HIDs are too dang bright - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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HIDs are too dang bright

Of course this is just like, my opinion man... but I think those of you who have stuck HIDs in your halogen housings are either annoying the crap out of people or have your aim cranked way down to a useless level.

I just got back from test driving with my 4300K HID kit from the forums' favorite vendor. Props to them, it all feels and looks like pretty good quality stuff. Beam pattern looked fine in the garage, similar shape to the halogens just much brighter. The bulbs fit in perfect so the shadow cast by the thing that runs alongside the glass tube is pointed straight up. I cranked the aiming knobs down 3 full turns, making the cutoff way lower. Stock it was up on the tree trunks way ahead, now it's down on the road.

3 out of 10 cars flashed me within a few minutes.

Needless to say probably, this has not happened with the halogens. Grabbed a buddy. Opinion was "yeah those are pretty bright". We traded cars and I'm of the opinion that they are at the "are those high beams?" level of brightness. You know how some cars just have really bright headlights stock, enough to annoy you when they pass by? It's like that, maybe a hair worse.

But with the aim cranked down, the actual distance being lit up is noticeably less. What is lit is obviously nice and bright, but what's the point if you're gonna reduce your overall sight distance and be obnoxious?

I know halogen housings are designed to throw some light above the main cutoff to light up signs and stuff. But with more than 2x the lumens it just seems to be a bit much. I think I'm going to just go with a pair of fancier halogens like Silverstars and deal with them burning out often, as they do.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwfur25 View Post
Of course this is just like, my opinion man... but I think those of you who have stuck HIDs in your halogen housings are either annoying the crap out of people or have your aim cranked way down to a useless level.
Apparently it's not just your opinion...

"NHTSA has concluded that it is impossible to produce HID conversion kits (converting a
halogen system to HID) that would be compliant with the federal lighting standard, Federal
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108. The noncompliant kits frequently include an
HID bulb, ballast, igniter, relay and wiring harness adapters. NHTSA believes this equipment
presents a safety risk to the public since the kits can be expected to produce excessive glare to
oncoming motorists. In one investigation, NHTSA found that an HID conversion headlamp
exceeded the maximum allowable candlepower by over 800 percent."
https://www.sema.org/files/attachmen...rsion-Kits.pdf
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by iwfur25 View Post
Of course this is just like, my opinion man... but I think those of you who have stuck HIDs in your halogen housings are either annoying the crap out of people or have your aim cranked way down to a useless level.

I just got back from test driving with my 4300K HID kit from the forums' favorite vendor. Props to them, it all feels and looks like pretty good quality stuff. Beam pattern looked fine in the garage, similar shape to the halogens just much brighter. The bulbs fit in perfect so the shadow cast by the thing that runs alongside the glass tube is pointed straight up. I cranked the aiming knobs down 3 full turns, making the cutoff way lower. Stock it was up on the tree trunks way ahead, now it's down on the road.

3 out of 10 cars flashed me within a few minutes.

Needless to say probably, this has not happened with the halogens. Grabbed a buddy. Opinion was "yeah those are pretty bright". We traded cars and I'm of the opinion that they are at the "are those high beams?" level of brightness. You know how some cars just have really bright headlights stock, enough to annoy you when they pass by? It's like that, maybe a hair worse.

But with the aim cranked down, the actual distance being lit up is noticeably less. What is lit is obviously nice and bright, but what's the point if you're gonna reduce your overall sight distance and be obnoxious?

I know halogen housings are designed to throw some light above the main cutoff to light up signs and stuff. But with more than 2x the lumens it just seems to be a bit much. I think I'm going to just go with a pair of fancier halogens like Silverstars and deal with them burning out often, as they do.
Hi there,

I installed a 4300K HID kit myself a few weeks ago. I waited a long time before getting it because I too was worried about blinding others. So I waited for feedback from members who were installing the kit, onroad pics, etc...

I'm loving mine thus far, and that includes reactions (or the lack of...) from oncoming drivers. I turned my aim down 2 full turns, my cutoff is about 40' in front on the Jeep. I find it a little low, but I know I can't go higher : the Cherokee bobs up and down quite a bit over bumps I've noticed, and headlight aim is just right as it is ; any higher I would be annoying others.

The beam pattern is, unfortunately, center heavy. Cutoff on these projectors, on the other hand, is crisp and there is none of the traditional halogen reflector bleed up.

For comparison, I look at my wife's car, a Beetle with bi-xenons. The aim on hers (and the Beetle has auto levelling) is even lower than how I have it on the Cherokee. I think it is actually too low, but I think the Germans like it that way. High beam on hers is pretty much aimed as mine is.

So to better evaluate your situation, I need to ask a few questions, if you don't mind :

1) How low is your aim right now ? Onroad pics would really help here, from a flat dark road if possible. Low vs High beam.

2) Do you vary load onboard the Jeep a lot ? Meaning, load up a bunch of people or cargo, or both. This could help explain a sudden rise in headlight aim, resulting in flashing.

3) Do you drive with the fog lights On ?

4) (added late) : what tool did you use to adjust the aim ?

5) (added even later) : which bulbs did you get ? Regular 4300K xenons or Philips 4300K xenons ?

Thanks.

FWIW : I've seen pics from OEM Cherokee HIDs and the beam pattern is very similar to what the halogen projectors with xenon bulbs produce, meaning hot in the middle with a very similar/crisp cutoff.
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Last edited by Mark_; 02-17-2017 at 12:15 AM. Reason: added questions 4) and 5)
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwfur25 View Post
Of course this is just like, my opinion man... but I think those of you who have stuck HIDs in your halogen housings are either annoying the crap out of people or have your aim cranked way down to a useless level.

I just got back from test driving with my 4300K HID kit from the forums' favorite vendor. Props to them, it all feels and looks like pretty good quality stuff. Beam pattern looked fine in the garage, similar shape to the halogens just much brighter. The bulbs fit in perfect so the shadow cast by the thing that runs alongside the glass tube is pointed straight up. I cranked the aiming knobs down 3 full turns, making the cutoff way lower. Stock it was up on the tree trunks way ahead, now it's down on the road.

3 out of 10 cars flashed me within a few minutes.

Needless to say probably, this has not happened with the halogens. Grabbed a buddy. Opinion was "yeah those are pretty bright". We traded cars and I'm of the opinion that they are at the "are those high beams?" level of brightness. You know how some cars just have really bright headlights stock, enough to annoy you when they pass by? It's like that, maybe a hair worse.

But with the aim cranked down, the actual distance being lit up is noticeably less. What is lit is obviously nice and bright, but what's the point if you're gonna reduce your overall sight distance and be obnoxious?

I know halogen housings are designed to throw some light above the main cutoff to light up signs and stuff. But with more than 2x the lumens it just seems to be a bit much. I think I'm going to just go with a pair of fancier halogens like Silverstars and deal with them burning out often, as they do.
Array hit it on the head......................
Thats why conversion kits are suppose to be illegal and a safety issue on the highway. There is no way to maintain the max luminous output allowed by the NHTSA standards. Exceeding that output is the issue. Controlling the output is the problem. Being the source of a cause of an accident is a major liability issue.
But they do it anyway regardless and at some point the liability will fall on the seller and the user. That is the vehicle does not comply with NHTSA highway standards.
OEM installs are designed by the vehicle manufacturer to comply to NHTSA.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 08:38 AM
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I am currently on the fence about getting the HID conversion kit simply because of this reason. In my opinion, the regular Halogens are not that bad. In fact, I think they are quite good overall, but they are a tad dim compared to some other cars I've seen out there. That being said, there is a trade-off to go with much brighter headlights, and that is of course blinding everyone in your path. I am very cautious about even using my high-beams (which a car must be 500ft or greater ahead of you to be legal), but I see it all the time with a lot of the fancy factory HID headlamps.

I would like to eventually maybe upgrade to the HIDs, but I would make sure I aimed them perfectly and properly, which is something I don't see all the time with many folks who install aftermarket kits.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 08:49 AM
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There's no denying the *kits* are illegal. The laws governing car lighting, in North America, are ridiculously outdated, nothing has changed for decades. Law enforcement are mostly letting everything slip as a result of this regulatory vacuum.

Installing HID kits in halogen reflectors is a major hazard.
Installing LED kits in halogen reflectors is a major hazard.
Using LED bars or LED auxiliary lights onroad is a major hazard.

Driving with fog lights On in clear weather on dark roads is a hazard. Lack of regulations here.

Driving with critically underperforming halogen headlights is, in my humble opinion, a major hazard, and should never have been allowed by regulators. But here we are with the Cherokees.

HID kits in properly aimed halogen projectors ? Illegal, yes. A major hazard ? I'm not seeing it, don't think I have heavy blinders on (debatable of course).

I meet others on the road with high aimed OEM HIDs like Toyotas, that are very annoying... GM trucks with horrible LED headlights. Why are those allowed ? Because nobody told them they couldn't.

Why can't the Germans sell cars with adaptive LED headlights in North America ? Makes no sense since these lights were designed with safety as a priority, and their performance is outstanding. So why not in North America ? Old laws prevent these newer technologies. Brilliant... (pun intented).

====

If you are going to install xenon bulbs in halogen projectors, get the aim right. If you load up the vehicule for night driving, adjust the aim according to this new load.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 11:10 AM
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I have the hids in my 2017 and so far no flashes--but my service manager who always drives KLs and preferable a TH which he is driving now. (2017) I asked him if he could see better with the HIDs and he said yes, but that he had been flashed 4 times already. He is the service manager so I didn't ask him if maybe they were aimed too high. I was going uphill and meeting cars which does shine higher to the on coming traffic (at least I think it does) and no flashes even doing this. And YES, I can see a heck of bunch better than I could with the previous halogens in my previous KLs. I have not driven a lot after dark so I may get some flashes the more I drive.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ptram View Post
I have the hids in my 2017 and so far no flashes--but my service manager who always drives KLs and preferable a TH which he is driving now. (2017) I asked him if he could see better with the HIDs and he said yes, but that he had been flashed 4 times already. He is the service manager so I didn't ask him if maybe they were aimed too high. I was going uphill and meeting cars which does shine higher to the on coming traffic (at least I think it does) and no flashes even doing this. And YES, I can see a heck of bunch better than I could with the previous halogens in my previous KLs. I have not driven a lot after dark so I may get some flashes the more I drive.
HIDs by nature are bright, we all know that, so the risk of getting *flashed* increases with these lights simply because of the higher lumen count. Because of these extra lumens, aim becomes critical. On my wife's Beetle, factory aim is very low, so I used that as a guide for my HID kitted KL. And since I don't have auto levelling, I keep an adjusting tool in the Jeep (6mm hex bit on long extension + ratchet handle).

Driving up a long hill in not a problem, but cresting over one or a bump will inevitably shine your xenons in oncoming eyes for a short period of time, no matter the auto levelling you have (or not), and the oncomers will be *stunned* a bit. The lower the aim here the better.

Did you ask the manager is he drives with the fog lights On ? If he does... then that could explain the frequent flashing events.
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Last edited by Mark_; 02-17-2017 at 11:47 AM. Reason: it's oncoming, not uncoming...
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 12:24 PM
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This is an area that hopefully in the near future will be resolved for all new cars using improved technologies; and the KL OEM HIDs may be close if aimed properly. I'm referring to the KL's color, lenses, shades, auto leveling, and auto high-beam feature. Maybe future LED technology will bring the cost down some too. (My son's Infinity G35 headlight went out needing a new ballast, which is referred to as the HID control unit... $550 , $800 after labor. The whole light assembly on one side costs $1200.)

I do not get flashed with my OEM HIDs any more than I did with my old Honda CR-V; and it had a candle mounted in a lantern for illumination , it was not good. I don't run with the fogs on and I use the auto high beam feature all the time. As I pointed out in another post, that feature will flip the high beams on more often than a driver would do manually. An oncoming vehicle sees the high beams for an instant and then notices the lights dim, and I believe that relieves them of the anxiety they are going to be blinded when we get closer together. I can see where running the KL with fogs on will upset some oncoming drivers. Six front lights can be a bit much. My wife is sensitive to oncoming headlights and is always asking me to flash an oncoming vehicle, but I can tell their brights aren't on because my retinas aren't sizzling.

While I don't have the KL halogens (one of the reasons the 2015 TH was eliminated), I can understand the frustration. My old motorhome and the 2010 I'm running now did/do not have HIDs. My current rig weighs over 50K lbs and I avoid driving it at night and if I do the expressway speed is dropped to 60 mph. And I refuse to drive it at night if it's raining or foggy. The rig cannot be stopped or maneuvered fast enough by the time the paltry lights illuminate an object on the road.

The glare to oncoming drivers may be dangerous but the lack of illumination is just as dangerous; especially for the increasing number of aging eyes out there.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 12:30 PM
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^^ Words of wisdom and experience. Couldn't agree more. And no I'm not saying you're old
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