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Thread: Cibie "High Beam" Lights (5 3/4") Patterns (or Other Options)

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Default Cibie "High Beam" Lights (5 3/4") Patterns (or Other Options)

    As a preface, I deal with lighting on vehicles so that I can see and not to impress others with how my car looks.

    I'm presently running stock Xenon headlights in my 2006 Mini Cooper S and stock halogen headlights in my wife's 2006 Mini Cooper, both with Osram "Rallye" H7 bulbs fitted where used. We drive winding, unlit, mountain roads here on a regular basis and find that in bends, particularly when the road climbs ahead, there isn't good illumination out in front of the vehicle as the high beams are not pointed where the road is going, due to the bend. (Once you know the roads, they are 50 MPH+ in a Mini, if you have the visibility).

    As the pattern and illumination of the stock lights' low beams are "reasonable", I was considering adding something to fill to the left and right of the stock high beams. I think they'd also be valuable for deer spotting (no, not a joke) and chicken spotting, before they cross the road.

    One option is the Cibie 5 3/4" units in a suitable housing. I see that they are still available as E-Code units with either a flat or curved lens (Daniel Stern Lighting). I found a reference in this forum that suggested that there was a notable difference in the patterns, one being "wider" and the other being "longer", but it wasn't clear to me which was which.

    Edit: http://winktimber.com/vintagerally/g...talog_1985.pdf on page 6 describes and illustrates, in old-school terms, the "Reflective Range" of the flat-lens, 5-3/4" units to be 6800' and the round-lens units to be 8600'. This is consistent with the table on page 22.

    Also, looking at the halogen-bulb auxiliary lights, it looks like mainly the same models and lens/reflector combinations from the 80s or early 90s. Not that they were "bad" then (though PIAA certainly has changed their market target since then!), but was wondering if two decades of advances in computer-aided optics design have brought in any new "contenders" in the driving-light market.

    I'd like to keep the size "reasonable", below about 6" diameter or height/width so our every-day Minis don't attract too much attention. I'd also like to stay at or below the $200-300 per-pair (lights/housings only, harness excluded) price, as I'm not holding out much hope for being able to polish out the surface defects on my wife's headlamps and expect that budget will need to go for a couple Hella (halogen) replacements there as well.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by jeffsf; 05-08-2018 at 10:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cibie "High Beam" Lights (5 3/4") Patterns (or Other Options)

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffsf View Post
    ...both with Osram "Rallye" H7 bulbs fitted where used.
    Careful about those Rallye H7's-- they're no longer manufactured, and it may be nearly impossible to find them that aren't counterfeits. Unless you hoarded genuine ones before the stocks dried up, chances are you may have a counterfeit.

    If you don't know with certainty that they're not counterfeit, get these to replace them. (Daniel Stern is working on getting German-made 65W H7s hopefully by June.)

    One option is the Cibie 5 3/4" units in a suitable housing. I see that they are still available as E-Code units with either a flat or curved lens (Daniel Stern Lighting). I found a reference in this forum that suggested that there was a notable difference in the patterns, one being "wider" and the other being "longer", but it wasn't clear to me which was which.
    The flat lensed Cibié has the wider beam. Your driving situation sounds like a long-distance beam is 'wasted' by frequently disappearing up in to the air. You might also split the difference by putting one flat one on the driver's side and a convex one on the passenger side of each car, which gives a good combination of extra width and extra depth of beam. (You're still buying four lamps, but you're not required to match them!)

    Also, looking at the halogen-bulb auxiliary lights, it looks like mainly the same models and lens/reflector combinations from the 80s or early 90s. Not that they were "bad" then (though PIAA certainly has changed their market target since then!), but was wondering if two decades of advances in computer-aided optics design have brought in any new "contenders" in the driving-light market.
    You could spend a lot of money for modern design, but for that money you get some very high performance options like the JW Speaker Model 8630 Evolution which can function as auxiliary high beams AND auxiliary low beams.

    You could also opt for a smaller lamp with a high beam only function, the Model 6130 Evolution (0549871). This would certainly conform to a "reasonable" size for a Mini. Either one offers greatly-reduced power consumption vs. your H1 option.

    A point in favor of the Cibié is it's less painful to replace one that gets taken out by a rock.

    With any of the choices, it's important that things are wired correctly-- you don't want auxiliary lamps automatically coming on with the main lamps. You also don't want to be able to accidentally activate the auxiliary high beam when you're using the low beams. And as a hassle as it may be, a relay configuration to require manual reactivation of the auxiliary high beams when you dip your headlamps helps you keep from accidentally blinding someone with glare if you switch to high beams inappropriately. Another thing to keep in mind is that you want the auxiliary high beams' horizontal centerlines to be at the same height as that of your factory high beams, or in between the horizontal centerlines of the factory low-and-high beams. Auxiliary high beams mounted too low don't give you the seeing distance you'd like and can produce excessive foreground light.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 05-08-2018 at 01:10 PM.

  3. #3
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Cibie "High Beam" Lights (5 3/4") Patterns (or Other Options)

    Thanks, I definitely appreciate the confirmation of the Cibié differences, as well as the suggestions. These two units (whatever they might be) will end up mounted on above-bumper brackets, so plus-minus consistent with the ~24/28" height of the integral headlight units.

    Thanks for the link to "Rallye" alternatives -- I was not thrilled when I went to the vendor's site that I bought from a couple years ago to find the page filled with, shall we say, "marketing observations and opinions" being made about the alternative they were proposing.

    The 6130 units are certainly very interesting, but mounting looks to be quite a challenge. I spent quite some time looking for PAR38 (4 3/4") housings, perhaps similar to the Grote 64021 (PAR46, 5 3/4"), but without much luck. PAR36, yes, bot not PAR38. Calling J.W. Speaker wasn't terribly helpful on getting any details on the mounting plane details (actually, I got incorrect information from them, as it does pretty clearly show in the photos, when enlarged, that there are locating lugs/tabs on the mounting face) or even the outer diameter of the housing behind the mounting plane.

    Does anyone here know a PAR38 4 3/4" (not PAR36) stud/bracket mount housing suitable for the 6130 units?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cibie "High Beam" Lights (5 3/4") Patterns (or Other Options)

    I had the same problem with my high beams on the twisty roads we have around here, having to switch to low beam when coming to a corner. I solved it by mounting my old pair of Bosch Pilot 160 driving lamps.

    These lamps have a lens that looks like a fog lens, but in actual fact spreads the light out brilliantly to the sides and in front. They don't shine further than the high beam, but complement it, giving you a safe and relaxed driving experience with absolutely no hot spots to distract you. It's a solid wall of evenly lit light in front of you. I simply don't need any more light than this.

    I don't know if they are still manufactured but I see them come up on the big auction site often enough. If you can find them I highly recommend them. They're only 6" diameter.

    Edited to add: They also make an 8" version of the same light called the Touring 190.
    Last edited by CeeBee; 05-09-2018 at 09:49 AM.

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