Case Study on HID 4.5" Passing Lamps and Dual 4 1/2" Headlamps
Safety and lighting issues have becoming increasingly interesting subject matter in our quest to avoid being hit by other drivers, seeing and recognizing dangers at increased distances than possible a few years ago, and having an enjoyable and confident riding experience either in daylight or at night. Here are some options for you to consider: Understanding hardware currently available:
Modern sealed beams have an additional envelope around the filament, whereas older types do not. The inner envelope contains halogen to improve the life of the filament and enable more light for the same power in comparison to the older sealed beams. These are incandescent light bulbs (filament, gas under vacuum, high power consumption ratio to light output). Sylvania does not publish the Lumens value. This type of lighting is being phased out.
Your stock HD bulb (non HID). The function of the halogen is to set up a reversible chemical reaction with the tungsten evaporating from the filament. Halogen lamps are manufactured with enough halogen to match the rate of tungsten evaporation at their design voltage.
Increasing the applied voltage increases the rate of evaporation, so at some point there may be insufficient halogen and the lamp goes black. The life span on dimming depends on lamp construction, the halogen additive used and whether dimming is normally expected for this type. Example: H4 Headlight SilverStar® Halogens: Lumens: Low 910 +/- 10%; High 1500 +/-10%, Rated life: (low 55 watt): 150 hrs, (hi 60 watt): 50 hrs.
The LED headlamp supplied by Hella for the 2009 Escalade Platinum is the first U.S. market headlamp with both a LED low and high beam. Present designs give performance between halogen and HID headlamps, with system power consumption slightly higher than halogen headlamps. These lamps currently require large packaging and a large number of the most powerful LED emitters available.
As LED technology continues to evolve, the performance of LED headlamps is predicted to improve to approach, meet, and perhaps one day surpass that of HID headlamps. Currently LED's requires a large heat sink to dissipate the heat from them. Currently this heat sink and power requirements make it unacceptable for use as a headlight. I am sure as this technology evolves LED will be the lighting of the future.
HID stands for high-intensity discharge, a technical term for the electric arc that produces the light. The high intensity of the arc comes from metallic salts that are vaporized within the arc chamber (Pill). These lamps are formally known as gas-discharge burners, and produce more light for a given level of power consumption than ordinary tungsten and tungsten-halogen bulbs. Because of the increased amounts of light available from HID burners relative to halogen bulbs, HID headlamps producing a given beam pattern can be made smaller than halogen headlamps producing a comparable beam pattern. Alternatively, the larger size can be retained, in which case the xenon headlamp can produce a more robust beam pattern. The power consumption is lower than Halogen (35 watt example) vs 55/60 watt, and the light produced is much greater Halogen (Hi/Lo): 910/1500 lumens vs HID (Hi/Lo) 3200/3200 lumens.
A lamp is a reflector and a protective lens. The shape of the reflector determines the pattern.Low beam (dipped beam, passing beam, meeting beam) headlamps provide a distribution of light designed to provide adequate forward and lateral illumination with limits on light directed towards the eyes of other road users, to control glare. This beam is intended for use whenever other vehicles are present ahead. High beam (main beam, driving beam, full beam) headlamps provide a bright, center-weighted distribution of light with no particular control of light directed towards other road users' eyes. As such, they are only suitable for use when alone on the road, as the glare they produce will dazzle other driver Passing lamps A pair of lamps commonly found on each side of some HD models such as an Electra Glide®.
Passing lamps can be used as marker lights to increase your visibility to on-coming traffic.
A motorcycle with a headlight and a pair of driving lights mounted horizontally give a line of lights increasing both your day and night time frontal signature. At distance the 3 lights looks like one. There is no confusion to oncoming motorists
A motorcycle with a headlight and a pair of driving lights mounted high or low makes an unusual triangle of light that disorients a driver with depth perception and utilizes thought processes and makes a oncoming unsure of what they are seeing.
Passing lamps are designed much like very wide-angle lights with sharp light cut-offs.
I have provided a case study of Halogen and HID bulbs in 4 1/2" passing lamps and 4 1/2" headlamps