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    IWS
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    Default Improving headlights - 2008 Laguna - suggestions/tips?

    Doing some country road driving last night made me realise how inadequate the headlights are on my (2008) Laguna - especially high beam. I especially notice the lack of reach – as well as general lack of brightness of the high beams.

    So, anyone have experience/suggestions on improving this situation?

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    The front of the car is such that fitting driving lights really is not feasible to my eye (although I have in the shed a nice set of Cibie mini-Oscars which once sat on the front of my 504. Now they produced nice light …!).

    Looking into the engine bay, access to the back of the head lights looks tight. The covers to provide access to the light bulbs can be seen easily - but it seems like one needs the hands of a child to get at them! Any tricks to getting access?

    Ian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IWS View Post
    Doing some country road driving last night made me realise how inadequate the headlights are on my (2008) Laguna - especially high beam. I especially notice the lack of reach – as well as general lack of brightness of the high beams.

    So, anyone have experience/suggestions on improving this situation?

    The front of the car is such that fitting driving lights really is not feasible to my eye (although I have in the shed a nice set of Cibie mini-Oscars which once sat on the front of my 504. Now they produced nice light …!).

    Looking into the engine bay, access to the back of the head lights looks tight. The covers to provide access to the light bulbs can be seen easily - but it seems like one needs the hands of a child to get at them! Any tricks to getting access?

    Ian.
    First thing I'd do is to take some voltage measurements at the back of the globes. Compare the the voltage at the lamps pins to the voltage measured directly across the battery.

    Make sure the engine is held at around 2000 rpm while you measure the voltage. And the lights on of course. You will need an reasonably accurate digital meter.

    I would expect battery voltage to be 13.6- 14.0 volts and accept the voltage at the lamps to be no more that 0.5 volts lower than what you measure at the battery.

    If this checks out try some new globes in the lamps. If it doesn't time fit some relays and decent heavy wiring from the battery and to the lamps.

    If the battery voltage is low it's time to check the alternator or the main charging lead connections.

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    I'd start with upgraded globes. There are Phillips globes that offer a substantial upgrade over standard halogen globes.

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    Halogen or Xenon? If halogen, I recommend these for low beam;

    H7 Osram Nightbreaker Bulbs CAR Headlight | eBay

    These made a massive difference in the Megane over the pissweak OE globes. I don't really drive in the country much anymore, so haven't bothered with high beam yet. But Osram make higher wattage globes which would be ok for high - I would go up to 65W happily, but would be cautious about 100W in the plastic headlights.

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    IWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    Halogen or Xenon? If halogen, I recommend these for low beam;

    H7 Osram Nightbreaker Bulbs CAR Headlight | eBay

    These made a massive difference in the Megane over the pissweak OE globes. I don't really drive in the country much anymore, so haven't bothered with high beam yet. But Osram make higher wattage globes which would be ok for high - I would go up to 65W happily, but would be cautious about 100W in the plastic headlights.
    They are Halogen - so this looks like the way to go.

    Anyone have experience in getting at the globes in the tight under-bonnet space?

    Ian. >

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    I agree with using these globes, HOWEVER, they have less than OEM life expectancy.
    My experience with running 3 cars on these globes I have at least one globe go per car per 12 months.
    Given that you open the bonnet to replace 1, I elect to replace both at the same time.
    If you don't use the lights they will obviously last longer!

    David

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    ]
    Quote Originally Posted by IWS View Post
    They are Halogen - so this looks like the way to go.

    Anyone have experience in getting at the globes in the tight under-bonnet space?

    Ian. >
    I posted photographs of the 2002 Laguna access, the passenger side was lie on your back and reach up to remove after getting access through removal of some underbody plastic shield, and on the drivers side moving some of the auxillary stuff out of the way. will try and see if the photos are still present on A/F Ian. Hopefully access will be similar on yours, not a task you would do out on a muddy back road..

    Ken
    Improving headlights - 2008 Laguna - suggestions/tips?-indicator-removed.jpgImproving headlights - 2008 Laguna - suggestions/tips?-covers-replaced-1.jpgImproving headlights - 2008 Laguna - suggestions/tips?-steering-reservoir-one-side.jpgImproving headlights - 2008 Laguna - suggestions/tips?-remove-bracket-13mm-bolts.jpgImproving headlights - 2008 Laguna - suggestions/tips?-bracket-removed-2.jpgImproving headlights - 2008 Laguna - suggestions/tips?-indicator-bulb-holder-1.jpgImproving headlights - 2008 Laguna - suggestions/tips?-cover-removed-access.jpg
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 3rd May 2014 at 06:26 PM.

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Ian, one more thing: make sure your lamps are solidly grounded. Electricity, being the lazy bastard it is, seeks the easiest path to earth. A bad ground at one headlight? No problem- it'll just feedback through another portion of the headlight circuit, with headscratching results.
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    If they're anything like PSA it will also have the grounds located incomprehensibly remote from the load.

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    Thanks Ken. Looks the same as the 2008 layout. As you say, drivers side possible with moving a bit of the infrastructure out of the way. For passenger side - I had not thought about coming up from underneath.

    And Hotrod - I shall check the grounding. Might even run a new ground - just to make sure. Would that be sensible?

    Ian.

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    To get away from the flow of discussion about improving the standard ones: how about a "light bar" version of driving lights (basically a strip of LED globes, various lengths available)? That wouldn't be too intrusive would it?

    cheers! Peter

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    I doubt teh Laguna modulates its headlight supply, but this is interesting reading anyway. The perils of fiddling with electrickery in modern cars!

    http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthr...ht-PWM-details
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    First thing I'd do is to take some voltage measurements at the back of the globes. Compare the the voltage at the lamps pins to the voltage measured directly across the battery.

    Make sure the engine is held at around 2000 rpm while you measure the voltage. And the lights on of course. You will need an reasonably accurate digital meter.

    I would expect battery voltage to be 13.6- 14.0 volts and accept the voltage at the lamps to be no more that 0.5 volts lower than what you measure at the battery.

    If this checks out try some new globes in the lamps. If it doesn't time fit some relays and decent heavy wiring from the battery and to the lamps.

    If the battery voltage is low it's time to check the alternator or the main charging lead connections.
    I agree. The single critical factor for good light performance is supply of correct voltage to the globe terminals. I would check the volt drop with a multimeter on the 3 volt scale with one lead on the battery post and the other on the globe terminal for both supply and earth. This needs to be will under 0.3volt per circuit.

    The issue with using globe with higher wattages is the increased current demand with existing wiring. This will then make the volt drop problems worse. The other issue is the dissipation of the additional heat.

    I would (after resolving any volt drop issues):
    1. Ensure that the reflector is clean, no dust or corrosion.
    2. The front glass is also clean.
    3. There are no plastic stone guards fitted.
    4. Ensure that the headlamps are correctly aligned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whippet View Post
    I agree. The single critical factor for good light performance is supply of correct voltage to the globe terminals. I would check the volt drop with a multimeter on the 3 volt scale with one lead on the battery post and the other on the globe terminal for both supply and earth. This needs to be will under 0.3volt per circuit.

    The issue with using globe with higher wattages is the increased current demand with existing wiring. This will then make the volt drop problems worse. The other issue is the dissipation of the additional heat.

    I would (after resolving any volt drop issues):
    1. Ensure that the reflector is clean, no dust or corrosion.
    2. The front glass is also clean.
    3. There are no plastic stone guards fitted.
    4. Ensure that the headlamps are correctly aligned.
    I'd add that I suspect that modern cars are not designed so much for serious night driving on unlit roads with little oncoming traffic. Our Peugeot 306 and Citroen Xantia (by far the better of the two) aren't really as good as our last R12 1.4 with proper halogens in round headlamps. We didn't need high wattage bulbs as the lamps and reflector designs were good. There's only so much you can do given the optics can't be changed.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    I'd add that I suspect that modern cars are not designed so much for serious night driving on unlit roads with little oncoming traffic. Our Peugeot 306 and Citroen Xantia (by far the better of the two) aren't really as good as our last R12 1.4 with proper halogens in round headlamps. We didn't need high wattage bulbs as the lamps and reflector designs were good. There's only so much you can do given the optics can't be changed.
    All current motor vehicle lighting needs to comply with an ISO Standard, probably the current version of:

    ISO/TR 10603:1992(en)
    [Road vehicles — Legal situation concerning lighting and light-signalling devices, Véhicules routiers — Situation légale concernant les dispositifs d'éclairage et de signalisation lumineuse].

    You can spend the money, buy the Standard and let us know what it says about headlamps. It may be time some of you need to have an eyesight test, as at my age I have no troubles driving at night with the standard headlights fitted to the Koleos with standard globes. Getting the aiming right is probably more important than how much power they consume. How many misaligned lights, upside down globes etc. do you see around?
    Last edited by Kim Luck; 4th May 2014 at 06:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IWS View Post
    Thanks Ken. Looks the same as the 2008 layout. As you say, drivers side possible with moving a bit of the infrastructure out of the way. For passenger side - I had not thought about coming up from underneath.

    And Hotrod - I shall check the grounding. Might even run a new ground - just to make sure. Would that be sensible?

    Ian.
    You can check the grounding pretty easy, simply by doing a continuity check between the lamp ground and the battery negative post. Ideally you should see no resistance at all. If the system isn't as Hakkon points out, if you need to you can run a new ground to someplace like the radiator support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    I doubt teh Laguna modulates its headlight supply, but this is interesting reading anyway. The perils of fiddling with electrickery in modern cars!

    Headlight PWM details?
    That's a pretty good find. Newer cars are susceptible to all sorts of weirdness because a body control module doesn't read a signal. For quite a while BMW was especially bad. Like you said, I don't think Ian is going to have a problem with this, but still worth a consideration on, say, a Series 2 C5.
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    Icon14 Lots of information in those links H.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    I doubt teh Laguna modulates its headlight supply, but this is interesting reading anyway. The perils of fiddling with electrickery in modern cars!

    Headlight PWM details?
    Lot of good information there Haakon I hope HRE understands it, its sort of above my lectrickery pay grade What I do know is that on the earlier Laguna II a bulb out in the passenger side rear turn flasher will cause the cruise control to drop out if the turn light is operated with the dead bulb in position, so perhaps the circuits are sensitive to power drops etc.

    I did wire in my own Renault approved tow bar and its supplied loom, and was mindful of connecting that loom exactly as set out in the instructions that came with the tow bar.

    The front headlights usually trigger a dash display that will inform you when a headlamp bulb fails, but for the average owner that thinks changing over a bulb should be easily done on the road, it comes as a shock to find how hard it is to accomplish what I reckon should be a simple task. Small hands would be helpful but my answer is for my wife to have a premium RACV service contract, even if it takes time to arrange that on the road sometimes. Better than just pulling off the road in wet weather and then finding if you have the hands and or the tools needed to do the job.

    By the way a pair of those long nosed pliers angled at the nose, is really handy in replacing the securing wire clips that hold the headlight globe in its holder.

    Ian if your car has previously had bulbs changed during garage service, you will probably find that the person tasked to changing them has already cut away or removed plastic shielding to get easy access from under the car. It was that way on mine!! Glad you could understand the photographs Ian. Happy to help.

    Regards

    Ken
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 4th May 2014 at 06:55 PM. Reason: add re long nosed bent pliers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    I doubt teh Laguna modulates its headlight supply, but this is interesting reading anyway. The perils of fiddling with electrickery in modern cars!

    Headlight PWM details?

    Is there no end to the complexity and unreliability certain engineers will introduce into the automotive scene?

    Build a decent lamp in the first place and use an alternator with voltage sensing at the battery terminals and pwm would be unnecessary.

    Why introduce complexity, read unreliability, into essential items like lights. I really can't see any logical reason for pwm control of lights.

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    Seems like a good idea and would be reliable - until you're a dick and put HID in lenses designed for halogen. On behalf of every driver dazzled by such fools, I applaud Volvo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    All current motor vehicle lighting needs to comply with an ISO Standard, probably the current version of:

    ISO/TR 10603:1992(en)
    [Road vehicles — Legal situation concerning lighting and light-signalling devices, Véhicules routiers — Situation légale concernant les dispositifs d'éclairage et de signalisation lumineuse].

    You can spend the money, buy the Standard and let us know what it says about headlamps. It may be time some of you need to have an eyesight test, as at my age I have no troubles driving at night with the standard headlights fitted to the Koleos with standard globes. Getting the aiming right is probably more important than how much power they consume. How many misaligned lights, upside down globes etc. do you see around?
    Fair comments Kim, but I wonder whether the earlier Renaults might have exceeded the subsequent standard on high beam, or failed to comply because of too much and not well-controlled light with respect to oncoming cars perhaps. Some of the new cars with non-incandescent lamps are terrible for oncoming drivers despite the standard. Then there's the terrible condition of some acrylic/polycarbonate lamp covers. Anyway, interesting and I'll be keen to hear the Laguna's outcome.

    Cheers
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    I'd add that I suspect that modern cars are not designed so much for serious night driving on unlit roads with little oncoming traffic.
    +1, this was pointed out to me by a Holden engineer when I mentioned a similar thing about modern Euro headlights generally lacking in spread and depth relative to modern Falcon and Commodore headlights. The Euros are designed to conform to where street lighting is very much better. Whereas the Falcon and Commodore are designed to suit a different set of requirements, where extra depth and spread is desired because of them having the potential to be used where streetlighting is poor or non-existant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    +1, this was pointed out to me by a Holden engineer when I mentioned a similar thing about modern Euro headlights generally lacking in spread and depth relative to modern Falcon and Commodore headlights. The Euros are designed to conform to where street lighting is very much better. Whereas the Falcon and Commodore are designed to suit a different set of requirements, where extra depth and spread is desired because of them having the potential to be used where streetlighting is poor or non-existant.
    Yes, this is exactly the problem - lack of spread and depth on high beam. On an Aussie country road at night the high beam is useless - but would, I guess, not present the same problem in Europe.
    Ian.

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    I've tried Googling "Street Lighting on Autobahns" with very little success. WADR I think you are all just suffering from impaired vision!

    This coming from a driver who drove brand new Mercedes Benz trucks when they had headlights that sometimes didn't reach the road in front of you! Well, not very far in front of you!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I've tried Googling "Street Lighting on Autobahns" with very little success.
    Good point.
    Looking at this video Article Player - of a Porsche doing 320KPH on the Autobahn at night is interesting. Kind of scary to be doing that speed with just low beam lighting the way. Lucky they do not have kangaroos ...

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