The car was originally conceived as a universal means of transportation, which would be insensitive to changes in weather, time of day and so on.
Changing the type of headlights on cars in different years
That is why, already on the first vehicles, primitive headlights were installed, which were acetylene torches with reflectors - such devices made it possible to slightly dispel the darkness in front of the car and make it clearly visible. However, gas sources of light soon gave way to more efficient and economical electric headlights, which are used today.
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Despite the fact that the source of energy for the production of light is always electricity, the design of the headlights may be fundamentally different. It is not surprising that the technology goes forward continuously, and today's light sources are many times more efficient than those installed on cars 30-40 years ago. However, time-tested technologies still remain in service, although they are gradually being upgraded.
The first to install car headlights were traditional incandescent bulbs, which even today can be found in many homes. However, in contrast to domestic use, they faced increased loads, which determined their short service life.
Therefore, in 1962, electrical engineers suggested pumping inert gas into a sealed flask, which would reduce the deposition of tungsten on glass and prolong the life of the spiral. The result was really an increase in the durability of such devices - the first “halogen” models worked in cars for at least 500 hours, while modern headlights can withstand 800–1000 hours of work in tense conditions.
Among the drawbacks of such light sources for headlamps, it is worth mentioning less reliable and susceptible to external influences compared to the rest. In addition, the brightness of halogen devices leaves much to be desired - the limiting power of the luminous flux they create is 1500 Lumen, which makes the driver tensely peer into the road on a dark night, waiting for the appearance of a dangerous obstacle. However, all the shortcomings negates one plus, which is able to leave in the production of halogen lamps for another decade - their exceptional cheapness.
It is not at all necessary to use an ordinary incandescent spiral, because gas-discharge lamps have been used in the world for a long time already - BMW engineers thought about this when creating the model of the 7th series of 1991. The result of their research were headlights, in which an electric arc glows between two electrodes. To stabilize its characteristics, it was decided to use an inert gas - xenon. Of course, innovation required some sacrifices - so, to start the arc, it was necessary to install a complex and expensive ignition unit in the car.
Still xenon headlights Discounts for new cars! Profitable loan from 9.9% installments 0% adom.ru has become very popular due to the bright blue light they create, which makes night driving safer. In addition, the service life of xenon headlights reaches 2-3 thousand hours. However, the power of the luminous flux, reaching 4 thousand lumens, becomes not only an advantage, but also the most important disadvantage of high-power headlights - if improperly adjusted, they are able to blind oncoming drivers, triggering an accident.
Also, the light produced by an electric arc is too diffused by dirt and dust adhering to the outer surface of the headlights, which also causes dangerous situations. Therefore, to install xenon headlights without auto-corrector and washer is highly undesirable.
Xenon blinds when improperly adjusted фар
Also a disadvantage is the huge price, which is caused by the need to purchase electronic controllers, ignition units and other devices. However, engineers are working to resolve existing problems. To improve safety on the roads, xenon headlights of reduced power are produced, in which the luminous flux is 2500 lumens. It was possible to reduce the cost of such devices by combining the light source itself with an ultra-compact ignition unit. But increasingly there is talk of ending the era of xenon devices.
The rapid development of superconducting technologies, as well as the emergence of compact electronics allowed to create headlights based on bright LEDs. The advantages of LED headlights are many - the main ones include:
- The compact dimensions of the source of the glow, the ability to give the unit any shape;
- The service life extended to 10–15 thousand hours is quite likely that the headlights will never have to be changed;
- Reduced heat dissipation;
- The minimum load on the electrical system of the car.
In addition, the brightness of LED devices is fairly easy to adjust, changing the power and number of light sources - as a result, they can be made even more efficient xenon counterparts.
It would seem that there are no special flaws and no such construction. However, while it is not possible to determine which is better - xenon or LEDs, since the second option has a much higher cost. Work is currently under way to reduce the cost of LED devices, but we will see their first samples on cheap compact cars only 10–15 years later. Interestingly, recent developments in the field of organic light-emitting diodes have helped to name the so-called matrix headlights, which can change the shade of the glow depending on the traffic situation or even project an image onto the wall.
However, BMW experts believe that the future is for even more advanced technologies. They put into the service of motorists high-power lasers, which are commonly used in industry. But one should not think that the headlights will become a kind of weapon allowing to eliminate rivals on the road, because the laser is not aimed at other road users, but at a special compartment in lighting engineering. There is a special substance that phosphoresces when a high-power beam hits it, which is the laser.
Such devices provide perfect "day" visibility at a distance of 600 meters, which is not possible for their counterparts, developed earlier. The brightness of such lighting can be adjusted on the go - it is enough to correct the laser power electronically. In addition, by changing the composition of the phosphorescent substance, it is possible to achieve various shades - including the perfect white and sunny yellow. The only catch is the need to eliminate various problems that prevent the serial production of such headlights from starting. If they can be solved, in a few years we will see laser lighting technology on premium BMW models, and, possibly, other brands.
It is clear that in the mass production of laser devices have not yet been received. LEDs do not require frequent replacement and most often are installed together with a block-headlight in case of an accident. Therefore, we will focus on the traditional types of lighting - halogen and xenon headlights.
Halogen devices should be selected for power, which usually determines the brightness of the glow and the effectiveness of work in various conditions. Lamps with a power of 75–80 W are the most balanced option, since they do not create a load on the vehicle’s electrical network and do not blind oncoming drivers. If you are going to drive off-road and you need additional lighting for the timely assessment of the situation, it is better to give preference to 90–100 W lamps. Among the halogen headlights, the best products are considered by such brands as Philips and Osram - according to motorists, they work equally effectively in any conditions and have a comparable service life.
If you choose xenon lamps, you will have to decide what color temperature their light will have. Experienced motorists and many experts argue that headlights with a color temperature range of 4,000–5,000 K are the best option, since they do not create an impenetrable light curtain during heavy rain or snowfall. The brightest headlights with an indicator of 6000, and even more so 10,000–12,000 K look very impressive, but in fact they turn out to be less comfortable. If you talk about brands, the best choice would be Hella or Philips products, and among the more economical options, you should prefer Sho-me or MTF.
Now you can purchase kits for self-conversion of halogen devices to xenon or even LED, but experts do not recommend using them. The problem is that after installing such equipment, it must be carefully calibrated using additional lenses, reflectors and diffusers. If the installation is done independently, this is usually not done. The result is incorrect work of the headlights - they can completely ignore the road, but blind drivers in the oncoming lane.
If you are thinking about what extra lights to put on the car, you must first determine their purpose. The best option for daytime running lights, allowing you to refuse to include dimensions or dipped beam - this is a diode light sources. They consume little electricity and have a sufficiently high brightness, making the car visible at a distance of more than a kilometer.
As off-road floodlights, xenon headlights can be installed, which can be installed on the roof or on the safety arch located in front of the hood. It is worth choosing lighting equipment of the maximum brightness as only it will allow to see all obstacles before the car. However, it is not recommended to include such additional headlights on the road, since you can be fined for non-compliance with technical regulations.
The third option is additional headlights that can be turned on when driving on common roads. Here you should focus on personal preferences, but it is better to choose LED lamps again. To reduce costs, you can choose the usual "halogens", but you should put up with the increased load on the power grid and frequent replacement of lamps.
Choosing headlights for your car, first of all, be guided by the possibility of using the car in any circumstances. Undoubtedly, beautiful xenon headlights with a high color temperature will be a real decoration of your vehicle, but they will not allow you to move normally on the roads in bad weather. Also pay attention to whether your headlights will disturb others.
Even if you omit the fact that you can provoke an emergency situation with excessive brightness of the light or a wrong setting, there will surely be people willing to deprive you of such lighting engineering. And finally - try to give preference to products of such famous brands as Philips, Osram and Hella, because it will serve you for a long time, without creating unnecessary problems.