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Are modern headlights too bright?

Are modern headlights too bright?

Poll: Are modern headlights too bright?

Total Members Polled: 689

Yes: 65%
No: 35%
Author
Discussion

PSBuckshot

Original Poster:

5,502 posts

74 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
I can't be the only person who has noticed this but most modern headlights are far too bright imo. I see that it is safe to have bright headlights but it can't be safe when you make oncoming traffic squint and look away briefly because of the brightness. It is a bit too much and when I say modern I mean cars from usually the past 3-4 years and not including aftermarket chav headlights.

Cyder

6,140 posts

135 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
I think the issue is a lot to do with the sharp cut off at the top of the light pattern, if it was softer your eyes would adjust to it easier and you wouldn't get that 'flashing' effect you sometimes see on bumpy roads.

Apparently the customer wants that sharp cut off of light though, so don't expect to see it change any time soon. frown

Rawwr

16,472 posts

149 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
This is the bit where a hundred people all say; "Well it doesn't affect me so you must be a girl or a mental."

PSBuckshot

Original Poster:

5,502 posts

74 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Rawwr said:
This is the bit where a hundred people all say; "Well it doesn't affect me so you must be a girl or a mental."
I was expecting that to be honest.

300bhp/ton

33,112 posts

105 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Angled properly with the correct lenses and bulbs then I don't think there is an issue. I do agree about the bit on how sharp the cut off is and on bumpy roads this is evident from on coming traffic.


I suppose on a sensible note - OP, do you have any data at all that cites to bright headlights as the cause of any form of RTA/RTI?
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kambites

50,524 posts

136 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Yes.

The brightness of headlights was regulated by the input current of the bulbs back when there was only one viable kind of bulb. Since bulbs have got more efficient, they have of course got brighter for the same input current, so they are far brighter than the law ever intended them to be.

Had the limitation been stated as (output) Lumens rather than (input) Wattage, they'd still be limited to the same brightness they've always been. Current cars are obviously within the letter but very much outside the spirit of the law.


ETA: Of course with the appearance of LED headlights it's going to get even worse, because LEDs are massively more efficient than HIDs so they'll be an order of magnitude brighter again, if they actually put them at the legal limit.

Edited by kambites on Monday 14th November 09:09

Rawwr

16,472 posts

149 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
I'll be a sympathetic ear, then. I do have a few problems with contrast and saturation and so overly bright (or an excess of) lights can, for me, be fairly blinding in some circumstances.

LuS1fer

32,846 posts

160 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Oddly, foglights irritate me more and DRLs I think are too bright and don't get me started on the cock-eyed foglight when German cars indicate and selected rear LED brake lights are too bright (Mitsubishi Outlander this morning sitting on the brakes) but headlights I think are generally OK.

Front foglights irritate me more as there's just no need for them and you get this constant wall of light. Most do it to pose and since my £700 Golf GTI has them, it's a bit thick of them to think it looks good.

HellDiver

5,708 posts

97 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
PSBuckshot said:
I can't be the only person who has noticed this but most modern headlights are far too bright imo.
Clean your glasses. HTH.

PSBuckshot

Original Poster:

5,502 posts

74 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
300bhp/ton said:
I suppose on a sensible note - OP, do you have any data at all that cites to bright headlights as the cause of any form of RTA/RTI?
I do not.
Did not think to look but if no one has any info by dinner I may look around but right now I am supposed to be working...

300bhp/ton

33,112 posts

105 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
LuS1fer said:
Oddly, foglights irritate me more and DRLs I think are too bright and don't get me started on the cock-eyed foglight when German cars indicate and selected rear LED brake lights are too bright (Mitsubishi Outlander this morning sitting on the brakes) but headlights I think are generally OK.
How do those corner activated foglights stand up legally?

kambites

50,524 posts

136 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
300bhp/ton said:
How do those corner activated foglights stand up legally?
I believe they would be illegal under British law (as, in fact, would HIDs) but that's over-ruled by EU type approval.

gog440

8,252 posts

105 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
HellDiver said:
PSBuckshot said:
I can't be the only person who has noticed this but most modern headlights are far too bright imo.
Clean your glasses. HTH.
Bullst.
Even when my glasses are sparkly clean a lot of the new HID lights are so bright that I have flashed people for leaving their main beam on before I have realised that they havent.

MarkRSi

5,718 posts

133 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Cyder said:
Apparently the customer wants that sharp cut off of light though, so don't expect to see it change any time soon. frown
Really? Since when? confused

JonnyFive

28,027 posts

104 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Yes. They're ridiculous sometimes.. In my MX5 you're constantly blinded in the side mirrors by them behind you, so much so in traffic I've often adjusted my mirrors to point downwards so I'm not sat there blind.


uncinqsix

2,724 posts

125 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
kambites said:
Yes.

The brightness of headlights was regulated by the input current of the bulbs back when there was only one viable kind of bulb. Since bulbs have got more efficient, they have of course got brighter for the same input current, so they are far brighter than the law ever intended them to be.

Had the limitation been stated as (output) Lumens rather than (input) Wattage, they'd still be limited to the same brightness they've always been. Current cars are obviously within the letter but very much outside the spirit of the law.


ETA: Of course with the appearance of LED headlights it's going to get even worse, because LEDs are massively more efficient than HIDs so they'll be an order of magnitude brighter again, if they actually put them at the legal limit.

Edited by kambites on Monday 14th November 09:09
Um. Headlamp brightness is regulated by light output, not power input. Has been that way for many years.


And as for the original question - there were similar complaints when halogen headlamps were introduced donkeys years ago, as they were much brighter than the old sealed beam units. The actual amount of light that an oncoming driver will see (i.e the portion above the cut off) hasn't actually changed much with HIDs, but as someone else said the cut-off is more pronounced, so it appears worse than it is.

Edited by uncinqsix on Monday 14th November 09:28

Davie

1,554 posts

130 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Totally agree and it seems to be certain cars are worse than others. The new Mondeo seems to have particulary piercing lights plus the 4x4 set, not only are they incredibly bright but as they're about 2ft higher than cars they seem to be the worst offender. There have been numerous times where I've found myself dazzled by them and regarding them being two bright, I've parked my 90's car with full beam on alongside a new Volvo S60 on dipped beam and the latter is brighter.

edo

15,916 posts

180 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
It's the LED stuff that grates for me. EG


HellDiver

5,708 posts

97 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
gog440 said:
Bullst.
Even when my glasses are sparkly clean a lot of the new HID lights are so bright that I have flashed people for leaving their main beam on before I have realised that they havent.
Here's an idea, don't stare at the headlights. They're not bright if you keep your eyes on YOUR side of the road, and not staring at the blinding lights.

I swear people get fixated on bright lights, so stare at them, compounding the problem.

300bhp/ton

33,112 posts

105 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
uncinqsix said:
kambites said:
Yes.

The brightness of headlights was regulated by the input current of the bulbs back when there was only one viable kind of bulb. Since bulbs have got more efficient, they have of course got brighter for the same input current, so they are far brighter than the law ever intended them to be.

Had the limitation been stated as (output) Lumens rather than (input) Wattage, they'd still be limited to the same brightness they've always been. Current cars are obviously within the letter but very much outside the spirit of the law.


ETA: Of course with the appearance of LED headlights it's going to get even worse, because LEDs are massively more efficient than HIDs so they'll be an order of magnitude brighter again, if they actually put them at the legal limit.

Edited by kambites on Monday 14th November 09:09
Um. Headlamp brightness is regulated by light output, not power input. Has been that way for many years.
How? And did you read what Kambite put?


A Watt is not a measure of brightness.. yes the higher the wattage the brighter a bulb can be. But only when comparing like for like.

e.g. an 80 watt halogen is brighter than a 55 watt halogen. But a 35 watt HID is brighter than either.