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Saw lots of reports the US is finally going to legally allow adaptive (better ) headlights not sure if that means LED or just the adaptive systems but it is good news. Will take 2 years to implement.
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2014 CR-Z, Base, CVT
775 Posts
That's great news, even though it'll mean almost nothing for the average consumer for many years. We've had auto high beams for a while, but they rarely have a chance to shine (pun intended) because if there is just one car in front, the high beams won't come on (which they shouldn't. Don't blind other drivers). Adaptive headlights use a ton of LEDs and fancy optics to dim only a small portion of the beam where any other drivers may be present. In short, it makes it so that from the driver's perspective it looks like your high beams are always on, but from the perspective of oncoming traffic, your high beams are NOT on. I've also seen presentations where they show that the lights can better illuminate corners even before you turn the wheel or activate the turn signal, and they can even project lines on the road to help you navigate through tight spots.

not sure if that means LED or just the adaptive systems but it is good news
Both, as far as I can tell. LED is the only light technology that can pull this off. Halogens are too big and draw too much power and produce too much heat. HIDs are also too big, and way too slow. I guess you could pull it off with halogens or HIDs using fancy mirrors, similar to a DLP projector, but that'd be impractical and expensive, negating the benefit of using halogens to save cost. It probably wouldn't work at such a large scale anyways.

It truly baffles me how we have cars with more screens and computers than a BestBuy still using the same halogen bulbs you'd find in a 1980 Honda Civic. I think manufacturers use halogens not to save money, but to get you to spend extra on fancy lighting packages. My jaw dropped when I realized the brand new 2022 Honda Civic still uses the EXACT SAME 3rd brake light from my 2005 Honda Civic. Just a single crappy incandescent bulb in a cheap plastic housing behind the rear glass. Oh and incandescent turn signals too, how modern, thanks.

While it is great news that adaptive headlights are now legal, it doesn't mean much for the average driver such as myself. It'll be a feature on high end luxury vehicles, and I'm sure even then it'll be optional. Manufacturers will see this as another luxury feature to make them more money, and not as the critical safety feature it really is. Rather than ban newer technologies, like this one, the U.S regulations should enforce much stricter standards for vehicle illumination. Halogens and incandescents should be banned on new cars, automatic headlights should be mandatory, cars should come with some warning reminding you that your high beams are on and that you're blinding everyone in front of you, etc. Banning drop-in replacement bulbs isn't going to help at all, people are gonna still buy the cheap junk that gets through, and the high quality stuff won't be sold. And it doesn't matter anyways, most car headlights are shit anyways. They blind oncoming drivers and have very poor performance.
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