Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
November 28, 2014, 03:59:25 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: It takes up much less space in your bus.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: What headlight size/style provides the best light?  (Read 2099 times)
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5451




Ignore
« on: May 15, 2012, 05:38:22 PM »

I have 165mm headlights now.  I put in Cibie Ecodes last summer and also put in relays with dedicated power to the headlights.  I have plenty of voltage when the lights are on.  With all these changes the headlights are barely any better than the old halogen sealed beams.  I had the headlights aligned at a truck shop with an optical aligner (twice).  The last thing I am going to try is to align them myself to see if I can do better than an expensive machine.  My problem may be as simple as the headlights need to be aimed higher, but not so high as to blind other drivers.

I'm thinking about putting in new headlight buckets to use a different style of headlight if that will provide more light.  I found a place that sells the headlight bucket assemblies.  What style of headlight when choosing between 5" round, 165mm rectangular, 200mm rectangular, and 7" round provides the most light?  I'm not going to go with fancy aero headlights as they would be really hard to retrofit.
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
RJ
Former Giant Greenbrier Owner
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2858





Ignore
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 07:40:35 PM »

Brian -

Cibie E-codes aren't worth the glass they're made of if you have them aligned with a fancy machine.  The fancy machines are set-up for US DOT-code lights, which are not compatible with E-codes.  DOT lights have different "hot spots," which is what the fancy machine hones in on when sending the adjustment info to the technician.  E-codes confuse them. . .

When you got the lights, inside the box were detailed instructions on how to align the lamps properly.  All you need is to be able to park the coach on level ground facing a wall 25 feet away, preferably at night.  Follow the step-by-step guidelines and you're done.  No $$ needed.  Properly aligned, E-codes will NOT blind oncoming drivers during low-beam operation.  High beam, OTOH, is another story...  Shocked

As for customizing the front end for different headlights, I've always been very happy with four 5" round E-codes properly aligned, supplemented with E-code fog lights.  My fog light were not wired to go out when the headlights were switched to high beam, unlike most OEM fogs (they were on their own switch/relay wiring, bypassing the headlight circuit altogether.)

A fellow busnut I know in N CA customized the front of his 4104 with four of the 7" round E-codes, using low/high beam models in all four positions, as opposed to the standard low/high outboard and high-only inboard.  He was quite happy with the outcome, however, he drove a lot at night.

I've never been a fan of the rectangular headlights, and I've read in several places (auto rallying message boards, primarily) that the light output is dismal compared to a round lamp with the same square inches of reflector.  Has to do with the optics of the reflector and the glass lens.  And if you've ever taken a close look at the lighting on a television studio set, a movie set, or a theater stage, you'll rarely, if ever, see a rectangular light.  Now, sometimes they'll take a round light and put a rectangular mask over the lens for a special effect, but that's usually only for certain scenes/effects.

One final note - when driving a bus at night, the headlight pattern from the driver's seat looks completely different compared to toodling along in your automobile with a similar headlamp setup.  A consideration to ponder. . .

Before you spend any money, try following Cibie's directions and see what the results are.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
Logged

RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
S13406 Now
Fresno CA
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5451




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 08:20:14 PM »

I'm pretty sure my Cibies didn't come with any aiming instructions in the box.  I believe the only paper that came in the box was something that said to be sure to use the wiring adapter supplied.  Daniel Stern specially said to use an optical beamsetter if I could find one.  I'm going to try manual alignment before I go any further, but I need to find a flat place with a wall I can use at night.

I thought a lot of busnuts hate the little 5" round headlights?  Aren't 7" round headlights typically used with only one headlight on each side?  If I can't make the existing headlights work the 200mm rectangular would probably be easiest to retrofit, but I want to use whatever is going to supply the most light.


Does anyone have a copy of the Cibie aiming instructions?  Are they any different than the manual aiming procedure Daniel Stern has on his website?
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
opus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 507





Ignore
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 08:44:46 PM »

Here you go: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?87-Automotive

Logged

1995 BB All-American - A Transformation.
RJ
Former Giant Greenbrier Owner
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2858





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 09:24:59 PM »

Brian -

Send an email to CibieUSA: USA@talbotco.com  and ask for a copy.  I have a copy in my files, but I won't be home until Thursday.

Busnuts don't "hate" the 5" round lamps - they get replaced with the 165mm rectangulars because they're "more stylish, not dated."  Has nothing to do with performance, and everything to do with style.  "Show, not go."

Yes, the 7" are typically used one/side.  My friend customized his 4104 to use two per side.

If you REALLY want to add some lighting to the front end, buy a couple of Cibie "Super Oscars" and mount them on top of the bumper between the regular headlights.  Guaranteed to light up the world in front of you - AND attract attention from the gendarmes!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
Logged

RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
S13406 Now
Fresno CA
Ed Hackenbruch
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2450




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 07:33:21 AM »

I happen to be one of those who like the looks of the round lites on a bus. Grin  Have seen a 5A like mine that has been "upgraded" to rectangular lites and it just doesn't look good to me.
Logged

1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
thomasinnv
Derrick Thomas
Hero Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 750


I may be nuts, but only for buses


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 08:48:14 AM »

I am another one that does not care for the look of the rectangular lights on a bus. I like the round lenses.
Logged

There are three kinds of people in this world....those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that just wonder what the heck is happening. Which one are you?

1977 MCI Crusader MC-8
8V71N/740
95% converted (they're never really done, are they?)
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5451




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 08:52:41 AM »

I always thought the issue with the 5" headlights was the light output and not necessarily the look.  I suppose part of the issue with light output is most buses with 5" round headlights are old and the headlight wiring has been touched by lots of hacks over the years.  If the headlights don't get enough voltage they won't work well.

I'm mainly concerned about light output and less about looks.  It sounds like round lights provide better light.  I think 5" rounds would be easy to retrofit.  7" rounds would be harder to do.  Of course, I'm going to manually align the lights first before I go replacing them.
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
dukegrad98
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 189




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 09:07:50 AM »

I wish someone made a drop-in HID projector-beam lamp that would fit the common sizes on buses.  I'm talking a true projector headlight with a true HID discharge bulb -- not just some xenon bulbs popped into reflector housings like you see on a lot of pickup trucks these days. 

I'd pay good money for an easy retrofit like that.  The lighting is superior in every way -- brightness, alignment, beam cutoff, etc.

Cheers, John
Logged
Jeremy
Hero Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 1908


1987 Bedford Plaxton


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 09:19:12 AM »

It's easy enough to buy 'proper' aftermarket HID lights, but I guess that one which was the same size as a regular 7" light (or even 5") would be complete overkill.




Jeremy


PS. This guy obviously likes round headlights (doesn't seem to care about being able to see out of the windscreen though):

Logged

A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
Kitt
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 49





Ignore
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 10:20:18 AM »

I had looked at some upgrade options because I like the look of the 5" (actually 5 3/4" if I remember right) round lights. I've never had issues with "E-code" (European spec, non-USDOT) lights on cars in the US before, so I looked down that route. Hella makes a 5.75" lens that fits the H1 (high beam) halogen bulb and another for H4 (low/high). That would be a pretty easy upgrade, save for putting the new plugs on the wire ends to fit the new bulbs. While you're at it, though, it is worth putting in the relays as mentioned above to get higher voltage to the bulbs.

A further upgrade would be to then get an H1/H4 HID kit which would then go into the Hella conversion lenses, replacing the halogen bulbs for even more light.

Haven't done all that myself yet - still shopping for the right bus....

-Kitt
Logged

1977 Eagle model 05
8v71, Allison HT740D
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5451




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 10:57:05 AM »

It's easy enough to buy 'proper' aftermarket HID lights, but I guess that one which was the same size as a regular 7" light (or even 5") would be complete overkill.

Aren't there questions on the legality of using such lights in a car not originally equipped with such?  Lights such as these would be fairly easy to retrofit I would think.  Are there companies that make better models of the HID kits.  I've heard some of the cheap ones are junk.  Is there an advantage to using Ecodes over DOT approved for HID?  Are any of these aftermarket HIDs even DOT approved?  Time to do more Google research I guess.

Certain models of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan come factory equipped with true HID headlights.  People like them a lot and some have even put them in the Dodge Grand Caravan, but it is a pain due to the the bulbs and ballasts sold separate from the headlight assemblies.
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5451




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 11:00:00 AM »

JW Speaker makes some LED headlights right here in the USA that will replace 165mm headlights.  The problem is they cost $800 for a pair!  They come highly rated, but most users seem to be fire departments.  I might consider them at $400 for a pair, but not at $400 each.
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Jeremy
Hero Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 1908


1987 Bedford Plaxton


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 11:33:23 AM »

It's easy enough to buy 'proper' aftermarket HID lights, but I guess that one which was the same size as a regular 7" light (or even 5") would be complete overkill.

Aren't there questions on the legality of using such lights in a car not originally equipped with such?  Lights such as these would be fairly easy to retrofit I would think.  Are there companies that make better models of the HID kits.  I've heard some of the cheap ones are junk.  Is there an advantage to using Ecodes over DOT approved for HID?  Are any of these aftermarket HIDs even DOT approved?  Time to do more Google research I guess.


I don't know the correct answer to that, but I can't immediately think why a 'complete replacement' HID light which has been correctly installed would be illegal. The legal issues revolve around swapping the bulb in an existing light fitting with a none-standard replacement for which the optics of the light fitting weren't designed.

Jeremy

[Edit]

Just found this on Wikipedia:

Internationalized European vehicle regulations require such headlamps to be equipped with lens cleaners and an automatic self-leveling system to keep the beams aimed correctly regardless of vehicle load and altitude, but no such devices are required on motorcycles, or in North America, where ECE regulations are inapplicable and inherently more glaring beam patterns are also permitted. The fitting of HID conversion kits (which include HID lamps that fit into original headlamp units in place of the original bulbs with no change to the headlamp's lens, reflector or housing) generally results in extremely high levels of glare, and is illegal throughout most of the world. However, complete halogen headlamp units can be replaced with complete HID headlamp units, provided that the replacement headlamp units comply with the applicable standards.

To me that suggests that aftermarket HID replacement lamps would be legal in the States, but illegal in Europe unless they come with a built-in leveling and cleaning system (which I've certainly never seen, and would surely raise the cost prohibitively)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 11:37:51 AM by Jeremy » Logged

A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
dukegrad98
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 189




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 11:46:21 AM »

To me that suggests that aftermarket HID replacement lamps would be legal in the States, but illegal in Europe unless they come with a built-in leveling and cleaning system (which I've certainly never seen, and would surely raise the cost prohibitively)

You've seen it a million times and just didn't realize it.  Any HID-equipped European car that I can think of has self-leveling and self-cleaning assemblies.  Take a look at any Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Audi, etc. manufactured in the last five or ten years and it's all there. 

Or did you mean aftermarket assemblies with these functions?  In that case I wholeheartedly agree -- they just aren't out there unless you retrofit an OEM system from an existing car/model.  If you scan over a search for "projector HID" on eBay, you'll see that 95% of the listings are just for retrofit bulb and ballast kits to plug into your existing reflector headlamps.  The ones that really irritate me are the listings for "projector beams" where the light shown is clearly just a small round reflector built into whatever size housing they are advertising.  Caveat emptor around there for sure...

Cheers, John
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 11:50:18 AM by dukegrad98 » Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!