Recommended Posts

I had to drive into the new forest last night and I noticed how poor the headlights were when there were no street lights.

i have an ls400 mk3 and in many ways it can keep up with modern cars but the headlights are terrible compared to new cars.

i am thinking of trying a bulb upgrade this worked to some extent on a Mercedes of the same era that I had.

Hopefully the bulbs are just old and degraded or maybe it’s my eyesight,Has anyone else had this problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

I have this problem with my 2003 Merc W210. It is not the bulbs it is the plastic lens which has been subjected to sunlight over the years and has become cloudy.

HJ suggest using Brasso, but I have not found it successful so my Indie suggests I take it to a local body shop for them to use power tools to remove the cloudy/milky substance from the lens`

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also interested in a bulb upgrade for my series 4 LS 400. I'd be grateful if anyone could advise on what bulbs will fit and what sort of improvement to expect

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, harrylime said:

I'm also interested in a bulb upgrade for my series 4 LS 400. I'd be grateful if anyone could advise on what bulbs will fit and what sort of improvement to expect

Osram night breaker bulbs will give extra light, but there longevity is questionable.
Assuming the lights are halogen. Check the voltage at the bulb terminals with the headlamps on and the engine running. Then check the voltage at the Battery under the same conditions. If there is more than 0.5 volts difference voltage drop on the old wiring is to blame. On some cars I have found only around 11 volts at the lights, but 14 volts at the Battery a loss of over 20%
If this is the case taking a fused Battery feed to a couple of relays mounted near the lights, and using the old headlamp wires to operate the relays, and the relay contacts to feed the lights will restore full brightness. This is not as complicated as it sounds. PM me if you need a circuit diagram.

John.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

HJ suggest using Brasso, but I have not found it successful so my Indie suggests I take it to a local body shop for them to use power tools to remove the cloudy/milky substance from the lens`

You don't need to pay anyone to do it, it's easy enough to DIY if you have a drill and one of these or something similar. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there to guide you.

The main thing is that once you've done it, you must use a good UV-resistant top coat or they'll soon be back to their previous condition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Osram nightbreaker Unlimited are very good bulbs. The longevity is fine, 12months+ if installation is done with care i.e. with protective gloves on. 

If you start going into Osram Nightbreaker laser and 130%+ bulbs, the longevity will be 8-10 months at best. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ac1978 said:

I had to drive into the new forest last night and I noticed how poor the headlights were when there were no street lights.

i have an ls400 mk3 and in many ways it can keep up with modern cars but the headlights are terrible compared to new cars.

i am thinking of trying a bulb upgrade this worked to some extent on a Mercedes of the same era that I had.

Hopefully the bulbs are just old and degraded or maybe it’s my eyesight,Has anyone else had this problem.

The mk3 uses glass-lens headlamps. Upgrade bulbs can help, but also at the age of the car it's likely that there's a buildup of dust and muck on the parabolic reflector inside the headlamp which is reducing light output - if you can clean that it will help significantly. 

46 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

I have this problem with my 2003 Merc W210. It is not the bulbs it is the plastic lens which has been subjected to sunlight over the years and has become cloudy.

The LS400 mk3 was the last of the glass headlamps. 

 

40 minutes ago, harrylime said:

I'm also interested in a bulb upgrade for my series 4 LS 400. I'd be grateful if anyone could advise on what bulbs will fit and what sort of improvement to expect

LS 400mk4 was the first to come with Xenons as standard. Xenon capsules suffer lumen degradation over time and you're talking about a 20 year old car now, so a new set of Xenon capsules should show a benefit. You can also now get more tightly controlled geometry "upgrade" Xenon bulbs such as the Osram Nightbreaker Unlimited - the LS400mk4 appears to use D2R capsules (based on a lookup on a bulb supplier - it is incumbent on you, the owner, to verify the correct bulb before ordering!) such as: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Original-Osram-Xenarc-Xenon-Discharge/dp/B00EVCJ6KI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1547296347&sr=8-4&keywords=D2R+osram 

7 minutes ago, Britprius said:

Osram night breaker bulbs will give extra light, but there longevity is questionable.
Assuming the lights are halogen. Check the voltage at the bulb terminals with the headlamps on and the engine running. Then check the voltage at the Battery under the same conditions. If there is more than 0.5 volts difference voltage drop on the old wiring is to blame. On some cars I have found only around 11 volts at the lights, but 14 volts at the Battery a loss of over 20%
If this is the case taking a fused Battery feed to a couple of relays mounted near the lights, and using the old headlamp wires to operate the relays, and the relay contacts to feed the lights will restore full brightness. This is not as complicated as it sounds. PM me if you need a circuit diagram.

John.

From my days of halogens, I found that the lifetime of Osram Nightbreakers was too short - they barely provided a lighting benefit over and above the (at the time) MUCH cheaper silverstar 2 bulb (which did offer a significant light output boost over regular halogens). A local motor parts place (the type with a counter, not a shop) should be able to do silverstar 2 in trade cardboard packaging for £5-£6, vs £10-£15 per bulb for nightbreaker that last less long. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the voltage supplied to the bulbs is down it does not matter what bulbs you use as the filaments will glow yellow going towards red rather than the white of a correctly supplied bulb voltage wise.

John.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the responses so far

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ECP list d2r and h4 bulbs for my car. Am I right in thinking that h4 are halogen and D2r are Xenon? If Xenon bulbs were originally fitted, wouldn't H4 bulbs be a retrogade step? The D2r bulbs are very pricey. my lights are not bad, I just feel they could be better. Bold claims are made for some of the H4 bulbs and there seem to be many variations of the Osram Nightbreakers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, harrylime said:

ECP list d2r and h4 bulbs for my car. Am I right in thinking that h4 are halogen and D2r are Xenon? If Xenon bulbs were originally fitted, wouldn't H4 bulbs be a retrogade step? The D2r bulbs are very pricey. my lights are not bad, I just feel they could be better. Bold claims are made for some of the H4 bulbs and there seem to be many variations of the Osram Nightbreakers

Hello Hugh.

I think the dip beam lights are Xenon but the high beams are Halogen.

I thought that was because the Xenon lights take a couple of seconds to reach full brightness whereas the Halogen bulb is instant. (I might be completely wrong about this)

 

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may stop being a bloke and go and dig out my handbook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was the  night breakers I used in the  merc I didn’t keep it long enough to find out about the longevity of them, im looking at Phillips white light bulbs or a hid conversion I did a quick google search on the hid conversion someone in the states has done it on a mk3,it looks quite expensive and possibly a bit ridiculous on a 22 year old otherwise unmodified car.

interesting information on the voltage at the bulbs I might try that test.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/12/2019 at 10:54 AM, Ac1978 said:

i have an ls400 mk3 and in many ways it can keep up with modern cars but the headlights are terrible compared to new cars.

satisfaction is that you're not being an absolute ****** and blinding everyone else on the road with our quaint but perfectly adequate glass lensed headlights and ordinary bulbs.

Just had to have one new bulb and it's exactly the same light output effect as the other side that was replaced maybe 5 years ago.

At £5 for a pair of bulbs it's a whole lot cheaper too than modern day bulbs

If in the New Forest at night and there's not enough light pop on the main beam maybe !

Malc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The modern white lights are even more blinding when your own lights are less effective than the on coming car it makes the problem worse and you can’t use main beam with on coming traffic.

After a bit of reasearch on the hid conversion kits I found out they are not road legal unless the headlight the conversion is put into Is hid certified.Why would anyone be putting a hid conversion into a headlight that’s already hid.

ECP have the Phillips white light bulbs that come with the 501 side light replacements for £16.99.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did my MK IV LS a couple of years ago with the Autoglym kit and it was transformational - now they are awful again and feel very dangerous on unlit roads. Will do them again but have noted the comments about the importance of a good uv top coating - any recommendations? Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its not April first, but I do wonder if headlights always look poorer when there is a full Moon, as there is now.  Pretty sure this is so, witrh road reflection,  but maybe I'm talking twoddle? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, runsgrateasanut said:

Its not April first, but I do wonder if headlights always look poorer when there is a full Moon, as there is now.  Pretty sure this is so, witrh road reflection,  but maybe I'm talking twoddle? 

 

........or drinking twoddle maybe ?      :):):)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

........or drinking twoddle maybe ?      :):):)

Make mine a Pint!  Actually it isnt a full Moon until early next week but at 1am this Morning as the Moonlight streamed into my front door fanlight it seemed more than half full to me and certainly lit the Hallway.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, runsgrateasanut said:

Make mine a Pint!  Actually it isnt a full Moon until early next week but at 1am this Morning as the Moonlight streamed into my front door fanlight it seemed more than half full to me and certainly lit the Hallway.  

If money was spent on replacing cats eyes we wouldn't need powerful headlights.  We've no doubt all noticed the lack of them on most roads. They're a great invention and a great safety aid but clearly the various councils/government don't agree. So many have been removed and the holes filled in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought Philips 12342RVS2 Racingvision + 150% Headlamp Bulb H4 and they are a definite step up from the original bulbs. They are not going to last as long but for the extra vision they are worth it. Cost around the £20 mark. Bought these two years ago and still going strong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2019 at 7:12 PM, The-Acre said:

If money was spent on replacing cats eyes we wouldn't need powerful headlights.  We've no doubt all noticed the lack of them on most roads. They're a great invention and a great safety aid but clearly the various councils/government don't agree. So many have been removed and the holes filled in.

I think with the amount of traffic around these days, the Cats eyes would have a much shorter life than in the 20th Century and as one whose picked up a stud from a Cats eye  it would be like having a Bullet hit the Windscreen if one breaks out of the Rubber mould, whch they certainly do.  Its a matter of cost and liability I imagine.

Personally, I  hate driving over Cats Eyes when overtaking.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2019 at 11:51 AM, runsgrateasanut said:

Its not April first, but I do wonder if headlights always look poorer when there is a full Moon, as there is now.  Pretty sure this is so, witrh road reflection,  but maybe I'm talking twoddle? 

 

You are right that the headlights look poorer with a full moon.  Reason for this is  that as you get older your eyes become worse at contrast, so on a dark country lane, you get good contrasts between the dark road, the dark hedge (or ditch) and the headlight beam, but any other light gives your .

So keeping headlights clean, and the beam focussed (in other words on Mk4, the acrylic smooth) all helps. 

The only real option for us oldies is to have eye transplants or get headlights that blind the heck out of on-coming drivers.  Other optiion is to get a younger person to chauffer you about.

So on this basis we need to make sure the Queens hubbie does not go out at night, coz I expect he could not tell the contrast between an garden wall, and hump-back bridge!!!!  Surely he can afford a lacky to drive him about??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cotswold Pete said:

The only real option for us oldies

surely copious quantities of carrots or carrot juice will help  ?  isn't that meant to help bunnies see better in the dark ?

you can tell when they haven't eaten enuf coz they get squashed :zorro:

Malc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Malc said:

surely copious quantities of carrots or carrot juice will help  ?  isn't that meant to help bunnies see better in the dark ?

you can tell when they haven't eaten enuf coz they get squashed :zorro:

Malc

That made me laugh, and Pete my wife suggested she thought she recodnised........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM7HCwP7ly4

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now