Dealing with Ignorance regarding vehicular lighting on other Automotive Forums

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wrcsixeight

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I keep seeing on other forums how people drop in LED or HID bulbs into incandescent housings and take photos proving how much more light they have and how great an upgrade it is. When it is pointed out the lack of a cut off, the glare to other drivers, the illegality, the extreme ignorance really shines through by the responses.

As someone with anger issues, and who gets infuriated when blinded by such drivers, I don't always respond in a manner to get the point across that their 'upgrade' is illegal, unsafe and dangerous.

I don't write as well as Virgil, and obviously do not have the Knowledge or background to convince others, but I'd love to be able to link to a Concise Sticky here that might convince some of these 'upgrade' nitwits that they are compromising their own, and other's safety through their sheer ignorance about how Vehicular lighting is designed to work.

Or is it folly to even bother trying, due to human nature and the current overwhelmingly narcissistic zeitgeist?
 
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-Virgil-

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I'd love to be able to link to a Concise Sticky here that might convince some of these 'upgrade' nitwits that they are compromising their own, and other's safety through their sheer ignorance about how Vehicular lighting is designed to work.

I'd love the same thing. The closest thing I can think of is this page. But the people you're talking about have already made up their minds. They're sure they're right. They're not interested in learning, and no matter what you show them they're not going to say "Oh! Wow! Hey, thanks, I was wrong, I'm going to go put my lights back to stock!".

Or is it folly to even bother trying, due to human nature and the current overwhelmingly narcissistic zeitgeist?

'fraid so. :-(

(And thank you for the compliment on my writing.)
 
more_vampires

more_vampires

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Love ya, Virgil.

When I first got into vehicle lighting, it was a necessity of the job. I was an innocent fool wrt "DOT approved" scam and real laws concerning filament placement.

99% of led for vehicle is an outright lie. I've tested this junk. It is junk. HID kits are made by the lowest bidder, regardless of what was paid. Throw in inept DIY install and you have a recipe for death.
 
Alaric Darconville

Alaric Darconville

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Unless you can phrase it all as if you're just really freakin' cool and awesome and friendly1, they'll just pick at you for "not being nice", and go on with the ol' "you'll catch more flies with honey" routine (apparently, someone *really nicely* told them that lie, and do not know that you actually catch more flies with vinegar!2). Even then, they'll probably then turn to the ol' "but in the REAL WORLD" argument, or how their "eyes don't lie" and all that other nonsense.

And all the heated argument will do is draw more traffic, more clicks, and drive up their ad revenue.

1That is to say, so long as you don't actually disagree with them
2Fruit flies, anyway. I haven't tried with houseflies-- but I know it works really well with fruit flies.
 
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-Virgil-

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Alaric's got excellent points.

Also keep in mind the discussions on many forums are distorted and limited by sponsorships. Discussions that sing the praises of a sponsor's products and services are actively encouraged (and probably artificially boosted by shills). Discussions that raise uncomfortable questions, describe bad experience, or present bad test results regarding a sponsor's products or services get shut down quicklike..."haters gonna hate".
Christo_pull_hair.gif


And even in discussions that don't directly endanger the forum's cashflow by calling a sponsor's wares into question, aside from dopey nonsense (flies with honey, "I don't care about lab tests, I drive with my eyes, not with a lab machine", etc.) the forums are often run on the basis of "everyone has an opinion, and they're all equally valid", without regard to the fact that there are...well, facts!
 
more_vampires

more_vampires

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Fact: hacking a chassis ground to run an illegal HID increases your chance of electrical fire. Smoked wiring, blown charging systems, this is what will happen. I've been asked to pick up the pieces and fix it after some yahoo believed the hype.

I'm the hardest sell you've ever seen for aftermarket lighting. I've seen a $200 kit do $1500 in damage and the driver didn't even wreck. Thank God.

At what cost is human life? I hack charging systems, wiring and bulb substitution. This is not a weekend warrior talking. I have a reputation.
 
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T

TheIntruder

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Those who are willfully ignorant tend to remain that way. I've been online for longer than I care to remember, and that has never changed.

What has changed is that with the size and breadth of the online world now, it's much harder to find credible voices than when the internet was the tool for academics, scientists, and those who have real credentials, rather than the public at large. The lower barriers to entry have also lowered the standards of discourse.

Often the lighting subsections of such forums are sponsored by the junk pushers, which also helps to keep the "fires burning."

But I'd reserve my anger for the legitimate companies whose marketing perpetuates the myths surrounding things like color temperature, and in doing so provide tacit reinforcement of the self-appointed internet experts.
 
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wrcsixeight

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Good points all.

I have posted links to DS's site often to back my words, and even Quoted Virgil's words (with credit given) in an attempt to get the point across on the Bob is the Oil Guy Forums, which has an Automotive lighting section. It was over there that I first became aware of these CP forums, when some member there pointed out some specifics well outlined here.

I tend to acknowledge good writing, just as I dismiss product reviews written poorly, or from those with obviously little knowledge about the product they are reviewing.

Sometimes all it takes is a quoted paragraph and a '+1 ' reply from somebody whose writing I respect, to change my mind about something, and pursue further knowledge in the area in which I was/Am ignorant.

Just the other night I was blinded by some Ignoramus with LED's in both headlamp and foglight housings, and I simply could not see the road demarcations, and slowed from 40MPH to 10mph as there were pedestrians along the sides of the road, with my hand in front of the offending glare, basically blind. It was as obnoxious as two sets of High beams blasting directly into my eyes, and my GE6054 NH high beams could certainly not retaliate properly, and only earned me and all the drivers behind me a 3rd set of retina destroying high beams.

Convincing just one person to not follow this foolish retrofit/bulb swap route, is worth it, and perhaps a well written concise Sticky on this forum, would help sway some opinions and grab numerous weight carrying " +1's" from the few who also write well and are correctly informed, which Might help persuade at least a few to save their money, and hurt the bottom line of the Illegal purveyors of these obnoxious illegal products.

I utilize ad blocking software so have never noticed any retrofit adverts.

I do see a few people on the Bitog forums who are better informed, unfortunately they are few and far between on automotive lighting matters. The clientele there are fairly maintenance minded and kind of Anal retentive. Anybody who worries whether their oil has 800 or 900 PPM of Zinc, Mos2 or tri nuclear moly, how much a certain oil will shear, and can name the HTHS viscosities and TBN numbers of various brands and grades of oil, should in theory pay attention when it is pointed out that retrofitting bulbs into incandescent housings are both illegal and dangerous and a waste of money.

I am not sure a direct link to that forum is allowed here, but the recent thread which shows lighting ignorance in full bloom is called 'A simple bulb...' and is in the Automotive Lighting subforum

I am afraid I still show some ignorance in my replies on that thread, which is a reason why I'd like to have a sticky here, where there are knowledgeable people who write well and are more likely to convince others of the evil retrofit/bulb swap.

Perhaps a Legal lighting sticky would be better off over there, but I think a link from this site would carry more weight.
 
idleprocess

idleprocess

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In my limited experience with self-described gearhead and tuner culture, the prevailing mindset seems to be that automotive engineers are largely incompetent buzzkillers, but parts kits sold by second-string companies and installed by "performance" shops are the bee's knees and will increase the performance of your ride by some insane percentage. I've seen slammed to the ground Integras that scrape components on expansion joints, can't navigate driveways, have curious wear patterns on the inside of their tires due to the hack job cut springs that leave painfully obvious negative camber, and perform noticably worse than stock. I've heard Civics "tuned" to the point that one did indeed need to constantly blip the throttle Harley style to maintain idle. A co-worker of mine grenaded their Impreza via an intensely stupid modification to the turbo that essentially never shut it off ... good thing he saved money on those home depot vacuum fittings since he needed a few grand to rebuild the thing afterwards. And of course we've probably all seen ~9000K angry blue glare factory HID "kits" installed in every imaginable vehicle producing little if any useful light, but highly visible in the look-at-me peacock style that this demographic seems to exude.

Sturgeon's Law seems to apply to most automotive mods - especially those that said demographics lust after and brag about ... although the specified 90% may not be high enough.

Trying to approach these folks directly seems futile. The cold hard facts are inconvenient, unwanted, and get in the way of the aftermarket's cashflow. Approaching it obliquely with receptive parties seems more effective since the direct route gets shouted down.
 
V

-Virgil-

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idleprocess, you're exactly right. On the one hand, dumb kids (including those who have decades of experience being dumb kids) have been doing dumb things to their cars for generations, almost as long as there have been cars. On the other hand, just about every state and province in North America used to have at least reasonably rigorous periodic vehicle inspections. Today almost none do, and it shows. Travel to a country where vehicles must still pass a meaningful roadworthiness test every year (Germany, France, UK, etc...or every 6 months in New Zealand!) and you will find a lot less in the way of stupid/unsafe vehicle modifications on the roads.

Also, it has gotten a lot harder for traffic cops to spot violations unless they're completely ridiculous. There used to be just four kinds of headlamp in America: large or small, and round or rectangular. They were all sealed beams. They all looked pretty much alike. Anything that looked different was probably non-spec -- easy to spot in traffic at a glance. What's today's traffic cop to do, study a book and take special training to discern legal blue headlights from illegal ones? That's not going to happen. And even if it did, most states' vehicle codes and laws are very sorely outdated and poorly written, so if sonny-boy gets a ticket for illegal lights, his daddy's going to court and say "Yeah? Show me what exact law he broke. Where's it say he can't have blue turn signals? Didn't think so. Bye."

Occasionally a well-meaning but ignorant legislator will try to do something about the problem. See here, for example. As introduced, this bill -- though clumsily and uninformedly written -- would probably have gone some way toward reducing the scourge of "HID kits" and "LED kits" in headlamps. SEMA smelled a threat to their members' revenues and swooped in to oppose the bill on their usual bogus grounds of it being unenforceably vague. They offered an amendment that sounded good and proper enough for the Ohio legislature to pass the bill and the Governor to sign it, but in effect it basically gutted the bill, making it useless against most of the kinds of unsafe garbage ("HID kits", "LED kits", etc.) SEMA's members make money selling.

And even that's a once-in-a-blue-moon thing; mostly North American legislators and regulators just don't seem to care.
 
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TEEJ

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Most of them can't get past the cognizant dissonance caused by them PERCEIVING a lot of very bright light right in front of them as NOT being "Brighter"...so the people telling them its "NOT BRIGHTER" are therefore obviously wrong.

The fact that we might not be ACTUALLY saying "brighter" or "dimmer" is lost upon them, because their knowledge of lighting is limited, typically, to those two concepts alone.

If you say anything about a light, they simply ask, so, are lumens brighter, or are lux brighter? And so forth, its all filtered through the one concept of "brightness"....no matter what the actual lighting topic was.



IE: Proximal vs distal is not in their lighting vocabulary. Considerations of night adaptation and pupil stop down or differing eye chemistries, etc, are simply not part of their world.

For them, a light is either brighter, so you see better, or dimmer, so you see worse, with no beam characteristics, etc being considered.


So, the proximal pool of brightness is simply "brighter" and, well, you will have a hard time convincing them otherwise. You'd have to educate them first, THEN discuss it. This is akin to teaching a creationist about evolution though.

:D


Add in safety issues, and, well, again, some Chinese aftermarket gew gaw gets assumed to be state of the art, and DOT, etc, is "The Man" keeping them down.

Credibility: Believe that car companies have 200 mpg carburetors, but won't use them because of "conspiracies", and that you can buy magnets for your fuel line that double your mpg, etc.


Its an uphill battle to get them to see the error of their ways.
 
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Hilldweller

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It's human nature to believe what you see, to trust your senses, your instincts.
Add to that the problem of the Dunning-Kruger effect ----- many of our esteemed fellow interwebbers are self-made sorts, handy, clever, and have had varying degrees of economic reward for their effort. They equate that success with overall wisdom and knowledge and have difficulty acknowledging their areas of weakness, things they don't know. These folk often disdain booksmart people, their input/advice, and seek opinions of other self-made sorts in the lay sector.
So you google until you find advice that fits your favorite paradigm and surround yourself with those that agree with you.
[h=1][/h]
 
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jaycee88

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IE: Proximal vs distal is not in their lighting vocabulary. Considerations of night adaptation and pupil stop down or differing eye chemistries, etc, are simply not part of their world.

I've always wondered about this. How should an ideal headlight behave? Should the headlight (especially an HID or LED, since they tend to put out a lot of light compared to halogens) reduce foregound illumination a bit when switching to high beams so that the driver can better focus on what's in the distance?


For them, a light is either brighter, so you see better, or dimmer, so you see worse, with no beam characteristics, etc being considered.
So, the proximal pool of brightness is simply "brighter" and, well, you will have a hard time convincing them otherwise.

I've actually seen people make the argument that 'the brighter the better, because the sun is super bright and look how well you can see during the day'.
 
Hilldweller

Hilldweller

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I've always wondered about this. How should an ideal headlight behave? Should the headlight (especially an HID or LED, since they tend to put out a lot of light compared to halogens) reduce foregound illumination a bit when switching to high beams so that the driver can better focus on what's in the distance?
That's how I'd like it.



I've actually seen people make the argument that 'the brighter the better, because the sun is super bright and look how well you can see during the day'.
Yeah, noonday sun, when you're wearing your Julbo Glacier Glasses and widebrim hat to keep down the glare...
 
Drclaw

Drclaw

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I am with you guys! I dont understand why people wont use OEM upgrades? Some models have HID's as a option. It would be expensive to upgrade to the correct housing and front vehicle harness, but legal and safe.
 
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more_vampires

more_vampires

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I am with you guys! I dont understand why people wont use OEM upgrades? Some models have HID's as a option. It would be expensive to upgrade to the correct housing and front vehicle harness, but legal and safe.

...and the charging system in some cases...

Reminds me of an HID that I returned to stock this one time. Guy took it upon himself to hack it in there. He jimmied a chassis ground to a part that was only connected to chassis by 2 bolts. One thing led to another, somewhere a short, a fry. His improvised chassis ground burned like a burnt match stick. I snapped it in half with my fingers, only tugging gently.

At the end of the day he needed:
1. A new wiring harness.
2. A new main terminal board.
3. A new rotor and stator
4. A new voltage regulator
5. Minor body and paint work where his chassis ground fried. (?!?!)
6. All new bulbs not involved in the kit.
7. New stock reflector
8. New stock headlight bulb holder (and bulb, of course.)

Something went haywire and totally killed his electrics. That's the most extensive case I've seen short of a vehicle fire. They usually don't bother bringing those to me.

Here's the scary part: What if he completely and accurately followed the instructions he was given? The rip off shop didn't offer to pay after their kit totally lunched his electrical system. It was the owner's fault, of course.
 
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V

-Virgil-

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areas of weakness, things they don't know. These folk often disdain booksmart people, their input/advice, and seek opinions of other self-made sorts in the lay sector.
So you google until you find advice that fits your favorite paradigm and surround yourself with those that agree with you.

And call it "research".
 
S

SubLGT

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I keep seeing on other forums how people drop in LED or HID bulbs into incandescent housings and take photos proving how much more light they have and how great an upgrade it is. When it is pointed out the lack of a cut off, the glare to other drivers, the illegality, the extreme ignorance really shines through by the responses………….

It's a losing battle. I avoid the lighting threads at automotive forums because they are ruled by ignoramuses.
I am at the point that I avoid night time driving as much as I can.
I am surprised the aftermarket hasn't started selling drop-in laser lighting, to get the "BMW look".
NHTSA will apparently not do anything unless it can be proven that people are dying because of illegal vehicle lighting.
 

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