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HID / Xenon

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by The Slug, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    Hi all, would like to know are HID the same or different to xenon lights.

    The plan is:

    i got 8L '03 A3 wih them clear lense lamps, i want to know if i can keep them and fit these HID retro kits etc..

    Need advice please on anything for doing this type of conversion or am i best to get the S3 Xenon's fitted

    have my lamps got H7 or H4 or both, and i heard something about CAT Hid's which apparently are set at the correct angle for the beam to be correct?

    Also would be great to know what colour rating ie. 8000K and which is the best manufacturer for these kits etc.., Probably would get some1 else to fit em, if its to difficult, lol.

    Many thanks in advance.

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
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  2. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Hi all, would like to know are HID the same or different to xenon lights.

    The plan is:

    i got 8L '03 A3 wih them clear lense lamps, i want to know if i can keep them and fit these HID retro kits etc..

    Need advice please on anything for doing this type of conversion or am i best to get the S3 Xenon's fitted

    have my lamps got H7 or H4 or both, and i heard something about CAT Hid's which apparently are set at the correct angle for the beam to be correct?

    Also would be great to know what colour rating ie. 8000K and which is the best manufacturer for these kits etc.., Probably would get some1 else to fit em, if its to difficult, lol.

    Many thanks in advance.

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    HID and Xenon are the same thing! They HID retro fit kits that VAG parts do are great. Ive got a set in my A3 (pre-facelift) and they work a treat! For yours, you need H1 type kit. You can easilyfit them yourself in about an hour.
    People will say that its not legal to have HID's without having auto-levelling and headlamp washers, but its boll*cks! As long as the beam pattern is correct for the MOT, thats all they care about! Had mine in for about 9 months now. Not worth forking out for S3 headlamps! too expensive!

    Rich
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  3. rickparmar
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    rickparmar va va voom

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    rich how much did you pay ?
    #3
  4. PaulRS3
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    PaulRS3 Well-Known Member

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    Rich its not "******"

    wether you get away with it is another thing intirely.

    also if you cause in an accident it could open a whole can of worms on you, even if you were not at fault, and they mention lights being bright.


    HERE is a respose from the Department of Transport on Xenons.

    [ QUOTE ]
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Have received the following guidance from The Department of Transport.........

    Dear Sir,

    The situation for Gas Discharge (HID High Intensity Discharge) (commonly known as Xenon) headlamps is complex.

    I attach links to the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 which regulate the situation in the UK.
    Under these Regulations Xenon headlamps are not mentioned and therefore they are not permitted according to the strict letter of the law.

    However you will be well aware that new vehicles have Xenon headlamps. This is because they comply to European type approval Regulations. The UK cannot refuse to register a vehicle with a European type approval. These are to ECE Regulation 98 (for the Xenon headlamps which are tested on a rig in a laboratory) and ECE Regulation 48 (Lighting Installation on the vehicle).

    For the aftermarket, a used vehicle cannot obtain type approval because it is only applicable for new vehicles. However we feel that saying "Xenon is banned in the aftermarket" would not be reasonable. Instead we should make analogies with new vehicles. It would be reasonable to require Xenon in the aftermarket to meet the same safety standards as on new vehicles. The same level of safety should apply.

    Therefore a Xenon headlamp sold in the aftermarket should:

    1. be type approved to ECE Regulation 98 as a component.
    2. when fitted to the vehicle should enable ECE Regulation 48 to be complied with (although no government inspection will take place).
    3, Comply with RVLR as far as "use" is concerned.

    In practice this means:

    1. The headlamp unit (outer lens, reflector, bulb) shall be type approved to ECE 98 and be "e-marked" to demonstrate this. That can only be done by the headlamp supplier - Hella, Valeo etc. who must test the headlamp in an independent laboratory.
    2. Once fitted to the vehicle it must have headlamp cleaning and self-levelling (which can be for the headlamp or can be in the vehicle suspension - some expensive estate cars have "self-levelling suspension" and that is adequate). Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam.
    3. The headlamp must be maintained in good working order, kept clean, and aligned/adjusted correctly like any other headlamp.

    Hope that helps.

    ***
    <font color="red">
    We are aware of kit available in the aftermarket where a Xenon "burner" or bulb is fitted inside a headlamp designed for use with conventional Halogen filament bulbs. The burner is fitted with a "bayonet" type fitting so it fits where the Halogen bulb should fit. This is not legal and the vendor, the person who mounts it on the vehicle and the person who drives the vehicle are all committing an offence. (Which also means that he is invalidating the insurance.) The reason for this is that headlamps and bulbs are made to tight tolerances and the wrong type of bulb will cause an incorrect beam pattern to be emitted, which could cause dazzle and discomfort to other drivers. </font>

    [/ QUOTE ]
    #4
  5. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    I think he means that in regards to passing an MOT or not as opposed to the legal situation of having on the car. He is correct in saying that they will pass an MOT as long as they have the correct pattern and aim for the time being (they will change this at some point I'm sure but would need to introduce a means of testing it 1st). But as said, you can pass the MOT and get knicked driving out. . . .

    I have them and keep them on the lowest position except when out on the coutry roads and not sitting behind anybody.
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  6. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    so by using the levellin switch(roller) in the car will help to keep level of beam down, then just put back to normal when on country roads etc..

    I would really like to get some better lights fitted, the S3 xenon's are they Audi units only and any1 know how much?

    Cheers
    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
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  7. wezhaz
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    wezhaz Member

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    The advice posted was received from the D.O.T. when I asked about fitting aftermarket Xenon units.Whilst you might pass an M.O.T. test Xenons fitted without a self levelling and a washer system is illegal.The issue may only become relevant in the event of an accident when your insurance company inform you that your cover is not valid. Some prosecutions have been made as a result of accidents involving vehicles fitted with illegal Xenon setups.Slug if you want an alternative mail me and I will forward some details and a contact for the Hella units that are available at less than 50% of RRP.
    #7
  8. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Rich its not "******"

    wether you get away with it is another thing intirely.

    also if you cause in an accident it could open a whole can of worms on you, even if you were not at fault, and they mention lights being bright.


    HERE is a respose from the Department of Transport on Xenons.

    [ QUOTE ]
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Have received the following guidance from The Department of Transport.........

    Dear Sir,

    The situation for Gas Discharge (HID High Intensity Discharge) (commonly known as Xenon) headlamps is complex.

    I attach links to the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 which regulate the situation in the UK.
    Under these Regulations Xenon headlamps are not mentioned and therefore they are not permitted according to the strict letter of the law.

    However you will be well aware that new vehicles have Xenon headlamps. This is because they comply to European type approval Regulations. The UK cannot refuse to register a vehicle with a European type approval. These are to ECE Regulation 98 (for the Xenon headlamps which are tested on a rig in a laboratory) and ECE Regulation 48 (Lighting Installation on the vehicle).

    For the aftermarket, a used vehicle cannot obtain type approval because it is only applicable for new vehicles. However we feel that saying "Xenon is banned in the aftermarket" would not be reasonable. Instead we should make analogies with new vehicles. It would be reasonable to require Xenon in the aftermarket to meet the same safety standards as on new vehicles. The same level of safety should apply.

    Therefore a Xenon headlamp sold in the aftermarket should:

    1. be type approved to ECE Regulation 98 as a component.
    2. when fitted to the vehicle should enable ECE Regulation 48 to be complied with (although no government inspection will take place).
    3, Comply with RVLR as far as "use" is concerned.

    In practice this means:

    1. The headlamp unit (outer lens, reflector, bulb) shall be type approved to ECE 98 and be "e-marked" to demonstrate this. That can only be done by the headlamp supplier - Hella, Valeo etc. who must test the headlamp in an independent laboratory.
    2. Once fitted to the vehicle it must have headlamp cleaning and self-levelling (which can be for the headlamp or can be in the vehicle suspension - some expensive estate cars have "self-levelling suspension" and that is adequate). Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam.
    3. The headlamp must be maintained in good working order, kept clean, and aligned/adjusted correctly like any other headlamp.

    Hope that helps.

    ***
    <font color="red">
    We are aware of kit available in the aftermarket where a Xenon "burner" or bulb is fitted inside a headlamp designed for use with conventional Halogen filament bulbs. The burner is fitted with a "bayonet" type fitting so it fits where the Halogen bulb should fit. This is not legal and the vendor, the person who mounts it on the vehicle and the person who drives the vehicle are all committing an offence. (Which also means that he is invalidating the insurance.) The reason for this is that headlamps and bulbs are made to tight tolerances and the wrong type of bulb will cause an incorrect beam pattern to be emitted, which could cause dazzle and discomfort to other drivers. </font>

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sorry Paul, i was mis-leading in my reply. I meant that its not totally necessary. Obviously law is law! But tested in an MOT so you will get away with it. The way i see it, if they were too bright, oncoming cars wiould definately be flashing you to dip your lights... The fact is that as long as the beam pattern is correct as its not blinding oncoming drivers, it wont cause accidents as its not shining AT them. As a futher precaution i drive with the dipped beam lowered 1 notch on the adjuster prely to avoid further blindingoncoming drivers... EVEN then, the produce a vast amount more light than halogen bulbs.

    Rich
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  9. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    Do any of these retro kits come with the auto levelling device?

    cheers
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  10. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Do any of these retro kits come with the auto levelling device?

    cheers

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The hella kit does, but IMO its not a particularly nice looking upgrade. It replaces the whole head lamp unit.

    [​IMG]

    It does come with self levelling .etc

    Rich
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  11. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    What about the S3 Xenon lamps, is it dealer only for these and how much are they?

    Rich i saw these twin lamps b4, dont like them personally, so it looks like im in for the S3 xenon's lol!!

    Why do ppl sell these retro kits knowing full well they are illegal to use? unless u spend loads off money buying washers etc..

    Rich
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  12. Gambba
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    Gambba Active Member

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    The below is the reply I typed on Friday, but didn't get round to posting due to a computer feck up, and although it covers the same as the above, does also add a bit to the topic in other areas.

    [ QUOTE ]

    People will say that its not legal to have HID's without having auto-levelling and headlamp washers, but its boll*cks! As long as the beam pattern is correct for the MOT, thats all they care about! Had mine in for about 9 months now. Not worth forking out for S3 headlamps! too expensive!

    Rich

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sorry Rich to disagree but it's not /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gif....this is something I know for a fact after dealing with Ring (Manufacturers of Prism detailing parts) for a number of years and having had a sit down discussion with the export director on this exact issue.

    If you're using the standard lens from the headlamp then the light refraction will be different to how it should be, as Xenons require a different set-up of lens. The plug and play kits for HID/Xenons should only be used off road use, due to the fact of not having the auto levelling or high powered washers, both of which are necessary to prevent dazzling other road users.

    Now the fact that the MOT does not pick it up means nothing, as all they really care about is if things work how they should and do not go looking for such mods, otherwise I think a lot of people would be in trouble with LED sidelights. It's like tinting of windows, how many people have tints (I'm not talking pimp black) and have actually been stoped and checked for the legality......So whilst both are illegal they are unlikely to be picked up by a copper or given a dam about on an MOT, but they are both illegal in the eyes of the law.

    There's a whole host of **** that's gone on in the states over the retrofit HID kits, due to the fact that a standard halogen lens differs to that which is required for HID's, so why would it be any different for here really? A brief story on the US HID kit recalls

    The only aftermarket xenons that are allowed without the washers and auto-leveling are auxillery lights such as driving lights which are switched on with main beam, as with a kit i have.

    Having said the above, I think I'm going to get a kit sent across to fit on my car anyway /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif ......well it is free /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #12
  13. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    What about the S3 Xenon lamps, is it dealer only for these and how much are they?

    Rich i saw these twin lamps b4, dont like them personally, so it looks like im in for the S3 xenon's lol!!

    Why do ppl sell these retro kits knowing full well they are illegal to use? unless u spend loads off money buying washers etc..

    Rich

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Why do people speed knowing full well its illegal! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    Its one of laws that in the grand scheme of things, doesnt matter a great deal! At the end of the day, what are the chances of causing an accident from xenon lights, when the beam pattern is equal to that of halogen lights and NOT blinding oncoming drivers!? In reality, its not going to happen! Its like driving towards someone with your full beam on COULD cause an accident! But when you blind someone with high beams, they falsh you and you turn them off (if youve foorgotten they are on), but ive never been flashed for blinding someone so i really cant see what the big deal is!

    For S3 xenons your looking at around £300 per unit plus level sensors, washer system .etc

    Rich
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  14. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    From what i gather its the reflector in the lamps that determines the beam pattern, correct me if im wrong.

    If thats the case, then just by adding more lumins from a bulb wether xenon or halogen, should not affect the angle of the beam pattern, the only difference being to the beam pattern would be the lenght of it, true or not?

    Also with intenser lumins emitted onto the road, isnt this better for the driver/s to see the road ahead?

    Your thoughts!!

    and why are washers needed?

    As far as im aware my mates Merc has HID, which merc have used for a long time and he hasnt got washers!

    Cheers
    #14
  15. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    From what i gather its the reflector in the lamps that determines the beam pattern, correct me if im wrong.

    If thats the case, then just by adding more lumins from a bulb wether xenon or halogen, should not affect the angle of the beam pattern, the only difference being to the beam pattern would be the lenght of it, true or not?

    Also with intenser lumins emitted onto the road, isnt this better for the driver/s to see the road ahead?

    Your thoughts!!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Correct!

    [quote[
    and why are washers needed?

    As far as im aware my mates Merc has HID, which merc have used for a long time and he hasnt got washers!


    [/ QUOTE ]

    To clean particles from the glass as to not refract light into the eys of oncoming drivers! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/noidea.gif
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  16. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    If thats the case, doesnt every car need washers then!!
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  17. Gambba
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    Gambba Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    From what i gather its the reflector in the lamps that determines the beam pattern, correct me if im wrong.

    If thats the case, then just by adding more lumins from a bulb wether xenon or halogen, should not affect the angle of the beam pattern, the only difference being to the beam pattern would be the lenght of it, true or not?

    Also with intenser lumins emitted onto the road, isnt this better for the driver/s to see the road ahead?

    Your thoughts!!

    and why are washers needed?

    As far as im aware my mates Merc has HID, which merc have used for a long time and he hasnt got washers!

    Cheers

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Think about the light deflectors that you stick on you headlights when taking your car abroad....now consider you questions.....and if you still can't see why take a look at a standard glass lens on a car compared to that of xenons.

    The washer jets are for the same reason, to prevent light from being deflected in a way that would dazzle bue to dirt.

    I think the washers came in to the law after the introduction of HID's to mainstream manufacturers using them, so would be allowed on cars which came from the factory with HID's, but not for rectrofit or newly built cars...IIRC.
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  18. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    Who has standard glass lenses, not me, mine are clear polycarb, so i have no beam pattern on any glass, therefore making the reflector determine the pattern and angle, so whats the problem?

    And if dirt has that much affect on light being emmitted wrongly, then all cars should have washers as a safety issue.

    So tell me whats so special about the polycarb lense on xenon lights compared with mine?
    #18
  19. Gambba
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    Gambba Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Who has standard glass lenses, not me, mine are clear polycarb, so i have no beam pattern on any glass, therefore making the reflector determine the pattern and angle, so whats the problem?

    And if dirt has that much affect on light being emmitted wrongly, then all cars should have washers as a safety issue.

    So tell me whats so special about the polycarb lense on xenon lights compared with mine?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sorry, I was refering to the style of lights on the pre-facelift cars as I have and as Rich had, as these lenses are very different to the facelift type. The reflectors on the later models are the influencing factor, but in theory from what I know would still be different between standard lights and Xenons in order to provide a narrower beam of light for the Xenons.

    You seem to of missed the point that Xenons are generally 3 times brighter than halogan lamps and this is what makes dazzling a problem.....

    I didn't make the law fella! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif
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  20. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    i know that xenon bulbs produce 300% more lumins than standard halogens mate,
    so this means that the light is gonna completely change the cut off beam pattern?

    Also if xenon's are used then doesnt the MOT check for washers on cars that use this light system, i dont think so, therefore how can it be illegal?
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  21. Gambba
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    Gambba Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    i know that xenon bulbs produce 300% more lumins than standard halogens mate,
    so this means that the light is gonna completely change the cut off beam pattern?

    Also if xenon's are used then doesnt the MOT check for washers on cars that use this light system, i dont think so, therefore how can it be illegal?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I would say that the deflector is different for a xenon becuase the xenon needs to be focussed more I'm assuming. I would expect the glass on my lamp to have a significant effect on the pattern, because the lens is not just plain like the facelift ones....but this is based on what I have been told, and so I assume as I've not tested it myself.

    Have you read Pauls post with the extract from the information he has? the washers are applicable to aftermarket fitment. Which clearly states there is a requirement for washers...but as i said before it's unlikely they would check for them on an MOT.
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  22. Gambba
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    Gambba Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    rich how much did you pay ?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That'd be telling! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
    Trade has its advantages!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Indeed it does.....but you wouldn't believe it when looking at your car these days /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif
    #22
  23. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    Well im gonna ask a pro about this matter, also i know quite a few feds, as my uncle is one, lol, so i'll see what the traffic cops have to say about this saww subject, lol!!

    Thanks for all the replys guys

    Rich. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
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  24. Gambba
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    Gambba Active Member

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    Just to add Ring have seperated themselves from the aftermarket xenon kits (Along with the neon lights, LED bulbs etc.) and put them under the brand name of Prism, so that if something like similar to the US recalls happen RING will be kept out of it so to speak......

    Just something to ponder on in regards to the MOT, would an MOT inspector fail you for LED bulbs either as sidelight or Stop/tail etc. ...the answer is NO, in all but a few cases, even though they are according to the regs illegal.

    What needs to happen is that the automotive regulations in the UK and Europe need bringing up to date to take into account the modern lighting technologies that now exist compared to when most regs would created.

    LED rear lights on your BM's and Range Rovers as an example are actually outside of the regulations (Not E marked), as the current testing procedures were made for incandesent (Filment) bulbs which have a very different lighting characteristics....... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
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  25. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    i have checked with a company in sweden that supply to the uk market on retro hid's and theres are E marked too.

    Well if theres gonna be any changesto the mot/law, it'll proably take em years to get it in place, so looks like im in for some xenons real soon, lol
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  26. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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  27. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    I also ask a technician about this issue and there is no problems with H1 retro kits being, also he is a licensed MOT tester, so i think he knows what he on about!!
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  28. Gambba
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    Gambba Active Member

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  29. Gambba
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    Gambba Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I also ask a technician about this issue and there is no problems with H1 retro kits being, also he is a licensed MOT tester, so i think he knows what he on about!!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Did you actually read any of the posts in this thread??

    The extract Paul posted was from the department of transport, so let me see MOT tester is correct or the guys who make the laws??

    You decide for yourself, but as I've said I have no doubt it is not 100% legal to fit just xenons, but even so I could not see the police coming down on you or an MOT tester.

    The choice is yours /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
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  30. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    What I want to know is : do the lights self level on starting only or are they dynamic and adjust all the time. I cant see much difference going up or down a hill is going to make on the suspension load and that is where the adjusters are unless there is a type of tilt switch in the control unit in the boot. I would retro-fit the self leveling mechaninsm but it the rear part seems to only fit on the quattro model.

    My friend was in his dads 5 series and it was very bright when it was going up hills. I get flashed from time to time and thought /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif but then I found I got flashed as much in my gfriends KA so god knows!
    #30
  31. PaulRS3
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    PaulRS3 Well-Known Member

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    dynamically adjust all the time driven by sensors on the suspension.

    so suspension movement and load affects it.

    you just dont notice at XX mph.

    unless the fail and shine about 2 feet infront which is a comon failure.
    #31
  32. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]

    Why do ppl sell these retro kits knowing full well they are illegal to use?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Why do companies sell cat bypass pipes, knowing well its illegal to use them on many of the cars they were designed for?

    Why do companies sell silly wide wheels with silly offsets that place the wheels/tyres outside the arches, when they know its illegal to use them?

    Why do people sell miss-spaced number plates, knowing it's illegal to use them?

    Need I go on?
    #32
  33. peteA3tdi
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    peteA3tdi Member

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    some of the retro HID kits use HID bulbs with the ends cut off and h1,h4 or h7 what ever the case ends glued on, two things

    1 25,000 volts on start up going though a home made bulbs is not good

    2 if the bulb is stuck together at the wrong angle you will have no beam image at best

    just my 2p's worth
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    #33
  34. The Slug
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    The Slug Active Member

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    Well here it is......quote from VAG themselves

    You do indeed have H1 bulbs yes in your 8L A3 yes. Regarding the beam pattern, no the HID bulbs are the same focal length so they do not alter the beam that way., however…. Because they are brighter! You will think that they are higher beams now, this is not the case, you haven’t changed the aim of the headlamp, just that there is more light output, so they appear to be higher.


    Once the HID is fitted, its wise to have the aim checked and adjusted if need be. I use the headlamp motors to lower by HID’s when I’m out on the motorway etc, so the lights are not in anyone’s eyes when you come up behind them (that’s just me! J )

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    #34

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