Modern headlights are blinding!

kerneldrop

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
2,333
Location
South
@thermal guy

Especially when people are putting LEDs in headlamps not designed for them. Then there's the trend where the front of the truck is lifted and the rear is lowered. Virgil probably rolls like that but he pointed his headlamps down
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,569
Location
Dust in the Wind
A 30 second sound bite news report on my radio yesterday mentioned the GM recall citing "small SUV's with headlights deemed too bright".
Where I live noise pollution makes it so even cars with their brights on don't seem to bright unless they pull up behind you at a red light.

Now when I'm working the night shift out on country roads……those swirvy kind with 9' lanes, and 3' deep road side ditches lined with 75+ year old oak trees……boy that lets you know your windshield needs cleaning sometimes as a modern SUV approaches. Sometimes they look so bright I flash my brights to say "hey, you with the brights on, knock it off please". Then they flash their brights as if to "oh really? wanna fight?" and as we pass each other and I'm seeing blue spots thinking "oops, that was a bad idea".

It's a tough job to get it right in my view since so many folks are out after dark these days in both city and country.
 

HitFactor

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 15, 2013
Messages
35
It's really hard to know what mode some of the new headlights are in as they approach you.

A quick flash is friendly, don't read too much into it. The wanna fight drivers are the one who flip on their brights for the last few seconds they are in front of you. Really a passive aggressive thing I guess.

I drive a F350, so my headlights are higher than some cars roofs. A Prius for example. I've passed many small cars, headed the same direction. Afterward, they pull behind me and turn on their brights. That's a mistake, I have exceptionally bright rear facing lamps, mounted high on a back rack, for illuminating camp sites, the truck bed, hunting camps.
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
I drive a F350, so my headlights are higher than some cars roofs. A Prius for example. I've passed many small cars, headed the same direction. Afterward, they pull behind me and turn on their brights. That's a mistake, I have exceptionally bright rear facing lamps, mounted high on a back rack, for illuminating camp sites, the truck bed, hunting camps.
So you're saying you misuse your truck's off-road lights as on-road weapons, and chuckling that's a mistake, heh heh heh about your tactical advantage -- you're sitting up high and you can flick your mirrors to eliminate the glare that would otherwise bother you a little as you glance rearward every once in awhile; they can't do the same in the face of your weaponized lights as they struggle to see the road ahead. Real mature! Shame on you. Try acting like an adult, even when others don't. Or even try and understand the message they're trying to send you instead of just conveniently shrugging it off as a pure result of the height of your truck and playing dumb little king-of-the-road/assault-with-deadly-weapon games on the public roadways.
 

fulee9999

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
717
I'm no expert in headlight rules and regulations. I don't even play one on TV. BUT, many of the new headlights on cars and trucks hit you so hard in the face you can't see S@@t and is literally so annoying you feel like jerking the wheel at them.
Preach! Two of the most amusing things I discovered after thinking that I might be just and oversensitive b...h at night are:
1, When I'm walking the dog, and I see a car two street down waiting to turn out into the main road whose light illuminate me up to my shoulder... Now I'm not a small man by any means, so if you're 100 yards away and your headlights shine neck high, there is something wrong there
2, The fog... it reveals so much about people's headlights... you can clearly see the aftermarket xenons shoved into a '92 corolla just beaming up into the sky, the SUVs just blasting light at the height of a human, it's pretty amusing to see how awful a lot of people's headlights are. The worst offender I saw in fog was a dude with aftermarket xenons and headlights so old that were like stained glass, that headlight shone welding arc bright light just evvveryywhere
 

Brasso

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
1,638
Location
Alabama
I truly believe that LED headlights should be illegal. They're dangerous. You can't see a damn thing driving at night anymore but blinding lights.
 

jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
7,505
Location
Flushing, NY
I truly believe that LED headlights should be illegal. They're dangerous. You can't see a damn thing driving at night anymore but blinding lights.
The problem is not the light source. It's poorly designed beam patterns, plus the fact we don't have regulations pertaining to the height of headlights. The latter is very important. I'm honestly surprised there aren't any regulations for it, like specifying headlights may be no more than 18 inches above the road, regardless of how large the vehicle is.
 
Last edited:

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
The problem is not the light source. It's poorly designed beam patterns,
...and the fact that nobody in America cares about headlight aim, and the lack of headlight self-leveling systems like they have in Europe, and the trends in headlamp design (smaller and bluer, and higher intensity, all of which increase glare).

plus the fact we don't have regulations pertaining to the height of headlights. The latter is very important. I'm honestly surprised there aren't any regulations for it, like specifying headlights may be no more than 18 inches above the road, regardless of how large the vehicle is.

There is such a regulation; the maximum allowed height for low beams in America is 137.2 cm (54") from the road surface to the optical center of the headlamp (higher than the maximum in the rest of the world, and probably too high...but there is a reg!)
 

fulee9999

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
717
...and the fact that nobody in America cares about headlight aim, and the lack of headlight self-leveling systems like they have in Europe, and the trends in headlamp design (smaller and bluer, and higher intensity, all of which increase glare).
huh. you would think that. while self-leveling system are mandatory here in the EU there are two issues with them:
1, retrofitted headlights don't have them, which is illegal, but nobody really cares
2, while the headlight is self-leveling, because of chassis fitment you have to be able to align it manually as well, and because people compain that "this new light doesn't throw as far" they use the adjusting to screw to elevate the beam anyways... so in legal terms this solution is not illegal, but it's poor fitment and blinds people
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
Wrong, I actually check aim on all of my vehicles.
Maybe you do. Maybe you even do it in a technically adequate way (do you have an optical aiming machine, or pay someone to use one for you?), or maybe you just shine the lights on a wall and get them within a ZIP code or two of correct aim. Either way, you get to be the exception that proves the rule. Tell him what he wins, Rod!

("Nobody" doesn't necessarily mean literally zero people; another thing adults do, besides resisting the urge to play Death Avenger of the Interstate, is exhibit reasonably good reading comprehension)
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
while self-leveling system are mandatory here in the EU there are two issues with them:
1, retrofitted headlights don't have them, which is illegal, but nobody really cares
2, while the headlight is self-leveling, because of chassis fitment you have to be able to align it manually as well, and because people compain that "this new light doesn't throw as far" they use the adjusting to screw to elevate the beam anyways... so in legal terms this solution is not illegal, but it's poor fitment and blinds people

This varies a lot, country by country. In strict countries like Germany, there are very few misaimed, worn out or illegally retrofitted headlamps. In countries where inspections and roadworthiness certificates are less strict, there are misaimed and illegally retrofitted headlamps. Last few times I was travelling in Europe I saw a lot more improper lighting in Hungary (mostly degraded/neglected) than I did in France, and somewhat more in France than in the UK, and somewhat more in the UK than in Germany. I doubt if there's any country where every vehicle's lights are perfect, but even in Hungary it looked like a much lower rate of improper lighting than in the USA.
 

fulee9999

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
717
This varies a lot, country by country. In strict countries like Germany, there are very few misaimed, worn out or illegally retrofitted headlamps. In countries where inspections and roadworthiness certificates are less strict, there are misaimed and illegally retrofitted headlamps. Last few times I was travelling in Europe I saw a lot more improper lighting in Hungary (mostly degraded/neglected) than I did in France, and somewhat more in France than in the UK, and somewhat more in the UK than in Germany. I doubt if there's any country where every vehicle's lights are perfect, but even in Hungary it looked like a much lower rate of improper lighting than in the USA.
ah OK, yeah, that seems fair.

For example in Italy they are pretty lax about... well just about everything :) Until you're not a danger to others or to yourself they usually leave you alone, however in Germany they are really strict about their traffic laws, be it the mechanical state of the vehicle or driving behaviour, you get fined even for tailgating people, it's awesome. Sorta same in Slovenia as well, now that I think about it, driving there is a pretty safe environment as well. And yeah, in Hungary basically anything goes, even with the dumb "no deviating from the stock configuration of the car" rules.

But yeah, changes from country to country, I just wanted to point out that the law doesn't necessarily mean it's enforced as well.
 

Poppy

Flashaholic
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
8,449
Location
Northern New Jersey
...and the fact that nobody in America cares about headlight aim, and the lack of headlight self-leveling systems like they have in Europe, and the trends in headlamp design (smaller and bluer, and higher intensity, all of which increase glare).



There is such a regulation; the maximum allowed height for low beams in America is 137.2 cm (54") from the road surface to the optical center of the headlamp (higher than the maximum in the rest of the world, and probably too high...but there is a reg!)
@-Virgil-
Would you consider writing a letter to your Congressman on the height of headlights and their beams, with a recommendation of changing the regs? And sharing that letter with us, so that we can plagiarize it and send it to our Congressman?
 

Alaric Darconville

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 2, 2001
Messages
5,377
Location
Stillwater, America
Ummmmm…… they turned around to pull up behind him to use their high beams. That deserves whatever they get
No, they didn't:
I've passed many small cars, headed the same direction. Afterward, they pull behind me and turn on their brights.
Emphasis mine
Both parties are in the wrong, and the driver of the truck could simply have flipped their mirror into the 'night' position and ignored the Prius driver, or pulled over and let them go on their way to safely remove themselves from a potentially dangerous situation.

A high beam for a high beam makes the whole world night blind.

Toxic masculinity is bad enough in the schools, the workplace, Facebook, message boards, and public spaces. It's even worse when vehicles are thrown into the mix.

People really need to learn how to deëscalate conflicts. Grocery store cashiers and fast food workers know how to do it, drivers need to learn it.
 
Top