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Some more thoughts on Xenons (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 3-series (E46) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Karl on April 14, 1999 at 11:57:31:

In Reply to: Questions posted by Gilbert on April 14, 1999 at 11:15:41:

Question: Do you think a closed garage is the best place to test headlight? I assume it was a long garage, but still there is no comparison for a road test.

Reply: I agree with you. A road test is preferable and I hope we get more comments from owners of Xenons and description of their road conditions. However the garage test allowed for me to make direct comparisons between the two types of headlights.

Question: I've seen the pictures in the brochure of the beam pattern, but not actually seen the difference from the driver's seat. What made to pattern so much better?

Reply: The wider pattern is great, particularly off to the right. In bad weather conditions on winding roads I tend to look over to the right watching for the edge of the road. I feel this is a significant edge here.

: I don't see how the color is an advantage?

Reply : I found the Xenon light easier to see details in the road. I rented a Fiat in Europe last spring which had Xenons and noticed the difference immediately. I hadn't heard of Xenons and was startled at the difference at first !! Note - my eyes will certainly see things different than others. Try before you buy !!

Question : I don't completely understand how they are safer. It's not like I'm an owl, but I usually have to be doing a minimum of 15-20mph over a given speed limit to think standard bulbs aren't giving enough light(on secondary, suburban, rural roads). Usually if I'm allowed to go that fast at night, there are very few cars on the road and those BMW highbeams are wonderful. Could you give me some thoughts on this?

Reply : I take a winding country road home from work each night but it is pretty busy - I encounter another car about every 3 to 5 seconds. So the road is pretty dark, but high beams aren't that useful.

In the past I did a lot of city driving on well-lit city streets. In this case I am not sure that Xenon light would offer any advantage.

If you want a reference to another set of eyes, see the Edmunds long term test of the 328i : "Also, while the bright Xenon headlights illuminate the road brilliantly, they also blind bystanders as the car approaches".

Finally, since you see your roads well with the fine standard BMW headlights, I think you made the best choice for your use.

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