Are modern headlights too bright?

Are modern headlights too bright?

Poll: Are modern headlights too bright?

Total Members Polled: 712

Yes: 66%
No: 34%
Author
Discussion

kambites

61,292 posts

186 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
uncinqsix said:
Um. Headlamp brightness is regulated by light output, not power input. Has been that way for many years.
I thought it was a Wattage limit? Is there a Lumens one as well? If so, what is it?

Edited by kambites on Monday 14th November 09:30

Dr Doofenshmirtz

12,756 posts

165 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
You know how when you were 4 you were told not to look directly at the sun?
Well the same applies to car headlights. You need to learn to look past the on coming headlights.
Once you have taught yourself to do this, rather than stare directly into the light you won't have any more problems.

kambites

61,292 posts

186 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Dr Doofenshmirtz said:
You know how when you were 4 you were told not to look directly at the sun?
Well the same applies to car headlights. You need to learn to look past the on coming headlights.
Once you have taught yourself to do this, rather than stare directly into the light you won't have any more problems.
Now try looking at something, say, 5 degrees away from the sun and see how much detail you can make out compared to if it was at 90 degrees so the sun. There's no way you can hope to look more than about 5 degrees away from oncoming headlights since they're on the road your'e driving down.

uncinqsix

3,162 posts

175 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
kambites said:
uncinqsix said:
Um. Headlamp brightness is regulated by light output, not power input. Has been that way for many years.
I thought it was by both? That there was a 55 Watt input limit (or something) as well?
It's primarily light output. The wattage is more to do with standardising bulb classes. Even within 55W bulbs, there is a lot of variation in brightness, but there is still a limit on how bright it can be before it is approved to go into a headlamp. There are separate standards for bulbs and the lamps themselves.

Dr Doofenshmirtz

12,756 posts

165 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
kambites said:
Dr Doofenshmirtz said:
You know how when you were 4 you were told not to look directly at the sun?
Well the same applies to car headlights. You need to learn to look past the on coming headlights.
Once you have taught yourself to do this, rather than stare directly into the light you won't have any more problems.
Now try looking at something, say, 5 degrees away from the sun and see how much detail you can make out compared to if it was at 90 degrees so the sun. There's no way you can hope to look more than about 5 degrees away from oncoming headlights since they're on the road your'e driving down.
It does work - try it.
You instant reaction is to focus in on the source of the light (just like startled animals do shortly before being squashed).
Once you learn not to do this, it's a lot more comfortable and you can see more.

anonymous-user

Original Poster:

19 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Dr Doofenshmirtz said:
It does work - try it.
You instant reaction is to focus in on the source of the light (just like startled animals do shortly before being squashed).
Once you learn not to do this, it's a lot more comfortable and you can see more.
But we shouldn't be made to adjust.
There is nothing wrong with bulbs that are not as bright, it isn't like every car will become invisible.

HellDiver

5,708 posts

147 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Dr Doofenshmirtz said:
It does work - try it.
You instant reaction is to focus in on the source of the light (just like startled animals do shortly before being squashed).
Once you learn not to do this, it's a lot more comfortable and you can see more.
Exactly what I said earlier... smile

kambites

61,292 posts

186 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Dr Doofenshmirtz said:
It does work - try it.
Oh I agree that it might stop there being a lasting glare because the high intensity light doesn't hit your Fovea, but it still means you can't see where the hell you're going as you actually approach the oncoming lights. At least with my eyes.

Herman Toothrot

6,702 posts

163 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
PSBuckshot said:
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.
Thats because they drive people carriers or big off roaders not low sports cars. Anyone who drives anything low like an Elise etc will have issue with the super bright lights.

Dr Doofenshmirtz

12,756 posts

165 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
PSBuckshot said:
But we shouldn't be made to adjust.
There is nothing wrong with bulbs that are not as bright, it isn't like every car will become invisible.
Ah, clearly you've never owned a Morris Minor, or a Beetle, or old Mini then wink
Yes, they emitted a lovely warm yellow glow from the headlights which I'm sure other driver appreciated. For the driver is was pretty much guess work where the road was, especially in the rain!!

kambites

61,292 posts

186 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Herman Toothrot said:
Thats because they drive people carriers or big off roaders not low sports cars. Anyone who drives anything low like an Elise etc will have issue with the super bright lights.
I don't think everyone does - different people's eyes seem to react to high intensity light in different ways and take different lengths of time to recover. Somehow those who don't have a problem themselves seem to believe that it's not possible for anyone else to have a problem because they don't, which is a thoroughly bizarre attitude.

kambites

61,292 posts

186 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Dr Doofenshmirtz said:
Ah, clearly you've never owned a Morris Minor, or a Beetle, or old Mini then wink
Yes, they emitted a lovely warm yellow glow from the headlights which I'm sure other driver appreciated. For the driver is was pretty much guess work where the road was, especially in the rain!!
My MGB on original sealed-unit headlights was fine, though, and was still vastly dimmer than most current cars.

uncinqsix

3,162 posts

175 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
kambites said:
Is there a Lumens one as well? If so, what is it?
Trust me. You don't want to go there. The current UN/ECE standard for conventional halogen headlamps (No.112) runs to 72 pages. The one for HIDs (No.98) is 90 pages and the one for HID bulbs is 43 pages.

kambites

61,292 posts

186 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
uncinqsix said:
kambites said:
Is there a Lumens one as well? If so, what is it?
Trust me. You don't want to go there. The current UN/ECE standard for conventional halogen headlamps (No.112) runs to 72 pages. The one for HIDs (No.98) is 90 pages and the one for HID bulbs is 43 pages.
Ah I was thinking of the British law, sorry. I know what EU type approval is like. hehe

Herman Toothrot

6,702 posts

163 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
kambites said:
I don't think everyone does - different people's eyes seem to react to high intensity light in different ways and take different lengths of time to recover. Somehow those who don't have a problem themselves seem to believe that it's not possible for anyone else to have a problem because they don't, which is a thoroughly bizarre attitude.
I was thinking its more because you are low you get the dipped lights hitting you the bumpy road bounce thats been mentioned is a pain, if you are low down its like they are flashing full beam at you. Also they shine through the rear windows forcing you to dip the interior mirror. I notice this because in A6 I have absolutely no issue it being quite high up or "normal", in VX, MX5 or MR2 I do have a problem with them and they are a PITA. On the owners clubs of sports cars over the last few years i have heard it mentioned a lot with people getting the rear window tinted etc to try and help get rid of the problem. I had my old MR2s rear window done.

uncinqsix

3,162 posts

175 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
kambites said:
I don't think everyone does - different people's eyes seem to react to high intensity light in different ways and take different lengths of time to recover. Somehow those who don't have a problem themselves seem to believe that it's not possible for anyone else to have a problem because they don't, which is a thoroughly bizarre attitude.
Age is a massive factor. The older you are, the longer it takes for your eyes to adjust so you perceive more glare.

kambites

61,292 posts

186 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Herman Toothrot said:
I was thinking its more because you are low you get the dipped lights hitting you the bumpy road bounce thats been mentioned is a pain, if you are low down its like they are flashing full beam at you. Also they shine through the rear windows forcign you to dip the interior mirror. I notice this because in A6 I have absolutely no issue it being quite high up or "normal", in VX, MX5 or MR2 I do have a problem with them and they are a PITA.
Yes it's definitely worse in low cars, but I know Elise drivers who don't have a problem with it and drivers of normal hatchbacks who do.

anonymous-user

Original Poster:

19 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
Dr Doofenshmirtz said:
Ah, clearly you've never owned a Morris Minor, or a Beetle, or old Mini then wink
Yes, they emitted a lovely warm yellow glow from the headlights which I'm sure other driver appreciated. For the driver is was pretty much guess work where the road was, especially in the rain!!
Have a look at my PH garage.

300bhp/ton

39,671 posts

155 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
kambites said:
My MGB on original sealed-unit headlights was fine, though, and was still vastly dimmer than most current cars.
Had them in both my TR7's and my Land Rover. Can't say I'm convinced at all.

When I used to drive to Cambridge and back each day (110 miles round trip), I used to often travel down some unlit country lanes with no road markings, yet rather busy with traffic. The lights on my Pug 106 where hopeless and with on coming traffic (even those without HIDs) it was almost impossible to see the verge or the road ahead well, due to the limited amount of light the Pug headlights offered. Especially on those dark and damp evenings when the road surface is just that bit shiny. Hated it so much I'd sometimes pull over. Better lights would certainly have been an improvement.

XDA

2,093 posts

150 months

Monday 14th November 2011
quotequote all
I think half of the problem is due to vehicles with the headlight beam out of alignment and/or the beam is set too high?