Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 92 total)
  • I don’t want to go all Daily Mail
  • Merak
    Full Member

    Or Guardian but.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/apr/02/uk-government-review-headlight-glare-drivers-complaints

    I’m glad it’s not just me. I’ve had to slow to a stop more than a few times because of eye searingly bright oncoming LEDs on unlit roads. Im well below 50 too so not in the typical STW demographic.

    Bring back yellowish headlights, down with this sort of LED thing..

    benos
    Full Member

    I read a survey not too long ago that younger drivers find it even more annoying than older ones. Until then I’d thought it was a combination of brighter headlights and my aging eyes.

    It would be nice to see it change. I used to like driving at night but I haven’t for several years now because of LED headlights.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Other cyclists with their flashing LED 5500 watt front and rear lights pointing up are more annoying to me, personally…

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Ironically I think we used to get flashed because our old yellow halogens appeared too dim!

    Have been flashed a couple of times recently and could only conclude it was because the new car’s lights are too bright 🙄

    CountZero
    Full Member

    Bring back yellowish headlights, down with this sort of LED thing..

    Personally, I think that ship has sailed, there was almost as much of a problem with HID headlights, and a lot of the issues are due as much to alignment and the emitters being pure white instead of yellow. I used to flash people with badly aligned headlights regularly twenty years ago, whereas now it’s ages since I last had to. What’s made a big difference to me is that I was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes several years ago, and by two years ago, my eyes were so bad I was having to emergency stop driving to work at 6am on several occasions because the glare from some lights, and not all LED lights at that, meant I couldn’t see the nearside verge. Anyone remember the ‘Dip, don’t dazzle’ public service adverts on telly? Maybe just me, then…

    Having had both eyes treated about a year ago has been, without too much of an exaggeration, life-changing! I’ve been short-sighted most of my life, now I’ve no need of glasses except for reading and close-up, and driving in the dark gives me no problems at all, not even with the LED lights.
    As time goes on, and tech inevitably filters down, auto-dipping will become standard rather than a feature, and there will no longer be an issue.

    There will, however, be a cost issue; a replacement LED headlight unit can easily cost around £1300. There’s a car insurance right-off right there!

    vlad_the_invader
    Full Member

    auto-dipping will become standard

    Fine as long as it’s not a “subscriber only” feature as there’s zero incentive for a driver to pay for a feature which only benefits other road users

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    My own standard LED headlights are too bloody bright. If there are a few road signs in sight, they reflect back massively so everything else in the distance just fades into darkness.

    binners
    Full Member

    At the risk of raising your Guardian and Mail and going all radio 4 on you…

    They were discussing this on radio 4 last week. Modern LED lights are indeed brighter, but the human eye can’t process the white LED light like it can the more yellow halogen light so find it more piercing. It’s that and the elevated headlight positions of SUVs which everyone seems to want to drive, meaning the beam is directly at your windscreen if you’re in a non-SUV

    Whatever it is, it’s a PITA!

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    auto-dipping will become standard

    My cars got them. Trouble is the system has to be very clever (I’m not sure how it works) 95% of the time it works perfectly, sometimes it doesn’t get it right

    benos
    Full Member

    That’s interesting. Levelling issues aside, I definitely find modern white LED headlights more piercing even when they’re pointed correctly. They really stand out in a line of oncoming traffic, and I end up looking down and to the left rather than at the road ahead.

    I find it’s a toss up for me now whether I’d prefer daytime traffic or night time dazzling.

    Houns
    Full Member

    Add to the list those cars with a light strip across the width of the front of the car, VW and Merc I’m looking at you (and being blinded)

    kerley
    Free Member

    I appreciate the better headlights as I live where there are no street lights and it is bloody dark and it is always good to be able to see what animals to avoid.

    Don’t find the problem with lower car versus SUV as I recently went from an Aygo to an SUV and expected it to be noticeable but it wasn’t.  I really should have moved to an SUV years ago as I can now drive through the flooded roads, can take pot holes in my stride and have a better view point.  I took the don’t get mad get even approach.

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    They are real problem. I’m not even sure auto dip works. I’ve had a Tesla behind me in a motorway, I was on cruise and I assume they were just on the cusp of the dip range, every so often as they drifted back, full beam and I can’t see anything in my side mirrors. They drift slightly closer and it’s bearable.

    In a low or just a non suv/van it can be completely blinding, obviously more so with oncoming traffic.

    My mother took her Suzuki SUV back to get the headlamps adjusted as she was aware it was dazzling other drivers.
    No idea if they needed adjustment, or if they just checked them.

    On our car/s I’ve upgraded the headlamp bulbs to Night breakers and wired the headlamps through relays on the 944 so they get full alternator voltage.
    MOT regs have changed so it’s now ok to replace the entire headlamp with an LED replacement, so it’s possible to join the arms race.
    I really don’t want to do that as I’m not sure the white light will help except to return fire.
    I have been tempted to point a bike light out of the sunroof at the car behind before tho, that or a mirror.

    andeh
    Full Member

    Here in Canada it’s like the wild west. No equivalent of an MOT means cretins can do, or not do, just about whatever they want. Most folk have no idea that their lights are so obnoxious….to be fair, they’re often doing well if they have them on at all 🙄 In wet weather it’s impossible to see through the glare.

    Saw some nobhead in a lifted pickup (it’s always a **** pickup) with a full width LED light bar thing above the cab, full whack, driving around downtown. It was like opening the Ark of the Covenant 💀

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    I don’t get the SUV thing either as while I agree the point of origin is somewhat higher, the point of destination remains the same so yes I can imagine there is a larger crossover but I feel this happens at too close a proximity to have an impact as by then the beam is already far enough into the peripheral vision. Not sure of course but I’d like to see some science on this prior to join the anti SUV pitchfork weirdos. (joke). I am confident manufacturers have spent millions on this to at least ensure compliance. I can’t remember people moaning about the height of the beam on vans. So perhaps it is LED lights on SUVs that are possibly the issue.

    I am 54 and agree about the higher light output but I have never been seriously dazzled. For me it’s a small inconvenience compared to the huge benefits of enhanced visibility and safety afforded by LED lights on low beam.

    binners
    Full Member

    Add to the list those cars with a light strip across the width of the front of the car, VW and Merc I’m looking at you (and being blinded)

    Thats a whole other issue altogether, while we’re moaning. Why is it that when designing electric cars, the designers have taken the styling cues from bad 1970’s sci-fi TV programmes about how cars would look in ‘The Future’. Its bloody awful! Just stop it!

    intheborders
    Free Member

    My own standard LED headlights are too bloody bright. If there are a few road signs in sight, they reflect back massively so everything else in the distance just fades into darkness.

    Take them off full beam when this occurs, and then back on after the ‘hazard’?

    So perhaps it is LED lights on SUVs that are possibly the issue

    Why do folk always use SUV’s as the villain, what about vans, pickups, etc?

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    In my experience it’s largely Teslas, Minis and cars that probably shouldn’t have LEDs in the standard housing which are the biggest culprit.

    Much of it probably falls under millions spent designing, then used incorrectly or broken.

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    I’ve had a Tesla behind me in a motorway …

    Amen to that shit – you can pretty much bet both bollocks on the dazzle from behind being a **** Tesla

    Drac
    Full Member

    Yeah people mistake badly adjusted or undipped lights as LEDs being the problem.

    PrinceJohn
    Full Member

    Why do folk always use SUV’s as the villain, what about vans, pickups, etc?

    Because most people who have SUV’s don’t need them & they tend to be driven like knobs.

    We have a Celica – not the lowest car in the world, but quite low. Spend most of the time driving at night squinting, it’s getting to the point I’m tempted to buy some of those night driving sunglasses that pop up in my Facebook feed from time to time.

    andybrad
    Full Member

    it used to be the case that you are only allowed one set of forward lights. unless they were fog lights (and only used in fog) or the main beans dipped to sidelights when you had the driving lights on.

    Not sure what happened to all that as you now have blackpool illuminations on the front of a lot of cars. especially those bars that can get in the bin.

    andrewh
    Free Member

    I had the auto dip thing on a van I hired, hated it.

    The worst bit was going into a tight bend fast, there would be a few of those black and white chevron signs which would reflect enough light back that it thought something was coming the other way and then dip the lights at just the wrong moment. Not good on twisty mountain roads.

    I just turned it off

    jeffl
    Full Member

    Our old (2014) Octavia has standard halogen headlights but has auto high beam. It’s not as fancy as LED lights but in theory dips from high beam to dipped beam when it detects another vehicle.

    I disabled it after about 10 minutes as it wasn’t as quick to react as I would have liked it to be.

    I’d assume modern systems are better, but have often wondered how the matrix LEDs, where they can alter the beam pattern to take account for other road users, handle pedestrians and cyclists.

    It does seem to be getting a bit worse, but I had put that down to getting older.

    HIDs were pretty bright as well but could only do dipped or full beam, not dynamically change beam shape. So I assume it’s this aspect that’s the problem.

    Son drives an older MX-5 and he really dislikes SUVs and the like behind him. Basically their headlights are at his head level so are very blinding. Normal car headlights are lower so the boot of his car shields him from a lot of the glare.

    Edit: One of the pet peeves on my car is that it has an auto dimming rear view mirror. Great piece of kit and really appreciate it. But why doesn’t it do the side mirrors FFS. I mean I know it’s to save money, but it’s really annoying.

    StuF
    Full Member

    I think better lens tech has made it a lot worse as the dipped beam now has a very distinct cut off line – and if due to the road undulating the oncoming car is pointing a bit more skywards you get caught in the bright bit of the beam.

    RichPenny
    Free Member

    Used to get flashed on a regular basis in the old car while dipped. Went through several MOT’s so would assume it was set up OK. Can’t recall that happening once in the new car so maybe BMW just hate other drivers more?

    Never found auto dimming perfect either. Seems to trigger a bit too late for me, as opposed to on the approaching glow which is my preference. For obvious reasons it doesn’t work well on the undulating twisty roads round here.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

     I am confident manufacturers have spent millions on this to at least ensure compliance.

    Bless.

    Why do folk always use SUV’s as the villain, what about vans, pickups, etc?

    Genuine answer – vans tend not to have LEDs, pickups are less prevalent where I am and SUV/crossovers are nigh on the default these days. The smaller ones are at normal headlight height but the bigger ones aren’t and shine right in my face.

    Yeah people mistake badly adjusted or undipped lights as LEDs being the problem.

    Definitely something in this. When we were shopping for our last car there were certain brands and models that had a near 100% hit rate for misaligned headlights on their first MOT. Auto dip might also be to blame as not all systems work well, Fords are terrible from what I gather. Old auto levellers were bad as well, had a colleague with an A4 about 10 years ago that used to blind everyone even when dipped, at least he sorted that out.

    Anyway, the brightness also affects indicator clarity on the front, especially if they’re inboard.

    radbikebro
    Full Member

    elevated headlight positions of SUVs

    That’s the one for me – I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had to adjust my rear view mirror because someone behind me has lights at the same height as my car which shine nicely in my eyes. Even worse when it’s a wingmirror as I don’t have that handy little flip thing

    finbar
    Free Member

    If only there was, like, some sort of Government, with some sort of ability to legislate for things to make driving safer… pipe dreams.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    I read a survey not too long ago that younger drivers find it even more annoying than older ones.

    That’s interesting.

    Is it because they have better eyesight anyway?

    johndoh
    Free Member

    I generally don’t mind them – I find there can be the occasional ‘flash’ as a car comes over the brow of a hill and the angle hasn’t adjusted or briefly when the auto-dim hasn’t kicked in, but generally, I can cope with them. Unless the car is a Tesla or a Range Rover – they have dreadful lights.

    I have wondered for a long time if there could be some way of using polarising glass technology (or something similar as I know there would be major drawbacks using polarised glass) so you can see out of your windscreen okay, but the wavelength of the approaching light is minimised.

    alpin
    Free Member

    Driving at night around town in the GF’s MX5, which was already 50mm lower than stock, used to be an awful experience. Constantly getting blinded.

    I have to admit I’ve recently replaced the old H7 bulbs with the new V. 2 Osram LED Nightbreakers on my Ducato.

    Massive improvement over the old bulbs which were nigh on useless…. If there was a car following then I was driving in the shadow of the van.

    I try to avoid driving at night where possible, unless I know I’m going to be knocking out miles on the Autobahn /autostrada /motorway, as the glare from oncoming headlights hurts my eyes.

    alpin
    Free Member

    On a side note…. I hate those blue tinged lights. Always think there’s a cop behind me and I’m about to get pulled over when they go over a bump.

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    “V. 2 Osram LED Nightbreakers”

    Are they TUV compliant? Didn’t know there was an LED Nightbreaker. Certainly not MOT compliant here.

    intheborders
    Free Member

    I try to avoid driving at night where possible, unless I know I’m going to be knocking out miles on the Autobahn /autostrada /motorway, as the glare from oncoming headlights hurts my eyes.

    Are you my 85 y/o Mum?

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Take them off full beam when this occurs, and then back on after the ‘hazard’?

    That results in even poorer distance visibility. Dip is mega bright, but short ranged with a sharp cutoff. At least with full you have some murky visibility in the far distance beyond the signage.

    I wonder if UK road signs are especially reflective compared to the continent.

    jeffl
    Full Member

    Had a Google of those Osram LEDs and the legality seems a bit nebulous. Below statement is from the Osram website.

    1)Approved LED light source – only applies to the respective countries in which there is approval or to which an equivalent approval applies and the vehicle models and light functions currently listed in the compatibility list. For more details see http://www.osram.com/nb-led

    Following that link there is no approval from the UK, but there appears to be for Ireland.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    I wonder if UK road signs are especially reflective compared to the continent.

    Can’t speak for the continent but some reflective backings are mega bright. Probably to cope with never being washed after they’re installed.

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    Are you my 85 y/o Mum?

    Are you 17?

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    I was under the impression those with lighter coloured eyes are more sensitive to bright lights.
    I vaguely recall buying sunglasses in the Alps and the assistant saying I should use the darkest for that reason.
    A quick google suggests that it’s not a myth.

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