There is no question about it: A car lamp will burn out. And you may not know which type should be used to replace it. In such cases, the smart driver will consult the owner’s manual of the vehicle – and will find only the designation for the base and not the one for the lamp type. Just who knows what PX26d means? This designation is used for the connection of the very widely used headlight lamp H7. In other cases, the base designation can even be ambiguous. W2.111×9.5d provides contact on the clear glass base lamp W5W as well as on its yellow sister, WY5W, which is frequently used in side blinkers. The W3W, which frequently does duty in instrument lighting, also uses this base.

Anyone who finds such cryptic designations in the owner’s manual should consult Osram’s online lamp finder. The finder includes both practical type designations and provides information about possible upgrades.

Why is such information not included on the headlight itself?

A simple and customer friendly solution would be to include information about the lamp type on the headlight casing. Such a solution exits. Unfortunately, it is used on few cars. Over and over, you will see a designation like “5W,” something that refers to the position light, for instance. Unfortunately, there are several lamp types with this output. It does not have to be, this useless information.

Who has such an elastic finger?

For more than 10 years now, headlights and luminaires have to be designed in a way that will enable end consumers to change the lamps. But the regulations do not describe exactly how easy this should be. For some cars, it takes acrobatic-like movements and rubber-like fingers to get the job done. Obviously, there is not a whole lot of room in the engine compartment or in the installation position of the taillights. But, occasionally, a better solution is right in front of your noise. Removable lamp holders are one of them.

A few more centimeters of cable, please

The best solution is headlights that can be completely removed with just a few simple hand movements. The job of changing the lamp is much easier once the part has been removed. But designers have added some annoyances of their own to these solutions. One such nuisance is: The wiring to the headlight is so short that you need very agile fingers once again to disconnect the plug. This is also the case for the removable lamp holders for taillights. Two extra centimeters of cable would simplify the task immensely.

In other cases, the plug appears to be glued in place, and not being able to remove it has nothing to do with a failure to press the release. The latter does sometimes happen though, and automakers are not to blame for it.

Why won’t it fit?

The small sister of the removable lamp holder is the removable fitting with bayonet coupling. A good solution, too. But the job of reinstalling it is frequently unnecessarily hard. The only possible position where it works is frequently not marked. A small red dot or another mark on the luminaire and the fitting would solve the problem – if you want to please drivers.

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