Dangers and risks of using xenon automotive bulbs
Xenon lamps-this is the next stage in the evolution of lighting devices for automotive technology. They were created as a result of research to improve lighting equipment, experts wanted to create powerful lamps with bright light that will have a long life.
This type of lighting equipment is based on the technology of halogen and gas-filled lamps. Xenon bulbs arose in the mid-20th century and were originally used in film projectors. And only in 1991 did the first xenon car headlights appear when Philips launched its models on the market. This type of lighting fixtures is now quite popular, but xenon has not only advantages, but also significant disadvantages that can make operation dangerous. Let's look at all the features of this type of headlights in more detail.
Device and principle of operation
The xenon lamp has the form of a glass bulb, inside of which under pressure there is a special mixture of inert gases, including xenon and metal salts. There are also 2 electrodes in the flask. In order to ignite an arc between them, a voltage of 25,000 V must be applied to the electrodes. During combustion, such a lamp will require a much lower voltage-up to 85 V.
On a vehicle equipped with xenon headlights, special additional equipment is required, which is necessary to ensure safe operation and driving:
- Blocks of ignition-with their help, burning is activated. That is, they are needed so that xenon lamps can start to glow, it is this unit that gives a high-voltage pulse.
- Auto-adjustments of headlights-a special electronic device that provides the ability to adjust the position of the optics relative to the load on the car body, or position relative to the road. He is called to make the light "right." The auto-corrector allows you to automatically adjust the position of the headlights so that the light always hits the road and does not blind drivers driving in the oncoming lane.
- Headlight washers-they are needed to ensure the headlamps are clean, they are installed on the bumper just below the optics of the car. Washers are required, as even the smallest particles of dirt or dust on the optics glass can cause a drop in brightness and the appearance of a spotlight effect.
Why is xenon popular with drivers?
Xenon optics was originally installed by car manufacturers on premium segment cars, now everyone can install such headlights. Yes, if everything is done correctly, then the pleasure is not cheap, but drivers are willing to spend money, since xenon has many advantages over conventional halogen lamps.
The main advantages of this type of lamp:
- Great light output and luminous flux.
- Glow in a narrow range guarantees the driver good visibility in fog and rain conditions.
- High reliability and long service life due to the absence of a filament.
- Efficiency and high efficiency. These lamps almost do not heat up and do not spend energy on this, and with halogens, almost 50% of the energy is spent on heating.
Is it possible to install xenon in Ukraine?
The use of xenon headlights in Ukraine is not prohibited by law, if the manufacturer in the specific model of the car operation of discharge lamps is provided for by design. If the used car headlights were originally designed to install halogen lamps, then xenon is not allowed to be installed in them!
Article No. 122 of the Code of Administrative Offenses establishes liability for the driver who committed a violation that caused an accident. Guided by this article, traffic police officers bring the perpetrators of road accidents to administrative responsibility.
At the same time, a fine of 40-50 times the size of the tax-free minimum income is collected.Another punishment option (tougher) is possible-deprivation of a driver’s license for up to a year.
Traffic police are also entitled to write a fine for xenon, guided by the provisions of the law "On Road Traffic" (Article 12, Part 3), which states that if the owner of the car intentionally created conditions that threaten road safety, he bears administrative responsibility . However, this article does not specifically mention the use of non-standard automotive optics. In this case, the fine is
from 510 to 595 UAH.
What is the danger of xenon?
Xenon itself is not dangerous, the risks arise from the artisanal installation of gas-filled lamps in headlights that are not intended for this. It is for this that responsibility is provided. This is due to the fact that the light of such lamps is very intense and bright and, if improperly set up and installed, can blind drivers of oncoming cars. This often leads to accidents.
Therefore, there are some rules that must be observed:
- You cannot install xenon lamps simply by replacing them with halogen ones.
- When installing them, the use of headlight washers is mandatory.
- The safest and best option is to install factory kits along with special headlights.
- You can only use headlights that are adapted for xenon lamps: it is imperative to replace reflectors or reflectors with those that are compatible with xenon, it is best to use lenses, and an auto-corrector is also necessary.
- Xenon can be replaced only in pairs, these lamps can change the intensity of the light a little over time.
How to avoid a possible fine when converting headlights to xenon?
In fact, in Ukraine xenon headlights are allowed, which does not completely exclude the risk of getting a fine from the police. To avoid this, it is recommended to timely configure and install optics in specialized car services.
If you decide to do all the work yourself, without the help of a specialist, then during installation it is important to pay attention to a few points:
- It is important to correctly position and secure the ignition blocks. Most often, difficulties arise with owners of foreign cars, in which the engine compartment is very densely equipped.
- If a standard bulb does not fit, if you need to specifically adapt to xenon lamps.
- Be sure to reprogram the on-board computer. When installing non-standard automotive lamps, it can constantly give a message that the headlights are blown.
- A very important point is the adjustment of the headlights. If in machines equipped with xenon at the factory, a special module for dynamic adjustment is responsible for adjusting the luminous flux. Then with self-replacement, this can cause difficulties. So that the light from the headlights does not blind the oncoming drivers, it is recommended to lower the headlights slightly using a standard hydraulic corrector.
In any case, remember that self-installing xenon is always a risk. It is very important to do everything right. As already mentioned, even though there is no specific law specifically on xenon in Ukraine, the operation of vehicles with factory-installed galenical lamps replaced by xenon is prohibited. Only owners of cars equipped with this type of optics at the factory can drive safely with xenon, the design of the headlights of which fully meets the requirements of accepted international standards.
If you want to buy xenon in Kiev, Odessa or Kharkov, you can always order a set of lamps at a bargain price in the online store 130.com.ua.