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Thread: Xenon versus LED Headlight option

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    glospete's Avatar
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    Xenon versus LED Headlight option

    Ignoring the price difference are the LED headlight option far better than Xenons? One particular aspect of Xenons worries me - I used to have a BMW 330Ci with Xenons but to change them from UK driving to Continental driving meant a trip to the BMW dealer. Ludicrous but fact! My previous 535i had a switch. So one question is how you switch between the 2 modes on the A3? Is a pain to change or just a switch. The LEDs appeal because the GPS system knows where you are and changes them automatically!
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    With xenons there is an option in the MMI
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    Can't comment on the LEDs but I've found the Xenons on the 8V are a big advance from the 8P. The LEDs must be superb if they're better than the Xenons. I have no regrets sticking with Xenons though.

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    LED's also have an option in the menu when driving on the continent. Also suppose to use GPS to give a range of lighting effects depending if your on a motorway or coming up to a junction for example. To be honest I haven't really noticed it. Love the look of LED's though! Think LED belongs on an Audi car. Seeing a new A3 with Halogen lights makes me cringe.
    Last edited by bleedsoff; 1st June 2014 at 22:39.
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    The standard A3 xenon's don't need any adjustment for foreign driving as the beam is "flat". If you have the adaptive xenon's (bendy ones) then there is an option in the MMI to set which side of the road you're driving on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleedsoff View Post
    To be honest I have really noticed it.
    Is that a typo? It feels like you mean you haven't really noticed it. Surely you've noticed the junction lights, but then again they only work when headlights are set to Auto.
    PS is your car really only getting built next January?
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakehips View Post
    Is that a typo? It feels like you mean you haven't really noticed it. Surely you've noticed the junction lights, but then again they only work when headlights are set to Auto.
    PS is your car really only getting built next January?
    Yea sorry was suppose to be haven't, my bad. No I don't notice the junction lights!

    Had my car since Jan Just haven't updated the signature!
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    Are LED headlights better than Xenons ? Good question - I'm still trying to figure that out.

    I've had Xenons on every car I've owned since 2005 and would never not have them now from a safety point of view as I live in deep darkest Wiltshire and we do have a lot of lanes and badly lit country roads. Halogens scare me now if I get in a car with them.

    LED's are brighter and much "clearer" to use a word to sum them up. The light is much more day light so it does pick out much more detail. Would also say projection up the road is far superior than xenon. I think if you have the LED headlights you need to have high beam assist to make the most of them. Mine over 60 mph odd project down the road even further which I didn't think they would do as I haven't got the tech pack but noticeably they seem to do it. Don't recall the MMI giving me the option for driving on continent as a side.

    £795 was a lot for them and tell the truth I got them for the the strip indicators and the fact they look much nicer than the xenon unit. Not sure I would spend that again for them.....
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    As an 'older' Audi A3 person I had LED lights to give me as near to day light as possible when night driving and this is exactly what you get. My eye sight is getting tired so it's getting more and more important for me and my wife.
    Have had Xenons for over fifteen years and can say without doubt LED is far superior, it picks things out superbly and when turning lights the curb up for you so less likely to scuff those pesky alloys!

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    The cornering/junction lights come with the Xenons too... possibly even the halogens though I'm not sure about that one.
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    They're an optional extra on the S-line Xenon's, but come as part of the xenon package on the sport or SE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleedsoff View Post
    Yea sorry was suppose to be haven't, my bad. No I don't notice the junction lights!

    Had my car since Jan Just haven't updated the signature!
    There is a checkbox in MMI settings to turn adaptive lights on. Check that yours is activated.
    To the OP, LED lights are great, and are second only to B&O in my list of options that bring out a big smile every time I use them. I can't compare to adaptive Xenons but you wouldn't be disappointed with LED.
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    They cost £490 if you get the comfort pack so not too bad at that price!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjcourtney View Post
    The standard A3 xenon's don't need any adjustment for foreign driving as the beam is "flat". If you have the adaptive xenon's (bendy ones) then there is an option in the MMI to set which side of the road you're driving on.
    This post is spot on accurate.
    Enjoying my 8V

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    It's a shame they don't auto-adjust the lights for cars with sat nav - the sat nav seems to be linked in to a lot of other parts of the system, just not that one for some reason.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cemerson View Post
    It's a shame they don't auto-adjust the lights for cars with sat nav - the sat nav seems to be linked in to a lot of other parts of the system, just not that one for some reason.
    They do on cars with Technology Package with Audi Connect!
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    I have all that, there's still a manual 'Tourist mode' setting in the MMI
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    Thanks for all the comments. I'm going to the dealer on Wednesday to finalise the spec of my new car but my current thinking is to go for the LED headlights as I like the look and also like the idea of them being linked to the Tech Pack sat nav.
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    The junction lights are linked in to the sat nav with Xenons, just not the adjustment for which side of the road you drive on. It's only a simple setting though, no complicated procedures or taking it to garages or anything!
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    According to the chatter on Briskoda, all Tourist Mode does, is lower the beams slightly, and stops the cornering/junction lights coming on, and in the case of adaptive xenons, stops them swivelling.

    Is this the same for the A3?

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    Quote Originally Posted by veeeight View Post
    According to the chatter on Briskoda, all Tourist Mode does, is lower the beams slightly, and stops the cornering/junction lights coming on, and in the case of adaptive xenons, stops them swivelling.

    Is this the same for the A3?
    I think this is the case- in addition to this the difference between tech pack advanced + LEDs and just LEDs is that the tech pack automatically changes the range/cornering/junction based on your location- whereas without it, it does it based on speed i.e. when you go over a certain speed the range extends, when you slow down and indicate it activates the junction lights etc. At least this is what I have heard!

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    Quote Originally Posted by veeeight View Post
    According to the chatter on Briskoda, all Tourist Mode does, is lower the beams slightly, and stops the cornering/junction lights coming on, and in the case of adaptive xenons, stops them swivelling.

    Is this the same for the A3?
    So basically just turns them into the 'non adaptive' versions, which don't require adjustment anyway?
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    LED would win in a fight.
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    In Peru the upgrade costs USD3,360 plus 4-6 months of waiting your car. Not worth it, i´m happy with xenon plus LED.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kikin View Post
    In Peru the upgrade costs USD3,360 plus 4-6 months of waiting your car. Not worth it, i´m happy with xenon plus LED.
    Bargain....
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    Maybe, but wait for a car 4-6 months...no way. I think like this: here´s my money, where´s your car?

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    LEDs look cooler, but over time the technology will improve and get cheaper. Audi's matrix LEDs are already better than what's offered on the 8V. I don't feel Xenons can improve much further, so are better value at this point in time in that sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen C View Post
    LEDs look cooler, but over time the technology will improve and get cheaper. Audi's matrix LEDs are already better than what's offered on the 8V. I don't feel Xenons can improve much further, so are better value at this point in time in that sense.
    True - but the 8V LED lights are way advanced for the sector. Think only other car that has them in class is the Seat Leon. Might be wrong but I think the Seat versions are slightly lower spec than the 8V version in that they can't do all the trickery with GPS / motorway adjustment / cornering lights. They literally do the normal range adjustment and high / low beam light. Not sure either if they use the DRL as a turn indicator.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen C View Post
    LEDs look cooler, but over time the technology will improve and get cheaper. Audi's matrix LEDs are already better than what's offered on the 8V. I don't feel Xenons can improve much further, so are better value at this point in time in that sense.
    Agree - I refuse to pay more for LEDs when they are cheaper on the Seat Leon anyway! Just Audi ripping people off for new tech even though it doesn't cost anything like that amount.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulp84 View Post
    True - but the 8V LED lights are way advanced for the sector. Think only other car that has them in class is the Seat Leon. Might be wrong but I think the Seat versions are slightly lower spec than the 8V version in that they can't do all the trickery with GPS / motorway adjustment / cornering lights. They literally do the normal range adjustment and high / low beam light. Not sure either if they use the DRL as a turn indicator.
    They look very similar to the SEAT Leon's to me, and SEAT give them away for free if the Tech Pack promo is running. They definitely have the motorway headlight function, but I'm not sure about the rest. And yeah it's just a single LED for the indicator.
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    I think the Audi ones are more expensive as they are slightly more advanced than the Seat ones.

    For a start the 8V ones are semi adaptive with their range adjustment over 68 mph, concerning function and DRL turn indicator. The Seat ones do not do any of that.

    My my mates Seat does not do the range adjustment from what we can tell (he is very jealous mine do it!). His manual also mentions nothing about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulp84 View Post
    I think the Audi ones are more expensive as they are slightly more advanced than the Seat ones.

    For a start the 8V ones are semi adaptive with their range adjustment over 68 mph, concerning function and DRL turn indicator. The Seat ones do not do any of that.
    Range adjustment over 68mph is the only feature I know for sure that the Seat have. The Audi ones look better anyway!
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    The Audi extra tricks are all software, they don't add to the cost all that much. DRL turn indicator isn't even a 'feature', it's just the way it's designed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cemerson View Post
    The Audi extra tricks are all software, they don't add to the cost all that much. DRL turn indicator isn't even a 'feature', it's just the way it's designed.
    Presumably involving some fibre optics and a few more LEDs to achieve that, but not exactly a significant cost!
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    Nope, the light tubes just have 3 LEDs stationed around them at various points. Adding indicators would just involve adding 3 orange LEDs as well, hardly a costly change!
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    Ill try and dig out the article, but I'm sure I read that Seat is in the "last chance saloon" with VAG and they maybe even looking to sell it in the coming years as it's seriously under performing compared to the rest of the group,

    The article noted as part of this they have thrown the full technology suite at Seat to try and improve sales figures. Good example being the Leon Cupra - same diff as Golf GTI PP, full LED headlights / Nav options for silly money, oh and 50bhp more.

    £500 for LED lights / Nav does mark me weap considering the same costs £1,290 in the A3. Can't help thinking they need to give it away at the price to sell cars considering VAG can sell the same kit on the A3 at higher margin.
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    Let's face it, those with the LED headlights are gonna say they love 'em and those with xenons are gonna say the LED's aren't worth it. I have LED's and they're good. Are they worth the money? Probably not. Are they better than xenons? Of course, but how much better is debatable. I think they look cool. I wouldn't compare them to the Seat LED's which look awful. I would actually pay for xenons instead of them. Would I buy them again? It would be a tough decision but probably.
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    I'm with Scott although I am really impressed with my s3 SB led option. I paid the lesser price as I had comfort pack selected as well.
    As the car is a keeper we speccd it out quite elaborately and the led lights were consequent to that approach!

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    I read a test in a car magazine and they tested the A3 LED, Leon LED, 308 LED and others cars.

    To cut a long story short. they said the 308 LED were worse than the 308 halogen lights, the A3 LED were equivalent to the A3 xenons, but the whiter color was easier for the eyes, and said that the Leon LED were equivalent to the Leon halogens.
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    Stoke
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    1,027
    Quote Originally Posted by cemerson View Post
    The junction lights are linked in to the sat nav with Xenons, just not the adjustment for which side of the road you drive on. It's only a simple setting though, no complicated procedures or taking it to garages or anything!
    You find they work well?

 

 
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