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What is the deal with these new BRIGHT lights on cars?

brooksbybrooksby Posts: 34
edited February 2012 in Commuting general
I mean, seriously, why does a car need one hundred gazillion candle-power headlights? All it does is blind everyone else on the road (including other cars).

Posts

  • JoffffJoffff Posts: 26
    It's a game car drivers play with cyclists. We got halogen bulbs, they got HID's, we got 950 lumen Magicshine's, they get even brighter lights. Next we'll have to start fitting laser pointers to our handlebars...
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    You mean the new HIDs on volvos, Audis, BMWs etc? If you're in exactly the right place they're ok, but if the car goes over a pothole, or speed bump, or is coming round a corner, they're blinding. I hate the bloody things!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    bails87 wrote:
    You mean the new HIDs on volvos, Audis, BMWs etc? If you're in exactly the right place they're ok, but if the car goes over a pothole, or speed bump, or is coming round a corner, they're blinding. I hate the bloody things!

    I have them on my Merc. I didn't spec them as it's secondhand. I'm not sure I even particularly like them as a driver - on full beam you are dazzled by large signs and the reflected glare washes out detail (like the "Police" written on the back of that very reflective thing up ahead :shock: ). On the plus side, the car MUST be fitted with some sort of headlight leveling device so you're unlikely to have someone behind you dazzling you for mile after mile. I wouldn't miss them if they were banned.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    On the plus side, the car MUST be fitted with some sort of headlight leveling device so you're unlikely to have someone behind you dazzling you for mile after mile.
    Having been tailgated by feckin' Audi Q7s and Range Rovers when I was in my old 106, I can confirm that it doesn't work all that well!

    Headlights at the level of my rear view mirror=driving blind :evil:
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    bails87 wrote:
    On the plus side, the car MUST be fitted with some sort of headlight leveling device so you're unlikely to have someone behind you dazzling you for mile after mile.
    Having been tailgated by feckin' Audi Q7s and Range Rovers when I was in my old 106, I can confirm that it doesn't work all that well!

    Headlights at the level of my rear view mirror=driving blind :evil:

    Ah yes - though you'd have had almost the same problem with the old-style lights (I can see that's not much consolation.... :D )
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    bails87 wrote:
    On the plus side, the car MUST be fitted with some sort of headlight leveling device so you're unlikely to have someone behind you dazzling you for mile after mile.
    Having been tailgated by feckin' Audi Q7s and Range Rovers when I was in my old 106, I can confirm that it doesn't work all that well!

    Headlights at the level of my rear view mirror=driving blind :evil:

    Ah yes - though you'd have had almost the same problem with the old-style lights (I can see that's not much consolation.... :D )
    True I suppose. My Focus has got an automatically dimming rear view mirror, so no problems now :D
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • I have them on my car (factory-fitted) and love them. Legally, they have to be auto-levelling and have headlight washers. Then they are allowed.

    The problem is people retro-fitting them. This means they don't have the auto-levelling or headlight washers. This is where they become dangerous. Something does need to be done about this such as a check at MOT time.

    More info here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13143206
    My commute:
    commute.jpg
  • The worst offenders however are typically the non factory fitted lights that the local toerags, oiks and yooof of today tend to fit to their clapped out Corsa's and Saxo's (usually costing far more than the car is worth). However with the new MOT rules coming in these aftermarket lights which have been illegal for some time will cause an instant fail on an MOT if they are presented at test.
    "Commuterised" Specialized Rockhopper Disc 2004.
    FCN #7 - Skinny tyres and Cleats.
    1962 Rory O'Brien Roadie Lightweight. (but heavy by todays standards!)
    FCN #4
    2007 Specialized Roubaix Expert.
    FCN # 1/2 - Cobbly racing tyres and MTB cleats.
  • Mr PlumMr Plum Posts: 1,097
    bails87 wrote:
    bails87 wrote:
    On the plus side, the car MUST be fitted with some sort of headlight leveling device so you're unlikely to have someone behind you dazzling you for mile after mile.
    Having been tailgated by feckin' Audi Q7s and Range Rovers when I was in my old 106, I can confirm that it doesn't work all that well!

    Headlights at the level of my rear view mirror=driving blind :evil:

    Ah yes - though you'd have had almost the same problem with the old-style lights (I can see that's not much consolation.... :D )
    True I suppose. My Focus has got an automatically dimming rear view mirror, so no problems now :D

    Ditto, it's now the wing-mirrors that get me...
    FCN 2 to 8
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    These "new BRIGHT lights" have been around for over 14 years now, with such observation skills it's a wonder brooksby has an issue!

    Simon
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    These "new BRIGHT lights" have been around for over 14 years now, with such observation skills it's a wonder brooksby has an issue!

    Simon
    To be fair there has been a sudden surge in them. (Off the top of my head) Volvo, Mazda, Ford, BMW, Merc, Audi and Land Rover all have very new models that have them. The tech might be based on the same principles, but the implementation must have chaged. The difference between the 'normal' and 'bright' zones is very stark.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • bails87 wrote:
    These "new BRIGHT lights" have been around for over 14 years now, with such observation skills it's a wonder brooksby has an issue!

    Simon
    To be fair there has been a sudden surge in them. (Off the top of my head) Volvo, Mazda, Ford, BMW, Merc, Audi and Land Rover all have very new models that have them. The tech might be based on the same principles, but the implementation must have chaged. The difference between the 'normal' and 'bright' zones is very stark.

    It could be different colour temperatures. You can get varying colour temperatures ranging from warm (orange), throught white to blue (cold). Have a look here: http://www.delonixradar.com.au/hid-xeno ... -chart.php

    I believe the real problem here is the chav crowd retro-fitting them to their cars, as they then don't have the auto-levellers or light-washers.

    Most high-spec cars come as standard with Xenons now, and it's an option (probably an expensive one) on nearly all cars.
    My commute:
    commute.jpg
  • On the other hand. . .

    I was driving the car on my usual bike commute route the other day and round the corner of the country lane came a light so bright I almost drove into the hedge. Straight on the anchors, I was, almost blinded.

    "What the fcuk is that?!!", I said out loud to myself. As I got closer, at a much reduced speed by this time, I realised it was a cyclist using I would guess a similar (900 lumen+?) front light that I use myself. At least I have the courtesy to dip mine, but my God it was a shock to see just how bright they appear to cars.

    As driver of a van with old-style headlamps I must agree, the new bright headlights are a real hazard to oncoming traffic. I hate driving at night because of this. Partly due to being quite old too, maybe!
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    I find the 'boy racer retro fits' are bad because they're really, really blue, so at first glance I assume it's an emergency vehicle in a hurry. For pure brightness it's definitely (round here) the 'executive' cars that are bad, more so if they're coming over the brow of a hill, round a bend or over a speed bump.

    Bordersroadie: Yep, there's a guy or girl (can't see to tell!) who goes the other way to me with an anti-socially angled magicshine type light. I've got a bazillion lumens too, but it's always angled down.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • brooksbybrooksby Posts: 34
    edited February 2012
    These "new BRIGHT lights" have been around for over 14 years now, with such observation skills it's a wonder brooksby has an issue!

    Brooksby used to walk to work for until he moved out of the city a couple of years ago, thats why :D

    I didn't notice them when I was walking along a footpath, but driving my car (vintage Beetle, I'm afraid, 12V headlights) or cycling, you really notice just how bright these lights are. Especially on so-called "SUV"s. Their headlight level is my eye level in the car, or not far below it when I'm on the bike.
  • On the other hand. . .
    As driver of a van with old-style headlamps I must agree, the new bright headlights are a real hazard to oncoming traffic. I hate driving at night because of this.

    Seconded. See my post a moment ago. The people who drive these cars with super-bright headlights only think about how well they can see now, not about how they are (unintentionally) dazzling every other road user.

    (Like the people driving huge so-called "SUV"s are thinking about how safe they are, not how unsafe everyone else is...)

    Bring back the bloke with the flag walking in front, thats what I say! :wink:
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    brooksby wrote:
    Seconded. See my post a moment ago. The people who drive these cars with super-bright headlights only think about how well they can see now, not about how they are (unintentionally) dazzling every other road user.
    That's a bit harsh when the vast majority are OE fit, the wifes Mazda is a 53 plate and has them, they were also fitted on all Mini CooperS from launch (new BMW mini) and in both cases if you wanted the car you had HID's, no choice.

    I agree that SUV's are an issue as the law requires them not to point up at all (level or down) but some SUV lights are mounted so high it's a pain.

    Irony is if you have conventional bulbs it's still against the law to fit higher power (wattage rather than brightness) ones.

    Simon
  • brooksby wrote:
    Seconded. See my post a moment ago. The people who drive these cars with super-bright headlights only think about how well they can see now, not about how they are (unintentionally) dazzling every other road user.
    That's a bit harsh when the vast majority are OE fit, the wifes Mazda is a 53 plate and has them, they were also fitted on all Mini CooperS from launch (new BMW mini) and in both cases if you wanted the car you had HID's, no choice.

    OK, I take it back. The lights (not the drivers) are still a PITA, though.
  • sexysisexysi Posts: 50
    On the other hand. . .

    I was driving the car on my usual bike commute route the other day and round the corner of the country lane came a light so bright I almost drove into the hedge. Straight on the anchors, I was, almost blinded.

    "What the fcuk is that?!!", I said out loud to myself. As I got closer, at a much reduced speed by this time, I realised it was a cyclist using I would guess a similar (900 lumen+?) front light that I use myself. At least I have the courtesy to dip mine, but my God it was a shock to see just how bright they appear to cars.

    As driver of a van with old-style headlamps I must agree, the new bright headlights are a real hazard to oncoming traffic. I hate driving at night because of this. Partly due to being quite old too, maybe!

    You want to see my winter bike, 2000lumen on the front and 1500lumen on my helmet!!!! At least people see me coming. lol

    si
    "Oh, Edmund! Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hands, a nugget of purest green!"
    Road = 1980 Raleigh Record Sprint
    MTB = 2000 Scott Vail
    Road = 2002 Peugeot c300 comp road race bike
    Road = 2012 Bianchi Impulso
    Car = Saab 93, MGTF
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