A bigger danger is now an offer of 55-watt Xenon kits.
Driving Vision News propose to launch a strong regulatory/ministery action to prevent enormous safety hazards created by the massive glare “HID kits” produce.
Lighting components are safety components and have to conform to regulations.
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An “HID kit” consists of HID ballasts and burners re-based for insertion into a halogen headlamp.
Halogen headlamps and HID headlamps require very different optics to produce a safe and effective—not to mention legal—beam pattern, because of the very different characteristics of the two kinds of light source.
When designing the optics (lens and/or reflector) for a lamp, the characteristics of the light source are the driving factor around which everything else must be engineered. Changing to a light source other than the intended one is rather like wearing somebody else’s eyeglasses: they might look nice, but you won’t see properly:
The most dangerous part of the attempt to “retrofit” Xenon headlamps is the deceptive and illusory perception of “improved” headlamp performance. The performance of the headlamp is perceived to be “better” because of the much higher level of foreground lighting. More, the beam patterns always give more vastly increased glare. This results in drivers creating danger on the road while thinking they can see better than they actually can. Of course this is not safe.
In virtually every first-world country, HID “retrofits” into halogen headlamps are illegal. They’re illegal clear across Europe and in all of the many countries that use European ECE headlight regulations. They’re illegal in the US and Canada. They’re illegal throughout most of Asia, and in Australia. On the notion of HID “retrofits” into halogen headlamps, the world’s regulators and engineers all say DON’T!
And yet, the flow of “Xenon kits” continues to increase. It is incumbent upon all of us in the automotive lighting community not to dismiss these kits or pretend they don’t exist simply because they are not OE products. Rather, we must control and drive the discussion so that regulators and enforcement personnel are made clearly aware of the difference between legitimate Xenon headlamps and dangerous “HID kits”, and the necessity to permit the former while meaningfully prohibiting the latter.