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Xenon Colour - The real truth?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Mr.G, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Mr.G

    Mr.G Active Member

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    I was interested to know if anyone had changed or managed to better the standard 8L S3 Xenon headlights? Which i might add are not that good when compared with later cars....

    So I'm thinking of changing mine for 5/6k but am unsure as i have a feeling that this temperature will end up giving out less light but have a better visual colour!

    Any advice or personal experience would be greatly appreciated! Wish to make my S3 look that incy bit more different at night.

    lol!

    Thanks in advance!

    Mr.G
     
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  3. golf

    golf ***** rent boy
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    Having sold my R32 last week, I went and bought an 01 Nogaro Blue S3 as a cheap(ish) runaround until I get an M3 or S4 in the new year. The first thing that struck me was just how **** the standard lights are on the S3. The cut off - which is usually sharp and defined on xenons - was fuzzy and vague. They look yellow and are aimed really low. My R32's were much, much better. Also, I never understood why Audi moved the dipped beam (projector) closer to the centre grille and on the inside of the main beam. Not only does it look **** it must surely affect beam pattern?

    I changed the standard bulbs (Philips D2S bulbs) to unbranded 5000k jobbies, and aimed the lights a little higher which has improved things somewhat, but the problem is bad headlight design by Valeo/Audi as the light output/cut off is still not comparable to most xenon equipped cars. When you look at the Renault Clio Sports, Mercedes E Class and most BMW's you will see a world of difference.

    6000k may seem to make the headlights brighter, but in actual fact you will be losing useable light from the 4300k bulbs. 5000k colour temperature is closer to natural daylight and you will lose no noticeable light output, so I'd recommend going for these.

    Visually, I don't think there's a lot you can do to make them look more polished and modern, the projector lens seems to be quite restrictive in that way, but my 5000k's look far better than the tired 7 year old OEM bulbs they replaced and they even flicker very slightly over bumps giving them the purple hue which I think you're after. Give it a try, the bulbs only cost me £30 from eBay, but don't get anything higher than 6000k, leave them for the cabbies and Jap scene.

    Edited to add: this post is long and rambling.
    Summary: Buy 5000k D2S bulbs and aim lights slightly higher.
     
  4. S3mad

    S3mad Dark Knight

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  5. NHN

    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat
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    You should set the car on a level ground & maybe if 8L has a MOT setting with vag adjust in this mode manually, thing is as the 8L with xenons has auto levelling I wouldnt suggest a manual adjustment on anything but an mot bay as this should be level, anything else & manual adjustment especially on the 8L can screw the adjusters of the fixings & then the motors get pulled of the ends of the lights & it wont adjust at all when this happens, careful consideration must be taken when adjusting manually given the design unfortunately, trust me played about with my old s3 many times for lights.

    If your lights seem low no matter what you do, check the levelling sensors arms havnt snapped on the front or rear axles, plastic fulcrum style design arms or the headlight motors have been completed adjusted of the fixings so no manual adjustment will work after this.
     
  6. S3mad

    S3mad Dark Knight

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    so will 5000k go better with white led side lights ? or 6000k
     
  7. golf

    golf ***** rent boy
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    6000K will match LED's better, as LED's are bluer. Wouldn't recommend 6000k though, as the standard S3 ones are 4300k.

    You make a good point about the levelling system Nigel, but I did it the proper way through Vag-COM and both motors still work OK. I just wish they visibly aligned like the ones on the 8P, looks so cool!
     
  8. NHN

    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat
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    fair play mate, lenses seem alot better on 8P so much better light, 8L's seemed to cloudy for my liking & the ballasts were in there infantsy really for a main line popular car back in 99 & better design overall on 8P, I'm keeping my eyes open for some adaptives as I want bixenon with NESW auto adjustment, got xenon with NS at moment.
     
  9. Mr.G

    Mr.G Active Member

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    Thanks for all the advice lads. Really appreciate it.

    Looks like you know your stuff Golf. You wouldn't happen to have the links to the bulbs your purchased from flea bay would you??

    Yea i agree with the bad light design, i have adjusted mine also in an MOT bay using the proper equipment, only thing is now 90% or cars flash me during night driving, assuming that because the lights are so close together i've got my Main Beams on which i haven't.

    Again...thanks for the advice!

    G
     
  10. danclarke

    danclarke 2001 Denim Blue S3 Rep

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    iv put 6000k in headlights and fogs, very good upgrade and much better light!

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Broken Byzan

    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator
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    We have 6000k in the A3 and the light output is **** IMO. Not even close to the output i get from the A4 facelift headlights in my carwith aftermarket 35w HID kit and 4300k bulbs .
    So we have a set of 50w xenons and 4300k bulbs en route to see if that improves matters as we have to drive lots of lanes to get to civilisation and find the only way to get decent output is to stick the fogs on
     
  12. golf

    golf ***** rent boy
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    That's very true, xenons were relatively rare and I think Audi were one of the first manufacturers to have them as standard on the S4 back in 1998, which is quite amazing really considering you could buy a Ford Escort as a brand new car! The press release from Audi really emphasised the fact it was xenon equipped, and I remember being amazed by the technology. Now, every other French car has them!

    The thing with the A3/S3 projector design is that no matter how high you aim the beam, the light output will still be pretty poor, just bad design. I got my bulbs from this eBay seller.

    Changing the bulbs is a bit tricky and very fiddly, because of the bulb holder which is yet another badly designed component. The beam is nice and white now though.
     
  13. abdus

    abdus Top Gear
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    [​IMG]
     

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