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Just been talking to some MOT testers and it MAY be possible that headlamp conversions of the type spoken about here could now be an MOT failure because they are not original and do not conform to type approval standards. Basically, under the new MOT rules they have to be genuine bulbs, or if fitted with Xenon or LED lamps then headlamp wash system is required.
Will be interesting to get reports from members on their MOT success in the coming months.
The change makes HID bulbs a definite failure, it's clear in the test criteria.

Grey area is LED bulbs and other non certified bulbs.
 

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As the recipient of the selfish horrid dazzling light caused by some of these amateur conversions, a crackdown is long overdue.
 

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Discussion Starter #203
Passed MOT just fine, you'll be surprised but when you drive an Ampera into an Mot testing centre, it's quite an overwhelming experience for them because of how rare of a car it is and because usually everything works flawlessly , if your installation looks clean, they will not not even talk about it nor make a note of it, just don't go and tell him yourself and it will be fine, LEDs are hard to get noticed because they don't warm up like HIDs does.
 

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Aaaargh!!! one of my LED bulbs has just blown. This was the 2nd replacement, went in 25 April 2017, so has lasted just over 1 year. The original pair went in in Oct 2016 and only lasted 6 months, when the mfr replaced both a no cost. So I think it's a matter of weeks before the other one goes. So it's back to the Osram Nightbreakers for now...

These LED have no fan-assisted cooling, it's just the thermal braids doing the work. Clearly insufficient for the job. Maybe the space behind the headlight is too cramped and the braid isn't getting enough cooling air? So, do I try some other brand which have the mini fans in, or should I look for HIDs or something? The Osrams really don't cut it, sadly.
 

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Mine are still ok but then they would be as they are still in the box! :whistle:
I haven't bothered yet to swap them with the HIDS that have been in for years as they work well and comparing the specs of both, they seem to be very similar in light output.
 

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Looking for 9012 LED bulbs, it seems every Tom, Dick & Harry si making them. Surely someone's making a decent, reliable one by now? So I'm hunting for reviews, and this one looks excellent:
Are LED Headlight Bulbs the Brightest? (we show you the best)
so I'm now going hunting for a Philips Ultinon bulb.

Update: a) these are darned expensive, b) can't see them in 9012 format, and c) box says for racing/off road use only.

So have ordered a pair of 9012 HIR2 Luxeon Lumileds Headlight Car Conversion Bulb White 6500K Lamp. These look to be decently engineered. We shall see...
 

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Looking for 9012 LED bulbs, it seems every Tom, Dick & Harry si making them. Surely someone's making a decent, reliable one by now? So I'm hunting for reviews, and this one looks excellent:
Are LED Headlight Bulbs the Brightest? (we show you the best)
so I'm now going hunting for a Philips Ultinon bulb.

Update: a) these are darned expensive, b) can't see them in 9012 format, and c) box says for racing/off road use only.

So have ordered a pair of 9012 HIR2 Luxeon Lumileds Headlight Car Conversion Bulb White 6500K Lamp. These look to be decently engineered. We shall see...
Those seem similar (if not identical) to the ones I bought from Amazon some months ago (also no fan, just large heat-sink). To be honest originally I thought the brightness wasn't much good but somehow they've grown on me and I quite like them now. Just as well because the retaining lock ring broke loose from the bulb and is stuck in the headlights clip so whilst the bulb is still held in by it's rubber o-ring; when I remove the bulb I will have to somehow extract the bulbs retaining ring afterwards in order to fit a new bulb. Lets hope the 100,000 hour life is at least partially true! So a word of warning - try not to over-stress the bulbs retaining ring and you should be fine.
 

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Looking for 9012 LED bulbs, it seems every Tom, Dick & Harry si making them. Surely someone's making a decent, reliable one by now? So I'm hunting for reviews, and this one looks excellent:
Are LED Headlight Bulbs the Brightest? (we show you the best)
so I'm now going hunting for a Philips Ultinon bulb.

Update: a) these are darned expensive, b) can't see them in 9012 format, and c) box says for racing/off road use only.

So have ordered a pair of 9012 HIR2 Luxeon Lumileds Headlight Car Conversion Bulb White 6500K Lamp. These look to be decently engineered. We shall see...
https://www.philips.com.au/c-p/11012XUX2/x-tremeultinon-led-headlight-bulb

I hope this answers your question.



It's electricity time. Go electric ! Now !
 

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has anyone tried using the philips bulbs? i think a fan needs to be added but brushless silent bearing quality, would solve the issues.

ive noticed the bul;bs on this car are poor and found on numerous ocassions driving at night scary, i have 20/20 vision and the lighting on my older cars, and including my VW golf 2003 is better! so the lightning on dipped is a serious concern and needs something done to be safer, this bulb kit from philips looks better, needs fan on it to make it even more reliable.
 

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I suggest you hold off ordering those for a few days.

Looking at them, it's been suggested that the layout of that type of LED bulb may not be the best for projector lamps (Ampera), though fine for reflector lamps. With the projector lamps, you'ld love to have lots of light coming out axially straight forward from the "filament", and that would provide a large part of your straight-ahead beam. This design has a large circular flange at the axial tip, so may be likely to block off a large amount of light going in the generally-straight-forward direction. I've just bought a cheapo £20 pair with a similar design, and plan to test them maybe Wednesday if it's dry clear. I'm also getting a pair which have a blade-design, so very little metal at the axial tip; these might be a whole lot better. It's going to be interesting!

Most of the LED light will be coming out sideways from the "filament" - I don't know how Ampera optics cope with that! Do they simply cut all that off & lose it? Or is there a smallish reflector of some kind in here? Would be nice to know - anyone got a broken headlamp unit they can pull apart please?

From the point of view of getting more light out at the sides for verges/corners etc, especially on dip, I agree 100% that the lamps are dangerous & feeble. Two ways to get more light out sideways are

1) have more lumens to begin with.
2) have a "filament" that's large and well spread-out. de-focussed if you like, which will help scatter light in all directions. Usually this would dazzle others when on dip, but Ampera has a large metal plate that seems to cut the beam very nicely on dip, even if the original bulb is badly defocussed, so it copes well with this potential problem. Hence my interest in the cheapo pair I'm testing, which has a very large LED area and lots of lumens (36W/bulb). See other thread near here.
 

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It's interesting how many owners here rate the standard headlamps as dangerous.
They are certainly the worst I have experienced since the 1970's when retro fitting Cibies was all the rage.

How on earth do the regulatory authorities allow such poor illumination or are they simply interested in the amount of dazzle they can detect hence automatic levelling on HIDs.

I used to have an M3 (BM) that had auto levelling and remember that on uneven surfaces the headlamps were raised and lowered as the front dipped and returned so that tree tops then a foot in front of the car was alternatively illuminated, especially in traffic calmed areas. Very poor and far worse than not having it at all IMHO.

Edit: I do remember the headlamps as being the best I have ever seen and on main beam the reach was good enough to see to infinity (and beyond!). :p
 

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I think it's the design of headlamps in cars these days that's the problem, not the bulbs themselves as lower powered lights were never an issue in the past. The current headlamp implementations seem to be designed to dazzle oncoming drivers rarther than aid the driver to see where he is going. Replacing bulbs with brighter, whiter ones only makes things worse and more dangerous potentially leading to oncoming drivers getting dazzled and driving right into you. Not quite what you wanted.
My old ICE Skoda with a more traditional headlight system gives better spread out illumination than these fancy (to look at) current varieties. The modern design throws the light directly ahead, albeit sometimes directed at oncoming vehicles when not aligned correctly by people 'upgrading.' However, it is impossible to see to the side such as where the road corner is at an unlit T junction. What doesn't help too is the present fashion for tinted windscreens (which the Skoda doesn't have.)
The whole issue requires investigating formally to come up with something better, even if it means going back to earlier designs.
I truly hate driving at night on unlit roads these days as around 1 in 10 vehicles cause dazzle. While some might just forget to dip them I don't think putting in ever brighter headlamp bulbs is the solution, it just makes matters worse. I agree your own road illumination is presently an issue though so manufacturers it's over to you.
 
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I've been so concerned about my ability to drive my Ampera safely in the dark this winter, the poor lights coupled with being easily dazzled by oncoming cars and the really thick A pillars reduces my vision at junctions. I'm seriously thinking of getting rid of it and moving to something else.
 

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I think the use of projector designs is largely to blame here. I bought a new Golf Mk3 GTi some years ago, yes, the soggy 1.8 ?8 valve? thing that wasn't actually that quick; but the real shocker was the headlamps on that! Superb main beam illuminating down a straight autobahn for about a mile, but once on dipped beam they were totally useless (and dangerous imho) on country lanes at night, just like Ampera is. Simply didn't illuminate off to the sides at all. That car didn't stay long, upgraded to a Mk4 instead which was fine. VW must have had a lot of complaints on the Mk3 I suspect...

The beauty of reflector designs is the freedom to tune how much light goes in exactly what direction and when, by careful shaping of the reflector facets. I don't know if the projector lamps attempt to do this by making the focussing lens barrel-shaped rather than spherical, i.e. adding in a deliberate astigmatism amount to a "perfect" lens, but it can't be as easy to do, I think.

Hope my potentially super-duper LEDs arrive today, and the weather's suitable for a test. I really do want to get this problem sorted. Must also do some photos to show the effect of the added Fresnel lens adaptation I designed, visible in my avatar pic on Lhs if you look carefully!! Also visible in my car in this pic: Ampera spotting

p.s. also spot the radiator anti-stone grille behind the numberplate - if you don't have one, you should!!! If passing Winchester, drop in, I can knock you one up & fit it in about an hour...
 

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I think a lot is to do with the reflector size hence all headlamps used to be at least 7" diameter in the old days pre halogen.
These days the designers get first say and the headlamp designers have to make do.

I'm sure that properly designed LED headlights overcome a lot of these limitations as can be noted by using a moby flash as a light, it is reasonably focused for such a small light emitter.
 

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I have been playing with two sets of LEDs over the last couple of weeks I am hoping that they are sorted now but will have to wait until tonight to be certain. I do know that unless you have fans the life of LEDs is short they really dont like heat, I have a boat full of them and recently they have been failing
 

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i've fitted a set of +120 from GE,HB4 trimmed as they got a good write up on the 'bulb facts' site as 10% better in a projector housing. I can now see the 'hotspots' on the road which I could not before, main beam is also better. I replaced the night breakers Ive had in for the past 2 years.
LED will be the next step once I see a fanless design that works effectively
 
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