2016 Lights: Xenon vs. LED - Audi Q3 Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-12-2015, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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2016 Lights: Xenon vs. LED

After configuring the 2016 Q3 in both the Premium Plus and Prestige packages, I closely examined the differences. One major difference I noticed is the headlights. It doesn't make sense to me that the Premium Plus comes with Xenon, and the Prestige comes with full LED. Hmmmm. I have Xenons on my 2014 Mazda 3 - I LOVE them. They are bright white, and provide excellent lighting for the driver. I thought LED was a step down.

I also thought the 2015 had Xenons - yes? How is LED an upgrade? Doesn't make sense to me.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-12-2015, 04:16 PM
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LEDs are just the latest take on headlights. LEDs have been around for a while and are almost ubiquitous as DRLs regardless of price. The headlight LEDs are bound to be pricier to replace than the well proven Xenons, Both of which are way more expensive and brighter than Halogens. I think it all depends on how much night driving you intend to do. I’m old, one eyed, and retired so I don’t ever plan to drive after dark, so the less expensive the better. Plus, I’ve never been an Early Adopter.
My BMW uses Xenons which are very bright and they do a little dance when you turn them on. My 2003 Passat with 118,000 miles uses Halogens which are lighted (DRL) whenever the car is running. The passenger side bulb is original and the driver side burned out a year ago and was replaced at a cost of $40 by the dealer. I’m also lazy.
This is another example of the technology that has convinced one of my friends and I, both long time owners of pricey European cars, that we have now entered the Leasing Era.

But I'm sure non of the New Tech Lighting can hold a candle to the Cibie Z Beam Headlights and Hella Iodine-Quartz Driving Lights that I used when I ran all-night rallies back in the early 60s.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-12-2015, 05:41 PM
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As Bob says the LEDs are the upgrade, they are both brighter, cooler and use less power than the Xenons. They are also about 100% better focused than the current crop of Xenons, which are about 200% better than Halogens. And in the end, I would think they will be less expensive for the car's life cycle - which they should outlast. While Xenons are pretty good they have more failure rates than most would think and at some $100 a bulb, are not that cheap.

... and for Bob, that candle to hold against old Cibies or Hellas - both Halogens, even 100 watters - forget it. These have about twice the luminous flux (a few thousand - like 50 - candles better) and are about 300% better focused...


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post #4 of 10 Old 07-12-2015, 06:50 PM
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... and for Bob, that candle to hold against old Cibies or Hellas - both Halogens, even 100 watters - forget it. These have about twice the luminous flux (a few thousand - like 50 - candles better) and are about 300% better focused...
The candle I was referring to was the single one that apparently powered the sealed beam headlights of the era. I’m sure that the addition of the lamps with rare gas bulbs from Europe had to have had a 1000% advantage over the legal sealed beams. The real downside to the bulb lamps was that they had to be removed when you took the car in for the twice yearly Pennsylvania State Inspection. The Cibie Z beams had the most outrageous top cutoff I have ever seen and yet you were constantly being “flashed down”. Usually a quick dose of high beam stopped them. If not, a full dose of high beams and driving lights always worked. Ah, the joys of youth. Except when it came time to replace the melted wiring harness.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-12-2015, 07:13 PM
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Yup...that's those 100 watters on 55 watt 18 ga wiring
I had a few of those sets on my Minis, Spridgets, a Lotus and even a BMW 320 in 1977 ... Shoot, even my 1980 635CSi had to have sealed beams to pass the DOT requirements (which I switched out right after taking the pics for documentation). Oops, just revealed my scofflaw self back in the gray-market days of yore

Oh and I bet my sealed beams had at least 10 candlepower


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post #6 of 10 Old 07-13-2015, 11:03 AM
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@ vestergirl, we have a couple of owners here in the UK Club who have commented upon the new LED headlights and they seem to come out quite favourably compared to the Xenon versions (which they should considering they are the new tech), in fact I think the normal Xenons are pretty poor compared with other Xenons I have had (MB ML, LR Disco & Lexus RX), I had to upgrade the standard Xenon bulbs with Philips X-treme Xenon bulbs and these made a useful improvement, enough for me now to consider the headlamps as pretty good.

If I were you I would definitely plump for the LED lamps..........no contest.

As for the memory lane ramblings I still have a set of Cibie Bi-odes and a few pairs of Super Oscars in the loft, one I'll get around to hauling them out, they should be like candles nowadays!

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post #7 of 10 Old 07-13-2015, 01:19 PM
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As for the memory lane ramblings I still have a set of Cibie Bi-odes and a few pairs of Super Oscars in the loft, one I'll get around to hauling them out, they should be like candles nowadays!
Europeans have no idea how bad the sealed beam headlights, that were mandated in the USA until 1984, actually were. They were atrocious and downright dangerous when driving at any speed approaching the 55 MPH national speed limit. Although the average speed in rallies was always below the posted limit, all that changed when you missed a clue and were attempting to make-up time. So improved lighting was a must on night rallies.
Continuing down memory lane: I remember some of the fantastic looking headlights that were available on cars not legally sold in the US. The French cars were particularly outrageous.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-13-2015, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BobInPa View Post
Europeans have no idea how bad the sealed beam headlights, that were mandated in the USA until 1984, actually were. They were atrocious and downright dangerous when driving at any speed approaching the 55 MPH national speed limit. Although the average speed in rallies was always below the posted limit, all that changed when you missed a clue and were attempting to make-up time. So improved lighting was a must on night rallies.
Continuing down memory lane: I remember some of the fantastic looking headlights that were available on cars not legally sold in the US. The French cars were particularly outrageous.
I look at this a little differently... I started driving in 1970 and didn't really have any headlight issues unless I was driving a car or motorcycle with an old 6 volt system powered by a generator... I guess from my perspective the lights were OK but have gotten HUGELY more efficient with time (helps me keep up with my dwindling eyesight). Come to think of it you have to drive faster with the old 6 volt system/generator systems just to get enough light too see so 55/65/70 mph was good....

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-13-2015, 01:41 PM
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ooohh - I forgot about the Super Oscars I had on my 970 Cooper S ...


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post #10 of 10 Old 07-13-2015, 03:12 PM
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Europeans have no idea how bad the sealed beam headlights, that were mandated in the USA until 1984, actually were.

The French cars were particularly outrageous.
I think you will find we do, my Mini's, Dolly Sprint and a few others had sealed beam lights, actually the Dolly wasn't too bad (had a four lamp setup) but the Mini's with the 7" SB were bloody awful, always switched to decent lamps asap.
(actually still have a brand new pair of Lucas SB headlights in LHD, procured for a Monte Carlo Rally way back when!)

One of the best "normal" headlamps I ever had on a car were the huge headlamps on the Citroen GSA, made by Marchal I believe, amazing lamps for their day.

177 SE S-Tronic, Pistachio Nappa, Tech Pack, Luggage, Load, 18" 5xTwins, Hot Seats, Bright Bendy Lights, Wobbly Mirrors, LazyBoy Rear Hatch, yadda yadda yadda.....I'll think of more later, Oh yes, and now soft sticky tyres for winter.
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