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Re: Night Flaming
Scott (PDQSHIP) put out a long and informative post on lights, what he
recommends and doesn't. Most of what he said makes sense, but there are a few
"apples to oranges"...
Agreement w/ Scott, recommended reading: The Hella catalog on voltage vs bulb
rating vs light output.
Your average road condition in Europe is somewhat different than that in the US.
Scott recommended a test with a reflective surface. This would be useful,
except that the roads, turns, etc are usually better marked in the US. I have
actually had people come up to me and say "They really mark the curves on US
roads well." In the UK the turns are often marked by where there's fresh growth
in the hedgerows from the last guy to miss the turn.
The Germans mark sharp curves, but everything else is done by the computer game
"Night Driver" method -- white posts with reflectors. All well and good until
the first winter storm. Then they become gray posts with covered reflectors.
There are actually trucks that could have been designed by Dr. Seuss that drive
along and wash these. I need to see gray stubs at night to follow the road.
The 55w euro lights, correctly aimed by the Hella machine and with clean lenses
are barely adequate for the task.
Fogs redundant with euro lights? I don't think so. I've got both and use them
separately. Then again I live in a low-ish spot surrounded by rivers. We get
FOG! Wholeheartedly agree with the amber lights for snow, thick fog, etc.
100w max for rally driving. Sure, I'll buy that; but I know next to nothing
about the speeds reached and the terrain covered. Remembering way, way back to
driver's ed. I thought the point was to not "outdrive" your headlights. The
definition back then was to be able to see, react and stop if necessary. At the
speeds I drive on unlit Autobahn at night I exceed this by a far margin. I
don't think 100+w bulbs would help much. I need lights for the purpose: pencil
beams, with a high power bulb (wattage left blank) aka "driving lights".
On some of the roads Phil drives on (B6047 and environs, BTDT) you run out of
road before you run out of headlight. In his shoes, if I can achieve this while
keeping a lower profile by not having the rally-look front, I'll do it. My car
has been vandalized before -- why, who knows? I'll do what it takes to minimize
that likelihood. In due respect though, Phil's laser cannon front end is not
exactly low profile either....
I'll stay out of the vibration/Nystagmus argument.
You want to see at night? That's easy, whole lotta lights. You want good
lights? That's a little harder. You have to pay to play. You want good lights
that assume some semblance of legality AND work with Audi wiring? That's the
tuffy. It takes thought, money and a reasonably creative electrician to wire
them up. Remember, most european countries inspect the cars every so often --
"trick" switches must be exactly that. The TUV (sorry, no umlaut) is not
'91 200qw w/euros, amber fogs and a few extra relays...
(and radio static)