Xenon Headlights

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Dave, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    How do Volvo's Xenon headlights compare to the standard halogens? Are they
    worth the extra $?

    I read that a couple of years ago Xenon lights were a popular item for
    thieves... Does anyone know if this problem still exists and if Volvo's in
    particular are targets?

    Thanks in advance,
    Dave, Feb 11, 2004
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  2. Dave

    Seagull Guest

    They are much brighter. MUCH brighter. I got a chance to play with them
    at a dealer when looking into an XC70. The 70 series, and presumably
    the others as well, don't use a separate lamp for high beams: the lights
    are so bright that they just "tilt" the beams upward. I don't know the
    exact mechanism there, but it looks like they just move the reflectors
    up and down somehow to change the aim point. Hopefully, there isn't
    a reliability issue here with moving parts. :)

    Whether they are worth the extra $ is a matter of opinion. They are
    awfully bright, which is grat for visibility, but some people find the
    slightly bluish-purpleish tint to be ugly, and they can be a bit obnoxious
    for other drivers on the road. That being said, Volvo's Xenon lamp design
    is actually pretty tame color-wise and I don't think they look bad at all.
    Most peoples' experiences with Xenons are the pimp treatments that are
    given to Honda Civics with oversized spoilers and low-profile tires on
    the aftermarket. ;) Volvo has done a good job in avoiding this look.
    The lamps are expensive and in demand, which always translates to an
    attractive target. I have not heard much about how susceptible Volvo's
    design is to theft, but I was told by the dealer that they were designed
    with this concern in mind.

    Seagull, Feb 11, 2004
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  3. Dave

    James Sweet Guest

    I would guess that this mainly applies to aftermarket setups which are
    easily ripped off and installed in another vehicle. Most factory installs
    are customized to the vehicle and convoluted enough that it'd be very
    difficult to yank them quickly and install them in something else.
    James Sweet, Feb 11, 2004
  4. Dave

    Rob Guenther Guest

    Well high beams in general don't constitute a huge wattage increase, Most
    duel filament bulbs are 55/65W.... Our 960 is like this... The VW I drive
    leaves its low beam on, and uses the high beam as a complimentary light,
    running another 55W to cover the far reaches.... 110W total power compared
    to 65W.... Midnight sun with that car, i'd love to see it with Xenon.... I
    also can save money and use my high beam bulbs if my low beam bulbs burn
    out.... if I am in a bind and have no money or something ;-).

    I've driven a truck with Xenons, ohhh my god was that an experience, the
    range was so good.
    Rob Guenther, Feb 11, 2004
  5. Dave

    Bob Noble Guest

    Perhaps it was Volvo, perhaps another OEM. Anyway - somebody had a
    small drawing that showed a slotted shutter arrangement that moved up
    and/or down to use the same reflector for the two functions, low and
    high beams. The mechanism was so simple that reliability ought not to
    be a concern.
    The "bulb" was actually a tube that produces a relatively lengthy source
    of light, so exposing one part or another should work just fine.

    bob noble
    Reno, NV, USA
    Bob Noble, Feb 12, 2004
  6. Dave

    James Sweet Guest

    Even with a standard light setup you can turn on the high beams and both
    will generally work even when one low beam filament has burned out, still
    there's no excuse to drive like that, it's unsafe and blinds other drivers.
    James Sweet, Feb 12, 2004
  7. Dave

    James Sweet Guest

    The bulb is a small arc tube, but the actual arc is only a few mm long, the
    rest of the quartz tube is for holding the electrodes and wire feed ins.
    "Xenon" headlights are actually a small metal halide lamp that uses a xenon
    gas fill with halide salts to produce the desired color of light. It's
    actually possible to make them a much more natural white, but people seem to
    like the rice boy blue.
    James Sweet, Feb 12, 2004
  8. Dave

    Rob Guenther Guest

    I meant since I have two seperate bulbs (both work in conjunction to give me
    high beam) I can swap my high beam bulb into my low beam, if needed... as
    99.9% of driving is done with the low beams, and where I am highbeams aren't
    needed, unless you are taking the back roads home at night, between town
    (there is always a more properly lit route tho).
    Rob Guenther, Feb 12, 2004
  9. Dave

    James Sweet Guest

    Are they the same bulb? I have the four lamp setup on my 240, and it uses an
    H4 bulb in the outer low/high lamps and I think H7 in the inner high only
    lamps. The old sealed beams used a high/low for the outer and high only for
    the inner.
    James Sweet, Feb 12, 2004
  10. Dave

    Rob Guenther Guest

    Both are 55W H7, checked in the Canadian Tire light guide. The high beam
    lamps are very specifically aimed to cover exactly where the low beams leave
    off... Clever design.

    I wish my families 93' 960 had something similar... When I switch the high
    beam on, the low beams kick off (as they should) but at only 65W they just
    don't seem powerful compared to those in mine and my dad's Golfs (99.5 and a
    2003)... I tried to push for euro lights, but the consensus is that we would
    wait until a front light gets smashed by a rock/vandalism before changing
    Rob Guenther, Feb 13, 2004
  11. Dave

    nds Guest

    The Xenon lights are worth the cost, and there is a thriving business in
    stolen parts in California and I suppose the same holds true where you live.
    nds, Feb 14, 2004
  12. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Don't the Bi-Xenon lights in the V70 and S80 have separate elements for the
    high and low beams? I thought that was to what the "Bi" referred.....?
    Dave, Feb 15, 2004
  13. Dave

    Dave Guest

    So I guess here in the New York City area I'm at risk of having my lights
    Dave, Feb 15, 2004
  14. My friend's wife got rid of her Acura after someone tore up her hood and
    attempting to grab the lights. They didn't get the lights, but the car spent
    time in
    a body shop replacing the damage, and they figured it wasn't worth a couple
    times with that.

    Dennis - den6n, Feb 15, 2004
  15. Dave

    Stuart Gray Guest

    As far as I understand it, the same tube is used for hi and lo beams, with
    the light being diverted by a shutter. A second tube is used only for
    flashing the headlights. I think this is wht the "bi" refers to.
    Stuart Gray, Feb 15, 2004
  16. Dave

    MACampbel Guest

    The (non xenon) headlights on our 2002.5 S80 are decent, but I'd certainly
    prefer HID's. Are they not a standard equipment item by now?

    How much extra do they cost? Seems to me they ought to be standard at the
    prices Volvo is asking for the cars, especially considering how many other
    brands give them to you standard.

    Xenon came standard on our 02 Nissan Maxima SE, and they are much, much better
    than the halogens on the Volvo.
    MACampbel, Feb 16, 2004
  17. Dave

    steve sedlis Guest

    Xenons can cost upwards of $2000 for elements, wiring harness and power
    pack. This is why they are so much in demand by car thieves. They are whiter
    and brighter than halogen but the entire system has to be installed, you
    cant just buy bulbs. And they look good coming at you :).

    steve sedlis, Feb 20, 2004
  18. Dave

    Stuart Gray Guest

    And they look good coming at you :).
    No they fucking don't !!!!!!!!!
    Stuart Gray, Feb 22, 2004
  19. Dave

    nds Guest

    The Xenon lamps on my XC 70 do a great job of lighting up the night and when
    they are dipped they are less obnoxious than most other cars on the road. I
    must say you are not familiar with the current Volvo system.

    nds, Feb 22, 2004
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