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Discussion Starter #1
Will the new smart have those bluish looking headlight bulbs (what are those called?), or will they just be standard halogen bulbs? And if so, could you change them if you wanted to?
 

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The 451 has a typical Halogen bulb (H7 IIRC). It is probably a 55 watt job..... The car will have the "projector" lense/reflector style

I am sure many folks will swap out for higher wattage bulbs.... I am personally againts that habit but to each his own....

It has been my experiance that many who go "bigger" usually go too big thinking the if 85W is good ,then 100W must be better.... and it is to a point...

That point being; where you annoy all other oncoming drivers and you compromise your own safety by adding too many amps load to wireing that is not designed to carry that load.....

I bet a small number of Smart owners will swap out the factory bulbs for the new HID effect blue bulbs..... even if they are just for show only and not DOT approved for highway use
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Are the xenon lamps (thanks fishrdnc for the name, I couldn't remember it) DOT approved? I guess they are since BMW and Lexus are selling them in their vehicles. Could you not replace the H7 in the smart with an exact wattage xenon? I like the output of the xenon lamps. I have driven a Lexus at night that has them and really like the way they light up the road.
 

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The xenons may require a special lamp house that the smart may not have. All that I have seen have a very sharp cut-off ("vignetter") that keeps their beam below oncoming drivers' eye heights.
 

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In New Jersey xenon lights are magnets for theft especially on Nissans for some reason (perhaps they're easier to remove on the many Maximas I see with them missing). Very expensive to replace and although I have them on my Mazda 3 GT I don't find that they are THAT much better than halogen.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah, now that you mention it, I do remember noticing a very prominant "line" across the top portion of the light beams as I was driving the car. It was very noticeable if you go over bumps. The "line" would move up and down. It was a very sharp "cutoff" from light to dark.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What I do like about the xenon is the "white" light that they produce. They are more closer to the color temperature of daylight. Much like HMI lighting for film and video.
 

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I have had the sharp cut off on both xenon and halogen lights. In my 95 model the halogen lights were called ellipsoid and it was a matter of the reflector rather than the bulb and the cut off was there regardless of what type of bulb was used . I suspect the xenon may be the same
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the reponses. I'm sure there will be a ton of aftermarket items become available once these cars are released. I'll keep my eye out to see what becomes available.
 

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The 451 has a typical Halogen bulb (H7 IIRC). It is probably a 55 watt job..... The car will have the "projector" lense/reflector style

I am sure many folks will swap out for higher wattage bulbs.... I am personally againts that habit but to each his own....

It has been my experiance that many who go "bigger" usually go too big thinking the if 85W is good ,then 100W must be better.... and it is to a point...

That point being; where you annoy all other oncoming drivers and you compromise your own safety by adding too many amps load to wireing that is not designed to carry that load.....

I bet a small number of Smart owners will swap out the factory bulbs for the new HID effect blue bulbs..... even if they are just for show only and not DOT approved for highway use
"off road" bulbs come in a number of different "heats". Standard bulbs are rated at 5500k and are very yellow. The higher the heat rating (up to 9500k), the bluer the light. But as the rating goes up, the actual light output decreases (due to the rediced light spectrum).

I have found the best balance to maintain the same light output and to maximize the whiteness is to use a 100 watt, 7500k bulb (available from premiertekinc on eBay). Since it has the same light output as a 55 watt, 5500k, it poses no safety hazard to yourself or oncomming traffic. The only concern might be whether the light housing can handle the additional heat from the higher wattage. I have heard of problems of plastic degradation, but have not experienced it on my MINI or pickup truck.
 

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I have a 94 BMW 5 series and they have "elipsoids" or pretty much projector beams and just installed HID not too long ago. The prices for retrofit kits have come down ALOT, they used to be around $300 to $400, but this seller has gotten alot of great reviews and sells a whole kit for less than $100. Everything is plug and play and the difference is amazing. Its so much safer and easier to drive at night now, I dont see how in the future these things arent standard. The light they produce, in color temp is more akin to daylight and for the same amount of power used MUCH brighter.
http://stores.ebay.com/Great-Outdoors-Equipments
The problem with retrofitting older cars is that the majority of them are unsuitable beacause they use a beam pattern designed for halogen, thankfully my car had projectors and they work great with HID. Most of the cars out there with HID sold from the factory have Projectors which provide that sharp cutoff, and most of them have a self leveling system that compensates for load and rough road.
The Smart looks like is a great canidate for these lights as they will come standard with projector beams. This is something that for sure I will do right away once I get the car
Here you can read up on owners that upgraded their older BMW's There are great pics, but you would have to register
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=856322
 

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I have a 94 BMW 5 series and they have "elipsoids" or pretty much projector beams and just installed HID not too long ago. The prices for retrofit kits have come down ALOT, they used to be around $300 to $400, but this seller has gotten alot of great reviews and sells a whole kit for less than $100. Everything is plug and play and the difference is amazing. Its so much safer and easier to drive at night now, I dont see how in the future these things arent standard. The light they produce, in color temp is more akin to daylight and for the same amount of power used MUCH brighter.
Had an E34 with elipsoids it was totaled sp replaced with an E93 with HID lights but they have a leveler. does the upgrade for the E34 have this?
 

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No, and in all honesty I dont think its needed. I did find out that my right headlight assembly was broken and couldn't be adjusted though with all the light that WASNT being put down the road. The cutoff is very sharp and I personally drove in front of my car and by it on the street to check for glare, and I thought newer cars were much worse in terms of it.
 

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They are all ready available for the smart 451 now sold overseas.... but check this out before dropping the money for them. They are dangerous...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVuSSdZNsZw

Installation instructions...

http://www.evilution.co.uk/index.php?page=modpage&id=109&men=Electrical
They are only dangerous if misused. Same could be said for Halogen as well. The Renault had regular style reflector headlamps that were designed for the light output of halogen. In cars like that, yes it is dangerous. But like I stated before, in cars that have projector style lights, like the incoming smart and my BMW, they are safe and useable. Just like any headlight though they need to be properly aimed.
 

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Cut off same on S-2000

I have had the sharp cut off on both xenon and halogen lights. In my 95 model the halogen lights were called ellipsoid and it was a matter of the reflector rather than the bulb and the cut off was there regardless of what type of bulb was used . I suspect the xenon may be the same
I have that cutoff on my S-2000. Because of the relatively stiff suspension on that car, when I am following someone, as the car headlights react to road ups and downs, that *edge* flashes into and out of the car's rear views ahead of me and the driver thinks you're flashing your brights on him and in some cases they pull right over and let you by, thinking that you are in a hurry. I've had the headlight alignment checked and they are fine.
Just the nature of the beast, I'm told.
I think the bulbs are Xenon, though....that bluish color. I never have to use the hi beams as they are so bright on low.
 
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