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Recommend Me a Tunnel Light


NewCanalBoy

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2 hours ago, cuthound said:

 

Rubbish. Even when correctly adjusted, the bluish light destroys peoples night vision and the power saving is irrelevant because the engine is running when the tunnel light is on and thus powered by the alternator.

And there was me thinking this forum was about opinions when it appears to be people being dismissive and argumentative!

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2 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

Yes. The opinion being expressed is that your assertion that LED lights do not dazzle is 'rubbish'.

See my previous reply and maybe read my first comment where I talk about them being pointed upwards! 

Edited by Chris John
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1 hour ago, blackrose said:

 

Well I'm nearly 60 and lots of car drivers fall into the 50 plus age bracket too. If LED headlights were that bad then they wouldn't have been approved by the DVSA

My understanding is that LED headlights have indeed been approved (By a European directive not eh DVSA) BUT the maximum light output from them isn't stipulated so manufacturers can pretty well fit them as brights as they can.

 

Better ones as fitted to some German (and other) cars automatically set the beam pattern if they detect an oncoming vehicle.

1 minute ago, Chris John said:

See my previous reply and maybe read my first comment where I talk about them being pointed upwards! 

Given that I quoted it I would have thought it clear I had read it.

 

The overall consensus is that even when pointed upwards the light scatter they create dazzles because it is not projected in a beam like pattern like it would be on a traditional lamp with a tungsten bulb and reflector.

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21 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

My understanding is that LED headlights have indeed been approved (By a European directive not eh DVSA) BUT the maximum light output from them isn't stipulated so manufacturers can pretty well fit them as brights as they can.

 

Better ones as fitted to some German (and other) cars automatically set the beam pattern if they detect an oncoming vehicle.

Yup, and my (German) car has those clever lights. They're awesome from the driver's perspective and you can very clearly see them "putting a box" around other vehicles whilst they mostly keep the verge and signposts well lit over a long distance wherever possible.. You still get flashed occasionally though because, I think, the oncoming driver doesn't see the very obvious darkening effect that dipping headlights has on the surroundings.

 

Actually, I think most of the inordinately dazzling lights on some oncoming vehicle are caused by aftermarket xenon HID lamps fitted in conventional (non projector) halogen reflectors which are notoriously bad for scatter. These aftermarket xenon's are now an MOT failure, even on projector lenses where they do not cause scatter. So the future is bright... or perhaps not so bright. :)

 

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29 minutes ago, NewCanalBoy said:

Blimey - what have I started ?!

 

Better not say what I've just ordered........ 

give yourself a pat on the back as you’ve made a lot of people happy on this forum as they are only happy when they have something to moan about ?

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59 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

My understanding is that LED headlights have indeed been approved (By a European directive not eh DVSA) BUT the maximum light output from them isn't stipulated so manufacturers can pretty well fit them as brights as they can.

 

Better ones as fitted to some German (and other) cars automatically set the beam pattern if they detect an oncoming vehicle.

Given that I quoted it I would have thought it clear I had read it.

 

The overall consensus is that even when pointed upwards the light scatter they create dazzles because it is not projected in a beam like pattern like it would be on a traditional lamp with a tungsten bulb and reflector.

Your understanding is wrong -- OEM LED (and HID, and laser...) headlights fitted to new cars do have a maximum light output specified, but it is higher than halogen headlights. This is why they have to have a very tight beam pattern, self-levelling fitted and also headlight washers, all to prevent excessive glare to oncoming traffic. Properly fitted lights like this are usually OK, though the plague of tall SUVs with the lights much higher off the ground makes glare worse.

 

Done properly (my car has the active beam pattern/matrix type referred to) LED headlights are fantastic -- on a dark road they stay on "main beam" but steer dark areas over oncoming cars and also cars in front of you, it's fascinating to watch the dark patches follow other vehicles, and I've never once been flashed at night.

 

Unfortunately a lot of the aftermarket add-on lights -- especially the "light bar" types without a proper reflector -- seem to ignore all the rules, which is why they're so horribly dazzling. Also a lot of people fit HID/LED headlight conversion kits to older cars which is a disaster, the beam pattern is usually wrong and they don't have self-levelling or cleaning -- result, loads of glare. These lights are what will usually be fitted to boats since they're cheap and widely available, but the fault is really the cheap nasty badly-designed lights which happen to be LEDs.

 

If you use lights like this then the post quoted is correct, they'll cause dazzle no matter which way they're pointed because they don't have any proper beam control. However trying to find proper foglights which don't have this problem is well-nigh impossible nowadays, most "foglights" in modern cars are really built-in styling accessories for morons to keep on all the time, and very few (none?) of the LED lights available online are designed for the job either -- which is why a proper old-fashioned halogen foglamp like you used to see grille-mounted more than twenty years ago (but turned upside down) is often the best option.

 

 

Edited by IanD
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4 minutes ago, IanD said:

Your understanding is wrong -- OEM LED (and HID, and laser...) headlights fitted to new cars do have a maximum light output specified, but it is higher than halogen headlights. This is why they have to have a very tight beam pattern, self-levelling fitted and also headlight washers, all to prevent excessive glare to oncoming traffic. Properly fitted lights like this are usually OK, though the plague of tall SUVs with the lights much higher off the ground makes glare worse.

Can you point to the relevant spec. please.

 

I couldn't find one and in another discussion on a car related forum there was a guy who claimed there was no such limit. He was normally regarded as being 100% spot on on such matters.

 

No body could definitively disprove him (because the specs hadn't caught up with the technology).

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3 hours ago, blackrose said:

But most car headlights these days are LED and it's only if you come across an oncoming misaligned headlight that your night vision will be destroyed. Otherwise it's not an issue. So I agree with Chris John, it's misalignment of LED tunnel lights that's the problem.

 

Also, whether one needs a powerful light or a low powered light really depends on what one is using it for. A lot of people on this forum only stay on canals and so will only need a low powered light for tunnel use, but I've been on the Thames in pitch black conditions where your night vision won't help and you point your light towards the bank so you can navigate. In that case a powerful light is essential.

There is a new EU investigation into both LED and Xeon headlights due to an increase in head on crashes involving cars so fitted. 

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2 minutes ago, Detling said:

There is a new EU investigation into both LED and Xeon headlights due to an increase in head on crashes involving cars so fitted. 

So we can expect a report in 8 years time then. 

Coming back to the original post, as long as a tunnel light is fitted in accordance with the recommendations, It should cause no nuisance to other boaters, but then, as in road use, if daylight is not replicated by your lights, then to some they will not be enough.

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If the paint on approaching boats is blistered and smoking, or if oncoming plastic and wooden boats catch fire, or if your forward vision is being restricted by steam boiling off the water, or if the tunnel brickwork behind your boat is still glowing red and making plinking noises as it cools, then your tunnel light is too bright.

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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27 minutes ago, Detling said:

There is a new EU investigation into both LED and Xeon headlights due to an increase in head on crashes involving cars so fitted. 

Can you provide evidence for this? In spite of looking I can't find anything...

 

9 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

If the paint on approaching boats is blistered and smoking, or if oncoming plastic and wooden boats catch fire, or if your forward vision is being restricted by steam boiling off the water, or if the tunnel brickwork behind your boat is still glowing red and making plinking noises as it cools, then your tunnel light is too bright.

Or if the steerer has an instant Trump suntan ?

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55 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

Can you point to the relevant spec. please.

 

I couldn't find one and in another discussion on a car related forum there was a guy who claimed there was no such limit. He was normally regarded as being 100% spot on on such matters.

 

No body could definitively disprove him (because the specs hadn't caught up with the technology).

Ooh, you might be correct -- the rules say that anything over 2000 lumens and all LED headlights must have self-levelling and washers fitted, I thought I'd also seen an upper limit for brightness (3200 lumens?) but now can't find one...

 

So a lot of (most of? all of?) the cars where the drivers have fitted super-bright LED bulbs into what were halogen headlights will be illegal, and cause a lot of glare -- I've certainly noticed that it's often cars like this that are the worst culprits on the road, and the complaints against these are 100% justified.

 

With new cars fitted with them problem doesn't seem to be as bad, but the fact that there's no maximum height limit means you go blind when a tall SUV is behind you, and glare is worse for oncoming traffic. Blame the SUV plague for this, not the headlights...

 

[and before somebody pipes up to justify driving one -- yes there are some people like farmers and towers who *need* a big 4x4, but statistics show that the vast majority of them are simply a lifestyle choice, IIRC >95% have never been off-road and 90% hardly ever leave town]

Edited by IanD
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16 minutes ago, IanD said:

Ooh, you might be correct -- the rules say that anything over 2000 lumens and all LED headlights must have self-levelling and washers fitted, I thought I'd also seen an upper limit for brightness (3200 lumens?) but now can't find one...

 

So a lot of (most of? all of?) the cars where the drivers have fitted super-bright LED bulbs into what were halogen headlights will be illegal, and cause a lot of glare -- I've certainly noticed that it's often cars like this that are the worst culprits on the road, and the complaints against these are 100% justified.

 

With new cars fitted with them problem doesn't seem to be as bad, but the fact that there's no maximum height limit means you go blind when a tall SUV is behind you, and glare is worse for oncoming traffic. Blame the SUV plague for this, not the headlights...

 

[and before somebody pipes up to justify driving one -- yes there are some people like farmers and towers who *need* a big 4x4, but statistics show that the vast majority of them are simply a lifestyle choice, IIRC >95% have never been off-road and 90% hardly ever leave town]

Car manufacturers seem less inclined to follow law over fashion, i'm not aware of the law requiring amber indicator lense covers being repealed but you have to try hard to find a car fitted with them now - you had your collar felt when i was a youngster.  Another would be the many vehicles on which all other lights extinguish on one side when the direction indicator is used, there has been no change in the law to allow only one head or tail light on a four wheeled vehicle - albeit temporarily. 

 

Edited by BWM
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5 minutes ago, BWM said:

Car manufacturers seem less inclined to follow law over fashion, i'm not aware of the law requiring amber indicator lense covers being repealed but you have to try hard to find a car fitted with them now - you had your collar felt when i was a youngster.  Another would be the many vehicles on which all other lights extinguish on one side when the direction indicator is used, there has been no change in the law to allow only one head or tail light on a four wheeled vehicle - albeit temporarily. 

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-inspection-manual-for-private-passenger-and-light-commercial-vehicles/4-lamps-reflectors-and-electrical-equipment#section-4-2-1

 

The lens covers don't have to be amber any more but the light does -- easy with LEDs even if the cover is clear.

 

Sidelights/DRLs are allowed to turn off when the indicators are flashing.

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1 hour ago, BWM said:

Car manufacturers seem less inclined to follow law over fashion, i'm not aware of the law requiring amber indicator lense covers being repealed but you have to try hard to find a car fitted with them now - you had your collar felt when i was a youngster.  Another would be the many vehicles on which all other lights extinguish on one side when the direction indicator is used, there has been no change in the law to allow only one head or tail light on a four wheeled vehicle - albeit temporarily. 

 

Somewhere buried in the regs there is actually a requirement that if an indicator and DRL are in close proximity the DRL should extinguish so as not to hinder the view of the flashing indicator.

 

Some vehicles now use the same LED strip for DRL and indicator, simply switching colour depending on what its being used for at any given point.

 

An indicator only has to flash amber. Where the lens is clear this is achieved by using an amber bulb. (my car has this). There is no law that says it show show amber if it is not illuminated.

 

 

 

Edited by The Happy Nomad
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7 hours ago, Chris John said:

Nothing wrong with an LED light on a Narrowboat if it’s pointed upwards to illuminate the tunnel roof. 

Well it is better than one pointing straight forward or down onto the water. However, the main problem is that Led lights are very bright and in the confined environment of a canal tunnel, where the usually wet uneven walls are no more than 15ft apart, the reflection bounces off in all directions and will often dazzle the steerer of an oncoming boat. At 4mph (or less) you do not need to illuminate the entire length of the tunnel, just far enough to be able to see any potential problems in front of you, and  as I have said a 45watt tungsten bulb in a (flat beam) fog light is more than adequate.

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7 hours ago, blackrose said:

But most car headlights these days are LED and it's only if you come across an oncoming misaligned headlight that your night vision will be destroyed. Otherwise it's not an issue. So I agree with Chris John, it's misalignment of LED tunnel lights that's the problem.

 

Also, whether one needs a powerful light or a low powered light really depends on what one is using it for. A lot of people on this forum only stay on canals and so will only need a low powered light for tunnel use, but I've been on the Thames in pitch black conditions where your night vision won't help and you point your light towards the bank so you can navigate. In that case a powerful light is essential.

I have some agreement with you on that, I used to operate a trip boat, and we had two lights, one for general cruising at dusk etc, and a brighter one for night time trips in wider waters where we needed to see the bank

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2 hours ago, IanD said:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-inspection-manual-for-private-passenger-and-light-commercial-vehicles/4-lamps-reflectors-and-electrical-equipment#section-4-2-1

 

The lens covers don't have to be amber any more but the light does -- easy with LEDs even if the cover is clear.

 

Sidelights/DRLs are allowed to turn off when the indicators are flashing.

Thanks for the info, i wasn't aware that had changed. What is a drl?

 It does seem daft that other lights turn off, however, and quite unnecessary. 

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3 hours ago, David Schweizer said:

it is better than one pointing straight forward or down onto the water

A properly cut-off beam like that from an old foglamp, pointing downwards to reflect off the water close to the boat, is perfectly ok and indeed used to be mandated. The direct beam lights the width of the tunnel at the waterline, highlighting the points where the walls meet the water, then reflects upwards (well ahead of the steerer of any oncoming boat) to illuminate an arc of the tunnel roof.

 

LEDs don't do that.

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34 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

A properly cut-off beam like that from an old foglamp, pointing downwards to reflect off the water close to the boat, is perfectly ok and indeed used to be mandated. The direct beam lights the width of the tunnel at the waterline, highlighting the points where the walls meet the water, then reflects upwards (well ahead of the steerer of any oncoming boat) to illuminate an arc of the tunnel roof.

 

LEDs don't do that.

Much better to put on all the interior lights, assuming you have windows and not port holes. They light up the sides of the tunnel nicely.

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