The Truth About Projector Retrofits in 6 Images

Dave_Mark

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Originally Posted by The_Nuke
"I can see better at night with headlights in my car." "No, you can't. You only think you can." "But I can see better." "No, you can't. I know you think you can, but trust me, you can't." "But..." "YOU CANT! If you don't believe me, just look at this entanglement of data I have from an unknown source." "Okay, I guess I really can't...but it sure looks like I can..." "You are clearly a moron because I said so." Luckily for me, I'm stuck with halogen and have no option of the other types...
If everyone knew exactly how well they could see, why would there be any accidents with pedestrians and disabled vehicles in the dark?
 
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Many many other factors could go into why the accidents happen with pedestrians and disabled vehicles that may have ZERO to do with how well the driver thought they could see... Whether the driver had been drinking alcohol or on some other drugs getting them high while driving or sleep deprived or whether a pedestrian was high or drunk etc etc... Weather conditions... Tires in good order... Brakes actually working properly...etc etc A famous pedestrian got killed in my area... Sweet Pea Whitaker... Driver not charged... I'd bet the pedestrian in this case was either drunk or drunk/running into the highway or he did it on purpose... Nothing to do with how well that driver thought they could see. Or in my home town a stupid kid wearing all black head to to toe skate boarding at 1 am in a area with hardly no lighting around... Get hit and killed by a ambulance going to the hospital... No charges there either... In fact my wife and I noted earlier that exact same evening that kid out there skate boarding when it was getting dark out. . And we both thought that kid was asking for trouble...
 
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Having ng said that... I believe the "blueness" of HID and LED headlights is not necessarily a good thing... I think we need a bit of yellow in a light to truly see "better". I have HIDs in my car... And when I turn on the high beams those lights have a yellow in them... Very helpful to me anyhow.
 
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The charts make me feel very comfortable driving around in a 2005 Honda Accord with 9011/9012 retrofits (the 2006 Honda Accord uses identical lighting, albeit 9005/9006 stock, not 9011/9012).
 
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My observations are limited to H6054 units, but I've tried H4 Hellas (junk), Cibies (excellent), Marchals (excellent), BOBI's (very good) & Trucklites (very good in both SAE & ECE flavors). All the incans were with an upgraded relayed harness + Narva 55/60 & 80/100s. The GE Nighthawks were very good as well, but short lived after I upgraded the harness. My JW Speaker 8910's blow all the above headlamps away, even with a stock harness. They do have a faint yellow tinge in the foreground, very easy seeing with these. They don't dim when my grid heaters cycle, as they have full output from 10v+, even in winter when their heated lenses are active.
 

Dave_Mark

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Originally Posted by pitzel
The charts make me feel very comfortable driving around in a 2005 Honda Accord with 9011/9012 retrofits (the 2006 Honda Accord uses identical lighting, albeit 9005/9006 stock, not 9011/9012).
That is a very wise and economical upgrade. The best part about the results is that they're all basically underrated for the halogen systems. The halogen headlamps are tested at 12.8 volts. If bulbs on your car are only getting 12.8 volts, then you either have terrible wiring or a bad alternator. Most cars run closer to 13.7 volts, and if most of those 13.7 volts are making it to the bulb, then that's a 25% increase in raw lumen output, and a likely 5 to 20% bump in hotspot intensity.
 
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
Originally Posted by pitzel
The charts make me feel very comfortable driving around in a 2005 Honda Accord with 9011/9012 retrofits (the 2006 Honda Accord uses identical lighting, albeit 9005/9006 stock, not 9011/9012).
Most cars run closer to 13.7 volts, and if most of those 13.7 volts are making it to the bulb, then that's a 25% increase in raw lumen output, and a likely 5 to 20% bump in hotspot intensity.
In the Canadian winters, my cars start at +15.1V. Even when running, they're still well over 14V most of the time. 13.7V in summer ambient heat though.
 
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
...This is a test of HID kits stuffed into various halogen headlamps, from simple reflectors to complex reflectors and projectors. This graph shows the level of illuminance recorded at point "B50L." ...
Who did the testing?
 

Dave_Mark

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Originally Posted by SubLGT
Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
...This is a test of HID kits stuffed into various halogen headlamps, from simple reflectors to complex reflectors and projectors. This graph shows the level of illuminance recorded at point "B50L." ...
Who did the testing?
Latvian government.
 

JHZR2

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Originally Posted by Spktyr
Originally Posted by FastLane
LED lights are horrible.
There are no factory LEDs or HIDs listed in the comparison table - if they were, you'd see that they blow the old school factory halogens completely out of the water. Factory to factory, stock to stock, halogen is far worse than HID or LED. Aftermarket is another matter entirely.
Yeah, I was going to say... this is kind of a sory set of vehicles, and only one retrofit. Retrofits are known to have an issue, because the "hot spot" is different and with a different gradient than a halogen filament. This often will result in more foregropund illumination, which falsely gives a sense of better sight, at a cost. But some do exist where there is a better job of matching the hot spot to better use the design of the light. Projectors help with cutoff which are also more amenable as a result to retrofits. What I take from this is that overall, one data point for one retrofit seems to be middle of the pack in terms of performance of lighting systems on the road.
 

Dave_Mark

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Originally Posted by JHZR2
Yeah, I was going to say... this is kind of a sory set of vehicles, and only one retrofit. Retrofits are known to have an issue, because the "hot spot" is different and with a different gradient than a halogen filament. This often will result in more foregropund illumination, which falsely gives a sense of better sight, at a cost. But some do exist where there is a better job of matching the hot spot to better use the design of the light. Projectors help with cutoff which are also more amenable as a result to retrofits. What I take from this is that overall, one data point for one retrofit seems to be middle of the pack in terms of performance of lighting systems on the road.
This is hard to understand. You say that this is a "sory" set of vehicles. I'm assuming that you mean the lights on most of the vehicles here are poor. The retrofit tested here ranks dead last in 2 of the 3 hotspot intensity comparisons, and mid-pack in the third hotspot intensity comparison. But you conclude that the retrofit is "middle of the pack" compared to all of the vehicles on the road, which would include vehicles with presumably less sorry lighting systems. It should be noted that the retrofit tested here not only ranks last in 2 of 3 hotspot intensity comparisons, but its hotspot intensity is actually less than legal requirements. In other words, less than a sealed beam, since sealed beams are required by law to meet all minimum legal photometric standards. At 0.6D, 1.3R, the measured hotspot intensity of the bare retrofit projector (before it loses light from being stuffed behind a plastic lens) is 9390 candela, while the minimum legal requirement is 10,000 cd. At 0.9D, V, the measured hotspot intensity is 4024 cd, while the minimum legal requirement is 4500 cd.
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But some do exist where there is a better job of matching the hot spot to better use the design of the light.
The hotspot on this projector is a joke. Its "peak" intensity (peak intensity is found by searching the entire beam pattern for the maximum candela value) is a bad joke. The beauty of a 9007 headlamp on the right has a higher peak intensity. The headlamp on the right is, if you're curious, from a 1995 Ford Explorer. Uses 9007 bulbs. [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
 
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
Originally Posted by JHZR2
Yeah, I was going to say... this is kind of a sory set of vehicles, and only one retrofit. Retrofits are known to have an issue, because the "hot spot" is different and with a different gradient than a halogen filament. This often will result in more foregropund illumination, which falsely gives a sense of better sight, at a cost. But some do exist where there is a better job of matching the hot spot to better use the design of the light. Projectors help with cutoff which are also more amenable as a result to retrofits. What I take from this is that overall, one data point for one retrofit seems to be middle of the pack in terms of performance of lighting systems on the road.
This is hard to understand. You say that this is a "sory" set of vehicles. I'm assuming that you mean the lights on most of the vehicles here are poor. The retrofit tested here ranks dead last in 2 of the 3 hotspot intensity comparisons, and mid-pack in the third hotspot intensity comparison. But you conclude that the retrofit is "middle of the pack" compared to all of the vehicles on the road, which would include vehicles with presumably less sorry lighting systems. It should be noted that the retrofit tested here not only ranks last in 2 of 3 hotspot intensity comparisons, but its hotspot intensity is actually less than legal requirements. In other words, less than a sealed beam, since sealed beams are required by law to meet all minimum legal photometric standards. At 0.6D, 1.3R, the measured hotspot intensity of the bare retrofit projector (before it loses light from being stuffed behind a plastic lens) is 9390 candela, while the minimum legal requirement is 10,000 cd. At 0.9D, V, the measured hotspot intensity is 4024 cd, while the minimum legal requirement is 4500 cd.
Quote
But some do exist where there is a better job of matching the hot spot to better use the design of the light.
The hotspot on this projector is a joke. Its "peak" intensity (peak intensity is found by searching the entire beam pattern for the maximum candela value) is a bad joke. The beauty of a 9007 headlamp on the right has a higher peak intensity. The headlamp on the right is, if you're curious, from a 1995 Ford Explorer. Uses 9007 bulbs. [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
But the Mini H1 7.0 is known for having bulb alignment issues. If they just slapped a bulb in and measured it, of course it will be terrible. And yeah, these videos showed them shined against a wall which I know is useless. The point is to show how much the beam pattern changes, which does correlate to how they perform on the road and will change the measurements in any actual testing.
 
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Dave_Mark

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If only they gave us the rest of the report. The rest of the report would have discussed the "sharpness" or gradient of the cutoff, which would let us know whether the bulb was properly shimmed/aligned. That being said, the tested unit was not purchased by an anonymous buyer. It was sent in with a bulb, with all the implications that brings. If I were going to pay for expensive testing and could send in my own stuff, I'd want to make sure I'm sending in something halfway decent, like a bulb and projector that seem to like each other. Maybe even send in the shims, maybe even glue the shim to the bulb or projector.
 
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
If only they gave us the rest of the report. The rest of the report would have discussed the "sharpness" or gradient of the cutoff, which would let us know whether the bulb was properly shimmed/aligned. That being said, the tested unit was not purchased by an anonymous buyer. It was sent in with a bulb, with all the implications that brings.
I agree. I wish they'd have used more OEM HID's in that testing though... like a Grand Cherokee with the factory D3S along with the Grand Cherokee with 9012's. I'm not entirely surprised they didn't release the full report.
 
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I like this concise summary that explains why putting a LED bulb or HID bulb into a halogen headlight has no technical merit, no engineering merit, no scientific merit:
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..."Not designed for it" is a 4-word summary of the basic problem: headlamps and fog lamps are optical devices engineered to a high degree of precision, and requiring a high level of system precision in order to work appropriately. This applies even to lamps regarded as poor. These lamps have a complicated task to achieve: they have to put the right amounts of light in the right places, which means very high intensity light (for seeing) very close to very low intensity light (for glare control). They can't just put out a random spray of light, even if that's what it might look like they do when you shine them on a wall. The optics in these lamps are a type known as "imaging optics" -- they magnify, superimpose/overlap, expand, contract, shift, rotate, and align images of the light source to build up the overall beam pattern. The exact distribution of these images depends on the light source being of a very specific, particular size, shape, position and orientation, exactly as originally engineered, and it has to match all of those aspects. No matter how closely one light source's position matches another light source's position, if the two light sources aren't also the same size, shape, and orientation, the headlamp won't work right. The images won't be as intended, so the optical transformations of the images won't be as intended, so the beam pattern won't be as intended, so the wrong amounts of light will be sent to the wrong locations, and it can't be compensated by adjusting the lamp aim...
https://www.candlepowerforums.com/v...ED-bulbs-dont-work-in-halogen-headlights
 
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