[ROVERNET - UK] More on Lights from Fletcher

Glen Wilson rovercar at comcast.net
Sat Feb 10 13:36:51 GMT 2007

Relaying this for Fletcher:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:     More on LIGHTS
Date:     Wed, 07 Feb 2007 03:36:04 -0500
From:     Fletcher <gofanu at usachoice.net>
Reply-To:     gofanu at usachoice.net
To:     rovernet at lyris.ccdata.com

I will make some comments here, regarding issues raised.
 First, I have a lengthy article regarding all this, including how 
lights vary with voltage, fitting of relays, correction of wiring 
deficiencies, and electrical troubleshooting, etc. I am not about to 
rewrite it, so if you can receive a Word.doc, request it by direct 
e-mail to me, as "Relays.doc" The article has a few repetitions, as I 
have been assembling and modifying it over the last couple of years, and 
do not have time to edit it properly just now.

Proper DRLs are usually incorporated into the headlamp assembly; what 
you guys are describing are simply poorly installed and misused 
accessory lamps, whether aftermarket or factory installed. Real DRLS are 
arranged to only be on when the headlamps are OFF.

"the REAL trouble is the white light/blue light high
 > intensity beams usually found on high end cars"

These are designed by the same people who gave us the crappy sealed 
beams, and they are mostly on pseudo high end cars. Ford in particular, 
is astonishingly good at inventing crappy lights - I got rid of my Fords 
and bought a Mazda, to find that it has Ford lights -9004! Real high end 
BMW, MB, etc. tend to have much better ones, with things like computer 
compensation for car pitch variations.

True not all older lights are crap. But they were in the US, as our laws 
did not allow any of the decent lights used in Europe. The US situation 
is improving, but we have state overrides on some Federal regs - lights 
that are legal in Federal regs are not in Pennsylvania law, but it is 
now much easier to get away with pushing the envelope than it used to 
be. When all lights were the same here, we used to have to switch our 
good lights back to sealed beams to get inspected. Technically, you 
still do and a cop can ticket you for non-conforming lights, but since 
every light is different now, you can usually get by. That's if you are 
not using flamethrowers and if the lights are aimed correctly. Canada 
seems to float in some limbo between US and Euro regs, changing at times 
which side you lean to. Daniel Stern can tell you exactly what the true 
sitruation is, and it may well be different than what some local yokel 
is telling you. Don't know about you guys who are upside down!

The E-code lights that I, and Daniel Stern, recommend are the 
requirement in Europe, where they are much pickier about glare than in 
the US. The lumen output is generally within US/Ca limits as long as you 
have standard 60/55W H4 bulbs. The corresponding USA bulb is HB2, which 
is usually within the H4 specs, but at the low end - a really good HB2 
is a pretty bad H4, and a good H4 is better than the best HB2. The 
increased illumination is a result of taking the light that normally 
produces glare and putting it where it does some good rather than harm. 
The non-conforming aspect of them is that US regs require that there be 
a certain amount of light above the sharp cutoff line of the E-codes; to 
those of us who are used to E-codes, this IS glare. US specs also allow 
stray light pointing all over the place, so long as it's not in certain 
test areas. A "glaring" (sorry) example is that US sealed beams 
typically have a very strong beam about 70deg up and 15 deg right. This 
does nothing but light up trees except when you are on the left side of 
a big truck and about 10 feet behind his mirrors, when it shines 
directly in the mirror to  the trucker's eyes - ask me how I know! The 
US halogen sealed beams do exactly the same, only brighter. That light 
is doing zilch to help you drive. If you go out on a dark road with 
trees, you will see other similar stray beams all over the place, 
varying by what type of lamp it is - 9004 Ford/Mazda etc have dark and 
light patches everywhere, but few light patches on the road. They also 
have too much angle between high and low beam, so that if the lights are 
aimed correctly on low beam, high beam is in the trees again; if the 
high beams are good, the lows end about 5 feet in front of the car.

There are few pretty good lights that meet US specs and are marked "DOT" 
as required by law. The onlty one I know of that is in production 
recently is the Hella Vision Plus, not as good as E-code but acceptable. 
The old Cibie Bobi was great, but it's been out of production for many 
years. There are some new US made lights in various brands, like 
Sylvania Silverstar. They put out a lot of light, but I haven't used any 
so I can't comment on beam patterms.

If by "alerters" we are speaking of the high frequency whistles that you 
glue on your bumpers, there is a lot of conflicting evidence in various 
studies. I think that this is probably due to where they are mounted 
relative to the actual airflow over the vehicle. Many times they are 
where no air could possibly pass through them. On the leading edge of 
the roof would be the best place, followed by the top of the front 
wings. I observed when driving the truck (since I could see) that deer 
would wander around and get in the road if I was running with very light 
throttle, but if I had ny foot in it, like going up hill, they would all 
stand there and stare at me. I finally realized that when off-throttle, 
the turbo is quiet, but on-throttle they can hear it for miles (at least 
1 mile by observation). Again, it's a matter of letting them know you're 
coming before you get too close. That may apply to other animals as well.
Hope all this is , ahem, enlightening!

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