improvement on unlit roads when I switched from standard to Xenon Max on my 2001 Ford. I also saw a further improvement when I switched to the Xenon Ultimas.

      I had no reason to review these bulbs favourably if I was not impressed – I honestly like them and find them significantly better on unlit roads than my standard bulbs.

      Regards, Roland

  • January 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I fitted these bulbs to my car in November last year and can only praise them. My car is a 2010 model with projector lens units and the difference really is night and day, a clean white light that may not extend any further than the standard, rather yellow light therfore giving the impression of an extended range of vision. 10/10 from me

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  • March 13, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Dear Roland,
    What is the lifetime of these bulbs? You write that the use of these bulbs for a year. How often have you used them, and burned out a bulb?
    Thank you!

    • March 13, 2012 at 11:09 am


      I used the Ring Xenon Max bulbs for a year (about 12,000 miles) with no failure and I am currently using the Xenon Ultima bulbs. So far, they have not failed and I am very pleased with them. I hope this helps.

      Thanks, Roland

  • December 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Well, I’ve read all your comments, and I’ve just ordered a set of these bulbs off Ebay for £13, and I can”t wait to try them! I also live in a rural village, and I reckon hi-power bulbs are essential to driving safely round the lanes at night. I’ve tried several brands over the last 10 years, and in my experience the expensive ones are not always the best! But you have to accept that bulb life may not be quite as good when the bulbs are burning hotter – but around £20 a year seems a small price to pay for the HUGE improvement in visibility and safety!

  • April 6, 2015 at 11:59 am

    love them ,taking out of old car and putting in the new ..major night driving improvement
    but wonder if the new Phillips 130% brighter will be the new love in future ?

  • April 26, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I have just fitted ring xenon130 to my Audi a4 there was standard 100w bulbs in the car and you could barely see the road in front after changing to ring xenon130 bulbs I cant believe the difference it makes so I would higly recommend these and I do alot of night driving


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