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Guest_lauralondon_*

Ultra Bright Car Light And Fog Lights

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Are these new ultra bright lights thanks to EU rules? They really are dazzling, its not bad enough that the roads are filled with idiots driving with their fog lights on.

I thought the eyebrow lights were supposed to be ultra bright and always on so they were visible on sunny days but they would switch off when the main lights were on. They don't seem to do this on most cars.

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It makes them more likely to have an accident IME. My drive one night last week was dark and raining so my vision is down anyway, when I come round a corner and I am dazzled by these lights I cannot see the road markings so steer further away from the edge so as not to go off.

Whilst it's not my intention this does make me more likely to hit the car dazzling me. Up to them isn't it.

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It makes them more likely to have an accident IME. My drive one night last week was dark and raining so my vision is down anyway, when I come round a corner and I am dazzled by these lights I cannot see the road markings so steer further away from the edge so as not to go off.

Whilst it's not my intention this does make me more likely to hit the car dazzling me. Up to them isn't it.

I thought it was just me...many cars seem to have main beams on...you flash and they show you what a main beam looks like.

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Surely there are legal limits on the brightness of headlights (and in various directions)?

Bike lights are starting to get seriously annoying now, with the advances in LEDs some are nearly as bright as car headlights yet still flash, which can be incredibly disorientating.

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Its been the same for me, the old style slightly orange lights are fine but several times these ultra bright white lights have caused me to go over lines. I somehow think its probabakly some bureaucrats somewhere that never drive deciding the brighter the light the better and less accidents.

My friend says hers are too bright and she can't turn them off and often gets rage from other drivers.

They leave I bit of an imprint on my retina.

She should RTFM.

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Yes, some are too bright. Not needed in town, and too bright on country roads.

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I thought it was just me...many cars seem to have main beams on...you flash and they show you what a main beam looks like.

ditto.

I'm dismantling my dressed Christmas tree today as I can't bear the LED microlights I bought - far too bright. I'm going back to the 'vintage' lights I've used for years.

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It makes them more likely to have an accident IME. My drive one night last week was dark and raining so my vision is down anyway, when I come round a corner and I am dazzled by these lights I cannot see the road markings so steer further away from the edge so as not to go off.

Whilst it's not my intention this does make me more likely to hit the car dazzling me. Up to them isn't it.

You should try being on the receiving end of that when you're on a bicycle...

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You should try being on the receiving end of that when you're on a bicycle...

No thanks! I feel unsafe enough in a car doing 40, but at least the risk if injury is small.

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I thought it was just me...many cars seem to have main beams on...you flash and they show you what a main beam looks like.

This is often an issue with incorrect headlamp alignment. This is actually a much bigger problem on older cars, or cars with traditional halogen lamps, as opposed to modern high-intensity lights.

The dipped beam shape and intensity is subject to strict regulation, and is supposed to be checked at MOT time so that the beam points down, and shouldn't dazzle. However, if you have passengers or luggage in the back, then the front of the car tilts up, and the beam points up and at oncoming driver's eyes. The car should have an adjustment knob for the driver, to adjust the headlamp angle according to vehicle loading.

If high-intensity lamps are fitted, it is a condition of type-approval that headlamp angle be self adjusting, usually by a set of load/level sensors on the suspension. The worst are people who retrofit high-intensity lamps into halogen housings - you get the double light intensity, but without the auto-levelling, and higher precision beam shape control lens.

There is also the issue with chavs who, unhappy with their headlamp range, realise a cheap way to get better lighting is to twiddle the beam adjustment screw.

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My headlights go up and down on a magic button. My last car didn't do that. :blink:

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You should try being on the receiving end of that when you're on a bicycle...

In some cases, it is the bicycles who have the ultra bright lights. My current set are very floody and I have to regularly angle the down otherwise risk dazzling other road users. After years of basically being ignored at night-time it is quite refreshing to see cars pulling over on country lanes and leaving me bags of space. I suspect its because of they think it's some monster tractor with one working light coming though.

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I passed my test about 10 years ago but only really started driving 6 months ago. It was pretty scary the first few night drives I did as it seemed like every 3rd or 4th car had full beams on. I have to look at the middle of the road markings close to the car to keep to my side! Doesn't feel safe.

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In my recollection the legal limit for Headlight bulbs is 55W

According to 'The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989' the legal Minimum for headlight bulbs is 30 W:

(ii)having an engine exceeding 250 cc:
30 watts minimum

Either way the problem is that new XEON, LED and HID headlights give out light at at least 3 times the number of lumens and they are typically 55W so these new Headlights are roughly equivalent to 2 X 165 w bulbs or 330 Watts in total.

This seems like a clear case where the legislation has not kept up with changes in technology and a petition to your MP would be worthwhile.

Apart from the obvious safety hazard this is using more energy/petrol than is necessary.

The same thing affects brake lights, I often find myself leaving a huge distance before the car in front (even in slow speed stop-start traffic) just so I don't get dazzled by their brake lights.

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Not just me then either. I am often left wondering at night if the person has full beam on or just has these modern, very bright lights. Even during the dusk/dawn they can be very disorientating.

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In my recollection the legal limit for Headlight bulbs is 55W

According to 'The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989' the legal Minimum for headlight bulbs is 30 W:

(ii)having an engine exceeding 250 cc:

30 watts minimum

Looks like the law needs changing to specify in brightness not power, since it clearly doesn't make any sense with more efficient lights - the whole idea would've been limits on brightness anyway, just expressed in terms of power of the only bulbs used at the time.

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In my recollection the legal limit for Headlight bulbs is 55W

According to 'The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989' the legal Minimum for headlight bulbs is 30 W:

(ii)having an engine exceeding 250 cc:

30 watts minimum

Either way the problem is that new XEON, LED and HID headlights give out light at at least 3 times the number of lumens and they are typically 55W so these new Headlights are roughly equivalent to 2 X 165 w bulbs or 330 Watts in total.

This seems like a clear case where the legislation has not kept up with changes in technology and a petition to your MP would be worthwhile.

Apart from the obvious safety hazard this is using more energy/petrol than is necessary.

The same thing affects brake lights, I often find myself leaving a huge distance before the car in front (even in slow speed stop-start traffic) just so I don't get dazzled by their brake lights.

This is right. The whole legislation re. lighting is all over the place.

The 1989 regs have a minimum overall, in a wiered/useless power input definition (which doesn't factor device efficiency), but then type approval gives additional requirements. Eg. H7 bulbs have a lumens output range. The whole thing is a labyrinth.

Anyway, there is no doubt that they've been allowing output to increase over the years. The manufacturers have been pushing this because it allows them to push options onto the buyer. Now the options make sense to the driver - the modern devices allow much easier driving at night - great. But only because they're pushing more light out... This is not necessarily so great for everyone outside of that vehicle, who will just see a brighter light with resultant extra glare.

The manufacturers have been quick to put in other factors which do help somewhat - the HID (and LED) beam source is so well defined that it allows a fantastic dipped beam cut-off. But to keep it fantastic you need auto-levelling and wash/wipe - which makes for a nice complete fancy package. Great £££s for the manufacturer.

So you get what we have now - if you've got the cash you can buy extra light output which will allow you to say 'these new lights are fantastic' even though it is only because of extra light out. The hard beam cut-off isn't really that great, because it now makes the cars effectively flash at full-beam strength as they go down our undulating, pothole riven roads. There is plenty of evidence that this irregular flashing is worse for glare and distraction than a slightly off alignment 'dim' halogen.

They really should sort this out - but then no-one would buy the optional HIDs if they were only as bright as halogens.

But you don't need to worry, because as soon as the tech becomes cheap enough to be standard on the range, they'll change the regulations so that HIDs and LEDs can't be much brighter than halogens - can't have the plebians have this sort of advantage.

Now active beam forming/steering headlights - that is a good idea. Should be standard.

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This is right. The whole legislation re. lighting is all over the place.

The 1989 regs have a minimum overall, in a wiered/useless power input definition (which doesn't factor device efficiency), but then type approval gives additional requirements. Eg. H7 bulbs have a lumens output range. The whole thing is a labyrinth.

Anyway, there is no doubt that they've been allowing output to increase over the years. The manufacturers have been pushing this because it allows them to push options onto the buyer. Now the options make sense to the driver - the modern devices allow much easier driving at night - great. But only because they're pushing more light out... This is not necessarily so great for everyone outside of that vehicle, who will just see a brighter light with resultant extra glare.

The manufacturers have been quick to put in other factors which do help somewhat - the HID (and LED) beam source is so well defined that it allows a fantastic dipped beam cut-off. But to keep it fantastic you need auto-levelling and wash/wipe - which makes for a nice complete fancy package. Great £££s for the manufacturer.

So you get what we have now - if you've got the cash you can buy extra light output which will allow you to say 'these new lights are fantastic' even though it is only because of extra light out. The hard beam cut-off isn't really that great, because it now makes the cars effectively flash at full-beam strength as they go down our undulating, pothole riven roads. There is plenty of evidence that this irregular flashing is worse for glare and distraction than a slightly off alignment 'dim' halogen.

They really should sort this out - but then no-one would buy the optional HIDs if they were only as bright as halogens.

But you don't need to worry, because as soon as the tech becomes cheap enough to be standard on the range, they'll change the regulations so that HIDs and LEDs can't be much brighter than halogens - can't have the plebians have this sort of advantage.

Now active beam forming/steering headlights - that is a good idea. Should be standard.

I remember on Tommorrow s World years ago showing a system using an invisible UV type wave length in car lights. All the road signs verge markers cats eyes etc were to get some some of fluorescent component which would respond to it, even clothing would incorporate it. And as an invisible spectra it wouldnt dazzle everyone. Seemed like a good idea. I wondered whatever happened to that idea. Probably the light gave people savage retinal cancer or something.

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Then you regularly get the taxi drivers and others waiting for passengers on the wrong side of the road facing the oncoming traffic with the headlights still on causing dazzle. Crazy.

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Looks like the law needs changing to specify in brightness not power, since it clearly doesn't make any sense with more efficient lights - the whole idea would've been limits on brightness anyway, just expressed in terms of power of the only bulbs used at the time.

The legislations specifies brightness AND power. The power must be 55 W +/- 10%, and the brightness must be 1500 lumens +/- 10% for dipped beam headlights, unless a car manufacturer has individually submitted a specific design for type approval (as would be the case for factory fit high intensity discharge or LED headlights).

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It's always a good case for dark glasses at night then! :wacko: In case something very shiny is coming the other way.

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I drove my car around with an unfamiliar orange engine shaped light glaring on the dash board.......200 miles then it went out as quick as it appeared.......is all OK now or should I be concerned?

Did it show itself in all its wonder and glory to show it was still alive and workng.....I now know you are there, why you appeared I have yet still to wonder and ask why......Ta Ta till next time. ;)

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I drove my car around with an unfamiliar orange engine shaped light glaring on the dash board.......200 miles then it went out as quick as it appeared.......is all OK now or should I be concerned?

Did it show itself in all its wonder and glory to show it was still alive and workng.....I now know you are there, why you appeared I have yet still to wonder and ask why......Ta Ta till next time. ;)

Homer Simpson just puts a plaster on it.

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