Headlights and lamps emit more or less light depending on their type and design. The tricky thing is that you usually don’t see the difference immediately. Here are six tips on how to assess car lights after changing the lamps.
Tip 1. Don’t expect to get an idea about the quality of light by standing five meters in front of your car and staring at the headlights. That would be pretty much the same as assuming that flooring the gas pedal in neutral will give you an idea about the maximum speed. You’ll only get a real impression behind the wheel.
Tip 2. Here’s why you should gaze into the distance. Whether the space five or ten meters in front of the car is wonderfully lit or not is not so important. If an obstacle appears there while you’re driving it’s too late to brake anyway. So it won’t make a difference if it’s brightly lit. The areas beyond 50 meters on your side of the road are the important ones. Make sure to keep an eye on them, by looking at marker posts for example. Upgrade lamps such as the Night Breaker family from Osram therefore focus some of their light on these areas. In practice, they even reduce it right in front of the car because there’s only a limited amount available.
Tip 3. Is there more? The light needs to be at least 30 percent better or worse before you can see the difference. Replacing a high-quality brand lamp with an upgrade version will show more modest results than replacing a standard lamp which probably has been sitting there for hundreds of operating hours.
Tip 4. The right setting for good light. After replacing lamps you’ll only get optimum results with headlights that have been accurately adjusted. As mentioned before, the important parts of the road are well ahead of the car, where fractions of a degree count when it comes to the adjustment angle. Tolerances in the lamps in particular can have an effect. While they’re low in branded lamps, having them adjusted in a garage is highly recommended if a no-name one was installed before. Precise adjustment is particularly important in xenon upgrades from Osram because when producing these lamps the manufacturer makes sure that tolerances are strictly adhered to for optimum range. That only helps if the headlights themselves are very precisely adjusted.
Tip 5. Appearances can be deceptive. The eye is easily fooled by the light color. Cold light seems brighter even if it isn’t at all. Bluish headlights may be welcome for style reasons but white light is the ideal choice for optimum visibility.
Tip 6. The technical bit. To get more light from a lamp, engineers at Osram can’t just increase the output in watts. It isn’t the most important factor anyway. But even the more significant luminous flux is restricted as per regulations. One possibility is to improve the luminance. When it comes to lens headlights, this trick with higher luminance doesn’t work though. In these projection systems – as professionals call them – only the luminous flux counts behind the lens. Therefore, the increase in light in this type of headlight is not that big and obvious as in headlights with visible reflectors. While lamps such as the Night Breaker Laser and Silverstar 2.0 from Osram also produce a bit more in lens headlights, this is only because Osram pushes right to the permissible limit when it comes to luminous flux.