Latest thinking on LED headlights

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Jonathan Kay
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Thanks for the photos. 

Jonathan

PS: TTBOMK Dave Gemzoe's are £35/ pair and E marked.

7 wonders of th...
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But again that will not make the headlight E marked....

They were Designed for a H4 (Halogen ) bulb and thats what the E marking relates too, when you change the light source this no longer applies and therefore using LED bulbs in a headlight designed for a H4 bulb no longer meets the regs for on road use. 

 

John Vine
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... using LED bulbs in a headlight designed for a H4 bulb no longer meets the regs for on road use. 

That's interesting.  Is that because the lighting regs were drawn up (1989?) before LED lighting existed?  And if the LED bulb is designed to produce the same beam pattern and cut-offs as the filament bulb (which I believe the Gemzoe bulb is), does the problem become more of a "technical" breach?

What are the downsides in practice?  Insurance? Plod? MOT? Roadside checks?

JV

Jonathan Kay
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What are the downsides in practice?  Insurance? Plod? MOT? Roadside checks?

I wouldn't expect problems at MoT testing with LEDs per se if the illumination looks right to the tester because:

  1. They don't fall foul fall of the inspection processes and rules.
  2. We haven't heard of any so far.

Jonathan

 

chrisr1718
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There are two types of E/e mark.

1. The e-mark is an EU mark for approved vehicles and vehicle components sold into the EU.

2. The E-mark is a United Nations mark for approved vehicles and vehicle components sold into the EU.

As we've now left the EU surely this is now irrelevant in the UK and we don't have to comply? Whistle

Chris

Blatting in the lap of luxury Driving 

 

Jonathan Kay
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The existing EU rules are written into all of the different legal systems within the UK and don't drop out because of Leaving. No-one knows what will happen to new ones.

Jonathan

chrisr1718
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Agreed Jonathan, but if it's not "sold into the EU" does it still have to comply?

That could be a grey area could it not.

 

As Dickens said, "the law is an ass" 

Chris

Blatting in the lap of luxury Driving 

 

Jonathan Kay
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... but if it's not "sold into the EU" does it still have to comply?

Before or after the end of the transition period, currently up to 31/12/2020?

Jonathan

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Just to muddy the waters even further, I have just fitted JAL leds in place of RINRW772 H4 Xtreme Blue Performance Halogen Light Bulbs 60/55w.  First surprise was that the lenses are in 3 segments, upper half is dipped beam, middle narrow bar is sidelight and lower half is main beam.  Beam pattern on the wall was also surprising because the beam positions stayed at more or less the same height and there seemed to be more light on dipped?  I checked with Doug (JAL), and he confirmed that this was normal, stating:

"The bowl is split into two halves (top/bottom) and use different powered LED bulbs and different reflectors for each requirement. This is also the reason why Caterham owners should not replace their normal headlamp bulbs with LED bulbs. The reflectors are designed for the type and brightness of light produced by the standard bulb. If you simply replace the bulb then the type of light produced and brightness change and can be thrown into all directions by the reflector. You must replace the bulb and the reflector at the same time."

However, I couldn’t help wondering if some additional wiring would allow me to illuminate the top dipped beam while the lower main beam was selected.  My bench test was surprising, I supplied power to both dipped and main terminals thinking that both upper and lower segments would illuminate but they don’t or more accurately won’t.  The upper dipped segment always extinguishes when power is supplied to the main beam terminal.  So there must be some sort of intricate relay switch within the led lens that kills power to dipped when main is powered.  I can only assume that it is some sort of regulation and maybe having both segments illuminated would be too bright and not comply with Euro E regulations, which confirms Doug’s comments above.  The interior switching mechanism must add considerable cost and maybe the cheaper Chinese lights / bulbs that are available do not conform to E regulations?  Here are some comparison photos

David

Jonathan Kay
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Very interesting, thanks.

So there must be some sort of intricate relay switch within the led lens that kills power to dipped when main is powered.  I can only assume that it is some sort of regulation and maybe having both segments illuminated would be too bright and not comply with Euro E regulations, which confirms Doug’s comments above. 

Might be to keep the temperature down.

Jonathan