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Low beam headlight performance

  #1  
Old 03-13-2013, 01:01 PM
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Default Low beam headlight performance

New owner of 2008 S-80 T-6, with standard headlights notes excessive use of hi-beams to avoid over-driving low beam light path. Observed and bent up small shields over low beam bulbs in light housings for some improvement, still insufficient light reach, (with no push-back from opposing traffic. Wondering if I should remove the shield entirely, see if i can avoid retrofitting after market Xenon kits. Has anyone experienced this need/and found a solution?
 
  #2  
Old 03-14-2013, 05:33 PM
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My 2002 V40 also has rather poor performing lights especially on low beam.
Very noticeable when on open roads without any street lighting and highway speed limits.
Adjusting the headlight height at the headlight switch has helped a little but I have since also replaced the standard yellowish bulbs with 'Super Whites' that have a fake blue Xenon look, whilst offering a modestly higher lumen output. (12V 55W)
Alternative would be a proper Xenon upgrade but not keen given amount of night driving is not excessive.
Have to say I was frankly surprised and disappointed with Volvo headlight performance compared to my past vehicles. (Mitsubishi Gallant was the best Ive ever had.)
I do have headlight wipers fitted which I wonder may be inhibiting the beam slightly even in their horiz' rest position and may remove them to test lights without in due course.
Your bending of the low beam surround shields, or removal may have the effect of converting them to a brightness similar to the high beam lights which do have no shield but the same bulb output/single filament and thus maybe dazzling oncoming drivers???
 

Last edited by difflock54; 03-14-2013 at 05:38 PM. Reason: spelling error
  #3  
Old 03-15-2013, 11:47 AM
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I use Silverstars and am happy with the light output on my '05.
 
  #4  
Old 03-16-2013, 05:16 PM
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Just found now a Consumer test report on Halogen headlight bulbs which basically claims the distance vision cannot improve much as it is governed by the reflector and lens design of the headlight units. See link attached.

Halogen Headlight Bulbs | Test - Consumer Reports
 
  #5  
Old 03-16-2013, 08:20 PM
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i have to agree with the CR. i have Silverstar Ultra and yes its brighter but i like them like that i dont want to see great distance as long its @ reasonably OEM/legal distance. The distance is determined by the headlight design. So that you cannot change.
I might someday do a HID kit.
 
  #6  
Old 03-18-2013, 09:51 AM
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If you really want HID headlights, the only way to properly install them is to buy the oem Volvo projector headlights or retrofit your current headlights with projectors.

The halogen reflectors are not designed for HID bulbs and light will scatter everywhere and blind not only oncoming traffic, but people in front of you as well. You can aim them low but that defeats the purpose of installing them in the first place. Bending the shield up is probably blinding to oncoming traffic.

I installed projectors in my 2001 S40 and it is a night and day difference between the halogen and HID bulbs in the reflector housing. The light output goes far and is wide. It ran me less than $250 for the projectors, ballasts, and bulbs.

 
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:15 PM
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what type of bulb are your fogs..are they yellow or you painted/film with yellow
 
  #8  
Old 03-19-2013, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by akabond View Post
what type of bulb are your fogs..are they yellow or you painted/film with yellow
They're Nokya hyper yellow 2500k halogen bulbs from Amazon. There's some bad reviews on them but I haven't had a problem and they are on whenever I am driving.
 
  #9  
Old 03-19-2013, 12:48 PM
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Default Projector lamps

Like your response and thinking on retrofitting projector units that carry the proper reflector; did u in fact purchase the projector parts from Volvo, or aftermarket? How did u mount them within your factory light units? Can u supply ur model/part numbers for the projector units/ BTW, Volvo made dual Xenon units starting in 2007 that are self adjusting and switch lamps in bends - the local dealer says these will be impossible to retrofit as must be interfaced with computer controlled functionality to work. . .thanks - Fred P.
 
  #10  
Old 03-19-2013, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Fred P View Post
Like your response and thinking on retrofitting projector units that carry the proper reflector; did u in fact purchase the projector parts from Volvo, or aftermarket? How did u mount them within your factory light units? Can u supply ur model/part numbers for the projector units/ BTW, Volvo made dual Xenon units starting in 2007 that are self adjusting and switch lamps in bends - the local dealer says these will be impossible to retrofit as must be interfaced with computer controlled functionality to work. . .thanks - Fred P.
They are aftermarket because my car never came with projectors or even HID's to begin with. It would be cheaper to retrofit projectors anyway instead of trying to find the oem headlights and get them to work.

I purchased the projectors, bulbs, and ballasts from The Retrofit Source online: headlight upgrades for all applications

Here is the complete kit you would need:
Bi-xenon Morimoto Mini Stage III Kit (H1) - Complete Retrofit Kits from The Retrofit Source Inc
Go for the XB35 4300k or 5000k bulbs. They are better than the cheaper bulbs.
Choose your shroud (decorative bezel over projector). The first two are a direct fit.
You then choose the wire harness. This varies depending on the halogen bulbs your car uses but I believe it is H7.

Let me know if you need help. It is a complicated process and even when you are done you have to aim them and make sure the projectors are lined up horizontally and that the vertical height is correct as well.

There are other projectors you could use but these are the easiest to install since you have to do little to no cutting and drilling of the reflector. They simply mount to the reflector through the hole of where the halogen bulb would be installed. They are bi-xenon and they can we wired to come on with your oem halogen high beams as well. This makes for a great and very bright high beam.
 
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