Mike J.

Poor headlights using HIR2 bulbs confirmed?

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I have just noticed that headlight beams are tested in the US. Whilst the Yaris has not been tested for headlights, the new CH-R has and it also uses the HIR2 bulbs. Check out the details here: https://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/toyota/c-hr-4-door-suv

Low beams

On the straightaway, visibility was good on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

The low beams created excessive glare.

High beams

On the straightaway, visibility was inadequate on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

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Not sure how relevant this is to the European Yaris. Headlights for the other Toyota models with halogen bulbs range from acceptable to poor. The Yaris IA, which is built by Mazda and is based on the Mazda 2, also scores a P - not sure whether this uses HIR2 bulbs.

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Our Yaris hybrids use the HIR2 in the projector headlights, just like the CH-R. My lights are the worst I have had in a car and this info seems to map out to my car's beam spreads.

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Similarly the second generation Aygo also uses HIR2 bulbs in projector headlights. The lighting in my car has been improved using Toyota Optiwhite bulbs.

However, the IIHSHLDI ratings compare different lighting systems, with LED lights getting the highest scores. Halogen lighting in comparison will always score lower.

 

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They use HIR2 bulbs in some Vauxhall Insignias and all Amperas.  Here are some owners' thoughts....

https://insignia-drivers.uk/threads/16766-2014-Insignia-CDTI-ExoFlex-Headlights

https://www.speakev.com/threads/ok-found-out-why-the-headlights-are-pants.502/

Not very different to your own thoughts, Mick. 

 

 

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Ours are poor, but less poor now we have Optiwhite fitted.

Main issue isn't the brightness now, but the beam spread.  Not so bad on dipped, but full beam has a narrow spread and going round corners in the lanes is not a good experience.  Maybe the worst full beam of any car I've ever owned ............. and that's going back to 1970.  They're bright enough - actually nicely bright - but the beam spread is very poor indeed.  Optiwhite make them brighter and improve the brilliance, but not the beam.

Mick.

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Halogen on projectors are pretty much rubbish, improvement with +130% type of bulbs or optiwhites. Much prefer reflectors for halogen. I wouldnt normally get a car with projectors unless I know there are bulbs which will improve the brightness, but at a cost. 

It will be a premium price to pay if the Yaris gets HID or LED as standard in the future. 

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I was only recently reading an article on the differences between US laws for headlights & Europe. It seems that they are quite behind & in fact the motoring industry is pushing hard to be allowed to update more in line with European technology so you can't compare even the same cars for the 2 different markets.

Some manufacturers e.g. BMW have apparently already shipped cars in/to the US which can easily be updated when legislation allows (iirc they were LED based & it could be done just by a software update with new operating parameters).

edit: found the article again https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/21/business/headlights-adb-high-beams.html

4 hours ago, Mick F said:

Main issue isn't the brightness now, but the beam spread.  Not so bad on dipped, but full beam has a narrow spread and going round corners in the lanes is not a good experience.  Maybe the worst full beam of any car I've ever owned ............. and that's going back to 1970.  They're bright enough - actually nicely bright - but the beam spread is very poor indeed.  Optiwhite make them brighter and improve the brilliance, but not the beam.

That's because the whole aim of modern headlights is to have a more evenly illuminated but more restricted (to avoid annoying/blinding other users)/sharply defined beam pattern. Full beam is to add range not spread.

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1 hour ago, Heidfirst said:

I was only recently reading an article on the differences between US laws for headlights & Europe. It seems that they are quite behind & in fact the motoring industry is pushing hard to be allowed to update more in line with European technology so you can't compare even the same cars for the 2 different markets.

Some manufacturers e.g. BMW have apparently already shipped cars in/to the US which can easily be updated when legislation allows (iirc they were LED based & it could be done just by a software update with new operating parameters).

edit: found the article again https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/21/business/headlights-adb-high-beams.html

That's because the whole aim of modern headlights is to have a more evenly illuminated but more restricted (to avoid annoying/blinding other users)/sharply defined beam pattern. Full beam is to add range not spread.

You refer to 'smart headlights', this thread is for non-smart headlights, so you can compare.

The smart headlights info is interesting, but I wonder if they cater for the over the hill situation where even dipped lights dazzle. Regarding lighting software, the whole thing (for me) started here: Tesla updates Model 3’s headlights. I wonder if it was a software upgrade?

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48 minutes ago, Mike J. said:

You refer to 'smart headlights', this thread is for non-smart headlights, so you can compare.

I didn't refer, the article did. However, it goes beyond that (I have read more than 1 article over the years 😛 ) - US headlight legislation is woefully behind Europe in it's entirety. The fact that it doesn't allow for any form of smart headlights merely being an extreme example of it.

I offer you these 2 quotes from the article:

"Unfortunately, standard American-spec low beams — no matter how bright — typically do not throw light far enough to allow drivers to stop in a hurry."

“Low beams are fundamentally inadequate for the task,” said Daniel Stern, the editor in chief of Driving Vision News, a lighting industry website. “Most only help you stop in time if you’re going no faster than 35 miles per hour.”

The article about Teslas doesn't say whether it was the same vehicle retested or a different, newer vehicle so I don't suppose that we will know if it was a software update or a physical change to the lights.

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Okaaaayyy, you referred to an article that refers to 'smart headlights', this thread is for non-smart headlights. 

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The article refers to both adaptive driving beam headlights and standard American-spec headlights.

Move on .....

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12 hours ago, Heidfirst said:

...........  the whole aim of modern headlights is to have a more evenly illuminated but more restricted (to avoid annoying/blinding other users)/sharply defined beam pattern. Full beam is to add range not spread.

Although I agree with you in what you say, I probably didn't put my point across properly.

The beam pattern in dipped mode is great.  No issues with it at all.  Good, sharply defined, dipping to the left and a good cut-off vertically.

In full beam mode, the beam is too "spotty" and too far down the road to the detriment of some sideways illumination.  By far the worst full beam in that regard of any car I've ever driven.  It's a pain in the wotsit driving along our country lanes at night.  Not just me who complains about them, as Mrs Mick F is terribly disappointed with them.

Some years ago, I was driving Minis. The normal headlights on a Mini were sealed beam non-halogen, and I fitted a pair of after market halogens supplied by Ring to improve the lighting.  Those lights would knock spots (pardon the pun) off my 2014 Yaris full beam.

Mick.

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5 hours ago, Mick F said:

The normal headlights on a Mini were sealed beam non-halogen, and I fitted a pair of after market halogens supplied by Ring to improve the lighting.  Those lights would knock spots (pardon the pun) off my 2014 Yaris full beam.

Mick.

The old, standard, 7" circular headlamps. I replaced them on a couple of cars with Wipac halogens, but the best were Cibies.

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I find the lights to be adequate, but I don't trust being able to see far enough ahead should I need to stop.

The best headlights on a car that I've driven were on a Kia Picanto (first gen).

Why did Toyota go with the choice they did?? I take function over form on a car.

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10 hours ago, YarisHybrid2016 said:

Why did Toyota go with the choice they did?? I take function over form on a car.

They are driven/lead by legislation & no doubt lobbying for that is driven/lead by the oem companies that specialise in car lighting & also by safety organisations ...

from the point of view of a driver you want as much light as possible over as much areas as possible but that is also guaranteed to cause the most issues for other drivers which is why modern lighting is designed to have far more defined beams/cut-offs than of old.

The very latest approach as mentioned in the NYT article linked above appears to be essentially keep the lights on full all the time but mask out areas that have other vehicles in them. 

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1 hour ago, Heidfirst said:

which is why modern lighting is designed to have far more defined beams/cut-offs than of old.

Except I don't remember being headlamp-dazzled, I mean really badly blinded, as much in the past as I do nowadays. (Obviously I have to make allowances for my  aging eyes here, of course).  It's not just from d-i-y HID 'upgraded' reflector-type headlamps in older cars either, it's also the latest cars, usually with LED lighting.  Special mention to Nissan Qashqai and Juke, Mazda CX5 and Range Rovers here. 

If I understand it correctly, in the HIR2 type headlamp the bulbs are themselves high output, but the light is then blocked off by the bi-halogen headlamp design (see photo of Auris Mk2 headlamp, the view forwards from just behind the bulb fitting).  Blocking off so much of the source output might be ok when you have plenty of light to start off with (i.e. bi-xenon headlights), but with a halogen bulb there's just not enough when facing an onslaught of LEDs, especially when caught underneath their beam cutoff e.g. approaching a humpback bridge etc.

I assume that the beam is blocked off in this design (rather than efficiently reflected back into the headlamp) as otherwise it would be a cause of glare, this by virtue of it not originating directly from the  bulb and its first reflection.  At least with a conventional (i.e. old technology) reflector headlamp all of the light produced is usefully directed out the front with no mask, apart from the cap fitted to the end of the bulb (e.g. H4).

Our old Corolla headlamps (E11 - 2001) are quite large by comparison to the Auris's, so wouldn't they fit in with the modern design 'theme', but their output makes the newer ones look quite poor by comparison. despite the newer car having upgraded bulbs.

 

P1090286a.JPG

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1 hour ago, Gerg said:

Except I don't remember being headlamp-dazzled, I mean really badly blinded, as much in the past as I do nowadays. (Obviously I have to make allowances for my  aging eyes here, of course).  It's not just from d-i-y HID 'upgraded' reflector-type headlamps in older cars either, it's also the latest cars, usually with LED lighting.  Special mention to Nissan Qashqai and Juke, Mazda CX5 and Range Rovers here.

don't know, can only suggest/surmise some reasons:

  • a lot more cars than there used to be
  • higher output bulbs with more focussed beams means less tolerance, particularly where maladjusted (& perhaps with many cars now having headlight level adjustment that is being misused more?)
  • & yes, ageing eyes (here too)

An interesting thread here http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?392397-Poor-HIR2-projector-performance if you have the time to read it all as it touches on many things across headlights, not just HIR2.

 

Afaik HIR2s where used to provide both low & high beam from a single bulb use a shutter system to block light when on low beam only.

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I agree about being blinded.  I can agree that ageing eyes have something to do with it, but there are millions of us older people, and the bright lights of nowadays is a serious problem that seems to get overlooked.

Bright lights are an "arms race" in that if you have lights, you need to have them brighter than the other chap.  If we all took a step backwards and had less bright lights - warmer than whiter? - we'd all be better off.

Mick.

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12 hours ago, Heidfirst said:

Afaik HIR2s where used to provide both low & high beam from a single bulb use a shutter system to block light when on low beam only.

Yes, it does. 

If you look at the following two pictures (which are as the headlamp would sit in the car) the first is with the shutter down (main beam), the second is with the shutter up (dip beam). Fwiw, the picture I put up in the previous post was upside-down to make the beam cut-off more self-evident.

The shutter operating solenoid is being held open against its spring (by my fingers) in the first picture.  It's the same Auris Mk2 facelift headlamp as before, this headlamp has had some accident damage; the rear outer case was broken, so easily removed to take these pictures and get to the solenoid mechanism.  The headlamp internals looked completely undamaged.  This headlight belongs to a breakers, fwiw.

The shutter doesn't move anything like as much as I had expected.  The darkened circular centre of the shutter is presumably there to reduce reflections that might come directly from the filament, perhaps.  It might be interesting to hear from someone who understands these things to explain what is good design here, or not. 

The last picture is just a side view with some of the shutter solenoid and its connector visible.

 

P1090284a.JPG

P1090284.JPG

P1090264.JPG

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10 hours ago, Mick F said:

I agree about being blinded.  I can agree that ageing eyes have something to do with it, but there are millions of us older people, and the bright lights of nowadays is a serious problem that seems to get overlooked.

Bright lights are an "arms race" in that if you have lights, you need to have them brighter than the other chap.  If we all took a step backwards and had less bright lights - warmer than whiter? - we'd all be better off.

I don't know if you thread the thread that I linked to which mentions in passing something along the lines of that subjective perception & objective measurement can disagree? In another thread on the same forum somebody articulated better something that I had already being surmising on - that having a much brighter foreground (or of course light aimed in our direction) causes our iris to contract smaller which meanst that the further away light appears dimmer (this probably also affects light just outside the cutoffs making the falloff seem even darker).

I think that I would go with ~4k as my preferred colour but there may be engineering/commercial reasons why automotive LEDs tend to be towards the bluer end of white?

8 hours ago, Gerg said:

The shutter doesn't move anything like as much as I had expected.  The darkened circular centre of the shutter is presumably there to reduce reflections that might come directly from the filament, perhaps.  It might be interesting to hear from someone who understands these things to explain what is good design here, or not. 

Well, that candlepowerforums seems to have people that know their stuff so maybe worth asking on there?

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I too have poor headlights, well more for the side of the car when cornering countryside roads. Now i reside in France, i have a auris design 2018 model hybrid. I had to take the car to the garage for a totally different matter and I asked about the poor headlights, the reception man accepted that there is a problem and couldn't offer a great solution.
They don't know about the optibright or whatever they are called replacement bulbs so couldn't offer to replace the existing ones with them, they did have the mechanic check the wiring to see if its possible to have the fog lights turn on when i turn but he said they don't have the needed wiring so another option out of the window, i did ask if they would change the main headlamp unit for the one that is fitted for LED lamps but as thats a big cost to them that was also out.
All they could do and they did, was to move the sideways direction of the main units outward but just for low beam, so i could have a very slightly better light on the side but its still to be tested by me.
Yes i think toyota needs a kick somewhere.

L

Sent from my LG-H818 using Tapatalk

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I've done a few night drives recently, and I've considered the problem somewhat.

Two bad issues.

One, the beam on full beam is too "spotty" and not enough sideways spread at all, and not bright enough despite having the brighter Optiwhite bulbs.  Really poor full beam.

Two, the system of having only one bulb for dipped and full is terrible.  Usually with a car, there are two filaments or two separate lights and full beam is brighter and more powerful than dipped.  With the Yaris system, the bulb doesn't get brighter, but just gets re-focussed and re-directed.  In full beam mode, it's lacking terribly. What the car needs, is a pair of auxiliary driving lights that come on with full beam to augment the awful normal full beam.

Dipped beam however, is excellent.

Mick.

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26 minutes ago, Mick F said:

I've done a few night drives recently, and I've considered the problem somewhat.

Two bad issues.

One, the beam on full beam is too "spotty" and not enough sideways spread at all, and not bright enough despite having the brighter Optiwhite bulbs.  Really poor full beam.

Two, the system of having only one bulb for dipped and full is terrible.  Usually with a car, there are two filaments or two separate lights and full beam is brighter and more powerful than dipped.  With the Yaris system, the bulb doesn't get brighter, but just gets re-focussed and re-directed.  In full beam mode, it's lacking terribly. What the car needs, is a pair of auxiliary driving lights that come on with full beam to augment the awful normal full beam.

Dipped beam however, is excellent.

Mick.

Good to know you are finding dipped beam good with the optiwhites - cost almost £50 for the privilege.  As someone said about projectors this is looks over form. I first experienced projectors over a decade ago on a fiesta and I knew how poor halogen on it was, looks nice but no substance.

Much prefer the reflector and also separate bulbs for high beam to give 4 bulbs of output. Definitely Toyota got it badly wrong changing the old reflectors into projectors with halogen. I didn't mind the projectors on the Yaris simply because I can install hid on it, about the same cost as the optiwhites, although it give out 4-5 times the light output. 

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