Anyone here an automotive headlight engineer?

theory816

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Hi all I've been trying to do some research on automotive headlights but there's very little information online. I'm trying to see how the designers use software to design the headlight optics so that I can recreate my own headlights.
 

alpg88

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We had one that claimed to be one, but he would not give that info, we asked, supposably it is not for public use. i can imagine a face you're making now, i had the same when i read it.
 

LEDphile

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There are various software packages available for the design of optical systems, some commercially available, others proprietary to the development shops (and often developed in-house). These tools generally do the "heavy lifting" calculation of the optical design, but determining the design goals, tradeoffs, and optical concept is left up to the engineer using the tool. And as these tools are pretty highly specialized engineering tools, they aren't cheap.
 

theory816

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There are various software packages available for the design of optical systems, some commercially available, others proprietary to the development shops (and often developed in-house). These tools generally do the "heavy lifting" calculation of the optical design, but determining the design goals, tradeoffs, and optical concept is left up to the engineer using the tool. And as these tools are pretty highly specialized engineering tools, they aren't cheap.

I see. Yea there's almost nothing online about headlight engineering. But there are some bits and pieces here and there. I think I'm getting closer to what I want to do after much research. Will update. But I just wanted to see if anyone here is knowledgeable in the field.
 

desert.snake

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Whatever you do in the end, please make a clear upper border of the light so that they do not shine upwards and do not blind pedestrians and other drivers so you won't be cursed like those who turn on off-road lights in the city

it is not right :
1675851313176554565.jpg


that is correct beam like this:
1680423837365.png

soAAAgMBWuA-960.jpg
 

kaichu dento

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We used to have a couple of very valuable and knowledgeable members here, but apparently they're gone due to their at times prickly demeanors. Too bad, as they were a wealth of knowledge, even if somewhat domineering.
 

theory816

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Whatever you do in the end, please make a clear upper border of the light so that they do not shine upwards and do not blind pedestrians and other drivers so you won't be cursed like those who turn on off-road lights in the city

it is not right :
View attachment 42158


that is correct beam like this:
View attachment 42157
View attachment 42159
Lol oh yea I've been driving for 15 years so I know too much about glare issue.

But yea I've always had an interest in automotive headlights for a long time. Didn't really go anywhere with it much but a new interest has sparked in me. Messed around with the HID's on my own vehicle a while back and ruined some parts of it but it was a learning experience.

What really irks me is the new design of cars in general.
 

kaichu dento

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Whatever you do in the end, please make a clear upper border of the light so that they do not shine upwards and do not blind pedestrians and other drivers so you won't be cursed like those who turn on off-road lights in the city

it is not right :
View attachment 42158
What really sucks is that there are regulations in place making it illegal to have the lights beyond a certain brightness or aim, and off-road lights are still completely off limits for non-off-road usage.
The problem is that none of these are being enforced anymore, either on the manufacturers or the guys installing aftermarket stuff on their cars. Then there's the bicycle lights bright enough to be blinding during the day, and justified under the guise of safety. People driving towards you being blinded doesn't really equate with a safe strategy to my thinking.
 

theory816

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First order up.

I got around to fixing the shielding on my HID projectors. So what happen was that years ago, I got the bright idea of removing a part of the shielding on the projectors. This is a shield that lights up the signs ahead of the road. If you bend it down, it removes it. I took the headlight off the car and bent it back up. It was a pain in the butt but it was worth it because I was blinding people with the glare when I drive. For some reason, even though I bent it down(not all the way down) all it did was move the light down. lol.

The next thing I want to do is replace the front plastic housing with new acrylic ones. After that, I want to fix the chrome reflector part of the headlight. I took the plastic housing off of one headlight years ago and I wiped the chrome part of the reflector with some alcohol and it ended up messing up the reflection(its not even with the other side).
 

theory816

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What kind of vehicle is it? Are you planning to use it on public roads?
Its a regular car. Everything is stock.

I had to bend the shield back down because it was even brighter. I don't remember the original position of the shielding for the road signs. *sign*. All the threads on HIDs from other websites are long gone lol.
 

theory816

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lol these engineers are quite elusive.

But I think I'm getting closer. The field that I'm interested is called "non imaging optics". All this time(years) I've been searching "automotive light engineering".
 
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alpg88

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lol these engineers are quite elusive.
and that is a good thing, he would not help you anyway, someone here asked what are the standards for the headlamp, what is the correct light distribution should be, his answer was basically, you are not in a position to know these things, nor you need to.

so do not be upset you missed him, he'd probably lock the thread just for you asking, it has happened many times, just look at the amount of locked threads in this section.

What is your goal anyway, improve lights on your car, or you plan or becoming an automotive lighting engineer?
 

theory816

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and that is a good thing, he would not help you anyway, someone here asked what are the standards for the headlamp, what is the correct light distribution should be, his answer was basically, you are not in a position to know these things, nor you need to.

so do not be upset you missed him, he'd probably lock the thread just for you asking, it has happened many times, just look at the amount of locked threads in this section.

What is your goal anyway, improve lights on your car, or you plan or becoming an automotive lighting engineer?

At the moment I just want to restore my headlights to like new OEM specs. The headlights have taken a beating over the years and is falling apart. I want to replace the front cover with acrylic. After that, I want to start making my own light designs that uses DOT specs because all of the aftermarket lights I see look out of spec and that you can tell it's aftermarket right away. I want to see what can be done to a professional level using as little resources as possible.
 
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kaichu dento

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At the moment I just want to restore my headlights to like new OEM specs. The headlights have taken a beating over the years and is falling apart. I want to replace the front cover with acrylic. After that, I want to start making my own light designs that uses DOT specs because all of the aftermarket lights I see look out of spec and that you can tell it's aftermarket right away. I want to see what can be done to a professional level using as little resources as possible.
Reading the first part of your post had me wanting to suggest just replacing them, but if you're successful in developing some aftermarket options that aren't annoyingly dangerous to everyone else on the road it'll be a good thing.
 

MikeKerr

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I was a member in prior years and this issue came up more than once. Requirements are mysteriously elusive. If you do find out your neede information PLEASE remember the real goal should be to illuminate not blind vehicle users.
 

John_Galt

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Acrylic isn't used for headlamps because it is much more easily damaged than polycarbonate. It's inherent UV resistance is better than polycarbonates, sure, but its refracrive index is likely different as well, which could effect the beam pattern and intensity.

Edit- I remember reading something in the automotive subforum about polycarbonate alternatives that were being tested in the EU, grilamid is a name that sticks out in my mind. I believe it was a UV stable plastic of similar mechanical properties to polycarbonate.
 
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