Boycott Sylvania's "Whitest-Brightest" Ad Campaign for Their Belligerent Headlights

Sylvania and their "Whitest Brightest Headlights" say EFF-YOU loud and clear. As if we need more belligerent noise and blinding headlights
lights on the road.
Screw this company and its inconsiderate clientèle, and if you need these headlights to drive, you're a menace, you shouldn't be on the road.
Tell NHTSA (as if they'll do anything) and your federal representatives that you resent the deregulation of the aftermarket industry and their introduction of totally unnecessary and belligerent accessories, and the effort by their sponsors to contrive specious and unnecessary "safety" features like these awful super bright headlights that incite resentment and road rage.
I'm tired of being blinded at intersections.
I'm tired of being pelted with belligerent boom box noise.
If you are you too, write the company and complain.
http://www.sylvania.com/ContactUs/AskaQuestion/
http://www.sylvania.com/ContactUs/
Thank you.
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I think your ire is misdirected. the problem with blinding headlights is not caused by the bulb manufacturers - at least the responsible ones (e.g. Sylvania, Osram, etc.) are simply producing a product to meet certain specifications and they do a pretty good job of it.
The real problem is the optics of the headlights in which the bulbs are installed, and more specifically the lax FMVSS's that allow crap beam patterns with scads of stray upward light. I guarantee you that if i put some 90/100 watt H4s in my own car (Porsche 944, with E-code Cibie headlights) you will not be blinded by them as you meet me on the road. For the record I haven't done this, I'm using stock-style 55/60W bulbs. But my point is that I can see quite well, and yet my low beams are completely inoffensive to other road users despite the superior illumination of the road. Unfortunately, the E-code beam pattern is technically illegal to use on US roads except in a few states which have explicitly permitted their use, while crap headlights like the old Ford F-series were perfectly legal.
Read more here:
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/nhtsa/NHTSA.html
NHTSA has dropped the ball on HID headlights as well; in Europe they are required to be installed with self levelers to fight glare, although there is no requirement for same here in the US.
If you want to do something about glare on a personal level without compromising your safety, the best thing you could do is replace your headlights with the illegal E-codes, and encourage friends and family to do the same.
Please note that E-codes are different in LHD and RHD countries; the beam pattern is asymmetrical with a kickup to the curb side to better illuminate roadside signs. Therefore for use in the US you would not want to purchase lights from England or Japan as they are RHD countries, but lights from Germany or another country in mainland Europe should be fine.
nate
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N8N wrote:

You're right, and it all comes down to the cheap plastic "aero" headlamps that are optically unique and independently engineered for each vehicle and can range from very good to horrible. It was much better when we had a handful of standardized, optimized, well-researched but cheap through volume production formats that were used on all cars. The FMVSS's have always been relatively lax, but back when there were just a few standard headlamp formats the lamp manufacturers fought each other for market share by EXCEEDING the FMVSS to actually make the best lamps they could. There was no other way- *everyone* had to build, for example, a 5.75" round DOT-pattern headlamp that was physically identical to all the others... but OPTICALLY they tried to make theirs better so that customers could actually tell the difference and would buy their brand again. Now, when a manufacturer wins a contract to build the lamps for a given car, just barely meeting the FMVSS is good enough. Better, since it helps them be the low-bidder.
But you're wrong in continuing to include Sylvania among the "responsible" manufacturers. They sold their soul to the marketing demons years ago and its *really* showing now. They're only slightly better than the real crappers like PIAA now.
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s
You make a good point, but even "aero" headlights can be done well. The factory headlights on my '02 GTI, for example, were quite adequate and even had a decently sharp horizontal cutoff (this is all nonprofessional opinion of course; measurements are purely subjective.) The built in fog lights were useless, but I guess you can't have it all. I guess VW learned their lesson after scads of USA Corrado drivers complained about the awful headlights that they were forced to accept. Which is a shame because the E-code versions were actually quite decent.
The lesson that I take home from this is that the stricter ECE standards do provide for better lights. This may or may not be true, but I have yet to drive behind a headlight with ECE markings that wasn't at least acceptable, while I've driven behind (or towards!) plenty of US-market factory headlights that were flat out awful and some even dangerous.

Well, OK, how about Osram, Narva and Wagner?
Even so, so long as you stay away from blue-tinted bulbs, I bet you could get an acceptable product out of a Sylvania blister-pack at your FLAPS.
I'm conflicted on PIAA - their lighting products scream "rice" (really one step above APC "euro" taillights and the like) but I'm actually a big fan of their silicone wiper blades.
nate
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N8N wrote:

Getting back to this after, oh what, almost a month to the day of real life getting in the way of newsgroups.... ;-)

Very true... they CAN be done well, and sometimes are done well even on inexpensive cars. The PT Cruiser, for example, has excellent headlamps in both generations, the second gen being a little better than the first.
My point was that since each vehicle has to have a unique design, the actual quality can be all over the map. Some car models get good lamps, some awful. The old days of a few standardized formats made sure that you could get a superb headlamp for ANY vehicle, if you looked to the right vendor.

Osram- superb bulbs, but they don't make lamp assemblies AFAIK. Ditto for Narva. Wagner... eh. They never were all that great and have the dubious honor of having built one of the worst lamps ever (the first-gen Chrysler LH car DOT-code lamps).

Where's Stern when you need him.... he'd know the history better than I. At one point Sylvania was the among the best lighting companies in the world (mid 90s and before). Then they were bought (by Osram, I think) and continued to do well. But then they were either sold, spun-off, or demoted to the mass-market low-end line. So if the particular bulb you're buying is a) an OLD Sylvania design, or B) a re-branded Osram, you're OK. But most of their production has been shifted to the lowest bidders in the far east and is of typical far east quality- highly variable. I look at the fine print and see what the "Made In..." line says :-/
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The best factory headlights I've ever had are the old quad sealed beams. And since they are glass they don't degrade like plastic "aero" ones do from the day they are made till they are little more then nightlight's.
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wrote:

May I join you in your exertions? I'll even bring my own heavy iron pipe.
--
Tegger


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Me three! And maybe a brick...
--
Don Bruder - snipped-for-privacy@sonic.net - If your "From:" address isn't on my whitelist,
or the subject of the message doesn't contain the exact text "PopperAndShadow"
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Nate Nagel wrote:

[snip]

That's the worst place for this kind of problem. Think of all the drivers who are pulling out of a parking lot or away from a stop sign who look to their left for oncoming traffic in the curb lane and something the size of a city bus bearing down on them doesn't even register. Same with pedestrians. Buses are right there in the curb lane where its even more likely that someone in the later stages of dementia will step off the curb right in front of one.
I've seen it happen too many times to count and I drive a 4x4 that, while not the size of a bus, looks more terrifying due to its height and all the paraphenalia sticking out of its front bumper.
--
Paul Hovnanian snipped-for-privacy@hovnanian.com
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Well, don't blame Sylvania, because their "whitest brightest" replacement lamps aren't actually very bright. Blame the HMI lamp people. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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