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Dodger
05-17-2005, 07:00 AM
From <A HREF="http://www.detnews.com" TARGET="_blank">http://www.detnews.com</A><p><B>Bright headlights under review</B><p><br>They're blue, they're bright and to many startled drivers they seem blinding, but high-intensity Xenon headlights are being heralded by the lighting supply industry as potentially life-saving in the face of possible federal regulations that might endanger the future of the technology. <p>Lighting suppliers joined forces in 2003 to form the Motor Vehicle Lighting Council, which promotes advances in automotive lighting. <p>The group has been a staunch defender of high-intensity lights, which have come under scrutiny by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the agency rewrites federal safety standards for automotive lighting. <p>In 2001, the traffic safety agency put out a call for public comment on potential new headlight rules that covered height and aiming, and the brilliance of high-performance bulbs. <p>NHTSA has received more than 5,000 separate reports on the topic, ranging from one-page letters from individuals to multi-section technical briefs. <p>The response is not the biggest in the agency's history -- airbags top all other issues -- but is "a high number" for any automotive issue, said agency spokeswoman Liz Neblitt. <p>High intensity lights are more expensive than traditional headlights, but their brighter light and better durability make them a technology whose time has come, according to the council. <p>A study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute found a safety need for high-intensity lights, which have been gradually coming into the North American auto market on luxury and import vehicles. <p>"People routinely over-drive their headlamps at night," said researcher Michael J. Flannagan, noting that about 2,300 pedestrians are killed each year in the United States alone because drivers didn't see them in darkness until a collision was unavoidable. <p>Many motorists who wrote to NHTSA support the bright lights, saying they help avoid accidents or improve night driving by reducing eyestrain. Many others, however, criticize the lights as potential safety risks. <p>"It is our wish, even, that they would be made illegal to use," one consumer wrote. Another said: "(They) are blinding to other drivers -- they should be banned or more stringent design and installation standards implemented and enforced." <p>"They either love them, because you can see really well with them, or you hate them because you think they're blinding you," NHTSA's Neblitt said. <p>Dan Robusto, CEO of Ill.-based North American Lighting Inc. and chairman of the lighting council, said drivers perceive the light as a "discomfort issue," but that "it isn't glare, really." <p>He said a number of factors may lead drivers to blame the newer headlights when other problems are at fault, such as poorly installed fog lamps, misaimed headlights and the increasing height of headlights on light trucks and sport utility vehicles. <p>High headlights on an SUV following too closely can lead to a blinding beam reflected through the side-view mirror, he said. <p>Some replacement products that allow a driver to swap a Xenon lamp for a halogen may also be causing glare, Robusto said. <p>Headlight reflector lenses are molded to shape a beam of light generated by a bulb at a precise place inside the headlamp assembly. If a replacement bulb emits the light at a slightly different distance within the headlight, the optics of the reflector can focus the beam in the wrong place. <p>Traditional headlights feature a lamp that encases a glowing filament in halogen gas, and cast a yellowish light. High intensity bulbs have no fragile filament and instead make light by using an electric arc to excite the Xenon gas inside them. The light they produce is whiter, covers about 70 percent more area than halogen and has more blue wavelengths included, making the light more conspicuous. <p>A Xenon bulb typically lasts 3,000 hours and operates at about 150 degrees F, while its halogen relatives typically average 200 hours and generate temperatures up to 300 degrees F. A normal car is used for about 5,000 hours during its driving lifetime. <p>High intensity lights are not the only emerging technology in automotive lighting. Bright white LED headlamps, expected to make a major impact in the $2.2 billion North American automotive lighting market beginning in about 2010, could last for up to 100,000 hours at even lower power than high intensity headlights, and their low heat could allow for even smaller packaging, said Veerender Kaul, program manager for automotive analyst Frost & Sullivan. <p>Kaul predicts that halogen will continue to dominate automotive lighting. <p>

Roadster44
05-17-2005, 07:24 AM
Just goes to show how stupid some people are. I have never had a problem with HID's or Bi-Xenons, nor anyone else that I know. Problem is people see a bright headlight and they think its an HID, when in reality its just some retard driving with high-beams on or a kid who put an HID immitation which are illegal.

knicks125
05-17-2005, 07:31 AM
I agree...I hate when people leave their high beams on, for an extened period; and when you flash them (to warn them) with your brights from a mile away, yet they still don't get the message, that is kind of hopeless.<p>Unless you lights are broken or busted, rural roads should not be of concern, just drive slowly if you aren't sure of the roads...

Dodger
05-17-2005, 07:39 AM
The one thing I love is when people turn off their brights but then flick them on again before they are even past you!<p>I also think a lot of the 'bright lights' are just headlights that are poorly aimed.

knicks125
05-17-2005, 07:42 AM
sometimes people (from oncoming traffic) flash brights to warn you of deers, cops, or other items they wanted you to pay attention to... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/beigesmilewinkgrin.gif" BORDER="0">

Santeno
05-17-2005, 07:44 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Dodger</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I also think a lot of the 'bright lights' are just headlights that are poorly aimed.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>True, that is also the baneof many trucks and suv's. Umtil fairly recently, most had lights on the upper part of the front of the vehicle, which placed their lights above the trunk-lines of most cars, thus blinding drivers, even with low beams on. now-days many ney trucks and suv's are placing their headlights lower in the body. I think part of the change is due to threatened revised NHTSA rules that would hold trucks and SUV's to the same safety and design standards as cars. To the best of my knowledge (and please correct me if I'm wrong) those rules have not been changed (at least not fully) yet.

pcread
05-17-2005, 08:18 AM
Headlights might be properly aimed in normal circumstances, but due to heavier loading of the rear of the car, a nose-high ride will blind oncoming traffic. Also, some traffic calming measures can have the same effect, albeit only for a flash.

iamalittlepepper
05-18-2005, 02:42 AM
Actually that's not quite true.. in order to qualify for ECode and DOT approval.. cars with HID must have axle sensors, so that the highlights will tilt down.<p>That's why it is nearly impossible to retrofit HID properly to pass DOT/ Ecode.<p>The article is kind of moot anyways.. because luxileon already have LED headlights that is ECE approved and is just as bright as HID out there.<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pcread</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Headlights might be properly aimed in normal circumstances, but due to heavier loading of the rear of the car, a nose-high ride will blind oncoming traffic. Also, some traffic calming measures can have the same effect, albeit only for a flash.</TD></TR></TABLE>

M0L0TOV
05-18-2005, 07:32 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Santeno</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>True, that is also the baneof many trucks and suv's. Umtil fairly recently, most had lights on the upper part of the front of the vehicle, which placed their lights above the trunk-lines of most cars, thus blinding drivers, even with low beams on. now-days many ney trucks and suv's are placing their headlights lower in the body. I think part of the change is due to threatened revised NHTSA rules that would hold trucks and SUV's to the same safety and design standards as cars. To the best of my knowledge (and please correct me if I'm wrong) those rules have not been changed (at least not fully) yet.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Luckily you don't live in Florida. There are so many jacked up SUV's and pickups with HID lights, it's torture to drive in front of them. The lights go straight through my rear windshield, hit the mirrors, and blind me at all angles. I guess it's time to invest in getting my windows tinted. One last thought, why doesn't Florida have laws against jacked up pickups and SUV's? They tear up the road with their gigantic tires and a threat to anybody in a smaller vehicle.<p>M0L0TOV

erzhik
05-19-2005, 06:53 PM
What about LED lights? will those ever make into production? cause LED's are way brighter than normal lights.