Automation Automatic headlights - Civinfo
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 25th October 2006, 18:57 Thread Starter
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Automatic headlights

As i used to have a well working clio, i left both wipers and headlights on auto.

The wipers in the civic are so much better, but the headlights are a little bit annoying.

AS soon as they automatically turn on, if its light enough, the turn straight back off, which is very annoying.

Anyone know if there is something that can be done to cause a 2 minute delay or something if they are switched on?

Stuart
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 25th October 2006, 22:13
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bizarely, whilst this has been mentioned in various 'gripe' threads, I can't find that it has one of it's own!

all sorts of thoughts have been put forward by various people, with 'hysteris' (or some other similar word that I didn't understand ) being the latest comment

personally, I'm happy with the way mine work - they only very occasionally flick on under bridges etc

But - if there was a (say) 10 second delay from when it decided it was dark enough for lights to when it actually turned them on (but checking again after the 10 seconds if it was still dark enough) it would be even better

I think the light level that it turns on / off is pretty much ok, it just needs to cope better with brief periods of darkness caused by (say) going under a short bridge.

just my 2p
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 25th October 2006, 22:32
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Now we have the dark nights creeping in, especially tonight when driving home in a monsoon, figured it was dull enough for the auto lights to work, turned it to auto and they still didn't on - I personally don't use them at all, for improved safety if it's dull/overcast and not perfect clear visibility I like to put my sidelights on while driving at least.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 25th October 2006, 23:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTDegs View Post
personally, I'm happy with the way mine work - they only very occasionally flick on under bridges etc
I agree TT, they work fine, occasional flick but no problems at all
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 00:00
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TTDegs, you say they occasionally come on under bridges, well that's one of the problems. How annoying is that for oncoming traffic ?. I have experienced them flashing on and off repeatedly along tree lines roads. In addition, at dusk they do not come on exactly when you expect. Mine come on when most other cars have theirs on already. They are not to my liking, I think they require more effort to operate than the normal on/off switch. A ten-minute design on the back of a fag-packet if you ask me.
Regards, pcr.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 10:48
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Mine seem fine. Very occasionally, if the lighting conditions are at a very specific threshold, they might flick on under bridges, but I don't see that as an issue. I like the fact that they'll come on in tunnels, even fairly brightly lit ones.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 12:25
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Well your lights might flash at an oncoming car waiting to turn right and he may turn in front of you. What can happen, will happen, given time.

I believe that enforced use of Daytime Running Lights are on the cards for the UK in the next year or so, which will of course, make this discussion redundant.

Regards, pcr.

Last edited by pcr; 27th October 2006 at 12:07.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 13:38
 
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I think they are a good feature however flawed but if you don't like it you don't have to use it. Everybodys happy.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 14:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcr View Post
Well your lights might flash at an oncoming car waiting to right and he may turn in front of you. What can happen, will happen, given time.

I believe that enforced use of Daytime Running Lights are on the cards for the UK in the next year or so, which will of course, make this discussion redundant.

Regards, pcr.
I hadn't thought of that, but it's a valid point. It's worth bearing in mind that headlamp flashing is normally done on main beam. The automatic headlights use dipped beam, unless you happen to have the stalk pushed forward already, which is unlikely. So, the headlights will not appear as intense and look less like a flash. But certainly worth bearing in mind.

I personally leave them on automatic, except when it's raining or foggy during the day, in which case, I override them to turn on dipped headlights.

Are we getting daytime running lights? I didn't know that. Are they the same as dipped beams, or are they something entirely different?
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 14:58
 
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Yeah, just dipped beam. I bet the bulb manufacturers are happy, think of all the extra burning hours all our lamps are going to have to endure!

I personally don't know about this idea. I do feel that too many drivers put their lights on too late, and some seem to forget to use them at all, but I don't see any advantage of using them all day long. People will soon get accustomed to the lights so in the long run won't improve visibility.

It also seems very environmentally un-friendly. Think of all the energy that is used to power all the headlights, and think how much extra fuel is burned as a nation because of it.
[/cynical mode]
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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 15:22
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I thought they were talking about different lights now, rather than just dipped to prevent "masking" motorcycles - like they don't blend in at night anyway.

There's some info about the legislation on the Drivers Against Daytime Running Lights website

Boy do those guys need a new acronym
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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 17:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcr View Post
TTDegs, you say they occasionally come on under bridges, well that's one of the problems. How annoying is that for oncoming traffic ?. I have experienced them flashing on and off repeatedly along tree lines roads. In addition, at dusk they do not come on exactly when you expect. Mine come on when most other cars have theirs on already. They are not to my liking, I think they require more effort to operate than the normal on/off switch. A ten-minute design on the back of a fag-packet if you ask me.
Regards, pcr.
bustard fl9876876876ing 'net connection!

right then.

rewriting all of that....


pcr - therein lies the problem

on one hand, the lights come on too readily (under bridges, trees etc) BUT
on the other hand, they don't come on readily enough (dusk)




My preferred solution would be to leave the 'darkness detection level' where it is, but to introduce a delay...

PHP Code:
WHILE ignition=on
   
IF Lights=off THEN
      
IF Dark=true THEN
         
FOR waitloop 1 to 5
            wait 1 second
         NEXT waitloop
         
IF Dark=true THEN
            Lights
=on
         END 
IF
      
END IF
   ELSE
      IF 
Dark=false THEN
         Lights
=off
      END 
IF
   
END IF
END WHILE 
This would delay the lights being turned on when the car thinks it is dark, by 5 seconds.
If at the end of the delay, it is still dark, lights come on
but if it is not still dark (bridge, trees etc), they don't

It would delay lights by 5 seconds at dusk, but that doesn't seem unreasonable


Sorted

Now all we have to do is implement....

Last edited by TTDegs; 26th October 2006 at 17:32.
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 19:28
 
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Great solution TT, but I would prefer them to come on instantly, then wait a minute or two before thinking about turning off.

This would mean the the lights didn't ever 'flash' on and off, and it would mean you lights are on as soon as they are needed when entering a dark environment.

Many tunnels or larger bridges would take > 5 seconds to clear, so could still come on and confuse someone, if that is your fear. They would still come on if you didn't want them, just a bit later. IMO, it'd be better to have a minimum time on.

Nice logic chart, though! Well done!
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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 21:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle View Post
Great solution TT, but I would prefer them to come on instantly, then wait a minute or two before thinking about turning off.

This would mean the the lights didn't ever 'flash' on and off, and it would mean you lights are on as soon as they are needed when entering a dark environment.

Many tunnels or larger bridges would take > 5 seconds to clear, so could still come on and confuse someone, if that is your fear. They would still come on if you didn't want them, just a bit later. IMO, it'd be better to have a minimum time on.

Nice logic chart, though! Well done!
That would take care of the 'Homing Light' requirement
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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 26th October 2006, 22:09
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TTDegs,
Nice response, you know I was hoping to get the last word on this subject.

Firstly, there has to be hysteresis. Two switching thresholds, one at which the lights turn on which is at a lower light level than the second, at which the lights turn off. We have this already and it avoids the lights yoyoing on and off at dawn and dusk. Consider repeated passes though your code when the light level is hovering around the "dark" threshold, the outcome is indeterminate each time since dark=true will fluctuate. Hysteresis is everywhere, even in the humble light switch which uses a spring to snap through the switching point in order to avoid this bouncing effect.

Secondly, for me, the one good feature of Auto lights is that they come on quickly when entering a dark tunnel or parking area. The use of a delay compromises this.

My effort at a solution would require three switching thresholds, LIGHT, DARK, VERY DARK.

Given that the choice of thresholds is a bit subjective so will not suit everyone :-

If it has been DARK for all of five seconds then lights on.
If it has been LIGHT for all of five seconds then lights off.
If it has been VERY DARK for all of one second then lights on.

Not ideal, but a starting point.

Regards, pcr.

Last edited by pcr; 27th October 2006 at 12:04.
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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old 27th October 2006, 08:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle View Post
Yeah, just dipped beam. I bet the bulb manufacturers are happy, think of all the extra burning hours all our lamps are going to have to endure!

I personally don't know about this idea. I do feel that too many drivers put their lights on too late, and some seem to forget to use them at all, but I don't see any advantage of using them all day long. People will soon get accustomed to the lights so in the long run won't improve visibility.

It also seems very environmentally un-friendly. Think of all the energy that is used to power all the headlights, and think how much extra fuel is burned as a nation because of it.
[/cynical mode]
I have to disagree.
Here in Croatia it's law to have dipped (low) beam on at all times.
And it does improve visibility, even at daytime - especially if sun is coming onto your screen - than it's much easier to spot someone coming towards you.
As for 'environmentally unfriendly' - it's really BS. How much do 2 lamps need power? 110W for front, and some 20-ish W for rear. Compare that to power just needed to idle engine, or power used when driving. Having lights on at all time won't raise your fuel consumption not even by 0.1l per 100km - yet it *does* help visibility and safety.
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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old 27th October 2006, 08:36
 
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Nick7, there is a huge movement to stop this happening, as it is detrimental to the safety of vunerable road useres such as bikes (motor and pedal), pedestrians, animals, and horse riders.

For example, motorcycles use their lights all day to be more visable. They stand out from the traffic to make it easier to see them. If everybody had lights on, it would completely hide them and could cause serious problems. There are many other reasons why it is said to be dangerous which I will not go into with you.

Regarding my comment about energy consumption being BS, I am not happy with that at all.
One car with it's lights on will hardly use any extra energy. Hundreds of thousands of cars with lights on during the day would use a lot of energy that would otherwise not be used. In a world we are told we need to conserve energy and not waste it, this seems a contradiction. The same with speed bumops, they cause lots of extra pollution due to cars slowing down for the bump and accelerating to the next, only to slow down again.*

*yes, I know you are supposed to 'maintain a reduced speed' through an area of speed humps, but most do not.
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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old 27th October 2006, 09:48
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Here are some numbers to ponder:

A typical car (40 mpg, average speed 40 mph, fuel 46 MJ/Kg), burns fuel at a rate of 46 kW.

So a journey of 30 minutes lights on, uses the same fuel as lights off for 30 minutes and 5 seconds.

So there is a difference, but it would be negated by 5 seconds normal driving, or maybe a 1 second burst of acceleration. Worse culprits for energy waste would be air conditioning, driving faster than 45 mph, traffic lights, roundabouts, traffic jams and so on.

On the subject of visibility, it is my experience (as a biker) that it is lateral movement that people see (or don't see), so lights on all vehicles may enhance that effect.


PS Please try to use terms such as incorrect rather than BS - helps to not wind people up unnecessarily.
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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old 27th October 2006, 11:58
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This thread prompted me to do a bit of googling and it turns out that daytime running lights is a somewhat controversial subject. One thing I've noticed for years, that no-one ever seems to pick up on, is that army vehicles always seem to drive with their headlights on during the day.

The conclusion I've come to is that they might do this because they're generally painted in camouflage colours...
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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old 27th October 2006, 13:24
 
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I used to work at Heathrow Airport (airside) and they have completely different driving laws there. We have to, at all times, drive with our yellow beacons flashing on the roof of the car AND have headlights on ALL the time.

If you drive "Airside" at any of the UK airports, you have to have another driving test as the rules of the open roads are different to driving airside. I asked the instructor why we had to have the headlights on and he said it was a safety issue, AND law passed by the EU!! Make of that what you will.

ALSO, if you drive without the headlights on, you WILL ALWAYS get a fine of 150 - they were strict!
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