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My expereince with automotive headlights

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by JohnR, Sep 26, 2004.

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  1. JohnR

    JohnR Guest

    Note these ratings only reflect the visibility (for me) and don't take into
    consideration other factors, such as light spill onto oncoming traffic.
    These are cars I've owned, rentals or friends/parents. I left out many as I
    don't recall or not been in them at night.

    1986 Isuzu I-mark. Very good. great fog lamps.

    1988 Chevy Berretta. The worst. I could barely see to drive. Could do better
    with a 6 volt flashlight!

    1989 Ford Escort. Poor. The lenses were fogged, but they were still better
    than the beretta's

    1991 Ford Ranger. Fair to Poor.

    1995 Chevy Blazer. Fair to Poor. Hard to drive by. Keep getting winked as if
    high beam were on.

    1992 Saturn SL2. Fair

    1998 Ford Ranger 4x4. As I recall, Road illumination seemed good.

    2000 Ford Focus ZX3. Best lighting I've seen in an American car. Very good
    low beam with sharp cut off pattern. good high beam, usable fog lamps.

    2001 Ford Taurus. Fair to good low beam. Fair to poor high beam

    2001 Lexus ES300 (HID system) Very good low beam (nice auto leveling
    feature), Excellent high beam (low beam HID stays on for obvious reasons)

    2002? Toyota Highlander: Good low beam, Excellent highbeam (low beam
    filament stays on)

    2003 Ford Mustang. Good low beam. High beam sends too much light down the
    road with little light in foreground. Fog lights are useless.

    2004 Saturn ION. Fair to Poor.

    Why don't American makes keep the low beam filament on with the high beams?

  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

  3. I do want noted that this is a significant consideration. I have heard
    that on some sort of average, "DOT" (American) headlamps have a tendency
    to be worse in this area than "ECE" (anywhere else in the world) are.
    (Even though both standards leave some room for both good designs and
    bad designs.)
    Biggest complaint that I hear is that the American standard is based in
    part on some "need" for eye-level-forward to slightly upward light to
    illuminate overhead signs, while roads reliably enough reflect enough
    light upwards to read overhead signs.

    One thing that I consider is need for drivers to not have their vision
    impaired by oncoming headlights if they are on narrow 2-way 2-lane roads!

    <SNIP some make/model/year specifics>

    - Don Klipstein ()
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