"Warmer" CCT LED Car Headlights

Thanks. I have an Audi A3 and CANBUS can be a real pain on bulb out warnings. I’m going to have to double-check on whether or not the alerts are for interior as well as exterior illumination.

Cool white LED headlights are proliferating in my area rapidly. I’m finding now that I’m starting to hate driving around town during the morning. All the glare in unreal. I am finding physically blocking oncoming LED headlights with small boards on my walks helps me in seeing better. When I do this I can see others walking around me much more clearly. Admittedly I’m completely losing the area covered by the board, but I wouldn’t have seen past the glare anyways. The thing is disability glare happens before discomfort glare, so if you feel your eyes hurting from the light you’re already well past the point of not seeing things.

I’m also using some fairly aggressive, –30% blue, glasses on top of the physical blocker in areas saturated in blue-rich LED. What a dystopic present we live in.

well, just to add fuel to this fire,
those ice-blue headlights do not help me see the deer (or chickens?)
preparing to cross the road in front of me as well as halogens do.

actually, the fog-lamps or running lights
do a better job than the headlights.

and, right now is the rut season for those cervidaes.
so, they are looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places.
of course, in current vernacular, there is no “wrong” place.

in answer to the original post….i would, too.
i would pay extra for 3500K. not $3500, though.

It seems the cooler LEDs for headlights are used for the extra lumens and less heat vs the warmer CCTs. And when it comes to high beams, the LEDs aren’t good enough when compared to halogen or HID. So some of the auto makers (like BMW) are using lasers.

You have a resource on this? I just have really hard time believing this with lights like the neutral white BLF GT throwing neutrally tinted light over a mile and the K1 with the old XHP-35 3000K throwing intense light over long distances.

Headlights are a huge floodlight, not a pencil beam. The LEDs in the BLF GT and the K1 are extremely overdriven. They wouldn’t last very long in the confined headlight enclosure where little cooling is available.

There are a lot of websites that compare halogen, HID, LED, and laser headlights.

Here’s one from BMW: Half a mile visibility with a BMW laserlight

“using laserlight headlights to enhance high beams provides a much greater range than traditional LEDs”

But that resource still doesn’t prove your point that “warm white LED high beams are not feasible.” Furthermore, how many carmakers are actually putting LEPs in car headlights? It’s been years since development started on that, and you can count all the models of cars on your fingers that have them.

I also found this nice resource from the University of Transportation in Michigan… Their research was conducted years ago, and they used 4000K LED headlights, and that was way back when you took a big hit in output from the warmer tints. Now, the outputs have leveled out, or a very close to. I know years ago 3000K hit parity with 4000K and 5000K for LED streetlighting, and now 2700K is near parity to. Their research said to use the warmest CCT feasible, and they were successfully testing 4000K models…

I wonder if there`s some sort of c=tinted spray you could apply to the outside of the headlight in order to get a better tint, kind of like Lee filter but in a spray.

A filter would work but since filters are subtractive, it would significantly reduce the output of the headlights.

This is interesting! It looks like Morimoto is coming out with 3000K LED sealed lights. You can read more here. The photo they show on that thread, assuming that’s the 3000K model in that pickup, they look pretty nice. I wish I could ditch the 6500K blue-rich junk in my car.

Was just about to post the same thing.

Not sure why you are quoting me as saying “warm white LED high beams are not feasible” since I didn’t say that. I stated that cooler CCT LEDs have more lumens than warmer LEDs which could by why auto makers are using them.

Your orginal reply…

At the very least you implied warm white LEDs aren’t feasible for highbeams. In any event, it’s really nice to see one of the first 3000K LED headlights hit the market.

Looks like limited application but maybe they will expand? 3000k seems a bit too warm so hopefully they are really in the 3500+ range… Would be great for fogs, though.

This is really fascinating. Just how would LEP work for cars? Is the intention to use a special lens for it? Because a pencil beam that projects for a mile… doesn’t sound very practical & useful.

Given the research from UMTRI, I would say go as warm as you can. Going higher up, past 3500K, and you start sacrificing the reduced blue that warm tinted LEDs have, and you wind gradually sliding backwards to where we are today. Though, that being said, I would still be “happier” with even 4000K given the horrendous 6500K+ that seems to be most common.

BMW and Audi first introduced LEP high beams in their high-end sports cars back in 2014.

The trickle down to more mainstream models has been slow, but it’s not new territory, and like any other source of light, it’s harnessed through different methods for the intended purpose.

They’re more efficient, and can serve as a single-source, but the other parts of the equation — cost, and regulation — pose constraints.

The costs have to come down, and in the U.S. at least, the laggardly regulators have yet to approve adaptive matrix headlights. The recently passed infrastructure legislation has directed them to do so within two years, so at least one barrier has been overcome, and the luxury brands can bring the feature to the U.S.

Thanks, very interesting. I wonder if there’s any merit to having “road” and “off-road” settings for the high beams. Meaning when off road, the special setting would raise the LEP array just a little for further projection.

Technology has advanced far beyond simply swiveling a reflector or projector of some sort: