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OEM LED headlamps: the past, present and future

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  • #16
    Originally posted by satrya View Post
    So that makes at least two manufacturers that align the left and right headlight steps in a staggered manner. I've noticed several Porsche models (911, boxster, cayenne) of various year models aligned that way for their HID or LED low beams.

    I wonder if the IIHS testers consulted with the automotive light designers when setting up their tests.
    Correct, some Lexus and Toyota cars have them as well. My friends GS350 runs staggered and my sisters 2017 Corolla S had the staggered LED headlights.

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    • #17
      The IIHS test was pointless from the perspective of testing the actual headlights systems. They did not aim them to any standard, they simply tested them as delivered. The first year corolla for instance was aimed very high, most Subarus are aimed right at the ground etc... this is how they tested them knowing that the average driver is too stupid to get them re-aimed if they don't perform to their best from the factory.

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      • #18
        I hate the huge BMW slope. Distance is pretty bad since the hotspot is mostly on the ground. Well, there's barely any hotspot, those projectors don't produce much of a hotspot. Just lots of foreground.

        2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
        2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Haloruler64 View Post
          I hate the huge BMW slope. Distance is pretty bad since the hotspot is mostly on the ground.
          Even if we factor out alignment, doesn't a large sloping cutoff block a lot of the hotspot by definition?
          Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

          3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

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          • #20
            I guess so, yeah. The high beam is absolutely insane. But the low beam is just bad. My halogen projectors were a helluva lot better.

            2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
            2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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            • #21
              LED has surpassed HID in my opinion (and will continue to do so). I have parked a few cars with bixenon and with LEDs, the LEDS are perceived brighter (I dont have any tools). But I do note the distance and the width of each comparison

              Cars I've compared:
              C Class (w204 vs 205). LEDs were much wider. Distance is about the same
              GLC vs the GLK. LEDs were wider and further
              Honda Accord. LEDS were much wider and the foreground were really bright. Distance were about the same as the xenons.
              Mini Cooper. LEDs were just as wide and the distance covered were further.

              And i think the contrast (higher Kelvin) helps too




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              • #22
                I think you have some things mixed up. A brighter foreground is a bad thing. Higher kelvin light offers worse contrast than a yellower color.

                2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
                2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Haloruler64 View Post
                  I think you have some things mixed up. A brighter foreground is a bad thing. Higher kelvin light offers worse contrast than a yellower color.
                  Not sure why it is a bad thing? If you can see clearer (potholes or debris), with a nicer contrast (as in whiter?)

                  Do elaborate. would like to learn more.

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                  • #24

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                    • #25
                      Note that the newer cars may have 25W HID lights, which means 2,000lm max. Bright foreground = your eyes adjusted to look at bright light in front of your bumper = can't see shit further down the road.
                      There's heaps of information on Kelvin rating and car lighting. Start here: http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...ght_color.html

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by jennypenny View Post
                        Not sure why it is a bad thing? If you can see clearer (potholes or debris), with a nicer contrast (as in whiter?) Do elaborate. would like to learn more.
                        Same bulb type and ballast in these pictures below; taken with a fixed camera setting when comparing left vs right (or first vs second, depending on your display settings), within minutes of each other. (I have a 3-way switchable quad, so each pair can respond to the OE light switch on demand)





                        The first one (or the left one, depending on your display setting) was my first retrofit projector. It felt much "brighter" than the OE halogen low beams. I still prefer the first one when I drive in city streets with street lighting and city speed limits (~25mph). It "feels" like I can see just as far as when I use the second one. That foreground triggers a gut feeling of "being able to see".

                        But when I drive on freeways, the second one lights up objects from far ahead, to the point that most other low beams travelling in the same direction seem dim. Why does the second one look inferior in the first two pictures? Setting aside the additional foreground limiter that I added(which explains the cutoff at the bottom with the warmer colorband), the second projector concentrates more light at the top, which under modest street lighting, is washed out by the street lighting's effect, making it almost unobservable. Here is the "wall output" from just one projector each. Same order, same comparable conditions (bulb, ballast, under exposed camera setting to distinguish the hotspot, manually propped)

                        The first projector's wall output looks almost uniform when seen on that wall. While it is still a much better beam pattern for low beam than what a point source without optics would provide (i.e. even distribution 360 degrees all around), it isn't as good as the second one for freeway driving, imho. The bowl size of the 1st projector is slightly smaller (not by much), and the bowl curvature is relatively simple; quite close to an ellipsoid.
                        Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                        3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by jennypenny View Post
                          Not sure why it is a bad thing? If you can see clearer (potholes or debris), with a nicer contrast (as in whiter?) Do elaborate. would like to learn more.
                          Studies have shown that road hazards or obstacles seen within heavy foreground illumination are too close for a driver to react to. Rendering this light as useless. It also affects a human eyes ability to see at farther distances.

                          With that being said, each study has concluded that the affects are "small" at best. Age groups also are noted as reacting differently to foreground lighting. There are many variables that can affect results and the impact that foreground light has to each individual person.
                          www.automotiveLEDresearch.com

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by niZmO_Man View Post
                            Note that the newer cars may have 25W HID lights, which means 2,000lm max. Bright foreground = your eyes adjusted to look at bright light in front of your bumper = can't see shit further down the road. There's heaps of information on Kelvin rating and car lighting. Start here: http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...ght_color.html

                            Does that mean that the whole industry is getting the Kelvin rating for cars headlights wrong? From BMW to Merc to Toyota?

                            With regards to "can't see shit further down the road", that may be true. As LEDs are really bright where it is shining and it is really dark where it is not shining. But, not too sure if Halogens improve the distance when it doesnt shine that far? But i can see if from your point of view that Halogens have a better transition in terms of lighting

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by jennypenny View Post
                              But i can see if from your point of view that Halogens have a better transition in terms of lighting
                              While I'm not saying that overall brightness is not important, the distribution of it matters a lot too. I can concentrate more light output than a standard halogen on a standard OE freeform reflector into a single "laser beam", and it will absolutely make whatever it happens to shine on perfectly visible. But in the absence of other light source, I won't be able to see anything else. On the other extreme end, I can have the bare halogen light bulb distribute light 360 degrees evenly, but I won't be able to drive safely unless I go at a walking pace.

                              Back to low beams, both the transitions and total intensity matter.
                              Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                              3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

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                              • #30
                                On the topic of led, today I saw the inside of a BMW M2 engine bay and it had the dual led reflector headlights. Holy cow... each headlight had two massive heatsinks sticking up into the bay for cooling. They looked like the cooling fins you see on some high performance differentials.

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