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Old 6th February 2023, 14:07   #1
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On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Mods please feel free to delete / merge if a thread discussion already exists on this topic. In my search I did not find a dedicated discussion on this.

Fellow BHPians,

This question has been puzzling me for long and always wanted to understand what others feel about the new craze in the town - blinding white headlights.

I am not talking to any illegal street modifications but the factory fitted white head lights/HID/Xenon/Projector lamps. Please pardon my limited knowhow on terminology and perhaps some may be incorrect.

I know for sure that these are not illegal as they are offered in mass market cars and all brands are offering including the luxury international ones.

I know this is not India specific but a world wide phenomena now, so nothing local about it.

My question is that when we talk of safety so much, does no one (read government, ARAI) see any safety related issue with these new blinding headlamps? How are manufacturers allowed to provide these factory fitted.

The glare of headlights even from scooters are scary these days. One cannot just see anything at all on the road in this blinding glare. Are all world class brands ignoring this big road safety issue completely? What are various governments' stand internationally?

Just because the person inside such a vehicle needs to see road brighter, he/she cannot take away the right of the other person to have a clear view of the road at same time. It is plain injustice.

What was so wrong with the good old yellow vehicle lights that we had been driving with for decades?

Looking forward to hear views from fellow BHPians and if I am missing anything, happy to get en'light'ened
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Old 6th February 2023, 14:43   #2
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

With these new age white blinding lights I go completely when thrown from the opposite side, even during daylight.

Something need to be done about this.
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Old 6th February 2023, 15:08   #3
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Lots of people including me feel this way about these blinding white lights. Some are even like the strobe lights on stage at a concert.
I am decidedly not a fan of blinding white lights and LEDs.
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Old 6th February 2023, 15:08   #4
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Yesterday it happened to me as well in NH4. There was a Fortuner behind me and was having blinding high beam white lights.
I tried to switch to different lane where possible, to avoid the bang headlight in my IRVM, but still its too difficult to escape. So is with the opposite direction vehicles too.

I was thinking, how to complain about such cars, particularly who fitted illegal headlights. We can't see the car numbers too in night clearly, and those cars speed away in seconds.

Overall, it makes driving more difficult in the night and feels unsafe.

-Ravi
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Old 6th February 2023, 15:34   #5
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

I think it is more to do with the bare minimum knowledge and etiquette of knowing to use the low beam. There is no need to use the high beam in a lot of scenarios, but most drivers do not seem to know that there is something called a low beam and when to use low and when to use high. Also there is a large chunk who don't care and are always on high beam.

Of course, it is true that the newer cars have more powerful headlights, Fogs, DRLs and what not, but a large part of the 'blinding' issue is due to the improper use of the high beams and fog lamps.
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Old 6th February 2023, 16:00   #6
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodie09 View Post
I am not talking to any illegal street modifications but the factory fitted white head lights/HID/Xenon/Projector lamps. Please pardon my limited knowhow on terminology and perhaps some may be incorrect.

I know for sure that these are not illegal as they are offered in mass market cars and all brands are offering including the luxury international ones.

I know this is not India specific but a world wide phenomena now, so nothing local about it.

My question is that when we talk of safety so much, does no one (read government, ARAI) see any safety related issue with these new blinding headlamps? How are manufacturers allowed to provide these factory fitted.
This is often a user error.

Headlamp leveler is available on all cars but hardly anyone bothers to adjust it based on the load inside the vehicle. So the genius who is driving cannot see anything properly because the lights are aimed at the sky, the others on the road will have to suffer as well.

Some cars experience more squat than others due to their suspension design and seating capacity etc so this problem can be bad or worse depending on what you encounter on the road.

It would also help to keep one`s windshield super clean while driving at night to avoid light smearing on the windshield. The neighborhood watchman`s cleaning wont do.
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Old 6th February 2023, 16:26   #7
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
This is often a user error.

Headlamp leveler is available on all cars but hardly anyone bothers to adjust it based on the load inside the vehicle. So the genius who is driving cannot see anything properly because the lights are aimed at the sky, the others on the road will have to suffer as well.

Some cars experience more squat than others due to their suspension design and seating capacity etc so this problem can be bad or worse depending on what you encounter on the road.

It would also help to keep one`s windshield super clean while driving at night to avoid light smearing on the windshield. The neighborhood watchman`s cleaning wont do.
I agree that there are means provided to adjust the headlamp level but who are we trusting this for? Such drivers are no more in minority. Add to that the general shift in vehicle heights has compounded the problem for non others in lower height cars.
Also, we cannot belittle the fact compared to halogen lamps these do have blinding affect on eyes no matter what beam is being used.

It is a pity that while we talk of airbags, seat belts, EPS, ABS and what not, the most important aspect of road safety is clear vision and that is under a serious threat with these blinding lights.
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Old 6th February 2023, 16:45   #8
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Very true. I face this issue all the time and I thought it was just me. It is certainly more pronounced with the white lights. As someone has mentioned, the vehicles coming from behind are also doing a lot of damage via the rear view mirror. Something has to be done about this.
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Old 6th February 2023, 17:02   #9
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Ah, a topic close to heart. Excessively bright headlights and fog lamps have become an epidemic. My understanding is the law limits capacity in terms of some voltage/wattage and throw angle, which has become vague by today's standards. Technology is continuously helping extract more lumens per watt and at a pace the enforcement machinery is struggling to keep up.

Most times its best to let pass tailing vehicles that dipper me or even high beam me as soon as possible. Auto-dimming IRVM isn't enough because ORVMs are still blitzing your eyes.

There are many drivers who keep hitting the dipper when in bumper-to-bumper traffic - not sure how it will help them. And the ones who wield their bright lights and loud horns closely tailing to beat poor drivers(s) ahead of them into submission (make way, and worse) only to halt 300 mtrs down the road for a pee break or take selfies. I find it difficult not to get worked up on encountering such idiots.
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Old 6th February 2023, 17:04   #10
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Not just passenger cars with white lights. Even the conventional yellow lights used by buses are very bright since they have 12 lights. It has now become a standard affair to convert halogens into LEDs and have the fun of blinding others. Last night, I saw a Fortuner with a LED bar switched on which was just too bright in stop and go traffic.
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Old 6th February 2023, 17:22   #11
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Not only Crystas, Fortuners or Balenos, even a Honda activa LED HL disturbs me while driving in night.
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Old 6th February 2023, 17:34   #12
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Thanks OP for the thread. I'll bet every one of us will find this super relatable.

A part of the problem as Rajeevraj mentioned is due to a significant chunk of the educated population let alone barely educated chauffeurs and the like not knowing the appropriate scenario to use high beam. This basically addresses the problem that the OP brought up about stock headlights.

However there is another elephant in the room. Unscientific headlamp upgrades.

This is a huge problem in BLR at least due to most taxis (and even private owners) having aftermarket LED's installed in headlights that were never meant to have LED's. What they don't understand is that these just scatter light and are very effective only in blinding oncoming traffic and not much else.

I drove a friend's '09 civic after he upgraded to LED's. While the effect was dazzling in a parking lot, it did nothing to light stuff up effectively after say 50-80 metres while driving. Signboards on highways, reflectors, trucks at a distance were better lit with my Verna's stock halogen projectors.

Having the brightest headlights is not going to help you see better when oncoming traffic is blinding you. It might act as a deterrent at best to get the other fellow to switch to low beam (if that).

As aware and responsible automotive enthusiasts shall we in this forum at least take a pledge to be more sensitive to oncoming traffic + upgrade headlights only if absolutely necessary+ do it scientifically while at it?

Last edited by ashivas89 : 6th February 2023 at 17:53.
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Old 6th February 2023, 18:05   #13
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Totally agree with the OP. This blinding headlights are a real menace and a terrible safety hazard.
I have gone into a divider as I couldn't see it due to being blinded by a trucks high beams.
My solution is to avoid driving on unlit roads at night.
No amount of education will enable people to drive on low beams. There is zero enforcement of rules thus my solution, if you can call it that.
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Old 6th February 2023, 18:17   #14
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

There is nothing wrong with the colour of the lights or LED tech it is simply because everyone uses highbeam all the time. That coupled with the fact that there exists a jacked up SUV option in every price range, means that the streets are filled with everyone roaming around in SUVs with lights that are closer to your line of sight and all of them are abusing the high beam all the time. Abroad they make you test your vision as part of driving test I think if they just did that and partnered up with lenskart or something like that to get atleast 30 percent of users to quit abusing high beam usage, that would make a huge difference.
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Old 6th February 2023, 18:27   #15
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Re: On the blinding headlights of new vehicles

Cancel the jacks on Activa / Access first. Or teach them not to ride on high beam all the time.
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