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ChewingGrass

Cars with Eyeball Burning LED Headlights

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Just had another unpleasant evening in the car with my eyeballs constantly being irritated, distracted and frequently assaulted by cars with LED headlights. As a pleb I was quite happy with tungsten halogen but there is something definately wrong with the latest tech fitted to certain cars esp AUDI/VW, Ford Mondeo and JLR etc.

Opinions invited.

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Yes they are crap. Far too bright.

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Following my research for my new car, they seem to be standard on most nowadays. They really dazzle.

I wonder if they cause crashes?  I hate how they destroy my night vision when driving on unlit country roads. 

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Country roads are the problem. I need headlights no brighter than a Toc H Lamp. There are cats eyes in the middle of the road and all sorts of squashed animals eyes on either side.

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Can't say I've ever noticed especially..

I thought the point of modern lights was to be brighter, but more directional so that they only actually dazzle you if you are looking directly into the beam?

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The rot started with HID lamps.  Somehow the industry managed to get them passed at much higher light output than halogens -- well, they said that they could be much brighter than older tech because the beam is so much better controlled...  but you just end up with multiple intense flashes as the vehicles go over minute bumps in the road, which end up being far worse than the older tech's slower changes in (a lower) intensity resulting from the relatively poorer beam control.

Of course, the people who buy the HIDs and now LEDs love them -- 'they're a much better approach!' -- of course they're better for them.. they're fantastically brighter, that's why, and they're blinding the other road users.  They should have limited each new technology to the same luminous output as the halogen 'standard'... but, of course, no-one would have actually brought the tech then, being no 'better' than the old tech.  Back in the day it was only the properly posh people who could afford the HIDs and it had a minor effect, but these days all the plebs have it as well and it's causing (relative) havoc.

I have complained about this (through the right channels), but it's had precious little effect.

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4 minutes ago, libspero said:

Can't say I've ever noticed especially..

I thought the point of modern lights was to be brighter, but more directional so that they only actually dazzle you if you are looking directly into the beam?

Yes, but because of the controlled beam they can (and do) set it to be further down the road, and, thus closer to the eyes of drivers of oncoming traffic.  Now, HIDs and LEDs have mandated automatic levelling control to ensure that the beam stays in the correct position even with loading changes in the car, but they're not up to compensating for small bumps in the road and can't cope at all with the 3d-aspects of terrain (coming over brows, etc).  Each time the bump/brow occurs it flashes at the oncoming drivers, and, because of the impressive beam control, flashes at full intensity -- which is greater than that of halogens, because they've got such impressive beam control.  Of course, all this happened with halogens, but they had a lower light output and also a more gradual beam cut-off, resulting in a slower transition from dim-to-bright (you'd think this wouldn't be important but it is), a lower probability that the beam would get to full brightness, and a lower full intensity anyway.

 

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I was followed down a hill by a cyclist with a really really bright led flashing light on the front the other night, and due to the height difference the light basically blinded me in the rear view, and the flashing seemed to make it worse. Now I realise it's a safety thing for cyclists, but the bright white LED light is a little harsh sometimes.

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I think that although they are/appear very bright the monochromatic nature of the light although great on reflective surfaces in town is a lot poorer than halogen in the sticks.
The other problem appears to be the design of some of the head units as they cast far too high even when dipped and as a previous poster pointed out when you catch the corner of the beam some appear to flash blue from a distance like the fuzz are behind you. 

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2 minutes ago, Reebo said:

I was followed down a hill by a cyclist with a really really bright led flashing light on the front the other night, and due to the height difference the light basically blinded me in the rear view, and the flashing seemed to make it worse. Now I realise it's a safety thing for cyclists, but the bright white LED light is a little harsh sometimes.

 

Some of the cycle lights come with warnings now not to look directly at them. I have read of rows between cyclists and motorists being caused by motorists getting cheesed of at being blinded by the cycle lights. I almost bought one on an Amazon lightning deal on Monday but I feel asleep before the deal started.

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A problem made  worse with the state of the roads - both markings and cats eye (or lack thereof), so any over-bright oncoming lights leave you much more blind to the section of road in front.   

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I've flagged this up amongst other threads before.

If it's the car behind me, and they don't have to be tailgating, then the repeated dazzle in my wing mirrors, as I've already flipped my rear view mirror, makes me slow as I keep being dazzled.

If it's coming the other way then I'm dazzled and lose sight of the side of the road so steer closer to the white line, as I can see that, thus making a collision more likely.

They are making the roads unsafe and should be legislated against.

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4 minutes ago, Habeas Domus said:

Just swerve across the road causing a massive head on collission.

That'll teach them

 

Per my subsequent post that may well be the unwanted outcome.

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11 minutes ago, man o' the year said:

I followed an ambulance on a diversion through dark countryside near Tamworth recently for 14 miles who despite no traffic and sticking to 45mph had blue light on all the way! Horrendous!

You don't know what is going on in the back -- they might need to be going slowly.  If you don't like the blue lights slow down / stop and let them get out of the way.  

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I have some of the eye wateringly bright LED front lights for my bike. Absolute godsend for the often pitch dark roads around here. Other vehicles now dip their headlights well in advance. But the first few times I used them, I noticed traffic actually pulling over so now I'm careful to tilt them downwards when I see ongoing traffic. After years of being dazzled, I've no wish to contribute to the problem. 

I do encounter the occasional cyclist wearing an ultra bright flashing LED light on their head. That's just plain obnoxious. 

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7 minutes ago, dgul said:

You don't know what is going on in the back -- they might need to be going slowly.  If you don't like the blue lights slow down / stop and let them get out of the way.  

Yep - point taken - it was still horrendous.

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3 minutes ago, StainlessSteelCat said:

I have some of the eye wateringly bright LED front lights for my bike. Absolute godsend for the often pitch dark roads around here. Other vehicles now dip their headlights well in advance. But the first few times I used them, I noticed traffic actually pulling over so now I'm careful to tilt them downwards when I see ongoing traffic. After years of being dazzled, I've no wish to contribute to the problem. 

I do encounter the occasional cyclist wearing an ultra bright flashing LED light on their head. That's just plain obnoxious. 

Snap, I have the ones on the bars of my bike set on low as markers and aimed so as not to dazzle, with another two on my helmet, one on its lowest setting as a marker so I can be seen over hedges etc and the other one turned off but set to high so I can turn it on like a main beam. Holding this one in reserve is handy for use on people who keep their main beam on because I'm only on a bike and who don't realise that I can no longer see where the edge of the road is or what side of it I'm actually on!

Perils of the countryside.

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