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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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That's it. I think they are too dazzling.

As the number of LED equipped cars is going up, I am really getting uncomfortable at night trying to see they road ahead beyond their lights.

Brighter lights don't necessarily help drivers see better at night. It's disappointing they (and manufacturers) don't realise that. It's OK and even helpful on fast motorways, but our slow old British roads, I'd like to see accident statistics for night time accidents during this phase in of these nasty things.
 

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The day authorities start checking retro-fitted LED bulbs 80% of them will be condemned.
Only recently the regulation catch up with technology on that regard.
You can buy really cheap stupidly high intensity LED bulbs that haven't been produced to proper standard.
Location of light emitters is rarely in the correct position giving the wrong beam.
Just for comparison, the sunlight intensity on a bright sunny day at sea level is around 10k Lux while you see bulbs that will have declared emission of 12k and above.
 

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2020 Corsa E
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Factory fitted LED headlights with auto dim are fantastic. I couldn't drive at night much at all in the Zoe as the headlights were so piss poor. I can actually see now. LEDs are far better than the HID alternatives too.

For dazzle you can buy anti dazzle glasses. I'm thinking of getting some. It's also an age thing anyway as you get older your contrast response drops and normal headlights are more annoying.
 

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After market naughty bulbs have been around forever. 30 years ago it was over wattage halogens. Then it was aftermarket HIDs. Now it's illegal LEDs.

I don't know what travelling speed dipped beam is set for as the regulations seem to have been before there is such a volume of traffic so I'd assume they thought everybody would be using main beam more of the time.
 

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After market naughty bulbs have been around forever. 30 years ago it was over wattage halogens. Then it was aftermarket HIDs. Now it's illegal LEDs.

I don't know what travelling speed dipped beam is set for as the regulations seem to have been before there is such a volume of traffic so I'd assume they thought everybody would be using main beam more of the time.
The law says dipped beams must reach 40m to the front of the vehicle with a small portion of light raising to the left (in UK) with the sole purpose of illuminating the side of the road and road signs.
The small lights must be visible at 120m with clear visibility.
High beams have no specification on range, instead there are restrictions on use.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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Discussion Starter #7
Factory fitted LED headlights with auto dim are fantastic. I couldn't drive at night much at all in the Zoe as the headlights were so piss poor. I can actually see now. LEDs are far better than the HID alternatives too.

For dazzle you can buy anti dazzle glasses. I'm thinking of getting some. It's also an age thing anyway as you get older your contrast response drops and normal headlights are more annoying.
When I say dazzle, I just mean too bright. That is it. The beam is spread more, they allow more light into the margins of the beam.

They are just bad, and though you might think you are seeing more, other people are seeing less.
 

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The law says dipped beams must reach 40m to the front of the vehicle with a small portion of light raising to the left (in UK) with the sole purpose of illuminating the side of the road and road signs.
I don't have my Highway Code to hand, but what speed has an emergency stopping distance of 40m?, and I do not like to be driving such that I cannot clearly see for at least double the emergency stopping distance.

I seem to remember that there is (was) an upper limit for dipped beams that they should not dazzle someone with an eye level 3ft 6 inches above the ground at a distance of 25 yards. However, variations in the vertical plane of the road surface means that a car approaching you over a hump in the road will dazzle you even if their dipped lights are perfectly set.
 

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One issue is that the regulations only talk about beam spread, they don't talk about total lumens. Even HIDs are quite dazzling in dark lanes with poor road markings, but there's a combination of real issues:

Firstly dirty headlight glasses will diffuse more light away from the focused area where the beam is supposed to go, this means oncoming drivers see a much brighter lamp, no matter how hard the manufacturer has tried to control the beam angle. (And old cars have micro abrasions on the glass surface which does the same; though old cars tend to have crap lights anyway so this is less of an issue!)

Secondly LEDs tend to be smaller point sources emitting very high intensity light per unit of area. In some respects this is better, because your vision brightness adaptation doesn't respond so much to them, but the very small point source nature also means they burn patterns into your retina much more rapidly (because your vision doesn't adapt!).

Legislation should really step in and ensure that all cars have auto-dimming where oncoming lights are detected and only ramp up to full brightness when there's nothing out there, and that there's an actual lumens limit as well as a beam pattern limit that can be measured and enforced at MOT time.
 

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I don't have my Highway Code to hand, but what speed has an emergency stopping distance of 40m?, and I do not like to be driving such that I cannot clearly see for at least double the emergency stopping distance.

I seem to remember that there is (was) an upper limit for dipped beams that they should not dazzle someone with an eye level 3ft 6 inches above the ground at a distance of 25 yards. However, variations in the vertical plane of the road surface means that a car approaching you over a hump in the road will dazzle you even if their dipped lights are perfectly set.
The 40m distance for dipped beams is of course when the car is stopped on a levelled plan, then you measure the distance between the front bumper and the line where the light reaches in front of the vehicle.
I have no idea what you mean with the emergency stop or what does emergency stopping has to do with the reach of the lights.
 

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I live in a rural area and have to drive on single carriageway roads a fair bit. What gets to me are drivers who, after I pull in for them to pass, burn my retinas out with a 'thank you' flash before they drive by. I'd rather they just drove by or maybe stop and give me a box of chocolates or somesuch!
And then there's some cyclists with insanely bright ill focused LED lights...
 

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I have no idea what you mean with the emergency stop or what does emergency stopping has to do with the reach of the lights.
What I mean is that if my dipped lights only reach 40m, I cannot see anything beyond that point, so if some obstruction in the road becomes apparent when illuminated by my dipped lights I need to be able to stop before colliding into the obstruction.
 

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What I mean is that if my dipped lights only reach 40m, I cannot see anything beyond that point, so if some obstruction in the road becomes apparent when illuminated by my dipped lights I need to be able to stop before colliding into the obstruction.
Then another rule will apply.
Drivers must adapt their driving to road conditions at all times.
The law also says that you are allowed to use the high beams if there is no risk to other road users.

Basically, if the speed you are driving is somehow excessive for the road you're on then you must reduce it to safe levels.
 

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burn my retinas out with a 'thank you' flash before they drive by.
I agree. In fact flashing when you are already on dip beam can be ambiguous since the car could just have pitched up a bit due to a bump in the road or hard acceleration, so I'm cautious about 'accepting' such signals.
Personally I tend to do the opposite. If my headlights are on I turn them off briefly (occult them), usually twice if I'm trying to give way to someone. It avoids dazzle and is fairly unambiguous.
Also, if I'm on a narrow lane and have pulled into a recess to let opposing traffic squeeze past I'll leave the headlights off after signalling so they can see better while passing me. (There's an element of self preservation in there too :whistle: )
 

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How well do auto dipping main beams work?

Do they cope with being in a line of cars with a good gap between us, but still close enough I need to be on dip to avoid dazzling the car in front? I love my auto dimming rear view mirror, just wish the side mirrors were the same. There are way too many tall pickups and SUVs here. But not everyone has that so I always assume they don't and dip from quite far back.

Do they work properly on dual carriageways with a low barrier as well as single carriageway and single track roads?

I love the visibility I get with the factory fitted LEDs on my car, but it makes the poor visibility on dipped even more obvious.
 

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Whilst clearly there are some dodgy headlamp conversions around. I must say quite seriously that if you have not had your eyes checked recently you just might have an eye problem such as cataracts. Get an eye test instead of automatically blaming everyone else. It is shocking that once you pass your test there is no further check on your eyesight.

I can speak with experience, having had an operation to remove a cataract, I had a lot of problems driving in the dark prior to the op. Also my wife is an optician so I had the best advice. I have LED headlamps which are terrific because they do not need adapting for driving abroad.
 

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40M view means driving at just over 40mph. If you do that on a country road at rush hour you'd be pushed into the scenery for dawdling.

That explains why I think anything more than about 45mph on a twisty road on dip is problematic. I thought it was my eyesight. It's actually just how crap dip beam is meant to be.

The few times I've used auto dip on the Leaf and it's pretty sensible. It doesn't dip and full too often and errs on the side of caution. Works fine in varying streams of traffic on single and dual carriageways. It also dips when you get close enough behind something to dazzle them. I have auto dipping on all the mirrors as far as I can tell. It's a wonderful invention.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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Discussion Starter #18
Whilst clearly there are some dodgy headlamp conversions around. I must say quite seriously that if you have not had your eyes checked recently you just might have an eye problem such as cataracts. Get an eye test instead of automatically blaming everyone else. It is shocking that once you pass your test there is no further check on your eyesight.

I can speak with experience, having had an operation to remove a cataract, I had a lot of problems driving in the dark prior to the op. Also my wife is an optician so I had the best advice. I have LED headlamps which are terrific because they do not need adapting for driving abroad.
No, the lights are just too bright.

As folks mentioned above, there is virtually non-existent regulation in place to manage this.

60W of filament bulb as a regulation was fine, then noble gas bulbs got a bit brighter, but tolerable at 60W.

When we end up at 100% efficient 60W bulbs they'll be putting out x100 as much light as the 1% efficient filament bulbs once did.

It is not my eyes that are inadequate, it is the legislation not keeping up with tech.
 

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I've noticed that the dazzling has increased far more from cars behind you and in particular vehicles to the right of you on dual carriage way in the door mirror. I think it's a combination of brighter lights and that headlights have moved upwards on SUV's and vans making that bright up to the left catch the mirrors.
 

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They are brighter yes - that’s the point ;)

there is more to this though

the cut off on new projector lenses is excellent and makes a very good defined line

led bulbs and HIDs do not work in reflector lenses due to the Point of light being extended vs a halogen - however not many cars have that type of headlamps any more

soooo many people are driving around with just their DRLs on and those LED systems are blinding at night

people seem unable to adjust their headlamp level and auto levelling isn’t as common as it should be so cars coming over rises of speed bumps give you a flash of bright

also much of the new led headlamp systems use multiple lenses and multiple leds

I have always had HIDs fitted to my cars and I have even upgraded the projector lenses (most manufactures use the cheapest lenses and light transmission through them is poor - BMW ones are excellent and retrofitlab do conversion kits for lots of cars)
These HIDs have always passed mots and I have always made sure the adjustment is good. Yes - the technicalities of law make them legal due to CE approval of the headlamp unit being matched to a bulb type (this also makes led sidelights illegal too yet all the big manufacturers make them for cars - just write “for off road use only) on the packaging in small writing.

when we moved from candles to oil lamp headlights people will have said the new oil ones are too bright - and so on.

in these days of total muppets on the roads, the number of people driving with just their DRLs on is bonkers (or no lights at all) and add to this cyclist who things riding in all black with no lights on is a great idea then I need all the light I can get to avoid flattening soft bodied idiots.

maybe driving in towns should be sidelights only?

JJ
 
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