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Old 30th November 2014, 10:31   #1
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Default An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

Offlate i have started getting this feeling after seeing so many vehicles sporting LED's and Projectors.
Nowadays these stuff are so easily available i was surprised to see an auto wearing projector headlamps .
LED and Projector are common appearance in older cars, so called modified cars, bikes, scooters, oh yes for cabbies it is mandatory to have one of these.

Now most of the cars starting from Stingray to Jaguar XJ all sport projectors and LED's all over straight out of factory.I agree the fact that these have better design, fit and finish. However whenever i see these lights one thing that strikes my head is "FEELS CHINESE"!!!.

For example consider below two images of Polo. The original feels more pure and car like. I do understand the fact that looks and feel is always subjective, I am here just trying to portray my opinion. I would any day like to see those BMW,Merc Audi's etc in a Double barrel regular Xenon lights with no DRL's and yes with blacked out inserts. Again just my opinion.
May be this opinion is supported by the fact that I am old school who like neat straight lines in a car, SUV is always high bonnet, Car has to be low slung, and well lights have to be lights!!

Just the topic came in my mind and thought would be good for discussion. What are your thoughts guys?
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Old 30th November 2014, 11:10   #2
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

I agree with you on overdose of LED but not projector. LED lights are now a very heavy overdose with no apparent utility or actual value addition.
DRL ( Daytime Running Lights ) is a very befitting example. I have seen many cars have these DRLs always on, even in broad daylight and when temperatures of 45 Deg C. in the city I reside in. No fog or anything, but we will have those DRL.

What is exact utility of it ? A few years ago, there was an article about DRL adding to global warming. Though I am not sure how accurate that statement or claim is, I am confident of DRL being an additional nuisance on atleast Indian roads.

Worst part of aftermarket add-ons is these bright led's added onto virtually anything with an engine. Be it a humble step-thru like Dio/Activa/two-wheeler or Auto Rickshaw or even pickups/LCV's. The entire LCV ( lets say, Tata 407 ) would more often than not be in a pathetic state, but LED would be perfectly in order and running in day time.

Projectors, I believe, are a value addition if used properly. The night driving IMO becomes safer with projector. However, what is again a nuisance is aftermarket Projectors with those Blue lights. And the projectors adjusted to hit oncoming vehicle driver's eyes rather than illuminating the road.
Misuse of any added facility can be irritating and even dangerous, be it LEDs or LED based DRL or Projectors.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 30th November 2014 at 11:12.
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Old 30th November 2014, 11:55   #3
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
I agree with you on overdose of LED but not projector. LED lights are now a very heavy overdose with no apparent utility or actual value addition.
DRL ( Daytime Running Lights ) is a very befitting example. I have seen many cars have these DRLs always on, even in broad daylight and when temperatures of 45 Deg C. in the city I reside in. No fog or anything, but we will have those DRL.

What is exact utility of it ? A few years ago, there was an article about DRL adding to global warming. Though I am not sure how accurate that statement or claim is, I am confident of DRL being an additional nuisance on atleast Indian roads.

Worst part of aftermarket add-ons is these bright led's added onto virtually anything with an engine. Be it a humble step-thru like Dio/Activa/two-wheeler or Auto Rickshaw or even pickups/LCV's. The entire LCV ( lets say, Tata 407 ) would more often than not be in a pathetic state, but LED would be perfectly in order and running in day time.

Projectors, I believe, are a value addition if used properly. The night driving IMO becomes safer with projector. However, what is again a nuisance is aftermarket Projectors with those Blue lights. And the projectors adjusted to hit oncoming vehicle driver's eyes rather than illuminating the road.
Misuse of any added facility can be irritating and even dangerous, be it LEDs or LED based DRL or Projectors.
Yes, true for tacked on DRLs, but for Euro cars, the DRLs stay on if you leave the lights in "Automatic", which you are suggested to do. Heck, even I leave my lights on Automatic, it's great, because they switch on and off just as I need them. Also, I kind of like the new age "Angel Eyes" on newer Bimmers. They look chuffing marvelous, my favorite headlights yet, so I just leave the lights on auto and motor along
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Old 30th November 2014, 12:23   #4
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
Worst part of aftermarket add-ons is these bright led's added onto virtually anything with an engine.
Yes, in some vehicles, the after market LED are fitted everywhere and in my personal opinion this totally spoils the look of the car. Sure, the fancy fittings are personal preferences of the owner, but some places it is getting overdone.

LED lights are supposed to be energy efficient. If this is the case, then using it as tail lamp and else where should provide better battery life (experts can provide their opinion). Also it looks good.

Projector lamp provides better focused light which is good for night driving. Visibility is improved to great extent especially in high way driving.I would prefer white light than fancy blue light, as visibility will not be good in rain with blue light.
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Old 30th November 2014, 12:35   #5
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

The DRLs are meant to be on even during the daytime, hence the name Daytime Running Lights. It's a safety feature that makes an oncoming person/driver to take notice of the approaching car. Of course you may debate its relevance to the Indian conditions, but I am sure it does increase the awareness quotient of an oncoming driver.

IMO there is an overdose of high wattage halogens and HIDs without projectors. I haven't spent a single night driving from my office to home in the last few years without being blinded by oncoming vehicles - and this is on dual carriageways!
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Old 30th November 2014, 13:20   #6
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

200% agreed with LEDs (especially the LED stripes) Worst part I have seen is a BMW with LED stripes inside their double bean grille
A pinch of salt adds more taste to the food, but when the same is overdosed it's other way round. This is applicable for everything and now to the LEDs. Proper usage of LEDs could save lot of energy and looks good & cute.

It is irritating to stand behind the Auto rickshaws / cabs / buses / trucks with bling bling LEDs in signals.
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Old 30th November 2014, 13:44   #7
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

Both LED's and Projectors can be of great use if used properly. However My point here is ever since they have started making into every type of vehicle on road- these look el cheapo no matter what price point they belong to.

Other annoying thing these days is, every premium bike(Harley,Kawasaki,Yamaha) owner keep their headlights on in bright day light. Guess the owners feel Day light+ Headlights on= Premium Bike. These days Hero Honda Splendour rider also has started imitating the same. Heights of Dumbness!!
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Old 30th November 2014, 14:21   #8
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrideRed View Post
Other annoying thing these days is, every premium bike(Harley,Kawasaki,Yamaha) owner keep their headlights on in bright day light. Guess the owners feel Day light+ Headlights on= Premium Bike. These days Hero Honda Splendour rider also has started imitating the same. Heights of Dumbness!!
In many countries, its a rule for motorcyclists to keep the headlights ON all times for safety and visibility.
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Old 30th November 2014, 14:28   #9
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrideRed View Post
Other annoying thing these days is, every premium bike(Harley,Kawasaki,Yamaha) owner keep their headlights on in bright day light. Guess the owners feel Day light+ Headlights on= Premium Bike.
Bikes that are not specifically tailored for India will not even have the ability to turn off the headlight - it will come on with the engine.

The reason is as stated by vb-san below, for more info see http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_s...devices_en.htm (on that page PTW = powered two-wheeler).

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
In many countries, its a rule for motorcyclists to keep the headlights ON all times for safety and visibility.
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Old 30th November 2014, 15:09   #10
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

Even from the days of my TVS Victor and on my car, I've had my headlights (or position lights) on for additional visibility. Our roads are filled with distracted drivers and any small % increase in safety due to keeping the lights on is welcome. The very fact that you noticed vehicles with these lights - either directly or in the RVMs is a sign that you take notice of these vehicles.

I tried very hard to find warm-white LED bulbs for my current motorcycle but couldn't find them anywhere and thus settled for white LEDs for my position light and number-plate light. (It's also another thing that I also save 9W in power by switching to LEDs)

But yes, on some vehicles, it looks rather Chinese-ey - the i20 is a prime example.
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Old 30th November 2014, 15:17   #11
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

Leds are going to gain near 100% market share for all automotive lights in the future. They are more reliable, clearer, more powerful, longer lasting, more fuel efficient and actually will be cheaper in time. It is just like the transition of crt tube tv to lcd and then led.

And yes 90% of these will be actually made in china just like our phones. Lets accept it.

Looks are subjective and dependent on the designer nothing really to do with led or Chinese.
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Old 30th November 2014, 15:19   #12
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

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Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
But yes, on some vehicles, it looks rather Chinese-ey - the i20 is a prime example.
The previous-gen i20 had DRLs (or were those LEDs) which were tackier than Amitabh's light bulb dance suit.

The issue isn't really with overdose of projectors or LEDs. As such the chinese ones don't throw enough light to annoy other people, either in day or night time. The issue is when people have projectors and come to you with high beam on residential streets. I have experienced umpteen XUV 5OO / Safari's coming on with projectors at high beam and its only when I go to high beam with my 110/100w philips rally setup do they switch to low beam, some don't care at all if neither of us can see the road and continue on high beam. In such cases I have to switch to low beam so that at least that moron sees the road and doesn't crash in to me.

I think projectors do an excellent job in illuminating the road and if used judiciously, its an excellent component to have in the car. One of my brother-in-law owns a Laura and the projector setup he has is excellent. Far ahead in terms of visibility when I compare it with my 110/100w setup.
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Old 30th November 2014, 15:26   #13
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

DRLs are mainly used in European countries where it's compulsory to have lights running during daytime. That's why they use LEDs which are energy efficient.

Simple, LEDs and Projectors have some appeal among Indians, just like chrome finishing. And in a country with poor/no laws, manufacturers just make what they want.

In most countries, projectors and DRLs have a standard for these lamps. It's illegal to use anything else and there are heavy fines for doing so.
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Old 30th November 2014, 15:53   #14
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Default Are we seeing an overdose of LED's and Projectors?

Projectors and DRLs serve specific purpose to improve road safety and hence cannot be an overdose. Its the misuse which makes those seem like overdose.

Projectors are for achieving better control over the beam than reflectors and help in illuminating the road much better without dazzling oncoming traffic. Using low quality and cheap projectors might do harm and also driving with projectors on high beam leads to more harm. Hence projectors are not the problem but improper use of it definitely is.

DRLs are not only for foggy areas. That was true may be more than a decade ago. It was found that DRLs improved the noticeability and detectability of vehicles contrasting them from the background. This was found to reduce road accidents (automobiles-automobiles and automobiles-pedestrians) by studies conducted by road safety national authorities of many countries and that's how makers started providing DRLs for cars sold even in mid east where there is no shortage of day light. It is not just for hazy/foggy/sandy conditions but meant for broad daylight with ideal visibility also. Misuse is what happens here too. I see people driving with DRLs on day mode or just ON (those which does not have a night or low mode) even at night which is actually wrong usage. That leads to dazzling of other motorists. DRLs are extremely bright to be kept ON during dark hours which makes them really irritating. It is the misuse which makes DRLs also seem like an overdose. They serve a purpose and if used properly, they could be of more help than trouble.

Forget cheap and aftermarket ones. Before we come to that, don't you see Audis n BMWs n Mercs driving with LEDs on day mode even at dawn/dusk? Don't you see such premium cars driving on high beams with xenon HID projectors? You can't blame the DRL and projector for its misuse by those ignorant drivers. Add to it many unapproved type cheap blinding lights with such ignorant drivers.

Now in both cases (Projectors and DRLs), it is the misuse which is causing a problem. Awareness and sense - creating that among our huge population? That's SOME task! I don't think all of us who read this would survive long enough to see that happening here.

If you ask me, it is as bad a problem as driving with high beams on a normal reflector HL with halogen bulbs. If drivers don't improve to drive on low beams, would removing the HL itself be an alternate solution? Same is the case here. Correct use will serve a good purpose and incorrect use will prove to be equally harming.

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 30th November 2014 at 15:56.
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Old 1st December 2014, 00:39   #15
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Default re: An overdose of LEDs & Projectors on new cars?

As everyone here knows, DRLs are used in countries where it is mandatory to have them (read, as a safety feature) and where it is quite common to have foggy conditions. So, the basic purpose is safety.

However, in India, safety is the last reason of having DRLs on cars. The one and only reason for which Indians buy cars with DRLs or after market fit them is Cosmetic purpose. Nothing else.

Heck, I can bet; 95% of car owners with DRLs on their cars won't be aware of their actual use. Its the "Achha dikhta hain" purpose which is served here.

And the worst of the lot? The outgoing model of i20. So garish! Hyundai just over killed it. Attracting attention unnecessarily, nothing else.

-Bhargav
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