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Thread: how many lumens do car headlights output?

  1. #31
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many Candlepower do car headlights output?

    And what Candlepower do the xenon high beam headlights do ?!!

  2. #32
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    It was stated previously that HID headlights produce ~3000lm per bulb. It's not easy to convert that to candlepower, nor is it particularly useful to do so, since the purpose of headlights is to illuminate a large area fairly evenly, not a single spot very brightly.

    Most cars that have HID headlights don't actually have HID high beams, because HID bulbs will burn out quickly if they are repeatedly turned off-and-on. Cars that do have HID high beams actually use a single HID bulb with a movable "eyelid" that blocks part of the beam when the low beams are engaged, and the "eyelid" is moved out of the way when the high beams are engaged.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 09-02-2010 at 12:05 PM.

  3. #33
    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    This is the oldest live thread I've ever seen in any forum, must be a record, almost 10 yrs old
    My Mods.. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...5&postcount=78
    Hobby only, I don't do custom mods as a service, thanks for understanding.

  4. #34
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    I was thinking Xenon projectorlights, with lenses preferably.

    I am curious, in what range this should be. It is easy to calculate if you have a lightmeter. And a car with projectorlights.
    ( I would be surprised if I would be the first to wonder the candela-figures. )

    I am interested in the candlepowers, dont be surpise to find this interest on this forum .

  5. #35

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    Most cars that have HID headlights don't actually have HID high beams, because HID bulbs will burn out quickly if they are repeatedly turned off-and-on.
    That's not the main reason. The main reason is the delay from power-on to full intensity.

  6. #36

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walterk View Post
    I was thinking Xenon projectorlights, with lenses preferably.
    I am curious, in what range this should be. It is easy to calculate if you have a lightmeter.
    One does not "calculate" the light flux within a headlight beam, one must measure it. And there is no single answer to your question, even if we look at headlamps equipped with only one particular type of bulb. Optical efficiency varies widely. Take a look, for example, at
    Stern's 4-way comparison of 178mm H4 ECE headlamps, all with the same bulb, all tested on the same apparatus. Not only does the flux range from 441 to 695 lumens (695 is 158% of 441) but also this tells us nothing about the efficacy of the beam. The lamp with 695 lumens is not the best lamp presented.

    What is it you are really trying to learn here?

  7. #37
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    I don't know much, but I do know how to calculate candlepower, as for headlights Lux measurement at 1 meter gives no valid reading;

    Lux measurement at distance to headlight x ( distance to headlight x distance to headlight ) = candlepower

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    What is it you are really trying to learn here?
    @Scheinwerfermann:
    I think that is blunt to say.
    Maybe you know about headlights Scheinwerfermann, but did you forget how to obtain candlepower-figures? (I can't think of any easier to obtain number about light BTW. ) Or did you just didnt read my posts?
    I would appreciate a little more consideration in wording .

  8. #38

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walterk View Post
    I don't know much, but I do know how to calculate candlepower
    There is no way to calculate the flux within a headlight beam by knowing just the flux produced by the particular bulb used in the headlamp in question.

    Lux measurement at distance to headlight x ( distance to headlight x distance to headlight ) = candlepower
    Yes…and? This still doesn't tell you anything about the flux within the beam.

    I think that is blunt to say.
    You're entitled to your opinion.

  9. #39
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    (My interest is candlepower, I can't be clear enough on that. )

    Thanx for the link with test-data. I pulled open several images, and conclude the following (Correct me if I am wrong) as ball-park figures:

    Low beam: 10 to 20.000 candela
    High beam: 35 to 50.000 candela

    I find this interesting, as a decent flashlight throws 30.000cd, and specific throw-lights do over 100.000 candela.

    (Hope to measure Lux from headlights someday and will post findings then.)

  10. #40

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walterk View Post
    Low beam: 10 to 20.000 candela
    High beam: 35 to 50.000 candela
    That is not an accurate ballpark figure for beam peak intensities, no. Go read this report if that's the info you want.

    flashlight
    A flashlight beam isn't even remotely comparable to an auto headlamp beam (low or high). I ask again: what are you really trying to figure out here?

  11. #41
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    what are you really trying to figure out here?
    Peak beam intensity expressed in candlepower.
    Or distance in meters at which Lux-meter reads 1,0.
    (Of modern-day lens-based high and low beam headlights, the average and the top-range, may it be xenon or HID. )

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    That is not an accurate ballpark figure for beam peak intensities, no.
    I don't know how and what this is measured and do not understand the meaning of the tables in your link to halogen lights from 2004. All I see is there is more variation than I thought there would be. I don't think I am that far off.

    I assume you understand the article you referred to, can't you just give me 'more accurate' figures?
    Else prove I am wrong with explicit information to make things not more complicated then they are.

    Thanx

    Edit FYI:
    NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law Excerpts Quote: 'No lamp shall be used on a motor vehicle having a light source greater than thirty-two candle power, unless such lamp is approved by the commissioner as provided by this section.' (Note: peak of 50kcd is permitted)
    This limit to 35.000 candlepower was already the limit in 1976 according this article in Populair Science 1976 . At the same time in Europe car headlights on high where limited to 110.000 candlepower each.
    From 1913 up to 1930 the maximum was 21kcd, but new cars with suitable fittings where allowed to use 32kcd for headlights. Here is told in 1983 the maximum for high beams was lifted to 150.000cd.

  12. #42

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walterk View Post
    Peak beam intensity expressed in candlepower.
    OK, the link I gave you provides that info for 25th, 50th, and 75th-percentile U.S.-market 2004-model headlamps. If you spend some time searching the UMTRI library's online catalogue, you will find similar data sets for previous years and for European headlamps as well.

    I don't know how and what this is measured
    Huh?

    and do not understand the meaning of the tables in your link
    It's the intensity values for 25th, 50th, and 75th-percentile (market-weighted) headlamps through a large matrix of test points from far left to far right, far up to far down. This is why your flashlight comparison is meaningless; headlamps are required to distribute certain minimum and/or maximum levels of light to a large number of test points widely distributed relative to the lamp axis.

    Else prove I am wrong
    Not interested.

    Quote: 'No lamp shall be used on a motor vehicle having a light source greater than thirty-two candle power, unless such lamp is approved by the commissioner as provided by this section
    Yeah, that language appears in many U.S. state vehicle lighting codes, most of which are many decades out of date, and were poorly written even when the lamps they were written for were current-production equipment. Under the "no more than 32cp" restriction, exactly none of the current-production headlight bulbs would be legal. Fortunately, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 preempts any State provisions.

    This limit to 35.000 candlepower was already the limit in 1976
    The U.S. limit on high beam axial intensity was 37,500 candela per side of the vehicle until 1979, when it was raised to 75,000 candela per side of the vehicle*—*that is the current limit, though everywhere else in the world the limit is above 140,000 candela per side of the vehicle. Note this is a restriction on axial intensity, not a restriction on intensity anywhere in the beam.

    At the same time in Europe car headlights on high where limited to 110.000 candlepower each
    The limit in Europe has varied from 102,500 to 215,000 per side of the vehicle over the last sixty years or so.

  13. #43
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    It's the intensity values for headlamps. This is why your flashlight comparison is meaningless; headlamps are required to distribute certain minimum and/or maximum levels of light to a large number of test points widely distributed relative to the lamp axis.
    For each and all lightsources on earth and beyond, you do can compare peak beam intensity. It describes one of the parameters and the behaviour of light, that is why the international standard unit for intensity candela exists and is being used.

    I agree there is much more needed to compare lights concerning the distribution patterns, beam shape, spotsize, colour, angles, lumen, flux, efficiency, physical and subjective factors and others that you can think of.
    For peak beam intensity candela is just right.
    (It is a reference point, and after all, I can't think of anything that I judge by one single parameter. )


    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    The limit in Europe has varied from 102,500 to 215,000 per side of the vehicle over the last sixty years or so.
    So it is safe to assume high beam headlights with 215.000cd exist and are in some European production cars?

  14. #44

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walterk View Post
    For each and all lightsources on earth and beyond, you do can compare peak beam intensity.
    No. You can put any given light source into any given headlamp optic and measure the peak beam intensity, but the figure obtained is utterly useless for predicting the peak beam intensity from that same light source in a different headlamp optic.


    For peak beam intensity candela is just right.
    Er...yes, we use the candela as the unit of measurement for beam intensity at any point. Why does it seem as though you are arguing matters not in dispute?

    it is safe to assume high beam headlights with 215.000cd exist and are in some European production cars?
    The provision for high beams exceeding 150,000 cd per lamp are brand new and associated with adaptive lighting systems, so I don't think there are any...yet.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 09-04-2010 at 06:41 AM.

  15. #45
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    No. You can put any given light source into any given headlamp optic and measure the peak beam intensity, but the figure obtained is utterly useless for predicting the peak beam intensity from that same light source in a different headlamp optic.
    Who is arguing matters not in dispute here? From the start all I asked was candlepower-figures!

  16. #46

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walterk View Post
    Who is arguing matters not in dispute here?
    You are. I will no longer help, but feel free argue with yourself all the livelong day and half the night.

  17. #47
    Flashaholic* kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    You are. I will no longer help, but feel free argue with yourself all the livelong day and half the night.
    Please don't go away because of the ballbusters. The rest of us find your information always enlightening and hope to see more.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

  18. #48

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Oh, no worries, I'm not going away — I'm just discontinuing participation in Walterk's silly game, is all.

  19. #49
    Flashaholic* bshanahan14rulz's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    If you are trying to use a headlamp as a consistent source with which you can calibrate your light meter, I don't think that's a good use for them. Scheinwerfermann was just trying to point out that whatever you are doing, that data measurement of the brightest part of the pattern isn't going to provide any useful information about the light itself. I've seen some aftermarket headlamps that had peak intensity points many many time brighter than any headlamp from the factory.

    The measurement of this point, and how much light passes through it, cannot be used to determine how many lumens the particular source is putting out. Even if you had 50 of the same car, you wouldn't be able to say anything about the light sources from measuring flux in one spot.

    HIDs dim with age. Ballasts may or may not feed 35.00W to the bulbs. Projectors put out different amounts of light depending on what condition they are in and how close the bulb is to the optimum focal point. Outer lenses can vary greatly in clarity and color.

    I think, for these reasons and more, Scheinwerfermann would not give you a solid end-all be-all magical average number of the universe for the candlepower of a xenon high beam.

    Also, I agree. This is quite an old thread. I almost think we ought to preserve it in a glass case full of xenon.

  20. #50

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by bshanahan14rulz View Post
    This is quite an old thread. I almost think we ought to preserve it in a glass case full of xenon.
    OK, but only if we gots the xenon with the 19281K kelvin rating!

  21. #51
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    OK, but only if we gots the xenon with the 19281K kelvin rating!
    Ooooh, pretty. I'm going to go replace my vehicle headlight bulbs with those immediately...and adjust them upward to help others see me easier.

  22. #52
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Grinser2 Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Well, if you do THAT, obviously you should make sure you run your fog lights at all times so you can see the deer in the road in front of you! And if anyone flashes you, they're just jealous of your awesome lights!

  23. #53

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    they're just jealous
    They're a bunch of h8rs.

  24. #54

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    I'm interested in getting a TM11, but I have no clue what to compare it to. How does it compare to car headlight(s), in practice? Let's say you're out driving in the countryside at night and somehow the car headlights breaks down. It's pitch black and you somehow attach your TM11 to your car. Would it be a noticeable difference to the better/worse? Will it even be close? How about comparing it to one headlight? Or comparing two headlights with two TM11's?

  25. #55
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by irrbloss View Post
    I'm interested in getting a TM11, but I have no clue what to compare it to. How does it compare to car headlight(s), in practice? Let's say you're out driving in the countryside at night and somehow the car headlights breaks down. It's pitch black and you somehow attach your TM11 to your car. Would it be a noticeable difference to the better/worse? Will it even be close? How about comparing it to one headlight? Or comparing two headlights with two TM11's?

    Check out this thread: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...EAMSHOTS-VIDEO

    It has images that might give you your answer.

  26. #56
    Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    It boggles the mind that one of the more recent posters in this subject seemingly failed to comprehend that there's an appreciable difference between the fairly simple parabolic reflector in most flashlights/spotlights (and resultant uniform/simple "hotspot-and-spill" beam pattern) is an entirely different animal compared to the composite reflector/optic arrangements in vehicle headlights that produces a highly shaped beam with varying intensities in various sectors in order to comply with both the law and desirable performance characteristics.

    A cheap $20 spotlight from Harbor Freight using a H3 bulb can reasonably produce many thousands of candlepower in the center of its hotspot at 10m yet the same bulb in a car headlight assembly will likely produce a few tens of candlepower at best in the brightest part of the beam at 10m (yes, I am speculating here and might be off by an order of magnitude or more) in addition to fewer out-the-front lumens and still be considered a very good headlight.

    Then again, I should just let this very old thread die.
    Last edited by idleprocess; 01-19-2012 at 10:36 PM. Reason: proofreading
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  27. #57
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    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    It boggles the mind that one of the more recent posters in this subject seemingly failed to comprehend that there's an appreciable difference between the fairly simple parabolic reflector in most flashlights/spotlights (and resultant uniform/simple "hotspot-and-spill" beam pattern) is an entirely different animal compared to the composite reflector/optic arrangements in vehicle headlights that produces a highly shaped beam with varying intensities in various sectors in order to comply with both the law and desirable performance characteristics.

    A cheap $20 spotlight from Harbor Freight using a H3 bulb can reasonably produce many thousands of candlepower in the center of its hotspot at 10m yet the same bulb in a car headlight assembly will likely produce a few tens of candlepower at best in the brightest part of the beam at 10m (yes, I am speculating here and might be off by an order of magnitude or more) in addition to fewer out-the-front lumens and still be considered a very good headlight.

    Then again, I should just let this very old thread die.
    so what's the latest on LED headlight development?

    are they ready for prime time yet?

    Trucklite claims 1300 lumens for low, 1300 lumens for high... with LED specific reflectors. = 2600 lumens.

    getting close to HID 3,000 lumens

  28. #58

    Default Re: how many lumens do car headlights output?

    Quote Originally Posted by cy View Post
    so what's the latest on LED headlight development?
    There are more of them on the world's roads every day. Some of them are quite good, some of them are quite poor, and most of them are somewhere in between those extremes. As lumens per watt and per dollar rise, LED headlamps will gain market share.

    Trucklite claims 1300 lumens for low, 1300 lumens for high
    The actual beams produced by the Truck-Lite headlamps don't even come close to those figures. The optics, especially on low beam, are not very well engineered -- and yes, I am talking about their latest revision, not their earlier ones. It's possible they are citing source lumens rather than lumens in beam, though looking at the LED type and count in their headlamps it's more than a little difficult to agree with 1300 lumens as even a source lumen figure.

    getting close to HID 3,000 lumens
    That is also a source-flux figure that is not necessarily linked to light flux in beam.

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