W.If you are driving a modern car these days, you will usually enjoy advances in lighting technology. Thanks to xenon, LED or laser, there is also a lot to see at night that is hidden from owners of older models and some newer ones that the development has bypassed. Because halogen lamps in the H 7 and H 4 versions are dull by comparison, so that they often do not last long, it is also not fun.
Editor in the “Technology and Engine” section.
No wonder then that the call for more light is ringing. The easiest way is to use original lamps, but in a sophisticated design. They are available from well-known manufacturers in many variants, they all have a slightly higher light output and instead of the yellowish glow a rather white light that appears brighter, even if it isn’t. We have tried some of them in the past few years and felt a significant improvement, but at the expense of the service life. Since the special lamps are much more expensive than standard goods and changing them is an annoying fiddling, the desire for something better soon arose.
There is something like this in the form of lamps with the same base, but LEDs as light sources, in a wide selection in electronic department stores. They all have two things in common: The end with the plugs is adorned with a knob, in which there is usually a fan that is supposed to cool the lamp, because contrary to popular belief, the strong LEDs develop heat that will not get them in the long run. Second, such retrofits are not approved for road traffic. Anyone who uses them anyway is traveling illegally, and law enforcement officers who do vehicle checks are aware of the differences. There is one exception: Osram has received approval for its Night Breaker LED H 7, admittedly only for certain vehicles – the list available online at Osram is growing, but only widespread models are on it. Individual approval is necessary because, unlike halogen lamps, LEDs do not radiate all around, which is why retrofit lamps are made up of several LEDs. That they do not dazzle in headlights designed for halogen lamps must therefore be checked individually.
If it fits, the customer receives a cool white light of 6000 Kelvin (daylight has around 5500) instead of the around 3000 to 3500 K of a normal halogen lamp for a little more than one hundred euros, five times the service life according to the provider and compared to the minimum requirement of the standard (ECE R 112) up to 220 percent more light. All of this with a power requirement of 19 watts, an H 7 has 55 watts. Although the total luminous flux of 1500 lumens (lm) is no greater than that of the halogen lamp, much of it is lost as scattered light. In contrast, the LEDs offer a sharply defined cone of light.
If you don’t find your vehicle on the list, you may not have to despair. Many vehicles illuminate the oncoming vehicles with large, round eyes at night; the standard size of 7 inches is almost always the case. It can be found in old and youngtimers from the Austin Mini to the Porsche 911, many commercial vehicles, some off-road vehicles such as Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes G and Suzuki Jimny as well as quads and motorcycles. Some of them are already supplied with LED headlights as standard or for an extra charge, if not, they can be retrofitted. This is done with the blessing of the approval office, common specimens have a general operating license and therefore do not even need to be approved by the TÜV. In most cases, replacement is not a demanding tinkering, but the correct setting is a prerequisite for glare-free operation.