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W220 headlights poor

Discussion in 'Electrics, Vacuum, Ignition and ECU' started by sebastian coe, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    Of course you'll defend what you do ..... why wouldn't you?
     
  2. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    I'm not defending anything- that isn't what I "do" work wise by the way. I'm simply stating facts, not opinions.
     
  3. rifiki

    rifiki Senior Member

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  4. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    No. Please don’t. They are an incredibly biased, very poorly researched forum with highly questionable journalistic ethics (i.e. they just lie). I’ve had professional dealings with them for years.
     
  5. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    I agree, twice, I have been totally blinded by LED headlights. On these occaisions the safe thing to do would have been to have stopped the vehicle. Each time it was a current model Merc turning right across my path in town.

    As for Craigxviii's wise words I don't care if he's designed every headlight ever made and wrote the testing standards for the universe. This latest crop of lights bleed light to the sides, and cause the most horrendous dazzling conditions I have witnessed in 35 years of driving. And everyone I speak too agrees they are dangerous.

    Last weekend was my first opportunity to drive a car with LEDs (my BMW bike had them and blinded everyone) I got to drive a new passat for 20 miles on unlit roads around Norwich. It had the morphing LED set up and they are rubbish.

    They do have an uncanny ability to see and thus work around on coming vehicles, just like auto dip on my 2007 335d could. That could see front of rear of cars perfectly. However the end result (like the 335) is a very sluggish and dangerous delay coming back up when traffic has past. The passat made a number of errors whilst morphing (that wouldn't affect other road users ) but made it dangerous for me and meant I would never trust it when pressing on. The car owner says he does have drivers flash him, which he never got in his two A8s.

    Worse still, before I tried the auto setting for the headlights I was fighting a poor design of switch for high beam on / off. When the owner showed me it had an auto setting it took 1 mile for it to remember I needed high beam (something the owner agrees it does some times) and after working correctly for 8 miles, somehow partway through the drive it came off auto and stayed on full high beam. Which I didn't notice till a few cars passing cars were very upset. Something the owner had never seen it do before.
     
  6. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Senior Member

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    Back to the original post....

    Isn't the W220 equipped with Xenon lamps, same as the W215?

    If so, nightbreakers wont suit it?
     
  7. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    No some have halogens.
     
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  8. Rappey69

    Rappey69 Senior Member

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    Ive got xenons, guess they are ok, but drove a new B class at night with halogen projectors and it blew mine away !
    If your headlights are crap then i think its more by old design.. Putting more powerful lamps in doesn't really achieve too much !
    I totally agree with you Botus about newer cars dazzling you, be it for a very small amount of time..
    Badly fitted/incorrect lamps in old headlights do dazzle but there does not seem to be that many about, but being blinded by the full force of a much newer cars headlight even for just a second seems to be happening from a very large amount of cars nowadays.
    I had h6m type lamps in a "hotspot" beam type headlights.. pitifull ! Changed them to a lesser powered pair of bi xenons and the difference is like going from a candle to a search light!
    The mot guy keeps telling me my beam is to low, but i did that on purpose to reduce the sheer brightness from these things, but off road in the dark on full beam - its daytime again !
     
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  9. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Senior Member

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    My 1998 Legacy GTB had factory projector HID headlamps and they were very good.
     
  10. Alex Green

    Alex Green Senior Member

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    My 215 is equipped with HID's and they are also rubbish!!

    I've just changed the bulbs to Osram 66240XNB-HCB Xenarc Breaker Unlimited D2S which get good reviews but they're still pretty bad.

    I'm going to have a look at the headlight aim which might be able to be raised a touch but I don't want to blind other drivers. I've cleaned the lenses to the best that they can be (which admittedly could be clearer)

    Also, bought some of these https://www.theretrofitsource.com/d2s-morimoto-xb-hid.html to try and see if they live up to their reputation as the best D2S HID bulb. Yet to arrive so no opinion as yet.

    The search for light continues as driving to work in snow this morning was a bit ****** scary. More an act of faith than being able to see the road...not fun.

    Alex
     
  11. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    OK, point by point then.

    OK, point by point then.

    How did you know that they were LED? And not xenon? When they're pointing straight at you there's precious little in colour temperature to tell them apart.

    Those dastardly Mercs again! They're just shoite!

    Please rest assured that Craig cares even less what you care. Craig is a professional in an unusual position of getting to see the technical performance of various aspects of very many vehicles.

    Dazzling due to light bleed to the sides? That's an interesting one. Headlamp beam patterns are really very tightly controlled by regulation; if a car has light fingers coming out to the sides it will not be approved for sale until a countermeasure has been put in place. Light bleed directly upwards is indeed an issue for a number of LED lamps, mainly those using clamshell reflectors rather than direct collimators or light guides; however, this does not cause dazzling unless you're directly above the car and looking down. Dazzling to the front is an issue that came around with the advent of HiD lamps and light scattering due to dirty lenses and/ or poor Fresnelling effects were quickly noticed- this goes back to the mid/ late 90s. Since that time headlamps for the European market have generally become brighter, going from 800lm per side (pre halogen) to around 1100lm (hal)- 2000lm (LED)- 3000lm (HiD). It should be noted here that this trend is specifically for improved night vision as noted for the European market. In the USA the trend has been to stay at a lower brightness to reduce the dazzling/ glare problem already noted. This brings up a question- who is right? Well, that leads to a comparison of accident statistics involving poor visibility as root cause. What we see is that the road accident rate due to poor visibility has stayed remarkably flat in the USA over the last 20 years, but has very roughly halved in Europe over the same timeframe... So draw your own conclusions. That's the difference between fact and data and "everyone I've spoken to says..."

    Motorbikes do have an issue in that they mount a headlamp with pretty much the same performance as a car, on a platform with almost zero mass damping, much more noticeable vibration and much more direct road interaction. This causes a "flashing" where the main luminous flux density portion of the beam pattern is directed in a three-dimensional arc around its base axis. No surprise there. In terms of the Passat, I've not driven one yet but they use the same system as MB's ILS Gen 1, which is based around Osram's SMARTRIX v1.0 electronic lighting system.

    ILS is not auto dip. It contains it but has additional features, moving black spot and bendy beam to use technical terminology ;) . What is usually found with this system is that the main beam will come up quickly if a few cars have gone past, but will take longer to come back up if a large number of cars have just gone past. When I say "longer" I should quantify, there is a 0.5s delay additional to the usual delay. Not sure what the errors in beam sweep that it made were; so far I've not seen anything like this. The key issue is that while the lighting system is the same, the logic that it follows is manufacturer dependent. That's something that is very highly confidential so I cannot comment on the differences between VAG and MB; what I do know is that the MB system works flawlessly.

    Again, that may very well be VAG's system logic at play. I've seen no behavior like that in the cars that I have driven nor in the systems that I have studied. They all have delays built in of anything between 0.08s- 0.7s dependent on what has happened/ what needs to be done.
     
  12. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    Alex,

    we share the same car with the same lamps. I too have XENARC D2S fitted as low beam with Night Breaker Unlimited H7 as high beam. I don't have a problem with the light output of either........

    Your headlamp aim should be set by MOT tester or a garage with aiming points and left there. That then gives the correct beam pattern on the road.

    If your lenses are not totally crystal clear (luckily, mine are- but this is a problem that many cars of the early noughties suffer from) then this will seriously impact your lighting performance. Even slight hazing of the PC outer lens can cut light on the road by 17-20%; this is because the lens becomes a light source in and of itself- think neon tube effect- rather than allowing light to pool on the road.

    In terms of the Morimoto XB, these are claimed to produce "~3500lm" @ 4500K. NB no datasheet to back this up. The Xenarcs you already have produce 3200lm +/-15% so 2720-3680lm as per their datasheet. As manufacturers always publish the top end figure, what you already have fitted is at least as good and likely 5% better than the aftermarket lamps. By the way, Morimoto claim 200hrs to B3 lifespan. The Xenarcs have 2000hrs (not a typo) B3 lifespan.

    Spend £50, get a 3M headlamp kit and polish your lenses until they're like crystal, then seal them. You should see a big difference.
     
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  13. Alex Green

    Alex Green Senior Member

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    Yes, the headlamp polishing was next on the list. The inner nearside lamp is hazed but this only affects sidelamp and main beam.

    I would guess that the optical clarity of the dipped beam lamps would be improved with a good polish and seal.

    I read the testing of the Morimoto and saw that they had a reduced lifespan and only a small upgrade in light output, but my curiosity for shiny stuff got the better of my 'Buy it Now' finger :)

    Alex
     
  14. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    I'll freely admit to doing the same on the in-wheel reserve fuel tank for my 215...!!!
     
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  15. Alex Green

    Alex Green Senior Member

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    Now that's anew one on me, never seen a retro-fit reserve tank. Nifty!.....must resist.....
     
  16. Yugguy

    Yugguy Senior Member

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    I'm quite light-sensitive and find LEDs, especially on the VAG range, very bright both front and back. In a traffic queue I'll often stop a good 10 or 15 feet behind a VAG car, to cut down the glare.
     
  17. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    One of these... rocking horse poo now. fuel can.jpg
     
  18. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Agreed about the VAG rear lights - chuffing annoying.
    Its french front DRLs annoy me. Especially on C3s.
     
  19. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    Yes. High mounted stop lamps are very bright indeed, specifically peak intensity not illumination. That's more down to styling than light source; designers like the "gem look" of LEDs so they tend to get placed to be visible in that regard.
     
  20. Alex Green

    Alex Green Senior Member

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    Where does the tool tray go then?
     

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