2

I really do hope the someone can help me since I'm getting all kinds of feedbacks from colleagues and the web... And all of them are different!

I currently live in Germany and some days ago I was going with my car around, but with rain and fog during the night I couldn't basically see anything. Since I have halogen lamps, I thought it'd be better to buy some xenon ones in order to get a better lumen output.

Now, my questions are:

  • Does German law allows any kind of light to be mounted?
  • Do I need to replace the whole headlights, or can I buy only the "burner"?
  • What do I need to check in order to understand if the car can mount those without problem? (and I'm not referring only to electrical stuff - my colleagues warned me about some humidity problem, but I didn't quite understand...)
  • How much should I be ready to pay for that?

Thank you all in advance!

EDIT: I mounted those "+130% lamps" which give only a small upgrade to the vision field.

  • The xenon HID conversions that I've seen requires a box to be set up to use the Xenon bulbs. So aside from the other issues already outlined, you'll have to find some way to mount the electronics. – Calyth Dec 19 '14 at 19:14
2

Early Xenon light conversions were totally unsuitable for vehicle use because they did not form a distinct beam or focused pattern. Later kits include lamp assemblies which very much correct these faults. Xenon are used on dipped beams because of the time lag from turning them on and thier reaching operating luminosity. European law requires main beams to illuminate immediately when switched on from dipped beam, so Xenon are not used as they do not do this because of the inherent lag in operation. Later implementations of Xenon headlamps do have main beam Xenon operation but include an 'always on' third lamp, or an intermediate operation of the main beam. Fog and rain reflect headlamp beams back to the lamp being operated, so driving in fog and rain should be done on dipped beam for maximum visibility and to avoid this glare. (A vehicle should only be driven at any time at a speed that it can be stopped in the distance visible to the driver.) An annoyance with conversions is that where the lights have a 'bulb failure' warning as standard, the failed bulb tell tale warning lights up all of the time and its safety advantage is lost, if not fitted with relevant inline resistors.

  • Of course, but I cannot drive 50km/h where the limit is 90, especially if the road is not so dangerous. I understand those people (and trust me there are a LOT) which pass and honk because I'm going too slow. Point is: I don't feel safe enough to drive at a decent speed. Anyway thanks for the xenon history, but that didn't quite answer to my question :) – Noldor130884 Dec 19 '14 at 12:24
  • 1
    A roads speed limit is the maximum speed for that road - not the speed you should drive at regardless of fog or rain or any other consideration. – Allan Osborne Dec 19 '14 at 12:34
  • I do know that ^^ Besides, the road was SAFE. I couldn't go faster (and hey, 40km/h under the limit was REALLY going too slow) because I couldn't see. That's the point. – Noldor130884 Dec 19 '14 at 13:06
2

Probably much cheaper solution to your problem could be more powerful light bulbs. I had same issue with Mitsubishi Galant EA0 and was considering xenons, but after some research I ended up changing bulbs to 100w "extra light" ones. These look like xenons, are much brighter and does not need any extra work or resources. Just to be more specific about the costs. In Germany you may have to pay approx. 100+eur each just for the xenon bulbs, not to mention power source, mounts or any other stuff. In the end, you may no longer be able to succeed in TÜV... So I recommend new bulbs for about 10/20 eur each (yes they are that cheap).

  • I considered those too (currently there are some Philips widely sold "Xtreme Vision" - which promise a 130% increase in luminosity), but as I read the lumen output I was a bit worried too. Since I could maybe see 25 meters in front of me, I'm worried that the brightness output would result in a weak improvement. I read how many lumen they produce, these are more or less half of what you get with xenon... – Noldor130884 Dec 19 '14 at 12:31
  • 2
    Currently i drive a6 with bi-xenon lights and my friend drives mitsubishi space star with generic light bulbs. All i can say is that when i drive his car (i do that from time to time) i do not see any better "range". Just light color is less blue. You must evaluate two things: range will not change too much since higher beams are needed for range and that will blind cars in front of you AND increased lumens will create greater "gap" between dark road and bright lights. This will make you even more "blind". Because all dark regions will appear even darker (eyes really are fascinating). – avuthless Dec 19 '14 at 13:13
  • Upvoted because I didn't consider the contrast as a matter of fact... But those Philips Xtreme Vision for example promise to have an increase in range. What about your Galant? Do they only LOOK like xenon, or do they really increase your field of sight? – Noldor130884 Dec 19 '14 at 13:19
  • Well I do have a button that can lower or raise my beams, that does help, but the bulbs themselves, well all I can see is that light "spills"/disperses more so that my lit region is wider and longer (so range theoretically icreased). Its like the same beam, but greater power lights up more road to all directions. – avuthless Dec 19 '14 at 13:24
1

If you just reach behind your headlight behind a rubber guard, there's a clip that holds your bulb inside, screwed in like a light bulb, as long as they are headlights and not fog lamps that you're talking about. It hooks and presses backwards, away from the headlight fixture, so you just press in and unhook it. With some cars there's things in the way. You might have to undo a few hidden bolts behind the bumper, a tiny frame that the headlight is bolted to, possibly on at least one side. It shouldn't be hard. If you did it yourself and had the right sockets it might take 30 minutes, but you may need a car jack on one side. It really shouldn't even be that hard. I however, have done this, and Xenon lights may look nice but when you're sitting behind them, you can't even tell they're on most of the time, because they have a blue tint. Sometimes it leaves you visually blind.

  • I think you're not getting that a xenon light bulb doesn't have the same "plug" as an halogen one. In fact more than one guy (in Internet and live) told me that I cannot simply replace my bulbs with xenon ones. Besides, yes high Kelvin are bluish, but I'd want to buy some 4300K ones (white/yellow) - which have the maximum output as I read. I understand that those are really nasty to have behind, but here in Germany at least 50% of the cars do have "blinding" lights... with the downside that if I keep the lights I have I keep seeing nothing. – Noldor130884 Dec 19 '14 at 12:21
  • Xenon and halogen refer to the gas inside the bulb, hence they cause different colors and are gaseous light emitting diodes, like phosphor coating inside fluorescent bulbs. Hey I spelled it right. The bulbs come in several different varieties but if you want something bigger, you're probably going to have to get fog lamps. Check out PIAA fog lamps, and keep in mind they have a mounting bracket, so some may or may not be able to mount aesthetically to your bumper if done at a body shop, as there is a frame underneath your bumper. I used to have an Evo 4 front bumper that accepted 6" PIAA 525's. – GettingNifty Dec 19 '14 at 18:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.