Most modern cars receive xenon headlights as standard or at a surcharge. This type of lighting has many advantages. Perfectly and evenly illuminates the road, consumes small amounts of electricity and has long-lasting bulbs. Can a several-year-old car be retrofitted with “xenons”?
We have good news for those interested in such a modification. It is possible. Unfortunately, equipping a vehicle with effective lamps is not a simple matter. Pursuant to the regulations, a car may be equipped only with headlights approved together with it or intended for use in a given model. A car equipped with “xenon” must have headlights with a self-leveling system and their washers.
The only sensible (from a financial point of view) solution is to buy a set of original elements on the top. It should be remembered that the more modern the car, the more difficult it will be to modify the lighting. Advanced electronics may not accept new light sources. Then you can not do without the help of an experienced electronics.
The popularity of “xenon” began to increase in the last years of the 20th century. Discharge lighting for a salary extra appeared in cars of lower and lower classes. Several reputable lighting manufacturers have tried to respond to market needs by offering, for the most popular, accessory models, fully homologated xenon light kits (e.g. Hella for Golf IV). Prices were still high enough that the number of amateurs of such modifications remained limited, and the market niche quickly ceased to exist. Currently, you can only count on factory xenon lights.
A separate issue is “Chinese xenon” for a few hundred zlotys – sets of xenon burners with inverters, which are mounted in place of conventional halogen bulbs. From a technical point of view, nothing stands in the way of such a modification. However, it should be remembered that the converted car will dazzle other drivers, and non-compliant elements are the basis for stopping the registration certificate during roadside checks. A car with xenon arc lamps in place of ordinary halogen bulbs will not legally undergo a mandatory technical examination. Any certificates cover individual components (e.g. converters), not the entire kit.
In addition, the lampshade of each headlight has clear information about the bulbs approved for use in the lamp. The possibility of cooperation with gas discharge lighting means the symbol D (DC – xenon low beam, DR – xenon high beam, DC / R – bi-xenon). So much theory. A large number of cars with xenon sets in place of ordinary bulbs clearly shows that compliance with the law is not meticulously enforced.
Mounting xenon bulbs with a reflector with a classic reflector brings fatal effects. It’s not just dazzling other drivers. The user of the modified vehicle may also be dazzled, especially when driving in fog or in heavy snowfall. Much better results are guaranteed – usually practiced – by inserting “xenon” into the lens reflector. The border of light and shadow will be clear, but high light intensity and lack of headlight leveling still cause dazzling other road users.
If we want to experiment with xenon lighting at all costs, we can use them in additional spotlights, or in traffic lights (unless they are integrated with low beam). We use both when there are no other road users around our vehicle, so no one will suffer from our flair for DIY and vehicle modification. Even this solution is difficult to consider as optimal. High traffic on many sections of Polish roads does not allow long use of traffic lights. Xenon bulbs do not like to often turn on and off, which clearly shortens their life. Another problem is the time needed to reach full light output – the electric arc can ignite for up to several seconds.
How can road lighting be improved on older cars? Often, the regeneration of reflectors, polishing the shades and the use of bulbs providing a stronger light beam brings surprisingly good effects. To achieve the optimal result, choose light bulbs from reputable manufacturers.