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urbanterrier

Xenon lights

22 posts in this topic

Hi

It's that time of the year again when the issue of headlights comes to the front of mind and I have to say mine do seem a bit poor, so I was wondering

a) is it feasible to upgrade the lights on my A4 2005 (B6?) cabriolet to xenon head lamps?

b) how much is it likely to cost?

Thanks

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As your car has the projector type lenses (B6), then it is much better suited to aftermarket xenons than the reflector lenses in the B7.

However, there is an eternal debate over the legality of aftermarket xenon lights, and I really do not know what the situation is. You should have self levelling lights and headlight washers with xenons to reduce the glare to other road users. However the fact that you have projector lenses will mean you will have much less adverse impact than many of the cars on the road with aftermarket xenons.

You will need to make sure you get a decent kit that will not trigger bulb alarms, and (for some reason) there are reports of some ballasts killing the wiper motors on some Audis.

My B7 cabrio has factory xenons, and I have to say they are absolutely leagues ahead of the normal halogen lights in my latest model A6.

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Thanks PAH for the response. I wasn't aware there was an issue over the legality of aftermarket xenons - I'll bear that in mind. My car doesn't have wipers on it, so maybe that is another issue to consider.

Cheers

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Thanks PAH for the response. I wasn't aware there was an issue over the legality of aftermarket xenons - I'll bear that in mind. My car doesn't have wipers on it, so maybe that is another issue to consider.

Cheers

In addition to the regulations regarding headlamp level control/washers there were also bits that ensured that in the event of an accident the emergency services wouldn't be put at risk by exposure to potentially lethal voltages with the headlamp unit's electronics going into 'safe' mode.

Here is the Department of Transport's official line on aftermarket Xenons Department for Transport - Aftermarket HID (Xenon) headlamps

Edited by cosmicblue

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hi i fitted 100w h7 rally bulbs to the projector type lights on my a4

There's no doubt about the illegality of that.... any bulb over 55W is most definitely NOT E-marked and is therefore illegal for road use.

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There's no doubt about the illegality of that.... any bulb over 55W is most definitely NOT E-marked and is therefore illegal for road use.

And will probably melt the plastic reflectors (and or wiring) with prolonged use.

Better to go for some of the +% bulbs like Philips X-Treme

+++

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There are of course the 50W aftermarket HID kits, that push out loads more light than you get from even 100W halogens. The standard aftermarket HID kits are 35W and thiose push out about 3200 lux for the 4300k bulbs. Standard 50w halogens are about 1600 lux. 50w 4300k HID bulbs are about 4200 lux which is about 1000lux more than a 100w halogen and no hotter than the standard OEM bulb.

Though I wouldn't install these in the standard projector lenses, only the OEM xenon projector lenses with the larger lenses as these have better control of stray light inside the housing with less glare than the standard projectors.

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As your car has the projector type lenses (B6), then it is much better suited to aftermarket xenons than the reflector lenses in the B7.

However, there is an eternal debate over the legality of aftermarket xenon lights, and I really do not know what the situation is. You should have self levelling lights and headlight washers with xenons to reduce the glare to other road users. However the fact that you have projector lenses will mean you will have much less adverse impact than many of the cars on the road with aftermarket xenons.

You will need to make sure you get a decent kit that will not trigger bulb alarms, and (for some reason) there are reports of some ballasts killing the wiper motors on some Audis.

My B7 cabrio has factory xenons, and I have to say they are absolutely leagues ahead of the normal halogen lights in my latest model A6.

Hi,

can't you just replace the whole unit from different audi a4 and put the balast in the way from the switch to the projector? (easy said)

J.

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yep a 2005 Cabriolet is a B6 (just look at the kits for the 2000-2004 for the saloons and avants)...

Try these guys: £185 for Xenon upgrades, incl fitting and 2 yr guarantee... EU legal and safety approved... Volkswagen & Audi - Xenon Lights

I would be sceptical at their claims unless they can prove it.

The DOT link above is pretty specific at what is required.

A. The price seems to cheap, for example a "proper" Xenon Headlight Light for my S3 is Circa £450 EACH, without high pressure washers, and the sensors/ loom for auto leveling.

B. The glary website picture doesnt exactly inspire confidence.

C. Many after market kit resellers seem to claim they are road legal, when they are not.

try this video, posted in another thread by Gixxer..

YouTube - Illegal HID Convesion Kits Explained

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Agreed - DOT requirements are that you have headlight washers and auto-levelling, so i'm not sure how they're claiming that those are fully road-legal.

That said: I've had a few bits of work done by that company now and they are very good and very open about when they are using OEM components or 3rd party alternatives and they will give you the option (and an alternative price) where they have a choice.

Agreed: a proper Xenon retro-fit for an A4 would be a LOT more: I think the headlight units are about €300 each, plus bulbs (€150 per Xenon alone!), the top bumper is £300 and no idea how much the headlight washers would be, but just the lifting nozzles are about €60 each...

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apols - I don't know the "DoT" regs in the USA, but for the UK (DfT) the rules are pretty clear (I believe they are based on the EU laws): (DfT site LINK)

In practice this means:

1. The headlamp unit (outer lens, reflector, bulb) shall be type approved to ECE 98 and be "e-marked" to demonstrate this. That can only be done by the headlamp supplier - Hella, Valeo etc. who must test the headlamp in an independent laboratory.[summary: correctly adjusted projector = okay]

2. Once fitted to the vehicle it must have headlamp cleaning and self-levelling (which can be for the headlamp or can be in the vehicle suspension - some expensive estate cars have "self-levelling suspension" and that is adequate). Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam.

3. The headlamp must be maintained in good working order, kept clean, and aligned/adjusted correctly like any other headlamp.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence to supply, fit or use vehicle parts which are not legal.

So if anybody who has fitted or drives a car with an aftermarket kit that does not have the correct lense type, auto-levelling and washers is breaking the law - if you have the proejctor lenses, then you're unlikely to get caught, but if you're involved in any sor tof accident, then you're not going to have a leg to stand on - i.e. your your car will be completely uninsured becuase it has been illegally modified. More likely to get caught out by an insurance company than the cops.

I have some sympathy for people who have retro-fitted HID's into cars with projctor lense and get caught: if they're correctly adjusted and clean, then they shouldn't be causing any extra glare, but if you're driving a car with reflector lense (e.g. Mk3 Golf, that Renault in the video, etc), then (1) you're very, very likely to get caught and (2) I have zero sympathy becuase that setup will be dazzling people everywhere you go (which will most likely just be to your local McD's car park or up and down Romford Highstreet).

Edited by LostBok

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Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam.

This doesn't happen with bi-Xenons - they have one HID bulb and a moving mirror that changes the beam pattern from dipped to main beam, so they do NOT have dipped AND main beam on at the same time.

And they are 100% legal...

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This doesn't happen with bi-Xenons - they have one HID bulb and a moving mirror that changes the beam pattern from dipped to main beam, so they do NOT have dipped AND main beam on at the same time.

And they are 100% legal...

Erm... that was a direct quote for the UK DfT website, so I'm pretty sur that that is the law in the UK (check the link), only comments I put were in [] brakcets... not me saying it: if you're in the UK and you have a car that is configured to turn off the dipped-beam when it switches the high-beams on, then it is illegal.

"Bi"-Xenon (where the Xenon bulb is the dipped & high beam) is NOT the same as having a car that switches off the lower part of the headlight pattern when the highbeams are showing: it's probably easier to think of mirror-system "Bi"-Xenons as permanent Full pattern lights (dipped and high beams) and there is a screen/mirror that gives it a safer dipped beam pattern when that is required... when you switch to highbeams you don't lose any light from the foreground, which is what that law is preventing (why you would want that is beyond anybody's guess, but I can only imagine somebody tried it once and now there is a law against it).

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I worked for 10 years in Automotive lighting Manufacturing.

Bi-xenon is so cheap and simple it makes a joke out of the enhanced premium they cost.

Its simply doorbell technology.

Energise a coil and the rod in the middle of said coil moves.

This rod pulls on a lever and moves a shutter in front of the bulb, but behind the projector glass changing the beam pattern.

None of the models we used to make used mirrors, it was purely just a metal shutter or mask if you want to call it that.

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if you're in the UK and you have a car that is configured to turn off the dipped-beam when it switches the high-beams on, then it is illegal.

So you're saying that according to the DfT website Audi have sold thousands of illegal cars in the UK?

Of course, you would have to believe that the DfT website is 100% correct to believe that, and my experience of UK Government (and Government agencies or quangos) is that their websites are out-of-date, over simplified and often plain wrong.

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So you're saying that according to the DfT website Audi have sold thousands of illegal cars in the UK?

Just read my post and Paul's again... a full beam Xenon that blocks off the highbeam part to make a "dipped" beam is legal, it is NOT THE SAME as turning off the dipped beam light: when it unmasks the highbeam component, it does not change the dipped beam, it simply opens up a high-beam: so yes, if it did change the dipped beam, it would be illegal, the factory fitted ones do not do this, so they are fine.

OEM factory fitted lights wether dipped beam Xenon / "Bi"-Xenon are legal in every guise I've seen them so far.

Retro fitted Xenon's without auto-levelling and washers and lights set to run high-beams without dipped beams are not legal: that said, you'd probably get away with correctly adjusted Halogen "projector" headlight units retro-fitted with Xenons for a fair while, but the insurance companies are within their rights to invalidate your insurance if they inspect the car post accident.

And if you're running "reflector" style headlight units with Xenon's you're pretty silly: you will get caught because they be identified at >100metres as illegally retrofitted items due to the beam pattern and they're pretty dangerous to other road users.

Don't worry Dave: if you've got factory fitted Xenon/Bi-Xenons you're fine and I'm sure they'll update the website the next time they change the law.

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I agree totally over retro fit xenons. They are dangerous to others BUT they do not seem to be being picked up...................

Bobbies have too many forms to fill in, usually NIPS for minor speeding indiscretions.

BRING BACK TRAFFIC POLICE............................:eek:

Two of my personal crusades; after market Xenons and Black Rats.

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when you switch to highbeams you don't lose any light from the foreground, which is what that law is preventing (why you would want that is beyond anybody's guess, but I can only imagine somebody tried it once and now there is a law against it).

I would imagine it has more to do with when you switch off your incandescent high beam you don't want to wait for the flicker as the lowbeam xenons fire up again ?

I was surprised that my car with bi-xenons doesn't seem to have a supplementry incandescent bulb for flashing - when I flash the lights the xenons seem to fire instantly but when they light up dipped they flicker as the come on so not sure how that works ?

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Im not sure either. What we we manufacturing at the time all had auxiliary bulbs for flashing iirc.

There must have been many advances in ballast technology in the 2.5 years i have been out of the trade. LED technology for example was only just coming out when the company closed.

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