Saturday, 28 February 2015
I recently read that a high end car to be launched on the Indian roads is going to have Laser assisted lighting. I immediately wondered about the plight of the poor pedestrians on the road who may get fried by these lasers!!!
Some people looked at me condescendingly and explained that its a new form of technology - that the lasers by themselves dont light up the road - they light up a gas and the illuminated gas lights up the road - its too complex for laymen like me to understand etc etc.
Well I may not understand all that high end tech but even as a layman, i know that most of our cars are equipped to be fitted only with the ubiquitos yellow bulb. For some time even halogen bulbs were considered illegal (I think they still are). Then came the fully illegal HID kits and later OEM fitted HID lights on high end cars. As if all that was not enough, someone designed these high tech laser lights.
Lasers when misalligned can cause dangers to people in front of them but as Laser lights are still too far away to be available freely on the streets, let us examine the immediate danger i.e HID lights.
HID stands for High intensity discharge and these bulbs are now being installed as a standard fit on some luxury cars and as an after market fitment for many other cars. The advantages are as follows:-
1. They draw lower power
2. They last a longer time
3. Higher illumination and resultant higher range
4. Cool white glow with bluish tinge
5. Better night time visibility - so more safer
But look at the disadvantages:-
1. Use inert gas so they place a strain on environment
2. May leak into sorrounding environment or into the car
3. Misalligned HID after market kits may not illuminate roads properly and may cause accidents
4.Blue light may cause problem in foggy/low visibility conditions
5. Excessive heating up due to poor heat dissipation
but the more important ones are :-
5. HID LIGHTS GIVE OUT A BLINDING WHITE LIGHT THAT REFLECTS VERY BADLY IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR OF THE VEHICLE IN FRONT OF YOU
6. THEY TOTALLY BLIND THE PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC IN FRONT OF YOU ESPECIALLY IF THE BULBS ARE MISALLIGNED
7. THEY SUBSTANTIALLY BLIND THE TRAFFIC FROM THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION
as you can see, the disadvantages weigh far in excess of the advantages. Its time companies rethink on OEM fitment of HID lamps & Laser lamps.
They could concentrate on LED lighting as they are more cost effective, cooler (as all heat is used up to light up only) and safer!!!
Lastly - if you still have a compulsive urge to install HID kit for your car then -
1. do not install bi-xenon kits where there is a HID lamp for both low and high beams. HID on high beam can be very disconcerting and blinding for traffic in opposite direction and may cause accidents which could involve you also
2. Install HID for low beam only
3. For high beam, use conventional yellow bulb (preferable) or halogen
Happy driving to you and those in your opposite direction!!!
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