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Thread: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

  1. #1

    Default Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    I have a 2005 Town &amp; Country I would like to improve the lighting on.They use a single reflector with an H13 bulb. &nbsp;I currently have a set of Bosch Compact 100 driving lights to help out the high beams. My major problem however is the low beams. The pattern is very narrow, to the point its difficult to see well enough to turn into driveways and to see pedestrians alongside the road.&nbsp; I consulted Daniel Stern and he suggested trying to get a set of stock ECE dual reflector headlamp assemblies&nbsp; from overseas. I looked into that but it turns out the housing shape is different enough to require changing out the whole front bumper cover. <br><br>I have been unable so far to find a set of compact auxiliary low beam lights. So far the only possibilities I've found are some halogen projector modules on rallylights.com.

    The 90mm Hella low beam module http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=128
    From what I can find out, these are not all that great as far as beam width and optical performance.

    The 60mm Hella low beam module seem to have better optics from what I can find.
    The actual lens is larger that the 90mm modules. http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=1800

    The 90mm Bi Halogen Hi/Lo beam module http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=4924
    I haven't been able to find a lot of info on the performance of these although the actual lens looks to be largest of all of them.
    The problem with the projectors is the depth of the housings is going to make them difficult to mount in the grille.
    If you could still get the Cibie CSR low beams I would seriously work on mounting those in the grille.
    Ideally I'd like to find something like Compact 100's in a low beam pattern.

    So, does anybody know of some appropriate lights that I missed. Any comments on the above lights as far performance goes?
    Last edited by Lee Dodge; 04-26-2012 at 07:22 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Dodge View Post
    I have a 2005 Town & Country I would like to improve the lighting on.They use a single reflector with an H13 bulb. *I currently have a set of Bosch Compact 100 driving lights to help out the high beams. My major problem however is the low beams. The pattern is very narrow, to the point its difficult to see well enough to turn into driveways and to see pedestrians alongside the road.* I consulted Daniel Stern and he suggested trying to get a set of stock ECE dual reflector headlamp assemblies* from overseas. I looked into that but it turns out the housing shape is different enough to require changing out the whole front bumper cover.
    Is yours the short wheelbase or long wheelbase model? They use different headlamps. Are you sure you were looking at the correct lamps?

    I have been unable so far to find a set of compact auxiliary low beam lights.
    Well, what are your maximum available mounting dimensions? If what you're looking for is extra beam width, you could use a pair of Compact 100 fog lamps, aimed wide (slightly "walleyed") and with the top of the central hot spot aimed 2" below the lamp mount height at 25-foot aiming distance (essentially a "VOL" aim; see Stern's aim page for details).

    The 90mm Hella low beam module From what I can find out, these are not all that great as far as beam width and optical performance.
    There are many different versions of the Hella 90mm low beam module. Most of them do in fact give very good width and optical efficiency/performance.

    The 60mm Hella low beam module seem to have better optics from what I can find
    I do not agree.

    The 90mm Bi Halogen Hi/Lo beam module
    Excellent performance.

    Ideally I'd like to find something like Compact 100's in a low beam pattern.
    The fog beam Compact 100s come pretty close; they have that central hot spot most fog lamps don't have.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    I was going to recommend the Hella XL as a passing lamp, but it seems they're very tough to find nowadays.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Is yours the short wheelbase or long wheelbase model? They use different headlamps. Are you sure you were looking at the correct lamps?





    Well, what are your maximum available mounting dimensions? If what you're looking for is extra beam width, you could use a pair of Compact 100 fog lamps, aimed wide (slightly "walleyed") and with the top of the central hot spot aimed 2" below the lamp mount height at 25-foot aiming distance (essentially a "VOL" aim; see Stern's aim page for details).





    There are many different versions of the Hella 90mm low beam module. Most of them do in fact give very good width and optical efficiency/performance.



    I do not agree.



    Excellent performance.



    The fog beam Compact 100s come pretty close; they have that central hot spot most fog lamps don't have.

    I have the long wheelbase with the large round reflector. I also have an 02 Caravan with the 9007 based headlight. It has a wider low beam pattern.
    The ECE lights are a straight drop in for that vehicle.

    From the face of the grille to the radiator is about 7 1/2 inches. That leaves about 1/4" clearance with the Bi-Halogen. A small bump in a parking lot
    could push them through the radiator. The 90 mm low beam would give a little more clearance as its not as deep.

    I based my impressions of the 60mm and 90mm modules on this thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/054061.html

    I did not know that about the Compact 100 fogs. Thanks. That really sounds like the best option at this point. I can try that first and
    if it doesn't work out try the projectors next.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    A dimensional drawing is available for most Hella lights.
    Got Biodiesel?

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    At risk of contradicting a moderator who is among the most knowledgeable automotive lighting experts like Daniel Stern, I have to ask why fog lamps have been recommended as "passing lamps".

  7. #7

    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    Fog lamps in general aren't suitable as auxiliary low beams. These particular fog lamps, however, have a beam pattern that works reasonably well as an auxiliary low beam. Aim will be very important.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Fog lamps in general aren't suitable as auxiliary low beams. These particular fog lamps, however, have a beam pattern that works reasonably well as an auxiliary low beam. Aim will be very important.
    It's still somewhat troublesome for me, as I see fog lamps overused, at high speeds, in clear weather, and sometimes with high beams. And that phrase "reasonably well"... What are the photometric requirements for real passing lamps? Is there sufficient overlap in SAE J582 and J583 that the Micro DE can perform as a low beam and a fog lamp? Fog lamps aren't really intended for speeds over about 25, decent factory headlamps surely should not be overdriven at that speed.

    Also concerning for me is that it's "difficult to see" when turning into driveways, or to see pedestrians. Is all the interior and exterior glass clean, and, if tinted, tinted in compliance with the law (preferably not as dark as the law allows, or in odd colors)? Are the instrument panel lights dimmed down? Do you have poor night vision, or other defects in vision? Are there cornering lamps available for the vehicle (helpful in turning into a driveway)?
    Are the factory headlamps aimed properly? Are they starved for voltage? Are the lenses absolutely free of yellowing, hazing, and crazing?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    The interior and exterior glass is clean, no window tint, instrument panel lights dimmed, vision normal, no cornering lamps available, headlamps in good condition. Aim is good. I have an almost identical vehicle with the older design headlight. No issues with that vehicle. It has an adequately wide pattern. Its a beam width issue on low beam with the 05. It has a very strong central hot spot with minimal light outside the main area and a very low cutoff to the sides. My take on the issue is that with a single reflector you are just moving the beam up and down but you can't really change the pattern between high and low. This vehicle has a very nice high beam and I think they chose to emphasize the high beam at the expense of the low beam.

    Someone on another forum suggested the shape of the back edges of the bulb cap played a part in shaping the cutoff. He was able to extract the bulb cap through the bulb opening and was able to trim the edges to create more beam width. That is not something I wish to pursue however as it makes your headlight noncompliant even if you manage not to screw it up.

    I like the Compact 100 fog idea for several reasons.

    It will fit easily in the space I have available.

    Its cheap.

    It also addresses one of my concerns about using a low beam projector. When correctly aimed, the projector would provide additional beam width but it would also reinforce the concentrated hot spot in my stock lights. Not really what I am trying to acheive. I couldn't really angle them out to move their hot spot because the cutoff isn't flat. The kick up on the right side would dazzle oncoming traffic and vehicles on the right waiting at intersections.

    The major concern here is spotting deer standing in the ditch that like to dart out into the roadway at the last second. The ultimate solution however is sitting in a box next to my desk. I bought a Cadillac Night Vision thermal camera I found on craigslist.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    There is no lamp that will really address the need you describe with deer darting into the road at the last second. What you are calling the "last" second is actually after the last second in which you can do anything about it. At any normal road speed you will hit a deer that darts into the roadway within fog lamp distance range -- either that or you will cause unacceptable (and unlawful) amounts of glare to other drivers. This is simple math (trigonometry), and there's no way around it.

    However, wider effective illumination for curves and turns could be a useful safety improvement.

    The idea of messing with the bulb shield is a total nonstarter. The guy who suggested it and thinks it made an "improvement" is wrong, is badly ignorant, and probably doesn't agree (or care). Good for you for rejecting that dumb idea.

    with a single reflector you are just moving the beam up and down but you can't really change the pattern between high and low.
    That's not necessarily true, but it is true with most single-reflector headlamps that use the H13, HB5 (9007), and HB1 (9004) bulbs. I share your dim (heh) view of the headlamps on your van. Too bad the Euro ones won't fit; they are really preferable.

    Back to the subject of extra light in curves and turns: the best and most elegant solution would be to wire up the Compact 100 fogs as cornering lamps, activated by putting on the left or right turn signal. This is not terribly difficult to set up so they behave just like factory cornering lamps (come on as soon as you put on the turn signal, remain lit for a few seconds after the turn signal stops). All you need is a delay-on-release timer relay such as an Amperite number 12D2SSTB. One timer relay per lamp. This relay applies power to the load (lamp) as soon as its trigger terminal sees power, and does not cut power to the lamp until 2 seconds after the trigger terminal no longer has power. You'd trigger the relay off the turn signal feed, so the timer's countdown cycle would be reset each time the turn signal flashes. The cornering lamp would turn off 2 seconds after the final turn signal flash, just like a factory setup. Doing it this way would allow you to turn the Compact 100s outward more than you could for constant running, giving a much wider illumination than you could otherwise achieve. Because you can't easily mount them in the sides of the bumper fascia like factory cornering lamps, I would probably aim them "cross eyed" so the right lamp serves as the left cornering light and vice versa. This would also keep the operating lamp separated from the operating turn signal, which would therefore remain maximally visible.

    Keep in mind you really don't need a lot of light to meet your extra-width requirements in the near and middle ranges. Whether you wire them up as proper cornering lamps like this or not, to keep glare to reasonable levels I would recommend a 35w H3 bulb rather than a 55w item.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    It's still somewhat troublesome for me, as I see fog lamps overused, at high speeds, in clear weather, and sometimes with high beams
    Agreed -- but keep in mind most fog lamps are junk, and most of the ones we notice being misused are also misaimed.

    What are the photometric requirements for real passing lamps?
    "Passing lamps" (SAE C) don't have anything to do with what we're talking about here. Auxiliary low beams (SAE Z) come the closest. It's never been easy to find an auxiliary low beam lamp; very few have been produced over the years. And SAE J582, which covered auxiliary low beam lamps, has been cancelled without replacement.

    Is there sufficient overlap in SAE J582 and J583 that the Micro DE can perform as a low beam and a fog lamp?
    No, I don't think so. But Compact 100 fogs probably either meet J582 or come very close to it, with situationally appropriate aim.

    Fog lamps aren't really intended for speeds over about 25, decent factory headlamps surely should not be overdriven at that speed.
    True enough, but we're talking about beam width here, not beam reach.

    Are the instrument panel lights dimmed down?
    That's a very good and important question. Most people leave the IP lights on maximum brightness, which really degrades their ability to see what they need to see outside the car. Dim the IP lamps down as low as you can and still read the speedometer and gauges at a quick glance.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Auxiliary Low Beam suggestions

    Thank you all for all your help on this. It is much appreciated.

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