Adaptive Headlights

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Jim wrote:


Right... and we don't use our eyes when driving cars, do we? And the disussion is about the color of the light cast by the headlights that are mounted on our cars. How much more on topic could this be?
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If the OP wanted to know if the Adaptive headlights were worthwhile enough to order as an option, then yes, it will much cheaper, $800 now than later. You will also get self leveling, and high pressure washers.
Once the color temp gets above 5K deg K It tends to be blue. Old human eyes don't see blue very well. IMO, anything > 5K is really a waste of money. I have had several HID sets at 4300 and it was a very pure white light. If I remember correctly, daylight is 4700K?
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Tropical daylight at noon on the equator is 5000K. Northern climates, at noon are 7500K. The more north you go the bluer it is.
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Surely it's fair enough to discuss car lighting, and how that interfaces with the eye/brain combination?
And I'm certainly not in favour of 'any colour' lights were it's simply a fashion. But feel high efficiency discharge types will be the way forward - as well as LED for low powered applications. Increasing the efficiency of car lighting reduces cable weight and energy consumption, as well as hopefully safety, and anything which does this can't be all bad.
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This is usenet. Everything is fair.

That's pretty naive in my opinion. Nothing could be easier than incandescents. You apply voltage to two pins and they make light. They're cheap.
HIDs ARE great, but, they have a lot of problems with automotive applications: they don't come on instanly and a lot has to be done to get around this. They require weird voltages and an extra large striking voltage. They're expensive and complicated. They are however more efficient so you get the same light from less voltage and that's important. They're not THAT much brighter, they just look brighter because of the color of the light. When a "lamp driver module" is one small cheap chip (a ways off yet) and all the costs have come down they're probably be near-ubiquotous, but that's at least a decade off IMO.

LED"s are good but they're a point source that doesn't radiate like a coaxial incandescent filamwnt so they have their own set of problems. WHat would be neat is a "filamnt" in a bulb, the same shape as a regular incandescent filament but works like an LED not a thing that burns white hot when voltage is applied.
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Really?
Well just about everything on a car has moved on with improving technology. Or perhaps you want to go back to points ignition? That's cheap too. As is a nice single downdraught carb.

Err, how often does it get dark suddenly? I've never found the time they take to get to full output a problem.

They *sell* for much more. But then so does everything when it's new.

Actually, less current.

They produce approximately three times the light for the same current - not difficult since incandescent lamps are incredibly inefficient.

For things like tail lights etc you don't need omni directional radiation - indeed this just means you have to add some form of reflector.

For many applications around the car, filament or point source lamps are anything but ideal. Interior lighting for example would be better with large soft sources. As would most other lights apart from headlamps. We're simply used to filament lamps - that's all.
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Really. That's my opinion. It's not a fact and reasonable people disagree all the time. I'm listening.

No. We're talking about lights here.

Well, YOU haven't had a problem but the fact remains, with incandescents when you turn on the switch you get full brightness immediately. There's a non-zero chance this will be a problem somewhere sometime.

I know why, I'm just pointing out it falls in the "con" not "pro" column.

True. Less energy what what I meat to say and module some teenager pranging in my ear I actually might have.

Understood, but incandcents, using more energy yield very close to the same light, and advanced ones lke CSR's put out more light than HIDs.

No and no. You need to check lighting regulations and yo're guessing (wrongly) about the reflector.

Well, I've tried LED's inside. Worthless. You go try it ane lemme know what you think. Luxeons are nice ones to play with.
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I'm not objecting to you disagreeing - merely objecting to you calling my opinion naive. Which suggests I haven't given it any thought or know nothing about lighting.

But the 'simple and cheap' arguments are often put forward in favour of points and carbs. And those who do simply ignore efficiency.

Again why? Many cars still have incandescent main beams. For signalling purposes if nothing else. No reason why they couldn't be incorporated into a main beam HID setup for just this reason.

The light output of any lamp can be increased or decreased. Saying you can already buy an 150 watt H7 incandescent but only a 35 watt HID is pretty meaningless in the scale of things. However, upping the wattage of an incandescent can often result in reflector or lens damage due to heat. And voltage drop in the wiring etc can also cause problems.

The reflector behind a incandescent lamp in say an indicator or tail light - not a passive reflector needed for safety. Because ordinary incandescent bulbs have a near omnidirectional beam pattern, some form of crude reflector is needed to increase the efficiency. Not so with an LED type where the lens is built in.

LED technology has a long way to go - as with much else in lighting. But the sure thing is the tungsten filament bulb's days are numbered.
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The cost, complexity and lack of "instant on" make these non-starters in automotice use for anything other than specialized purposes. IMO to suggest all cars shpuld rely on HID sole; is naive. Nothing personal...

I don't know anybody that prefers carbs to injection but I do know a few folks that will not convert older cars to pointless systems. Maintenance is minimal and they point out if/when they fail you can pretty much fix them with a rock but if a pointless system fails, you're screwed. I'm neutral on this and just keep my cars original.

I think it's the lack of an "instant on" abaility.

Understood. In halogen fixtured that have the bulb base and reflector than can handle it you can ho pretty high. Not sure what's actually under debate here.

LED"s shoot light out in one direction and lighting regulations require signalling lamps be seen from more than one direction. It's an issue.

Perhaps, when LED's can do what incandescents too. But until then.
Hey I *hate* incandescents in the house and everythning is CFL here, but having tried LEDS in the dask and dome lights - they just don't work well at all.
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Richard Sexton wrote:

As you say, that's your opinion. Of course it's wrong, but you are entitled to your opinion.
"Instant on", as you put it, is a non issue. There are many, many cars running with BiXenon setups that have no need for "instant on" headlamps. They use a mechanical mask to create the low beam which moves out of the way to provide main (high) beams.
Besides, instant on is a misnomer. Even halogens take a finite period of time to begin to cast light. Yes, that is shorter than the time to ignite an HID bulb, but who cares? When I engage the HID Xenon lights on my car (not a BMW) they are lit in less than 1/2 a second. Why would you need them to respond any faster than that?
The total quality of light is dramatically greater with HID and the power demand from the alternator is less. HID lamps can be manufactured that shed light of different wavelengths. 4300k is usually the absolute greatest light quantity, and decreasing in output both wavelength directions.
If your problem is that you don't think headlamps should have greater than 5000k color temps then say so. It's not an issue with the method of the light that you have, but rather the color.
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I'm not sure what this has to do with "you turn the switch on and the road it lit up".

Uh yeah, a little.

Who'd have ever thought you need more than 640K ?

K is a measure of light color, not the amount of luminous flux; it's a qualitative, not quantitice measurement. HIDs do draw less power, significantly so. They do not put out more light than thr Cibie CSR's, which are halogen, in my 633.

The color is the worst problem. But as long as I can get more light for 1/4 the cost I see no point in HID lamps to say nothing of the fact it's easy to install or adapt good halogens, but retroftting HIDs to any car is simply a fantasy.
It's a great technology to be sure, but its young and has a way to go.
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Richard Sexton wrote:

I thought your desire for "instant on" was in regard to switching on the high beams. If all you a talking about is being able to instantly turn on the low beams, well... I don't get it. Why do you need to do that? I usually turn my low beams on long before actual dark and if they took a minute or longer to turn on, it would be no big deal. But as I said, it only takes a small fraction of a second, so who cares.

Huh? 640K what?

I'm fully aware of that. What I'm saying is that the HID lamps that put out light at 4300k *also* happen to be the ones that put out the most candlepower for the same (35W) input.
There are maximum limits set by the DOT for candlepower over a range of dimensions. If the Cibie's really do put out more (which I seriously doubt) then they would be illegal here.
Your Cibie's don't fit in any modern cars. When was the last car made that takes 5.25" round headlamps. They are also only available for "wrong-hand drive" applications, as far as I can see. Comparing them to factory Xenon HIDs (in the US anyway) is kind of moot.

But my point was (is) the color doesn't *have* to be a problem. 4300k HID is not blue in the least. In fact, 4300k happens to be in the frequency range that the eye sees best. With lower or higher frequencies a correction factor has to be applied to the measured light quantity to determine the effective light power.
http://www.havis.com/havis_catalog/HS-CATALOG-F-8-06/Lighting/understand.pdf#search=%22Xenon%20HID%20candella%22
And I have yet to see a car manufacturer offer up any car with halogen lights that come anywhere close to the light output of the HIDs.

Sure, they can be improved going forward, and I'm sure they will. But they're already better than all the alternatives.
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Barring some radically new tehnology or suspension of the laws physics HID lamps are going to be beams only and rely on halogens until they warm up.

The point is just because you can't see why youd need lights to come on the instant the switch is turned on doesn't mean it isn't required.

Handy in one sense, but you really want a much more yellow bulb when it foggy, raining or snowing.

Can you show me?

Yeah they really do. Dan Stern has the numbers.

Moot for new cars certainly.

Yeah that's great but, a) the eye i smost sensitive to green, not white and b) you want yellow(ish), not bluish white in inclement weather.

The spec for lighting in Canada is "must be visible from 200 feet (or yards, I froget). There's no economic justification for benig able to see properly so you can't rely on manufacurors to spend to much time (or money) on this. Good lighting is nearly always an aftermarket thing.

Doesn't even fit in older cars. Hardly the best. And there's nothing wrnog with them a bit more sodium wouodn't fix :-)
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Fred W wrote:

Legal regulations worldwide call for instant-on low and high beams (to greatly simplify the requirements, which are rather more complex).

Automotive HIDs take about 60 seconds to attain full intensity.

They are available for both LHD and RHD applications.

Not really...their performance is pretty similar to the good HID systems. Here is the isoscan of the Cibie CSR low beam Richard has been talking about:
http://dastern.torque.net/Photometry/Cibie_CSR_Iso.jpg
All the performance aspects of this beam (total flux, beam width, hot spot intensity and placement, etc.) are very similar to the good HID systems. This illustrates my point in an earlier post about the difference between light source efficiency (HID has an undispluted advantage) and overall system efficiency (totally dependent on optical engineering). Note also, the plotted low beam is very clearly for RH-traffic (LH-drive) usage.
For your perusal, the matching high beam is here:
http://dastern.torque.net/Photometry/Cibie_CSRH_Iso.jpg

There are actually high spikes in the blue and near-violet of the SPD of standard-production 4100k-4300k automotive HIDs.

See the above two isoplots. There are other halogen headlamps besides these that perform similarly. Some of them even come on current and recent BMWs!

Potentially, not necessarily.
DS
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This lamp uses a power of bulb that is illegal for road use in many countries.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Wrong. The H1 bulb was the world's first automotive halogen bulb, introduced and homologated in Europe in 1962 and first permitted in the US in 1993. The isoscan in question was taken of a lamp equipped with a 12v 55w H1 bulb bearing both ECE-approval and DOT-certification. Bulb wattage ratings such as "12v 55w" are NOMINAL ratings. Under ECE R37, the maximum permissible ACTUAL wattage of a "12v 55w" H1 bulb is 68w at 13.2v. Under US 49CFR564, the maximum permissible ACTUAL wattage of a "12v 55w" H1 bulb is 65w at 12.8v. These requirements are practically identical; the difference in permissible range is created by the difference in test voltage specification.
Line voltage in a running automobile is typically between 13 and 14, so this isoscan was taken at 13.5v so as to most accurately reproduce performance in service. Remember, tungsten filament power (wattage) varies exponentially to the approximate power 1.6 with changing voltage:
W = w(V' V)^1.6
The H1 bulb in this particular lamp was consuming 63w at 13.5v. Run the numbers:
W = 63(13.2 13.5)^1.6
W = 60.77 @ 13.2v <--COMPLIES with ECE R37
W = 63(12.8 13.5) ^1.6
W = 57.86 @ 12.8v <--COMPLIES with US 49CFR564
Now...what was it you were saying about illegal bulbs?
DS
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Wrong. The H1 bulb was the world's first automotive halogen bulb, introduced and homologated in Europe in 1962 and first permitted in the US in 1993. The isoscan in question was taken of a lamp equipped with a 12v 55w H1 bulb bearing both ECE-approval and DOT-certification. Bulb wattage ratings such as "12v 55w" are NOMINAL ratings. Under ECE R37, the maximum permissible ACTUAL wattage of a "12v 55w" H1 bulb is 68w at 13.2v. Under US 49CFR564, the maximum permissible ACTUAL wattage of a "12v 55w" H1 bulb is 65w at 12.8v. These requirements are practically identical; the difference in permissible range is created by the difference in test voltage specification.
Line voltage in a running automobile is typically between 13 and 14, so this isoscan was taken at 13.5v so as to most accurately reproduce performance in service. Remember, tungsten filament power (wattage) varies exponentially to the approximate power 1.6 with changing voltage:
W = w(V' V)^1.6
The H1 bulb in this particular lamp was consuming 63w at 13.5v. Run the numbers:
W = 63(13.2 13.5)^1.6
W = 60.77 @ 13.2v <--COMPLIES with ECE R37
W = 63(12.8 13.5) ^1.6
W = 57.86 @ 12.8v <--COMPLIES with US 49CFR564
Now...what was it you were saying about illegal bulbs?
How does the the H1 bulb compare to the Toshiba Halogen Infrared Reflective (HIR) bulbs like these here:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/TOSHIBA-HIR-9011-9012-BULBS-THE-BRIGHTEST-AVA ILABLE_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33710QQihZ007QQitemZ170036254449QQrdZ1QQss pagenameZWDVW
At $26 PER BULB, its quite expensive, especially for BMWs which require 4 of them. Still, itscomparable upgrade type bulbs, but and less costly than Xenon HID options.
Nevertheless, if you're buying a brand new BMW and have a choice of purchasing the adaptive Xenon HID headlights at the bargain price of $800, you are a fool if you don't get it!
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bfd wrote:

The HIR bulbs are more efficient (more lumens per watt) and produce more light than H1 bulbs. They give a scarce combination of high output *and* long life -- that's why they're expensive; magic does not come cheaply! However, the two types can only be compared on a conceptual level for they are not physically interchangeable. The HIR1 bulbs can be modified to fit in place of 9005 (HB3) bulbs, and the HIR2 bulbs can be modified to fit in place of 9006 (HB4) bulbs in HEADLAMPS (not fog lamps -- way too much glare), but that is the extent of the non-spec swap potential for these bulbs. No H1 swaps, no H7 swaps, etc.
Candlepower (www.candlepowerinc.com ,yucky website but you can fish contact info out of it) has them in stock in North America.

Agreed!
DS
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How many lumens per watt? Comperable to fluorescent or mercury vapour or hihg presure sodium? Or are they still in the halogen range?
How do they work?
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wrote:<BR>&gt; &gt;bfd wrote:<BR>&gt; &gt;<BR>&gt; &gt;&gt; How does the the H1 bulb compare to the Toshiba Halogen Infrared Reflective<BR>&gt; &gt;&gt; (HIR) bulbs<BR>&gt; &gt;<BR>&gt; &gt;The HIR bulbs are more efficient (more lumens per watt) and produce<BR>&gt; &gt;more light than H1 bulbs. They give a scarce combination of high output<BR>&gt; &gt;*and* long life -- that's why they're expensive; magic does not come<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; How many lumens per watt? Comperable to fluorescent or mercury vapour<BR>&gt; or hihg presure sodium? Or are they still in the halogen range?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; How do they work?<BR>&gt; <BR>Basically, HIR bulbs work like any other bulb. The HIR bulbs replace the 9005 (high) 9006 (low) bulbs on E34 and E36 cars. According to one website, the 9012 HIR low&nbsp;bulb&nbsp;puts out 1875 lumen and the 9011 HIR high bulbs put on 2500 lumens:</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><A href="http://www.hirheadlights.com/stats.htm "><FONT face=Arial size=2>http://www.hirheadlights.com/stats.htm </FONT></A></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Roundel also did a favorable review of HIR bulbs:</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt"><A href="http://www.bmwcca.org/members/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Let_There_Be_E36_Light "><FONT face=Arial size=2>http://www.bmwcca.org/members/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Let_There_Be_E36_Light </FONT></A></SPAN></DIV> <DIV><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt"><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT></SPAN>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt"><FONT face=Arial size=2>The only thing is HIR bulbs are like $25 each or $100 for a set of 4. Not exactly cheap, but its supposedly better than other brands like Silverstars.</FONT></SPAN></DIV></BODY></HTML>
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