[ROVERNET - UK] LIGHTS and brains

Glen Wilson rovercar at comcast.net
Wed Feb 7 10:56:44 GMT 2007

First of all, I driven across Pennsylvania numerous times on I80 where 
Fletcher lives. I wouldn't really mind so much having a 500,000 
candlepower lighting system out there because for most of the way the 
eastbound lanes are out of sight or the westbound lanes behind 50 yards 
of forest or a mountainside. There are no lights. But if you're going to 
share the road with other drivers, you can't be permanently blinding 
herds of deer in the adjacent woods.

Unless this is a hunting technique Fletcher's using, which is a definite 
possibility in Pennsylvania.

Fletcher wrote:
> Not to cause a fight, but this needs some rethinking:
> How much for my family you kill because you are on the wrong side of 
> the damn road?
Ouch! If I'm on the wrong side of the damn road, it's probably not the 
fault of my headlights.
> Did you ever hit a fallen tree, or even a single branch?
> Did you ever hit a rock in a rockfall area?
> Or a piece of something off a truck, like a tire tread or a 10 ton 
> ingot, or 20 tons of rebar?
> Did you ever hit a horse, cow, deer, bear, moose?
> Person?
> Do any of these sound like fun?
> $150 or $200 or $500 worth of lights is cheaper than any of these, and 
> a whole lot more useful.
> What are the "moral" or practical implications of these?
Ouch, again.
> For that matter, how much for the cars you don't really need?
> I have about a million miles under my belt, with good and bad lights, 
> in all kinds of weather..
> If you are using any standard light on anything other than late model 
> high end cars, you can't see worth a damn.
> If it's foggy or rainy, you can't see half a damn.
> I lost a nice Rover 2000 to a deer that jumped out of the dark in 
> front of me, with 4 brand new Cibie lights I had just bought in the 
> back seat.
> With the same lights (only installed!) in the same location, I saw the 
> same herd of deer long before they got to the road.
> With the same lights, and other similar ones, I have observed that 
> deer see you coming well before you get there, and stay put, as 
> opposed to getting spooked and jumping in front of you when your 
> feeble candles pop around the bend within their "fright range"
> With a pair of Cibie Bobies and a pair of Cibie 195 fogs, I have 
> watched thousands of deer over a hundred miles of I80, and been vastly 
> amused and considerably frightened when the driver in front of me 
> started yelling on the CB "One deer by the road, mile marker 207". A 
> dozen drivers answered, wanting to know exactly where the "One deer" 
> was. I told them what the real situation was; that the "one deer" was 
> only about 2 feet closer to the road than the rest of them, that there 
> were several hundred deer visible at that location, and that there had 
> been similar numbers for a hundred miles.  After a ten minute 
> argument, one other driver out of a guesstimated couple of hundred in 
> radio range came to my defense, nobody believed us.

> I pulled up beside the guy so he could see with my lights, then I put 
> my high beams on, and he damn near crashed.
Doesn't sound like such a good thing to me.

If you're illuminating herds of deer in the woods along the highway, it 
doesn't sound like a well focused and properly aligned system to me, 
especially if you're sharing the road with other drivers. Are we talking 
about lighting up the road or blinding pilots who end up landing their 
757s at the local aerodrome? Full rally lighting is great for the guy 
behind the lights.

> It costs about $200 for me to straighten the light circuit wiring out 
> and put in the relays, and you need this whether you upgrade the lamps 
> or not. If you can do it yourself, it's like $50 and a few hours. The 
> good lights will not work as expected if this is not done; the crappy 
> lights also don't work as they should without these repairs. On a 
> older typical car, the combination of good quality 55/60W H4 lamps and 
> the wiring work can result in approximately an order of magnitude 
> increase in useful illumination. There is no need for overwattage and 
> illegal bulbs, and they will aggravate poor wiring. I've got the 
> numbers. Stay home at night if you are too cheap to buy good lights, 
> we don't need to loose any more cars. It has absolutely nothing to do 
> with how old the car is - it's still several thousand pounds of junk 
> guided by a blind man when it hits me.  And do not try this "Moral" BS 
> on this subject. It is irresponsible and stupid and immoral to drive 
> with bad lights; and, it is equally so to have regulations which 
> permit, encourage, and in some cases, require less than optimal 
> lighting. End lecture, keep your good humor, and have a brighter ride 
> tonight.
Why would you suggest that someone pay $500 for an illegal system that 
will most likely blind oncoming drivers when you can buy a system that 
meets your specs for $80?

Fletcher, I know you're in the business and I didn't mean to endanger 
your livelihood. I just don't believe that a headlight costing $109 plus 
$20 for a bulb is thirteen times better than one costing $10. I'd be 
interested in exactly what configuration your lights were since the H4s 
you mention are for a two-lamp system, not the four-lamp system that the 
2000 TC has. How many lamps are on when you're in low beam mode and 
what's on when you hit the high beams? Do you use four H4 lamps, drive 
with all four on for low beam and then have four H4 high beams when you 
hit the switch?

A standard $6.49 halogen low beam for a 2000TC (H5006 2C1 35 watt C-6 
element) is 15,000 candlepower.
A standard $6.49 halogen high beam for a 2000TC (H5001 1C1 50 watt C-6 
element) is 55,000 candlepower.

I assume that these are the H1 single-element sealed beam lights that 
became legal in the USA in 1997.

If they were all on, you'd have 140,000 candlepower which, by 
coincidence, keeps you just under the Pennsylvania legal limit of 
150,000 total candlepower for headlamps and auxiliary lamps on the front 
of the vehicle. As far as the restrictive laws are concerned, all of 
these new cars with advanced lighting systems (which I've seen listed on 
some cars as a $1600 option) must be below 150,000 candlepower, or they 
wouldn't be legal. So, the legal limit of 150,000 candlepower can 
definitely yield superior illumination without necessitating breaking 
laws designed to protect your fellow drivers.

Daniel Stern states that a standard H1 four-sealed beam system on high 
beam produces about 90,000 candlepower total (all lamps), and a stock H4 
or sealed beam two-lamp system produces about 110,000 candlepower total. 
Those $109 lamps put out 142,000 candlepower PER LAMP with standard H1 
bulbs and 164,000 candlepower PER LAMP with upgraded H1 bulbs. Oh, and 
the bulbs are not included in that $109. So, for $218 for the assemblies 
(2) or $436 for the assemblies (4) and the cost of upgraded bulbs, you 
get some excellent lamps that are illegal to use and won't pass 
inspection because you're putting out about three times the legal 

Go crazy. Install four H5001 sealed beam halogens in your 2000TC and you 
get 220,000 candlepower (well above the legal limit) for $28. You might 
have to change two plugs.

There are halogen headlight conversion kits available that allow you to 
get rid of the sealed beam headlights altogether and replace them with 
modern lamp assemblies with modern reflectors that use standard H4 
halogen dual-filament hi/low bulb. That's the 55-watt H4 halogen bulb 
you mentioned in your post. Again, that's a two-lamp system, so you'd 
have to do some rewiring of the 2000TC, but that wouldn't be rocket 
science. These conversion kits are available at several places on the 
net (including JC Whitney) for $39.95 for the pair. The H4 bulbs are 
$6.99 each for 3200 Kelvin or $19.95 each for 4000 Kelvin Sylvania 
Silverstars.  So, for roughly $55 you can have a two-lamp system. 
Splurge for the Silverstars, and you're talking $80 for the whole 
system. Then maybe put some auxilliary fog lights in the other two 
headlight positions, and Bob's your uncle. As far as I can tell, this 
would be a legal system in the state of Pennsylvania where we both live 
and would meet your specification for a 55W H4 system.

Why would you suggest that someone pay $500 for an illegal system that 
will most likely blind oncoming drivers? Be a good steward and put that 
extra $400 in a college fund for your grandson or some needy kid you 
don't even know.


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