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Thread: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

  1. #1

    Default What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Take the Ford Fusion for example. My friend actually has a 2014 Fusion with the halogens; it's a nice car on the inside.

    https://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ve...n-4-door-sedan

    According to the IIHS, the low beams only illuminate out to about 250 feet max (5 lux floor) and the low beams also create excessive glare. It apparently exceeds the glare threshold by 83.6%.

    So what is one to do (other than upgrade to the LEDs)? Aim the headlights upward slightly for better visibility at night while using low beams but create more glare, or aim them downward to avoid annoying/harming other drivers but sacrifice visibility?

    I'm just curious what the recommendations would be for someone in a scenario like this if they came to this board asking for recommendations because they can't see at night. I know that aiming the lamps is always good advice, but what good is aiming going to do in this case when there doesn't seem to be a happy median between glare for others and driver visibility?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Honestly? The only really practical, valid advice in that situation is "If you drive much at night, get into a different car". Aim adjustments can fix a situation described by IIHS ratings of short visibility distance with no glare (aim them higher) or long visibility distance with glare (aim them lower) but if you have short visibility distance with glare, that's going to be just plain bad headlamps. It doesn't look like the LED headlamps did a whole lot better in the IIHS tests. Black mark for Ford.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    So the IIHS testing is considered a valid/good measure of lamp performance now? (I wasnít honestly sure from discussions Iíve read here in the past).

  4. #4

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    So the IIHS testing is considered a valid/good measure of lamp performance now?
    Oh, jzchen...!

    Life in the real world is not just a series of yes/no, good/bad, black/white types of binaries. Those exist, but there are also shades of gray, where the answer is a mix of yes and no, good and bad, etc.

    Here (last paragraph) is a part of those discussions in the past, that should have helped make you honestly sure...when you read it here in the past. ;-)
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 10-01-2018 at 11:25 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Thanks Virgil for (taking time and) pointing me to something I obviously missed.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Would you agree with the statement that the IIHS headlight tests have stirred up a lot of emotion in the automotive lighting community?

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    From a recent lighting event in Detroit:

    As we get closer to the Advanced Lighting for Automotive 2018 Summit, we ask ourselves how exactly will the technology in this sector evolve in the coming years? .............Join us again in 2018 where we will conduct an even deeper dive into key industry trends as well as lighting applications for both the exterior and interior sides of the vehicle. Don't miss out on designing the next generation of lighting systems that will either meet or exceed both IIHS and consumer expectations.
    https://autoadvancedlighting.iqpc.com

    Ford is sponsoring an Advanced Lighting Innovation Expo:
    https://www.fordalie.com

  8. #8

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    Would you agree with the statement that the IIHS headlight tests have stirred up a lot of emotion in the automotive lighting community?
    I can't seem to make sense of this strange question. What is the point of it? What are you hoping to learn by probing the "emotions" of "the automotive lighting community", whoever you include in that description? What is it you actually want to know, and what "emotions" do you think have something to do with it? And why are you talking like a trial lawyer or pollster ("Would you agree with the statement...")?

    The IIHS tests have caused pretty much all of the OEMs to pay more attention and effort to headlamp aim on the assembly line, and to various degrees they are working with suppliers to move toward headlamps that will get good ratings on the IIHS test. But there are also headlight tests done by Consumer Reports, and tests proposed for NCAP, and a headlamp that gets a good rating on one test won't necessarily get a good rating on another, so that's kind of a difficult problem.

    As far as the suppliers, the ones who make the actual headlamps, they can do pretty much whatever the OEMs ask them (and pay them) to do, so there's not a whole lot of "Oh, crap, there are IIHS headlight tests, now what are we going to do???" among headlamp manufacturers.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubLGT
    Don't miss out on designing the next generation of lighting systems that will either meet or exceed both IIHS and consumer expectations.
    Near-meaningless buzzword verbiage written by event promoters.

  9. #9
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Quote Originally Posted by SubLGT View Post
    Ford is sponsoring an Advanced Lighting Innovation Expo
    Ford : advanced lighting :: McDonald's : haute cuisine

  10. #10

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    I can't seem to make sense of this strange question. What is the point of it? What are you hoping to learn by probing the "emotions" of "the automotive lighting community", whoever you include in that description? What is it you actually want to know, and what "emotions" do you think have something to do with it? And why are you talking like a trial lawyer or pollster ("Would you agree with the statement...")?
    I'm just curious because the more I look into industry publications such as Driving Vision News, the more I feel a level of disdain or at least strong opinions toward the IIHS tests.

    https://www.drivingvisionnews.com/ne...ive=2016-07-26

    last week's editorial and in-depth report by DVN's Daniel Stern generated a lot of vociferous and valid feedback, much of which doesn't agree with Stern.
    These are important matters at hand, and we know (not least because the regulators have come right out and told us) that things go better and faster when we speak with a united, informed, level-headed voice.
    I find it quite interesting that the editor in chief has to come out and remind everyone to speak in an informed, level-headed voice. Who is he talking to, middle schoolers or adults?

    However on this occasion, having read this week's editorial and "in depth" article, I feel that I need to respond to provide a different perspective and to keep our emotions under control.
    Keeping our emotions under control after reading Stern's article about the IIHS tests?? What's going on?
    Last edited by Ls400; 10-02-2018 at 08:04 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    That link and those quotes are over two years old. At that time the IIHS tests were brand new, nobody had any experience with them, and they had not yet been adjusted in response to new information like Bullough's aim study and a fairly unanimous "Hey, wait a minute!" from the auto and lighting industries.

    Also, context is important. Statements made in a (nominally) closed meeting to members of a profession can have very different implications than those same statements made out in the open to the general public at large. In other words: you seem to be reading this Driving Vision News archive piece as though you saw it in USA Today, and I think that's mostly where your impression is coming from.

    But all of that said, I still have my same questions: What are you hoping to learn by probing the "emotions" of "the automotive lighting community", whoever you include in that description? What is it you actually want to know, and what "emotions" do you think have something to do with it? And why are you talking like a trial lawyer or pollster ("Would you agree with the statement...")?

  12. #12

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    That link and those quotes are over two years old. At that time the IIHS tests were brand new, nobody had any experience with them, and they had not yet been adjusted in response to new information like Bullough's aim study and a fairly unanimous "Hey, wait a minute!" from the auto and lighting industries.
    I remember something changed but what was the exact adjustment that the IIHS made?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    But all of that said, I still have my same questions: What are you hoping to learn by probing the "emotions" of "the automotive lighting community", whoever you include in that description? What is it you actually want to know, and what "emotions" do you think have something to do with it? And why are you talking like a trial lawyer or pollster ("Would you agree with the statement...")?
    Just as some people are interested in more than simply the final score of a basketball game, and will go on to probe the personal lives of the players, buy memorabilia, follow them on social media, etc., I'm similarly more interested than just a Good/Acceptable/Marginal/Poor rating.--

    Edit: I also remember a professor in my college days talking about how researchers would regularly get into fistfights at conferences over what seem to be mundane things like naming conventions. I guess you could say that I'm morbidly curious about whether any fistfights have resulted at lighting conferences.
    Last edited by Ls400; 10-02-2018 at 08:23 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What do you do when your headlights create excessive glare and have poor throw?

    Haven't seen any fistfights at the conferences I've attended. Spirited discussion and debate, yes, and to a layperson it would probably look (A) ridiculous, like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or how "gif" is pronounced, and/or (B) like a totally over-the-top, out-of-control fight. And to a USA Today reporter (I'm just randomly picking USA Today, I don't really have a beef with them) it might look like grist for an article headlined something like "Toyota taken down a peg for lousy lights in technical conference full of experts". Which would not be fair or accurate or helpful.

    IIHS describes the changes they made here, and you don't have to settle for "Good, Acceptable, Marginal, Poor", you can read the details of how they test, and each vehicle's headlight section on the IIHS ratings page has a tab you can click for the actual visibility distances measured.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 10-02-2018 at 08:54 PM.

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