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Post by Frank.Hatfull on Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:33 am

Hi
Yesterday I upgraded the Sprinter headlamp dip to HID.
It took about half an hour and you have to cut a 1 inch hole in the plastic rear lamp cover.
I used Les at HID50 who I used to to upgrade the motorbike headlamps last year.
He provides good quality components ant tests them first.
The difference to normal halogen lamps is remarkable.
The cost was about £120
Hope you find this useful.

Kind regards
Frank
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Post by -mojo- on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:09 pm

I understand that this advice is intended to be helpful, but I confess this is one of my most hated modifications. There are a number of issues:

Firstly, the problem with putting gas discharge lamps into reflector/lens assemblies that were designed for halogens is that the shape of the bright part of a gas discharge lamp is different from that of a filament lamp. The filament lamp has its brightest part at the centre of the filament, while the gas discharge lamp has two bright points - one at each end of the arc. If the reflector/lens assembly is designed to take a HID bulb then this can be compensated for, but it won't be if you put a HID in a fitting that is designed for halogens.

The result will vary from design to design, but typically this will mean more scatter and a poor vertical cutoff on dipped beam.

The second is a legal issue. Typically, vehicle light assemblies will be approved and E marked for a specific lamp type, and this will be included in the E mark code on it (which it is legally required to have). As far as I am aware it is not legal to put a discharge lamp in a fitting that is approved for a halogen lamp.

And then there is the issue of self-levelling and built-in cleaning systems. There is some debate about how this relates to DIY "kits", but the fact is that OEM systems are all now required to have both, and both must be working to pass an MOT. There is a good reason for this, as anyone who has faced a HID-converted car coming towards them over the brow of a hill will know - especially if the lenses are dirty and scattering a lot of light.

Finally there is the issue of insurance. Hopefully everyone who has converted their lighting to HIDs has also notified their insurance company of the modification. If they do not then they risk having the insurance company void their insurance if their lighting modifications cause someone else to have an accident - though in practice I suspect that the guilty party will usually not be caught, as the ensuing accident will typically take place after their lights have blinded the person coming towards them and they will be long gone and impossible to identify.

Unfortunately the problems that HID conversions cause are only likely to get worse - we have an ageing population and older people tend to have eyesight which is less able to cope with looking at intense light while still being able to resolve any other detail in what they are looking at.


Last edited by -mojo- on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:14 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Smelling pistake...)
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:37 pm

mojo, the Dept for Transport seems to agree with you. Their view is aftermarket HID conversion kits are illegal. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Post by -mojo- on Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:52 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:mojo, the Dept for Transport seems to agree with you. Their view is aftermarket HID conversion kits are illegal. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Peter - thanks, I had never seen that document before, even though it is dated 2010! Your link has been bookmarked for future reference...
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Post by Paulmold on Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:09 pm

I also hate these lights whether original or aftermarket as the blinding light coming up behind you is distracting to say the least. Many are not correctly aligned so I assume many are aftermarket ones without the automatic adjustment.

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Post by KMRTOPAZ on Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:47 pm

Does Frank have a response?
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Post by -mojo- on Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:01 pm

I personally don't think a response is needed. A lot of people seem to fit them without realising the issues and legalities. I've no doubt Frank can decide what to do for himself without having to justify it to anyone else here.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:02 pm

It would be interesting to hear a response from Frank's HID conversion supplier, about how he gets around the illegallity of the kits he supplies. MOT time may be a problem.

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Post by Frank.Hatfull on Sun Nov 08, 2015 5:54 pm

My response as requested....

Firstly I must apologise. I really did not want to cause so much angst.

The HID units I used are ceramic 35watt. They are specifically designed for plastic lenses. Early HID units did a lot of damage to plastic lenses.

I have certainly seen badly installed HID 50watt units that are the wrong colour temperature and are dazzling as described.

The modern units I have installed do not dazzle and do not compromise the proper dip cut off pattern at all. I have also ensured that my headlights are adjusted properly and not pointing too high.

I have fitted the same to my BMW motorbike and I pointed out the HID units at the time of MOT. There was no issue.

I will do as suggested and get the local MOT station to take a look at these.

There are certainly a lot of poor cheap HID units on the market for a fraction of the price that may well cause dazzling.

Again I apologise for the angst caused. I will be very careful about posting in the future.

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Post by KMRTOPAZ on Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:55 pm

Thanks for the response Frank.  It was as I had hoped............informative.
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Post by roli on Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:29 am

No need to apologise Frank, you just started a debate and members responded, that was no hassle and it also gives others food for thought on future mods

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Post by Cymro on Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:38 am

As Roli says, this has been a most informative discussion, so we're grateful to you, Frank, for raising it - albeit that it might give you too much foof for thought!

I hope that many Forum members will read the thread, and especially the DfT's leaflet (of the existence of which I was unaware).

Mojo's authoritative post ends with a reference to older drivers whose eyesight is less able to cope with bright lights; for that same reason I'd been contemplating changing the headlights on a 14-year-old car. Leave well alone, I think!
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Post by Paulmold on Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:47 am

If I may refer to my earlier post, I suppose in all honesty I don't know if cars dazzling me from behind in my mirror are fitted with HID lamps or just out-of-alignment standard lamps but they often appear to be expensive cars such as BMW's, Range Rovers etc which I suspect are fitted with HIDs. So why isn't the automatic levelling system working as it should?  Badly aligned headlights and cars with only one light working are one of my pet hates. Travelling over 50k miles per year on motorways, you see so many.

I was disappointed with the headlights of our Symphony so upgraded to these and well worth it they were. No need for any alterations, just a straight swop for a fraction of the cost of Hid.

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Post by dbroada on Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:57 am

Commenting as a person whose eyesight has been affected by surgery and tries not to drive at night.

I too hate having bright lights heading towards me, especially badly aligned ones. I also have problems (and this occurred before the surgery) being followed by very bright lights. This was especially bad on the old VW where its own lights didn't really fill in the shadow and I was driving (almost literally) in the dark.

I guess it depends whether you find yourself more at the front of a queue or the back of the queue.

As an aside, the drivers of non-prototype cars at Le Mans a few years ago were complaining that the Audi lights were too bright while at the same time Audi's press releases were shouting about how they had improved the distance the lights illuminated.

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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:31 am

If you think HID are bright, wait for the new BMW "Laserlight".

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Post by Frank.Hatfull on Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:46 pm

I have now spoken to the MOT station and booked a service.
They say there is no issue with an HID upgrade from an MOT perspective.
Hope that helps
Frank
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:53 pm

That is possibly good news. It seems that whilst these kits are illegal to sell, fit and use, unless they are obviously defective in operation, beam pattern or light colour they are not pursued  at MOT. This FOI response from VOSA gives some background.

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Of course modifying the vehicle without notifying your Insurance Company may have some consequences in the event of an accident.

It seems though that the position is different in NI where wording of MOT rules differ and HID lights,  original or aftermarket, must have operable washers and self leveling.

I still think their use without proper reflectors washers and self leveling is anti-social.

Sorry Frank. smile!

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Post by Organplayer on Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:16 pm

Going "off piste" for a moment, like others I rarely drive in dakness. On the odd occasion I am unlucky enough to do so I don't like sitting in traffic holdups behind those annoying folk who sit there with foot on the foot brake, blinding those behind with their array of LED bright rear stop lights. Perhaps some folk don't realise they also have a handbrake which would enable the motorist sat behind, to be able to seeafter they have moved off..
Now where did I put my glass of bubbilliiee.
Happy and safe travels to us all.
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Post by Jaytee on Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:31 pm

Good post Frank, thanks. All good info much of which I was not aware of so def not pointless  up!

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Post by inspiredron on Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:49 pm

Paulmold wrote:I was disappointed with the headlights of our Symphony so upgraded to these and well worth it they were. No need for any alterations, just a straight swop for a fraction of the cost of Hid.

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I have fitted those to my Prius which had a lousy dipped beam. A huge improvement.
Not bothered for the van becaus ei hardly use it at night.

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Post by -mojo- on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:09 pm

Organplayer wrote:Going "off piste" for a moment, like others I rarely drive in dakness. On the odd occasion I am unlucky enough to do so I don't like sitting in traffic holdups behind those annoying folk who sit there with foot on the foot brake, blinding those behind with their array of LED bright rear stop lights. Perhaps some folk don't realise they also have a handbrake which would enable the motorist sat behind, to be able to seeafter they have moved off..
Now where did I put my glass of bubbilliiee.
Happy and safe travels to us all.

Sadly, I am (reluctantly) one of those drivers. If you have a vehicle with a dual clutch gearbox then generally at lights you must not use the handbrake. If you do, the 'box sits there with the first gear clutch on bite point, wearing it, wasting fuel and generating excess heat. If you are only expecting to be there a short time, the instruction from the manufacturer is that you must use the footbrake, as that causes the gearbox to fully disengage the first gear clutch, but keeps the box in first gear.

If you want to avoid having the brake lights on while waiting you have to put your foot on the footbrake, engage handbrake and put the gearbox in neutral, and then reverse that when the lights change (you have to put your foot back on the footbrake in order to engage gear) - and then on mine all of the shift points change for one gear change cycle, so it screams a bit in first. So... if you see someone keeping their foot on the brake, they probably have a DSG gearbox and are obeying the maker's instructions...
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:39 am

My E class has a "hold" function on the brakes. Having come to a stop, press down on the footbrake harder and the hold is engaged. You can then remove your foot. To move off just press the accelerator and the brakes disengage. The down side is the brake lights remain lit throughout.  scratch head

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Post by Jaytee on Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:05 am

Phew, thank goodness my 23 yr old Landy doesn't have any computers. It just does what I want it to do not what a computer 'thinks it should be doing' hugegrins
Sorry gone off thread Whistle1

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Post by -mojo- on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:18 pm

When I first got the current van, I wanted to switch off the "Hill hold" feature, because I knew I would come to take the function for granted, and then when driving my 1960s Jensen would forget and roll back on something. But I didn't turn it off, and I now find that I have come to take it for granted.

Fortunately there are so many different things about driving the 60s car (e.g. indicator stalk on the "wrong" side, column gear change, light switches on the dash, dip/main switch on the floor) that I hopefully won't take anything about driving it for granted...
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Post by inspiredron on Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:47 am

PLOUGHLIN wrote:My E class has a "hold" function on the brakes. Having come to a stop, press down on the footbrake harder and the hold is engaged. You can then remove your foot. To move off just press the accelerator and the brakes disengage. The down side is the brake lights remain lit throughout.  scratch head
On my Boxer and on the Prius the hold is only 2 seconds after you release the footbrake. The Boxer seems to need a harder push on the pedal than the Prius - or maybe I am more nervous with 3500kg!

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