LED headlamps

Technical Area for all the problems you have in the garage
User avatar
kdavies3
T289R Member
T289R Member
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:49 pm
Location: Cowbridge South Wales

Re: LED headlamps

Post by kdavies3 »

My new build 289 has L542 LED rear lights.
I can assure you they're far superior to a filament bulb.
My upcoming IVA may be interesting.
Kev Davies
DAX Mk4, 383 Chevy Stroker, Tremec. SOLD
Contemporary CCX 3-4028, 445ci Big Block FORD FE,TKO 600. SOLD
Dax De Dion LS2 and T56. SOLD
1965 Ford Mustang 289 Convertible SOLD
In build Hawk 289 (302) Sebring. Awaiting IVA:D
User avatar
clive
T289R Member
T289R Member
Posts: 3148
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:18 am
Location: Perth

Re: LED headlamps

Post by clive »

Roger King wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:36 am
And anyway, most modern drivers seem to think they're optional anyway.
Funnily enough, I've seen more Audi drivers using indicators since they introduced the new sweeping indicators. :P
Cheers, Clive.

(If I'm not here I'm in my workshop or on the golf course!)
User avatar
peterc
Posts: 1550
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:05 am
Location: Surrey

Re: LED headlamps

Post by peterc »

Yes, Clive my car is classed as historic for VED purposes.
I still think that making a classic/ historic car more visible in todays crowded roads can only be a good idea.
I think that the UN spec referred to is circa 1958 and bulbs made both before and after that did not necessarily comply. The bulb rules were generally referring to max wattage not type of bulb.
Surely it should come down to whether the light housing and bulb (whatever its type) is compatible and does not dazzle. If it is acceptable to the headlight alignment check performed at the MOT (which mine did) then why ban purely on the age of the car.
Personally I find the modern supposedly self adjusting headlights irritating. They don't react quickly enough to on coming traffic and road undulations hence anyone in a low level car as opposed to a 4x4 or SUV is blinded or suffers from a constant flickering effect.
I notice the advert placed in our club magazine from Better Car Lighting points out that their design of the P700 style headlights have been modified specifically to suit both Halogen and LED bulbs.
I hope that all of you have taken the opportunity to write to your MP to contact Grant Shapps on your behalf.
Peter C
User avatar
clive
T289R Member
T289R Member
Posts: 3148
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:18 am
Location: Perth

Re: LED headlamps

Post by clive »

My understanding of self adjusting headlights is that they adjust to the level of the car and not the road or oncoming traffic.
Cheers, Clive.

(If I'm not here I'm in my workshop or on the golf course!)
User avatar
peterc
Posts: 1550
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:05 am
Location: Surrey

Re: LED headlamps

Post by peterc »

Clive, some are simply auto dipping and switch from main beam to dip on seeing on coming light but others have a multi lens. These systems apparently switch out segments of the beam to compensate for on coming vehicle but keep illuminating all the other areas. E.g. the kerb. Again theoretically. Works very well in a laboratory.
Latest Merc’s have radar that detects the road and where it is going and adjust to suit. It even adjusts the suspension to give a more manic carpet ride as it knows where the bumps are.
OK not every car is an S class Merc or similar but there are plenty of others with lights that auto compensate according to vehicle attitude.
Even road testers of these newer cars have highlighted that they have been flashed due to the slow compensation.
Peter C
User avatar
clive
T289R Member
T289R Member
Posts: 3148
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:18 am
Location: Perth

Re: LED headlamps

Post by clive »

Sorry Peter, I was getting confused with your post.

My BMW has both self-levelling lights and adaptive LED headlights. Both are separate issues. Vehicles with HID or LED lights should have self-levelling lights which are linked to the suspension so, for example, if there is a heavy load in the rear, the headlight beams move down to compensate. Adaptive headlights are connected to the steering and will move the beam right or left according to the steering wheel. On High beam, when in auto mode, the lights respond in various ways according to the traffic and ambient lighting. These are an option and not mandatory.
Cheers, Clive.

(If I'm not here I'm in my workshop or on the golf course!)
User avatar
peterc
Posts: 1550
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:05 am
Location: Surrey

Re: LED headlamps

Post by peterc »

No worries Clive.
There are so many new systems out there.
The only system I have on my Audi is the adaptive lights which are supposed to twist to suit the bend above 20-30 mph but I have yet to see the effect. That’s not to be confused with the turning lamps for road junctions which merely switch on the respective fog light. No where near as good as my ‘59 reg Mondeo.
I can only hope that these systems improve and of course those already out there that cause issues can be upgraded.

I buy into the comments already made that the bulb must be compatible with the light unit it is mounted in but if it produces the correct pattern and meets the MOT alignment check then why ban it. If no historic car is allowed to have upgraded lights then theoretically I would have to source the old design BPF tungsten set up. That really would be Prince of darkness in today’s motoring world. I don’t think other traffic would like me traveling around at 45 mph everywhere.
Peter C
User avatar
Roger King
T289R Member
T289R Member
Posts: 4394
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:29 pm
Location: St Ives, Cambs

Re: LED headlamps

Post by Roger King »

peterc wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:41 am
I buy into the comments already made that the bulb must be compatible with the light unit it is mounted in but if it produces the correct pattern and meets the MOT alignment check then why ban it. If no historic car is allowed to have upgraded lights then theoretically I would have to source the old design BPF tungsten set up.
They have to ban it Peter, because there is no technical standard the MOT tester can use to assess whether it's a correct installation, using compliant LEDs, or not. As for upgraded lighting, if you read the MOT guidance you will see that the issue is around LEDs used in housings designed for filament bulb operation (one distinct light source). So any bulb (H4s, for example), which complies with the required standards, is OK.
User avatar
peterc
Posts: 1550
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:05 am
Location: Surrey

Re: LED headlamps

Post by peterc »

An update on the subject of LED headlights.
HM Gov have just amended the MOT guidance.

Changes to current rules
From 22 March 2021, we’re changing these rules so that not all motorcycles and vehicles will fail the MOT test if their halogen headlamp units have been converted to be used with HID or LED bulbs.
For class 3,4,5 and 7 vehicles, the defect ‘Light source and lamp not compatible’ only applies to vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1986.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... onversions

You must make your own decision on when you consider your vehicle was first used. How old was the donor? Did its identity effectively get transferred to the current car. e.g. is it classed as Historic.

Picking up on Roger's important comment that the filaments must be in the same position to obtain the same focus I have compared my LED's with my previous Philips halogen bulbs and the filaments appear to align with the LED's. Maybe this only applies to the ones I have bought as Frank has made a comment that he has seen LED's sticking out a long way.
LED and Halogen comparison.JPG

The photo doesn't make It totally clear as the flanges are not perfectly aligned and one of the filaments is difficult to see through the blue tint.
I only had to make small adjustments to the headlight alignment so I am comfortable they are located in the correct position within the headlight unit and will not dazzle. They also passed the MOT last year without comment.

Cost wise yes it looks like the tripod units are rather expensive. However if you add in the bulbs the total it is similar to other 7" LED headlight units. Should you wish to pursue the LED offerings from Better Car Lighting I have been assured that they do meet the current regulations and the light spread will be far superior to the average replica Tripod design. He is also prepared to issue a letter stating that they are suitable for their supply of LED bulbs.
There are of course many cheap offerings on the web. I think we would need to ask how suitable are they?

Peter C
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
peterc
Posts: 1550
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:05 am
Location: Surrey

Re: LED headlamps

Post by peterc »

By way of clarification I have had a web chat with the DVLA. They consider the date of first use is the date of registration of the new rebuilt vehicle. So despite the historic status and not needing to comply with modern emission requirements the date of first use is still brought forward to the new registration status.
So it’s out with the LED bulbs or dig deep for the Better Car Lighting units.
Bother!
Peter C
Post Reply