LED lights on cars. TOO BRIGHT!!!

The latest fad on cars is to use LEDs for some of the front lights, particularly the DRLs, and use LEDs for brake lights. Naturally, the
automakers have to overdo a good thing and have made these LEDs way too bright. Sitting behind someone at night who has their brakes on can blind you. And approaching one of these vehicles with the LED DRLS will likewise blind you during the day. They are as bad or worse then the offensive HID systems so faddish.
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On 04/17/2013 05:04 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

agreed.
the irony of this is that if you buy the led's on their own, they come with a warning about potential eye health issues. but put them into a consumer product, apparently the interests of the manufacturer outweigh those of the consumer.
i even wrote to the ftc's consumer protection bureau about this contradiction and their reaction was that of complete ignorance - they didn't seem to understand that an led's output measured in milliwatts could be much more intense than a bulb's measured in 10's of watts.
unfortunately, their appetite to hire technical competence is not exactly strong at the best of times. with the budget fiasco currently ongoing, i assign about the same probability to getting any attention to this as i do to the retardation that is red rear turn signals.
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On Thursday, April 18, 2013 9:27:21 AM UTC+8, jim beam wrote:

I think the real problem is people fitting LED bulbs to old cars. The incandescent bulb sprays light out over 300 degrees or so, then the reflector redirects it to optimum coverage. The LEDs shoot out a narrow dazzling beam, but from the size, there is a dim piss-weak ember visible in total darkness.
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snipped-for-privacy@topmail.co.nz wrote:

Between the ricers with the "HID conversions" the 12" lifted diesels with the "HID look bulbs" and the tech geeks running the LED conversion lights (all of which skirt the legal boundaries) it is getting to the point I think they should just start making the headlamps permanent pieces in the vehicle. That or the inspectors who pass these things out to lose their tags and any cop that sees them should be allowed to smash the damn things.
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On 05/02/2013 02:38 PM, Steve W. wrote:

That's pretty much the way things are now, problem is police don't bother writing tickets for much of anything save for speeding.
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wrote:

I've got a 1960 Dodge with the old quad sealed beams and they are excellent headlights, better then the specially designed to fit the body ones on my 92 Explorer, on my 99 GT, the 02 Malibu or any number of other newer cars I've owned or used. The only ones that are as good are (surprisingly) the ones in my 09 PT Cruiser. I have very limited experience with E-code lights but on the occasions I've ridden with my brother in law in his various 5-series BMW's I've been very unimpressed with the BMW's supposedly superior headlights. On low beam they are abysmal to the point of dangerous and on high beam nothing special compared to the best I've seen on my cars.
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On 5/3/2013 6:01 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

Well, yeah but when the headlamps on my 1965 Chevys were new, the big green signs on the Interstate still had letters, before those fuzzy white stripes.
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On 05/03/2013 07:01 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

If your '60 still has the original sealed beams they are probably better quality than anything available (in the same format) today. I made a similar observation about a low mileage '62 Studebaker I had a few years back.
I'm surprised that you weren't impressed with the BMW's headlights; I've yet to drive a Bimmer that didn't have good lights. Unless he modified it though, they're not E-codes in the US. If it's an E28 5er it probably had sealed beams! (but modern ones made to much lower quality standards than the old ones...)
I really like the (US-spec) headlights in my '09 3er, they're actually impressive to me.
nate
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wrote:

They are the newer halogen type.

that's a good point. It certainly seems to have teh e-code's very very sharp cutoff with the right side uptick when it's on low beam. I don't see how that could qualify under the US standards as it casts so little upward light you cannot see any of the signs on the road ahead till you are within 100 feet of them.

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On 05/03/2013 09:05 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

I see people occasionally putting that forward as a complaint about E-codes but in practice for me that hasn't been an issue. The only signs I have a problem seeing at night (with any headlights) tend to be street signs and the E-codes are actually superior IME than old US-spec sealed beams. But, diff'rent strokes - if you like what you're running and it's not blinding me, more power to you!

To continue my previous comment, those also have a sharp cutoff but the kickup to the right isn't there... I miss that. BUT they are nice and bright within the pattern, appear to distribute the light fairly evenly, and have some cool tech in them... 55W halogen cornering lights are very nice, and the "adaptive" feature where the HIDs swivel slightly for curves in the road is actually useful.
I shudder to think what it'll cost if I have to replace anything more than a bulb or HID burner though...
nate
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I remember changing my 77 280Z sealed beams to halogen sealed beams. They seemed better. The pattern was different. I've never noticed oncoming problem with chevy trucks, but my 2007 avalanche lights are the best I've ever used. Light to spare. Being higher up in the air is an advantage for distance.
Greg
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On 05/07/2013 06:02 PM, gregz wrote:

a giant pita for car users though. being followed by an suv at night, they may as well be on high beams if you're lower than them.
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I'm wondering if low beam shuts off, using high beam. Some both go on if you hold the toggle.
Greg
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On 5/1/2013 11:39 PM, snipped-for-privacy@topmail.co.nz wrote:

My late Sonata had headlights that cut off the top portion of the beam sharply. It looked like a movie picture with the top half of the screen cut off. I don't know how they did that but it was neat stuff.
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On 05/02/2013 05:07 PM, dsi1 wrote:

E-codes have been doing that for ages...
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This was a standard 2006 Sonata with plain old regular headlights. I have no idea how they got the headlights to cut off like that.
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On 05/03/2013 01:03 AM, dsi1 wrote:

Seriously it is not that difficult with decent optics; it's a design decision on the part of the designers of the particular headlamp. The traditional US/SAE beam pattern (in use since 1939 or thereabouts!) does not look like that however, so it seems new and exciting to us.
There's a whole discussion that could be had about beam patterns, bureaucratic history, and other such like but a) I'm not really the acknowledged expert in this area, more of an advanced hobbyist b) the one person I "know" personally (I haven't actually met him in person) who is seems to have left Usenet and c) if you really want to learn more probably the best place is not here but over at the transportation lighting section of the candlepower forums (unless there's a better place I haven't found yet.)
nate
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wrote:

And making it very hard to see things up ahead.
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On 04/17/2013 08:04 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

The lights still have to conform to FMVSS 108; if you have a specific make/model in mind that you've seen being "too bright" and have the ability to prove noncompliance you might be able to force a recall. Unfortunately you probably don't and hiring someone to test them might be expensive...
Unfortunately, the standards are rather lax... but honestly, I am far less bothered by your typical LED taillights than I am by Audi drivers who don't understand the meaning of the phrase "rear fog lights" and 90's Ford truck headlights...
nate
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On 4/17/2013 7:04 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

Ill tell you what else bothers me. The new LED lights on police cars. you look at the flashing lights on the cop car bar and its almost blinding in a way. There needs to be a way to diffuse the light in some manor to keep it from this effect.
ON our new Australian Chevy cop cars we just got here, they even have three light strips on the side on the front fenders like the old buick vent ports only with lights in them.
bob
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