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    I'm considering getting Xenons on my car, as on the country lanes my standard halogen lights really aren't effective.

    And has anyone got any Xenon bulb recommendations?

    (Also maybe considering LED bulbs instead?)
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    LEDs are a better option than HIDs as the reflectors on most existing headlamps are not suited for HID conversion unless all the upgrade you want are cosmetic in nature.

    Also before trying any upgrades, try a pair of Osram Nightbreakers and if the headlamp reflectors are starting to dull or have moisture in them try having them cleaned out first.
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    (Original post by Alfissti)
    LEDs are a better option than HIDs as the reflectors on most existing headlamps are not suited for HID conversion unless all the upgrade you want are cosmetic in nature.

    Also before trying any upgrades, try a pair of Osram Nightbreakers and if the headlamp reflectors are starting to dull or have moisture in them try having them cleaned out first.
    Do LED's give a better visibility than Halogens? I know they're meant to be nicer on the battery

    I've heard of Osram Nightbreakers and Ring Xenon 150's (which claim to be better than halogens). Have you tried the Osram ones?
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    (Original post by RoyalSheepy)
    Do LED's give a better visibility than Halogens? I know they're meant to be nicer on the battery

    I've heard of Osram Nightbreakers and Ring Xenon 150's (which claim to be better than halogens). Have you tried the Osram ones?
    LEDs assuming your reflectors are in good condition will definitely give better visibility than standard halogens. However those with 5000k onwards don't give as good a visibility at night if it is rainy. Same goes for HIDs even those found in high end premium cars. Also depends on the LED bulb as not all of them are created equal, especially those not too well known ones from China.

    Have certainly used Osrams, from experience they certainly do perform better than the factory fitted bulbs. They won't let you see further away but the area where your existing lamps illuminate will appear to be brighter.
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    (Original post by Alfissti)
    LEDs assuming your reflectors are in good condition will definitely give better visibility than standard halogens. However those with 5000k onwards don't give as good a visibility at night if it is rainy. Same goes for HIDs even those found in high end premium cars. Also depends on the LED bulb as not all of them are created equal, especially those not too well known ones from China.

    Have certainly used Osrams, from experience they certainly do perform better than the factory fitted bulbs. They won't let you see further away but the area where your existing lamps illuminate will appear to be brighter.
    Yeah, the reflectors are in good condition. But the light output from halogens just isn't enough for me. :nope:

    Osrams sound good. What about LEDs, do you have any experience with them?
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    (Original post by RoyalSheepy)
    I'm considering getting Xenons on my car, as on the country lanes my standard halogen lights really aren't effective.

    And has anyone got any Xenon bulb recommendations?

    (Also maybe considering LED bulbs instead?)
    That'd cost you a fortune, wouldn't it? A xenon retrofit for my car was just short of £1,000!
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    (Original post by IWMTom)
    That'd cost you a fortune, wouldn't it? A xenon retrofit for my car was just short of £1,000!
    There's kits, for the higher wattage bulbs, which don't cost that much. But I don't know whether it's worth it or not :laugh:
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    (Original post by RoyalSheepy)
    There's kits, for the higher wattage bulbs, which don't cost that much. But I don't know whether it's worth it or not :laugh:
    The aftermarket Philips bulbs I put in my dipped beams were supposed to be 130% brightness with a whiter light.. and they're worse than OEM...

    I'd take any marketing nonsense with a pinch of salt.
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    (Original post by IWMTom)
    The aftermarket Philips bulbs I put in my dipped beams were supposed to be 130% brightness with a whiter light.. and they're worse than OEM...

    I'd take any marketing nonsense with a pinch of salt.
    To be fair, anything would be better than the OEM lights I have in now :laugh:

    LEDs, with a bit of research, maybe look like the best option?
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    (Original post by RoyalSheepy)
    To be fair, anything would be better than the OEM lights I have in now :laugh:

    LEDs, with a bit of research, maybe look like the best option?
    I'd have thought the VXR bulbs would have been pretty decent
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    (Original post by IWMTom)
    I'd have thought the VXR bulbs would have been pretty decent
    Nope, they're just standard halogens unfortunately
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    (Original post by RoyalSheepy)
    Nope, they're just standard halogens unfortunately
    Sigh.. Vauxhall quality..
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    (Original post by IWMTom)
    Sigh.. Vauxhall quality..
    Vauxhall are great...

    Ok, they're alright...

    Spoiler:
    Show


    Kinda alright then

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    Be aware that a bulb sold as 'Xenon' may not be quite what you expect.

    Halogen bulbs pass an electrical current through a filament which heats up and glows. It's contained in a bulb filled with a halogen to extend the life of the filament. All they need is 12V across the terminal to work.

    Xenon normally means High Intensity Discharge (HID), a type of lamp which creates light by creating an electrical arc in a bulb filled with xenon gas. They require control circuitry, including an electrical ballast, and (if I recall correctly) to be legal on cars in the UK they must be self-levelling and have a washing mechanism. You can't just plug a HID lamp into a halogen lamp socket and expect it to work. There are conversion kits available, but they're unlikely to be road legal.

    Now the bit that can be confusing is that if you add a bit of xenon to the halogen gas you can market it as a xenon bulb, especially if you mess with the colour temperature a little. However, it's still fundamentally a halogen lamp so you're going to get no real benefit from it - it's certainly not like upgrading to HID headlights.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Be aware that a bulb sold as 'Xenon' may not be quite what you expect.

    Halogen bulbs pass an electrical current through a filament which heats up and glows. It's contained in a bulb filled with a halogen to extend the life of the filament. All they need is 12V across the terminal to work.

    Xenon normally means High Intensity Discharge (HID), a type of lamp which creates light by creating an electrical arc in a bulb filled with xenon gas. They require control circuitry, including an electrical ballast, and (if I recall correctly) to be legal on cars in the UK they must be self-levelling and have a washing mechanism. You can't just plug a HID lamp into a halogen lamp socket and expect it to work. There are conversion kits available, but they're unlikely to be road legal.

    Now the bit that can be confusing is that if you add a bit of xenon to the halogen gas you can market it as a xenon bulb, especially if you mess with the colour temperature a little. However, it's still fundamentally a halogen lamp so you're going to get no real benefit from it - it's certainly not like upgrading to HID headlights.
    So are Halogen "Xenon" upgrades worth it if you want more visibility, as I really struggle on country lanes to see with my current lights. They're absolutely terrible!

    Also, do you have any opinion on LED head lights, and if they'd maybe be better?
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    (if I recall correctly) to be legal on cars in the UK they must be self-levelling and have a washing mechanism
    To clarify on this point, the MOT guidelines say that if the self-leveling and washing mechanisms are fitted, they must work, but not that they MUST be fitted.

    I believe there is some debate going on at the DVSA about whether the phrase "if fitted" should be removed from the guidelines, but as of this moment in time, a car would pass an MOT with a retrofit missing the additional mechanisms - how long that holds true is another story.
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    (Original post by RoyalSheepy)
    So are Halogen "Xenon" upgrades worth it if you want more visibility, as I really struggle on country lanes to see with my current lights. They're absolutely terrible!

    Also, do you have any opinion on LED head lights, and if they'd maybe be better?
    I've never tried either to be honest so I can't comment. When I'm in the UK I drive a BMW with HID lamps! My gut feeling is that "Xenon" halogens are a marketing gimmick rather than anything useful though. They may or may not be a better shade but they're unlikely to emit significantly more light.


    (Original post by IWMTom)
    To clarify on this point, the MOT guidelines say that if the self-leveling and washing mechanisms are fitted, they must work, but not that they MUST be fitted.

    I believe there is some debate going on at the DVSA about whether the phrase "if fitted" should be removed from the guidelines, but as of this moment in time, a car would pass an MOT with a retrofit missing the additional mechanisms - how long that holds true is another story.
    The MoT regulations aren't definitive for what may or may not be legally fitted to a car. It's not something I've delved into much, but the Construction & Use regulations would be a good starting point, although it's highly likely that there'll be EU level directives covering them too (lighting regs can be a minefield, in a previous job I was reviewing whether our ag/construction machinery lighting was compliant and it wasn't straightforward!).
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    (Original post by IWMTom)
    To clarify on this point, the MOT guidelines say that if the self-leveling and washing mechanisms are fitted, they must work, but not that they MUST be fitted.

    I believe there is some debate going on at the DVSA about whether the phrase "if fitted" should be removed from the guidelines, but as of this moment in time, a car would pass an MOT with a retrofit missing the additional mechanisms - how long that holds true is another story.
    Did a bit of reading around, and this site has some useful info on aftermarket HID kits. Basically they're not really legal as aftermarket components (HID lamps don't meet UK regs but do meet EU type approval regs, but this is only relevant for new cars) but the Department for Transport has published guidance which states aftermarket kits should be allowable, subject to the following...

    In practice this means:

    • The headlamp unit (outer lens, reflector, bulb) shall be type approved to ECE 98 and be "e-marked" to demonstrate this. That can only be done by the headlamp supplier - Hella, Valeo etc. - who must test the headlamp in an independent laboratory.
    • Once fitted to the vehicle it must have headlamp cleaning and self levelling (which can be for the headlamp or can be in the vehicle suspension - some expensive estate cars have "self-levelling suspension" and that is adequate). Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam


    ...

    Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence to supply, fit or use vehicle parts which are not legal.

    In summary: it is not permitted to convert an existing halogen headlamp unit for use with HID bulbs. The entire headlamp unit must be replaced with one designed and approved for use with HID bulbs and it must be installed in accordance with the rules stated above.

    In essence then, they may pass the MoT but they won't be legal without self-levelling and self-cleaning. That website notes that guidance isn't legally binding, but frankly it would be foolish not to follow it. There are also stories floating around the internet about people getting pulled over and ticketed for non-compliant HID units.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    In essence then, they may pass the MoT but they won't be legal without self-levelling and self-cleaning. That website notes that guidance isn't legally binding, but frankly it would be foolish not to follow it. There are also stories floating around the internet about people getting pulled over and ticketed for non-compliant HID units.
    That'd be why it's over a grand to retrofit Xenon headlights to my Golf, then :')
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