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Thread: Introduction, and my personal Hell

  1. #1

    Default Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Hello! I'm new to this forum and truly pleased to have finally found a group of people who understand the difference between color temperature and lumen output, who discuss the interaction of the eye and the light on the road and who can tell a beam pattern from a hole in the ground. I hope I can actually contribute, at some point, though right now I'm afraid I will be a consumer of information.

    My personal Hell? Trying to see down the road using the standard lighting setup on our 2015 Mercedes GLK250. For whatever reason, Merc decided to use H7/reflector lows and H15 highs, coupled with a "string of pearls" DRL occupying the place where fog lamps lived on earlier versions of the trucklet. From what I've read here, uprated H7 lows are the obvious starting place. I've replaced the stock with Narva +50 that I had lying around but will likely go to the Osram Rally 65W. H15 highs are a giant pain: only no-name Chinese units and horrid HID and LED "conversions", none of which I would ever use. The only other alternative I've found is an Osram "Cool Blue Intense" "+20" bulb, sourced from the big-river-sounding-online place's .de site. I've installed them but the difference is minor; better than nothing but probably not worth cost plus shipping, in hindsight..

    Making matters worse, I live in a community with very twisty, unlit streets; standard beam pattern does not give nearly enough light to see pedestrians around low-speed bends. My old VW had cornering lights. Merc puts cornering H7s on GLKs with bi-xenons which I don't have. Since they also don't offer front fogs with Halogens, I can't even turn these on. So, I'm debating adding aftermarket fogs of some kind but really don't know where to start.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Welcome to the board.

    There's nothing inherently bad about the H7/H15 setup. It's entirely possible your lamps aren't aimed correctly, even though this is a recent-model vehicle. Take it to a dealership service department (I'm assuming it's still under warranty) and insist, if necessary, that they check and correct the headlamp aim with an optical aiming machine. Not by shining the lights on a wall or any other method. If they try to give you any BS about it, find another dealership and try again. If you have any doubt that they're going to do as they're told, ask to watch. So that you know what you're talking about and watching for, take a look at this VW document (procedure is largely the same no matter the brand of vehicle).

    Those "Cool Blue Intense" bulbs are not an upgrade, they're a downgrade. Take them out and put the regular bulbs back in -- the "improvement" you think you perceive from the blue ones is an illusion; your actual ability to see is worse with them. The best H7 bulbs that are 100% safe, both in theory and in practice (i.e., they for sure won't damage the lamps or wiring and they for sure won't cause Mercedes to deny warranty coverage) are these.

    Fog lamps will not do what it sounds like you want them to do. It's very possible you will not be satisfied with the lighting on this vehicle unless you swap in the BiXenons. Not with an "HID kit", but with factory parts -- new ($$$$) or used.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    I wish it were so simple to just replace the lamps, but they are connected to "CPUs" which control them. (It is very late and I'm not thinking well.) The CPU box is different for the different lamps used. For example for the 2009 model year C class, my mother has an early build. It has a Xenon or BiXenon, (I forget which right now), but the light does not articulate left or right, like the later builds do. To get the cornering light function it turns on the appropriate fog light when you start turning the steering wheel at low speeds. (I wanted to try to retrofit, but looking at the EPC I saw so many different parts that I just gave up.)

    As the OP notes interest in a possible fog light, I have been looking at these, which wired properly does provide a cornering light function (upon signalling, although in this case will also duplicate the DRLs already on the car, of which I am clueless as to legality):

    https://www.osram-americas.com/en-us...ing-Light.aspx

    I don't know if their products for other countries has this cornering function. I have seen they sell a fog light only product, but not on the US site.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 12-31-2016 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Remove unnecessary quote

  4. #4

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    I wish it were so simple to just replace the lamps, but they are connected to "CPUs" which control them. (It is very late and I'm not thinking well.) The CPU box is different for the different lamps used.
    It may not be a simple or cheap "just replace the lamps" venture; other parts have to be changed or reprogrammed, too. This is life with an expensive car with fancy systems made of expensive parts.

    As the OP notes interest in a possible fog light, I have been looking at these, which wired properly does provide a cornering light function
    I'm not seeing any mention of a cornering light function to those lamps you linked, and as you note, it would only work that way with the turn signal or a clumsy manual-switching setup.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerdog View Post
    ...My old VW had cornering lights. Merc puts cornering H7s on GLKs with bi-xenons which I don't have…..So, I'm debating adding aftermarket fogs of some kind but really don't know where to start.
    Hella offers some fog/cornering lamps:
    http://catalog.hella.com/lighting/he...ng-lights.html

  6. #6

    Default Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    It may not be a simple or cheap "just replace the lamps" venture; other parts have to be changed or reprogrammed, too. This is life with an expensive car with fancy systems made of expensive parts.



    I'm not seeing any mention of a cornering light function to those lamps you linked, and as you note, it would only work that way with the turn signal or a clumsy manual-switching setup.
    Much cheaper to add the option from the factory than to try to add post production, as well.

    Good point about the cornering light function. It is not listed there. Someone asked on Amazon about this and someone did confirm it does do this, as the LEDriving FOG product does...
    Last edited by jzchen; 12-31-2016 at 07:27 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Happy New Year and thanks for the replies. I appreciate the pointer to the parts finder. I don't think it's economically or logistically feasible to swap to the factory bi-xenon setup; too many sensors, motors and reprogramming of the control logic. As pointed out, the issue goes beyond simple swapping of the physical hardware. On the VW, it was possible to do things like control the voltage to the headlamp bulbs, enable/disable cornering function, rain-sensing wiper actions, etc, even on cars without it. So far, MBZ forums have not turned up anything equivalent to the "VAG coder" software for VWs, that provides access to reprogramming CANBUS elements.

    The reason I asked about fogs is simply that on other vehicles (without cornering lights) I have found it much easier to navigate our twisty streets with front fogs illuminated; speeds rarely exceed 20-25 mph. I can't completely discount this option. I've seen other posts on the forum seeking, but not finding, fog lamp beam pattern info. If I could find something with a sufficiently wide throw, it would fill in the dark areas outboard the H7 low beams. There are a couple of spaces in the front fascia that might accommodate some of the smaller, contemporary units, as visible in the picture below.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    How hard is it to wire in those aftermarket cornering/fog combination lamps?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Sadden View Post
    How hard is it to wire in those aftermarket cornering/fog combination lamps?
    Osram installation video here:

  10. #10

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Understand that (as others have mentioned) you may be dealing with a car thta has multiple integrated computer control systems, i.e. "CAN BUS", and that depending on the vehicle specifics, the car may actually monitor the power consumed on every socket, and throw error codes or create other problems if it detects a simple "wrong" bulb. Or, it may not supply enough power to light up a "more powerful" bulb.

    You really need information specific to that car before you can make any assumptions, especially on any German car.

    It looks like you might be able to remove the silver trim strip that runs across each lower corner "below" the headlights, and then tap an auxiliary light into the grill that is there. But that's also rashly assuming there is space and it won't block any airflow, if those are working vents used for something like ensuring cool air to the brakes. If you have conventional headlights, they should have enough tolerance so that you could tap into their power and have auxiliary lights relay controlled by that. Or, simply run directly to the battery and run independently.

    The problem today is finding a place to install auxiliary lights, if you just hang them under the front end, they'll get broken off.

    Once upon a time, I had a pair of Marchal 7" rally lights nested in front of the grill on an old Mustang. Each one slightly bigger and deeper than a conventional 7" headlight, and each one fitted with an optional 100W halogen bulb. These very rarely come up on the vintage used market, mine were stripped when my car was stolen. But if you flipped them on...you could very easily read a newspaper at 1/2 mile down the road.(G) Kinda left you night-blinded if you had to turn them off. Nothing like that available today, and recently automakers have been taken to task because a lot of the new sexy light fixtures (LED, xenon, laser, or conventional) are simply throwing out legal-but-lousy lighting patterns.

    You're not alone in being upset with factory lighting. You might want to contact MB USA and let them know, they have been known to reach out and help the "MB family" to boost loyalty.
    Last edited by Redd; 01-01-2017 at 01:26 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    I assume the control box is basically a relay, and hopefully consumes only a few tenths of an amp at most. There are a few vehicle specific mounts available: Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan/Renault, and Infiniti/Nissan. It is designed to replace the "current" fog light on a vehicle. The videos make installation look so easy!

    @ Sadden- I've felt a little guilty not mentioning these units in a couple of your threads before, but the only reason I didn't has been your requirement of lighting to be halogen....

  12. #12

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Has anyone seen these in person or better yet, can anyone provide beam pattern and coverage info?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    I have been holding off buying the ZEVOs from Amazon because they used to be in the $15x range...

    I also bumped into this:

    http://www.misterdotcom.de/produkte/...funktion?c=159

    I'm afraid it's for a smart, and it's in German, (can have Google Chrome translate), but maybe it could be somehow retrofitted for your case. I noticed it says it can work on steering input, but looking at the German installation instructions, (which I can't read), I couldn't figure out how...

  14. #14

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    I also bumped into this...
    It looks quite specific to the Smart and seems more like it adds control modes to existing lighting. I need different light patterns, so probably not a fit. The $150 price tag for the others is not out of the question if the beam pattern works and it can somehow be integrated. The "string of pearls" LED DRL on the car now is removable. The black plate behind is full coverage textured plastic. If a 90mm lamp could be fitted in place of the existing DRL, and have the fog function added, it could do the task.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    If it helps any this video:

    https://youtu.be/tkCwR-73M2M

    @ just after 5 minutes shows a red Dacia SUV turning on and off foglight mode with some of the beam pattern in view.

    (I'm afraid I haven't watched the whole thing. Looks promising from that part at least.)

  16. #16
    Flashaholic Marcturus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    I'd guess that tigerdog will find the Osram led fogs' beam pattern too "shallow" to achieve what he'd like them to.
    https://youtu.be/jnhPs6tKqwU?t=1m57s

  17. #17

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    ... just after 5 minutes shows a red Dacia SUV turning on and off foglight mode with some of the beam pattern in view...
    If they're good enough for the legendary Dacia Sandero, they're more than light enough for a mere Mercedes.

  18. #18
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    @ just after 5 minutes shows a red Dacia SUV turning on and off foglight mode with some of the beam pattern in view.

    (I'm afraid I haven't watched the whole thing. Looks promising from that part at least.)
    What looks promising? It doesn't tell us much at all about the lamps' performance other than it lit up.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcturus View Post
    I'd guess that tigerdog will find the Osram led fogs' beam pattern too "shallow" to achieve what he'd like them to.
    https://youtu.be/jnhPs6tKqwU?t=1m57s
    I saw that on an Amazon review. Well, I hope the OP gets the issue resolved, maybe by getting a dealer to reaim the headlights as suggested....

    I've been happy with all the advice the moderators have given me so far.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    I bought one of the ZEVOs. Great deal on Amazon, $136.41. It did not come in retail packaging, but a white box. Still I felt like it was a great deal....

  21. #21

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    I bought one of the ZEVOs. Great deal on Amazon, $136.41. It did not come in retail packaging, but a white box
    Probably counterfeit product.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Probably counterfeit product.
    Uh oh. Didn't think of that possibility!!!

    I just checked and it says "Ships from and sold by Amazon."

    Didn't know that Amazon itself would do such a thing...
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 06-06-2017 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Remove giant pics

  23. #23

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Sorry if the picture is big. It is the smallest pixel setting I can set my phone to.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Thanks for the pic. At this point, I'm learning to live with it, as I haven't had time to do anything meaningful to improve the situation.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic Fresh Light's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    My 2015 Audi A3 has HIDs that while very bright, were aimed way too low when I purchased it new. High beams didn't have the cutoff so they were actually quite spectacular. One night I switched to low beams because of oncoming traffic and couldn't see a deer what seemed 50 feet or less in front of me. After getting the damage fixed including the right headlight assembly I asked the repair shop to raise the lights. But they were still too low. I then went to the dealer and after two different trips they managed to get them way too high. So I adjusted them myself. The factory spec was absolutely dangerous and the Audi dealership raised them way too much when I asked them to raise it. Since my adjustments they have been perfect. My wife actually liked the aim as we got it back from Audi the second adjustment but the aim was way too high to be safe for oncoming traffic and the normally sharp cutoff was really not present. I would suggest seeing if they are within factory spec and going from there.
    Lambda and other high power Lights

  26. #26

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    Uh oh. Didn't think of that possibility!!!
    I just checked and it says "Ships from and sold by Amazon."
    Didn't know that Amazon itself would do such a thing...
    It's discussed on this board on a fairly regular basis. Look for posts from XeRay.

    Sorry if the picture is big. It is the smallest pixel setting I can set my phone to.
    They were very large, and have been removed. If you need to post pics but can't do it properly from your phone, please wait until you are at an actual computer. Anyway, the pics don't provide any useful information.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    Uh oh. Didn't think of that possibility!!!

    I just checked and it says "Ships from and sold by Amazon."

    Didn't know that Amazon itself would do such a thing...
    Yes even Amazon itself sometimes unwittingly sells counterfeits.
    Last edited by XeRay; 06-06-2017 at 11:59 AM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    I was hoping not after reading this from the Sylvania ZEVO minibulb page on minibulb warranty:

    "Purchases made on Amazon.com must state: ‘ships from and sold by Amazon.com’ in order to be considered an authorized retailer."

  29. #29

    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    That doesn't mean (or suggest) that you didn't get a counterfeit product.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction, and my personal Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    That doesn't mean (or suggest) that you didn't get a counterfeit product.
    Yes even Amazon itself sometimes unwittingly sells counterfeits.
    As Virgil has indicated, even in this situation
    "ships from and sold by Amazon.com", it happens more than you would hope or like to think.

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