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And I thought it was just my eyes getting old

We recently had a discussion on LED head lights. In this case, they seem to be the way to go.

Yeah I saw that in the news and most cars failed but not all were tested. I really like the HID lights though. Too bad they are going by the way side.

Perhaps not. The article discussed the IIHS testing results, but didn’t discuss actions by the regulators. My guess is that there’ll be specific changes to the regulatory specifications, perhaps beam shape or something like that, but LED matrices will endure. Safety and fuel efficiency are knocking heads.

I personally don’t care for them as a lighting source for headlights, but IMHO they make great running lights and brakelights.

What do you have against LEDs? They are just a light source.

Some of us old foggies like a bright white light that you only get with HID. I’ve gotten used to it so hope they don’t screw it up with LED. Haven’t really been behind the wheel of an LED at night but with the HID, even the deer are lit up.

I find their frequency spectrum irritating to my eyes for some odd reason. LEDs are far higher in the 400-450 nanometer wavelengths, and less intense in the spectrum above 600nm.

Every different light source is different in its profile. I find incandescent light to be less irritating.

Our 2009 Cobalt has terrible headlights. Switching to the high beam has no effect on distance illuminated. There has to be a baffle at the top of the housing that cuts off light for both high and low beams. I should look for aftermarket housings that work effectively at illuminating the road at greater distances.

Beam pattern is strictly defined by the feds, and from what I’ve read the current specs mandate that " baffle" in the design of all new modules. It was updated a some years back to respond to complaints about new headlights being too blinding for incoming drivers.

The feds were also considering mandating lower headlights for trucks, including pickups. I wish they’d done so. The lights on some of these new “big truck” designs are so high as to blind those driving lower cars, even Camrys and Accords. And when the truck has a heavy load in the bed, its’ even worse.

How do current headlights measure up to the benchmark set by the now defunct halogen sealed beams?

Depends on what you measure.

I guess my greatest criticism of the new stylish headlights is their costly, deteriorating lenses. The second owner will face driving with Model-T headlight performance until they spend hundreds to replace the high style housings. My old S-10 Blazer’s sealed beams give me a better view than several nearly new cars and all the cars 10+ years old that I have recently driven.

The deterioration of so many aerodynamic headlight lenses is a reality, but I have to say that I have never experienced it with any of my cars, even when they were up to 11 years old. While I can’t prove it, I think that being garaged drastically reduces the probability of clouded headlight lenses.

Refreshing these new lenses is very easy and inexpensive. I’ve done a number of them with excellent results. I’ve used a few different kinds of “headlight restorers” and regular polishing compound, and IMHO the polishing compound works every bit as well. I wash the surfaces down well and wax them with regular Meguire’s with carnuba wax to help slow down future fogging.

For the record, I use a wetted round sponge from the bath section of a discount store, attached to a drill mandrel and spun by a variable speed drill. I liberally add polishing compound and let fly. I recommend taping off the surrounding painted areas.

The light spectrum of LEDs can be tuned at manufacture. I use LEDs in my house that are tuned to 2700K where my son prefers the ones tuned at 6000K. The 2700K bulbs are closer to old fashioned incandescents where the 6000K are close to daylight and your HIDs.

One issue currently with the LED bulbs is that thee spectrum is very narrow compared to other sources. For example, true daylight is a very wide spectrum that is centered or averaged around 6000K where an LED does not have much light in the colors away from 6000K. The old incandescent averaged around 2300-2700K with a lot of the spectrum in the IR region where the LEDs have very little IR or blue light.

Since most LED bulbs are made of an array of LEDs, maybe someone will start manufacturing them with elements from different parts of the spectrum from 1800K to 6000K. BTW, there are 1800K bug light LEDs but from reviews I have read, they aren’t very reliable yet, they are made by manufacturers outside the mainstream.

As for lenes restoration goes I found a fast cheap & easy way. Clean with windex & wet a rag or paper towel with acetone & make 1 swipe across being careful not to get on paint. I do this about twice a year.

Never heard of using acetone. I’m happy that it works for you, but I personally would recommend against it.

Moutainbike I don’t know if there is different types of plastic used in different vehicles or not but use it on my 90 f150 & my wifes 2000 dodge stratus & they both look like new. Also I put a coat of wax on.

I think the acetone tends to melt the finish a little and that’s what cleans it up. I’ve heard of guys sanding, polishing and then finishing with lacquer thinner or acetone. But really I’ve never had a problem. I wax my cars twice a year and use Meguire’s Plastix on all the lenses to polish them. I’ve never had any go yellow and one is 20 years old.

Acetone on the lens of a late model vehicle is a really bad idea. The plastic that was on our 98 Sonoma was a lot different than is what is on our 1914 Frontier.


I used google and found several items that convinced me that acetone is not a good idea . While it might work on a 16 year old vehicle I would just use something by Mequires or equal brand.

I’m not a chemist, but acetone is a solvent, the active ingredient in nail polish remover. I’d be afraid it would attack the plastic.
I WOULD be interested in the opinion of a chemist if there’s one in the room… if I’m wrong I’d like to learn from this.