Facelift LED vs Matrix lights

RSS-S3

Registered User
LED VS Matrix lights

Last night I was following a facelift S3 and the lights look amazing !

I quickly figured out it has the optional matrix lights as the rear inidcators had the cascade effect ...

My question is what do all the standard LED lights look like at night?

Indicators, side lights, DRL's etc...

The rear matrix lights looked fantastic on the car ... but im wondering if the standard LED's are just as cool????
 
G

Gordo77

Guest
The matrix lights only affect the front (headlights) but you get the dynamic indicators on the front as well. S-Line and S3 are the same at the back, and have back dynamic indicators as standard.

Edit: you're right tho, the "double bar" red lights at the back of the facelift look sharp.
 

WarwickL

Registered User
Here I was thinking lights were used to see where you were going, not for perving at.

In terms of their actual purpose, I've been lucky enough to try both on our local roads at night and I actually prefer non matrix as bizarre as that may seems.

Better spread and cleaner cutoff.

As for how they look - bright, white and sparkly like a trannies undies (no personal experience on that simile, just what I've been told by headlight pervs)

:)
 

sugardaddy

Registered User
Here I was thinking lights were used to see where you were going, not for perving at.

In terms of their actual purpose, I've been lucky enough to try both on our local roads at night and I actually prefer non matrix as bizarre as that may seems.

Better spread and cleaner cutoff.

As for how they look - bright, white and sparkly like a trannies undies (no personal experience on that simile, just what I've been told by headlight pervs)

:)
Have matrix lights on my S3 and only really started using them since the clocks changed. They're an amazing piece of technical engineering but (might just be me!) you tend to be watching what the beams are doing as they dance around other cars rather than where you're actually going!! Takes a bit of getting used to but I'm still in the honeymoon phase I suppose...other than that the rest of the car is flippin amazing :s3addict:
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
As said, Standard and Matrix cars have the same rear light clusters, all the differences are up front.

To look at, the standard front lights and the Matrix front lights are very similar. The matrix gets the dynamic front indicators though. The key difference is seen whe you're driving.

I hate driving at night because with the lights of other cars coming towards me I sometimes struggle to see ahead, and I just can't pick out any detail in unlit areas because of the high contrast between extreme brightness and extreme dark. If like me you live by the usually very sensible mantra "only go as fast as you can see", I am often reduced to a 30mph crawl on NSL roads because I refuse to simply plough on without knowing what I'm ploughing into. With Matrix lights, dark country lanes are lit as well as ordinary lights are on high beam, right up to the moment another car or a reflective road sign comes into view. At that point when ordinary lights drop 80% of the view ahead into near darkness, the selective high beams in the matrix units (there's 25ish in each headlight) come into play and light up everything but the other car or the reflective sign. This magical effect reduces the high contrast between dark areas and light points that would ordinarily dazzle you and has the effect of dramatically reducing eye-strain.

On busier roads, the effect is the same, but the lights are very very busy. They direct light up along the sides of the car you are following and around bends, again reducing eye strain whilst improving vision. On an unlit dual carriageway they come into their own. The lighting systems uncanny ability to light your lane for miles ahead whilst not dazzling cars ahead of you or the oncoming traffic is amazing. You never have to use dipped beam, which on every other car I've ever owned, is hopelessly inadaquate at 70mph.

I can go much faster, much safer, and drive for much longer using matrix than I could with the LED equipped PFL S3 I handed back to Audi a few weeks ago. With those abilities they could look as cool as genital warts, and I'd still have them on my car.
 

sugardaddy

Registered User
As said, Standard and Matrix cars have the same rear light clusters, all the differences are up front.

To look at, the standard front lights and the Matrix front lights are very similar. The matrix gets the dynamic front indicators though. The key difference is seen whe you're driving.

I hate driving at night because with the lights of other cars coming towards me I sometimes struggle to see ahead, and I just can't pick out any detail in unlit areas because of the high contrast between extreme brightness and extreme dark. If like me you live by the usually very sensible mantra "only go as fast as you can see", I am often reduced to a 30mph crawl on NSL roads because I refuse to simply plough on without knowing what I'm ploughing into. With Matrix lights, dark country lanes are lit as well as ordinary lights are on high beam, right up to the moment another car or a reflective road sign comes into view. At that point when ordinary lights drop 80% of the view ahead into near darkness, the selective high beams in the matrix units (there's 25ish in each headlight) come into play and light up everything but the other car or the reflective sign. This magical effect reduces the high contrast between dark areas and light points that would ordinarily dazzle you and has the effect of dramatically reducing eye-strain.

On busier roads, the effect is the same, but the lights are very very busy. They direct light up along the sides of the car you are following and around bends, again reducing eye strain whilst improving vision. On an unlit dual carriageway they come into their own. The lighting systems uncanny ability to light your lane for miles ahead whilst not dazzling cars ahead of you or the oncoming traffic is amazing. You never have to use dipped beam, which on every other car I've ever owned, is hopelessly inadaquate at 70mph.

I can go much faster, much safer, and drive for much longer using matrix than I could with the LED equipped PFL S3 I handed back to Audi a few weeks ago. With those abilities they could look as cool as genital warts, and I'd still have them on my car.
Couldn't have said it any better myself!! :yes:
 

4K

Registered User
As said, Standard and Matrix cars have the same rear light clusters, all the differences are up front.

To look at, the standard front lights and the Matrix front lights are very similar. The matrix gets the dynamic front indicators though. The key difference is seen whe you're driving.

I hate driving at night because with the lights of other cars coming towards me I sometimes struggle to see ahead, and I just can't pick out any detail in unlit areas because of the high contrast between extreme brightness and extreme dark. If like me you live by the usually very sensible mantra "only go as fast as you can see", I am often reduced to a 30mph crawl on NSL roads because I refuse to simply plough on without knowing what I'm ploughing into. With Matrix lights, dark country lanes are lit as well as ordinary lights are on high beam, right up to the moment another car or a reflective road sign comes into view. At that point when ordinary lights drop 80% of the view ahead into near darkness, the selective high beams in the matrix units (there's 25ish in each headlight) come into play and light up everything but the other car or the reflective sign. This magical effect reduces the high contrast between dark areas and light points that would ordinarily dazzle you and has the effect of dramatically reducing eye-strain.

On busier roads, the effect is the same, but the lights are very very busy. They direct light up along the sides of the car you are following and around bends, again reducing eye strain whilst improving vision. On an unlit dual carriageway they come into their own. The lighting systems uncanny ability to light your lane for miles ahead whilst not dazzling cars ahead of you or the oncoming traffic is amazing. You never have to use dipped beam, which on every other car I've ever owned, is hopelessly inadaquate at 70mph.

I can go much faster, much safer, and drive for much longer using matrix than I could with the LED equipped PFL S3 I handed back to Audi a few weeks ago. With those abilities they could look as cool as genital warts, and I'd still have them on my car.

Yup, I'm the same with the struggle to see ahead with my PFL Xenons. I've consigned myself to the fact it's because the car is fairly low.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
Yup, I'm the same with the struggle to see ahead with my PFL Xenons. I've consigned myself to the fact it's because the car is fairly low.
Must be you mate my xenons are awesome, anyway Matrix headlights win over normal led headlights full stop, but there not worth the £900 bangers, a rip off, because on the new S5 you get both the matrix headlights and the virtual cockpit in a £750 package
 

paulmc

Registered User
I had matrix on my RS6 and were awesome. I did not spec them on my S3, my thinking was LED is LED boy was I wrong. Matrix are miles better I guess because they never really fully dip. The LEDs are not bright enough when the roads are wet on the S3. Pretty disappointed lights really.
 

azibux1

Registered User
Can you turn the matrix feature on and off purely for demonstration purposes to show the difference or not possible?
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
What difference are you looking for?

You can turn it off and revert to dipped beam anytime you like, or you can pull on the stick and engage all the high beam lamps at once if you wish. This makes it behave like any other lights, but the magic of matrix happens in between...
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Yeah this is what I mean, so you could be driving along and say to a passenger "Look, this is the difference that my fancy lights make! :p "

:D
I sure the rest of the car will be attracting more attention than the lights ;-)

They're pretty, but they have quite the same wow factor as SS seats, ILP and Virtual Cockpit.
IMG_0841.JPG
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
I sure the rest of the car will be attracting more attention than the lights ;-)

They're pretty, but they have quite the same wow factor as SS seats, ILP and Virtual Cockpit.
View attachment 109385
A tinge of a off white colour to the lights or is that just your camera mate? am l correct in saying the matrix lights have 3 clusters of leds opposed just 2 on standard leds the TTS with matrix headlights has 3 aswell
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Just the Camara sensor being saturated Jass, they're a bit bright... the larger square at the extreme left is dipped beam everything else is part of the high beam matrix. The two lamp clusters to the left of the one that's pointed directly at the camera are a more realistic representation of colour.

The lamps have 3 clusters of matrix high beam LED's in each unit. I think there's 5 or 6 individual lamps in each of the clusters. There may be more, but it's ****** hard to see them.
IMG_2934.JPG
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
Just the Camara sensor being saturated Jass, they're a bit bright... the larger square at the extreme left is dipped beam everything else is part of the high beam matrix. The two lamp clusters to the left of the one that's pointed directly at the camera are a more realistic representation of colour.

The lamps have 3 clusters of matrix high beam LED's in each unit. I think there's 5 or 6 individual lamps in each of the clusters. There may be more, but it's ****** hard to see them.
View attachment 109386


They look stunning even when there off mate lol, l live in a rural like area...a lot of unlit roads around me, matrix would be ideal for me, but you do have to prioritise lol car dependant?
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
I live in the city most of the time, so matrix is a pointless addition there. When I'm outside the M25 and it's dark though, the matrix system is almost continuously active, throwing light in places that would be impossible without it. If I lived in the wilds on a permanent basis matrix lighting would now be one of my must haves. Fortunately this needn't limit me to just Audi. The technology is now being rolled out across multiple brands and models, so you needn't do without. Even Vauxhall offer it since its a technology developed by Hella lighting.

Audi currently offer various derivatives, but the biggest one appears to be the 5x5 matrix on the A8, giving 50 individually focused and directed main beams that can be dimmed or turned off as required. This takes up a lot of room though, and on the A3 / TT with their smaller lamp units I think this is reduced to 30 or 36. Having driven both of them though, I think that the tech must have improved significantly in the few years since it was launched on the A8, since I couldn't see any notable difference.

The tech involved is impressive, as are the cooling and power demands. To get that number of very bright LEDs in such close proximity without melting or burning out, each of the headlights had its own cooling fan and ducting.
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
There's a fairly sizeable heatsink that gets very hot, and there's and a fair bit of whirring going in there, so yes, internal closed circuit cooling. Hopefully with thermal protection otherwise there's gonna be some horrific bills in a few years when these fans go south. All the matrix equipped Audi's appear to have fans on them.

Looking more closely into the tech, it appears that my numbers are probably very wrong

The A8 seems to be a first generation endeavour, with 5 light units contiaining 5 LED's apiece (50 total).

The A7 gets 4 light units for matrix, with an unknown number of LED's per unit.

Q7 gets 3 light units with 10 LED's apiece (60 total).

The A4, TT and A3 matrix lights all get 3 light units as per the Q7, with presumably the same 10 LED's per unit.

This isn't even the current cutting edge, the system hella developed for Mercedes uses 42 LED's on a single light unit.

If you like engineering, these systems are works of genius.

IMG_0933.JPG

IMG_0937.JPG

IMG_0935.JPG
 

WarwickL

Registered User
Yeah this is what I mean, so you could be driving along and say to a passenger "Look, this is the difference that my fancy lights make! :p "

:D

You could and your passenger would be thinking 'what a tosser' :)
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
You could and your passenger would be thinking 'what a tosser' :)
If he or she is your passenger, they probably already know you and accept you as such... If your passenger is fan of cars and technology, then this is the biggest thing to happen to headlights since the development of halogen lamps, I think they'd be impressed if they hadn't seen it before.
 

azibux1

Registered User
If he or she is your passenger, they probably already know you and accept you as such... If your passenger is fan of cars and technology, then this is the biggest thing to happen to headlights since the development of halogen lamps, I think they'd be impressed if they hadn't seen it before.
You see my point / reasoning in asking the question at least :)
 

WarwickL

Registered User
If he or she is your passenger, they probably already know you and accept you as such... If your passenger is fan of cars and technology, then this is the biggest thing to happen to headlights since the development of halogen lamps, I think they'd be impressed if they hadn't seen it before.

Yep, they would say 'cool' and still think you are a tosser :)

I'm a fan of cars and tech as is the wife (my usual front seat passenger) but waffling about headlights and trying to impress, nah, no need, but I understand why some might.

;)

Edit - interested in Audi's OLEDs though. LED is very dated.
 
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jassyo06

T-Cut King !

Flying Scotsman

Registered User
I am still a wee bit confused on this topic, but would like to add another item...HID (Xenon). Matrix I can understand the benefits but they are not permissible in Canada or the USA. Therefore my ordered S3 is arriving with standard LED.
My question is are HID better than standard LED as far as lighting the road ahead only...not cost, design, temperature, etc....just lighting. Any photos I see of a comparison between the two is that HID seems to win the day. Also are standard LED less prone to dazzle oncoming drivers rather than HID.
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
The original LED on the pre-facelift were an optional extra, and for my money, not worth the money as they were pretty hopeless. The standard HIDs were apparently far superior. This is borne out by testing carried out by (I think) the NHTB(?)

The new LED's benefit from the 4 years of technical development that passed between 8v and 8v FL. This is a lifetime in terms of LED development so they should offer far better performance.
 

WarwickL

Registered User
Had bi xenon on my Golf R

They were passable

Have standard LED on my S3 (included as part of the performance pack).

They have a better pattern, less holes, cleaner light and better reach.

Audis upcoming OLEDs are promising. Far better suited than LED in matrix
 

pburv

Registered User
I am still a wee bit confused on this topic, but would like to add another item...HID (Xenon). Matrix I can understand the benefits but they are not permissible in Canada or the USA. Therefore my ordered S3 is arriving with standard LED.
My question is are HID better than standard LED as far as lighting the road ahead only...not cost, design, temperature, etc....just lighting. Any photos I see of a comparison between the two is that HID seems to win the day. Also are standard LED less prone to dazzle oncoming drivers rather than HID.
From my own personal experience I can tell you that Hid's are better than the Led's .....At least the A3 hids compared to Seat Leon leds ..
images
images
 

WarwickL

Registered User
VW HIDs are better than Subaru HIDs :)
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Had bi xenon on my Golf R

They were passable

Have standard LED on my S3 (included as part of the performance pack).

They have a better pattern, less holes, cleaner light and better reach.

Audis upcoming OLEDs are promising. Far better suited than LED in matrix

If you're impressed with the PFL LED's then you'd be blown away by the new generation matrix lights. As I said, I thought the PFL LED's were pretty poor, and even without the matrix high beam in place, the dipped beam on the newer LED's is a step change up from the old ones. I've had plenty of cars with xenon lighting, and while they've been variable in quality they've been always more than adequate. Some have been absolutely brilliant, if you'll excuse the pun, and have served as a personal benchmark until now.

OLED is just about good enough for taillights, but lacks the luminosity needed for headlight applications just yet. It'll come, but for a few years I think you'll still be getting ye olde p-n junctions in your headlights, simply because they can give out so many more lumens per watt, and in a much smaller space than the current generation of organic semiconductors can achieve.
 

WarwickL

Registered User
Audi is already running oleds

As for the matrix LEDs - as I mentioned, already tried them over a two week period

Nothing impressive TBH and lacking spread
 

GSB

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Audi is already running oleds

As for the matrix LEDs - as I mentioned, already tried them over a two week period

Nothing impressive TBH and lacking spread

Are they in production cars yet? I thought BMW had only just got around to it as a 'world first'. They're certainly not being used for headlights. As I said, not enough luminosity for headlights, and the lack of a point source doesn't lend itself particularly well to throwing tightly controlled beams out to long distances.
 

WarwickL

Registered User
Audi have been running them in headlights on protos for a while now

Far better units for matrix use

LEDs are totally unsuitable for that purpose
 

mikemod

Registered User
Maybe you are getting mixed up with Matrix Laser headlights which is what Audi have been running on their 24 hour cars and will makes it onto road cars within the next year or two. I think the OLED lights are only for the rear clusters

Laser Matrix

I think I saw something about laser headlights being an option on the R8 for £8000
 

WarwickL

Registered User
Nope, OLED matrix headlights. Audi released info on them months ago.

I've got a media release on them somewhere on my Audi drive - out biking atm but will look for it when I get back later today.
 
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