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View Full Version : PL 700 halogen wattage?



ichthos
06-27-2009, 02:16 AM
I have the stock 60/40 bulbs in my PL700s. I am going on a cross country trip shortly, and with my night vision, I definately need the newer halogens. I noticed the halogens are offered as 60/55, 100/55, 100/80, and 100/90. Can someone tell me what wattage they run in their PL700/s or reproductions? Does anyone know if the bulbs for the reproductions fit the original PL700's? Anyone have a favorite source for the halogens? Any input would greatly be appreciated.

Kevin

TR3driver
06-27-2009, 08:49 AM
If you need better light, my suggestion is to lose the PL700s and get some good quality, modern lights. More wattage doesn't help nearly as much as more efficient gathering and focusing of the light. And from what I've heard, the reproduction PL700s aren't even as good as the originals, from a light quality standpoint.

Original PL700s took a different type of bulb than most of the reproductions do. Bulbs to fit original PL700 are much less common, but they can be found, for example at Daniel Stern (https://www.danielsternlighting.com/products/products.html) .

Another solution that I've not seen before is offered at https://www.volvosolutions.com/Misc_P45T.html But I'm always suspicious of conversions, because the reflectors are designed assuming a very specific location and even orientation for the filament and the adapters may or may not locate the filament properly.

My suggestion would be the 7" Cibie lamps from Daniel Stern (https://www.danielsternlighting.com/products/products.html) combined with relays and either 100/55 bulbs, or the 60/55 "+50 high output" bulbs.
The relays also make a noticeable difference in how much light gets to the road, because they eliminate the voltage drop through the original switches and halogen bulbs are very sensitive to low voltage.

Andrew Mace
06-27-2009, 08:50 AM
I'll be interested in answers. Original PL700 lamps took a "Type A" bulb, which was a rather unique bulb, although it was used in several types of European headlamps "back then" (I have a pair of Cibie "Optiques" -- they of the concave lens -- that also took the Type A bulb)! I've heard there is a halogen replacement, but I don't know details.

kodanja
06-27-2009, 12:40 PM
Since I replaced my stock Lucas alternator with the Bosch 55amp, I can see a major difference in the brightness of my lamps~!


https://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/KODANJA7/DSC07730.jpg

tdskip
06-27-2009, 02:30 PM
I just bought a pair of these for $60 on Amazon.

https://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51H%2BVbioQ9L._SS500_.jpg

DaveatMoon
06-27-2009, 05:54 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]I am going on a cross country trip shortly, and with my night vision, I definately need the newer halogens.[/QUOTE]
Be careful. If your headlights wind up noticeably brighter than other cars you can (and in some jurisdictions probably will) be pulled over. The DOT standard, and therefore the legal limit in most states, for headlight wattage is 55/65W (low/high). Anything brighter than that will likely get you a fine and strand you until they're replaced, if they're bright enough to call attention to themselves. :blush:

TR3driver
06-27-2009, 06:29 PM
If your headlights wind up noticeably brighter than other cars you can (and in some jurisdictions probably will) be pulled over. While I don't doubt that there are some jurisdictions where you can be pulled over (just driving a 'furrin' car is enough in some places); the DOT standards were basically repealed some years ago and never did specify a particular wattage. Even arc lamps are legal today (known as HID) as long as the low beams do not blind oncoming drivers.

BTW PL700s did not meet DOT standards and hence were (still are in some places) technically illegal in the US. But I've been running "illegal" headlights since at least 1976, even in places like OH, IN and PA and I have never had an officer so much as mention them.

And I've not met one yet that carried around a light meter to check how bright your headlights are :laugh:

DNK
06-27-2009, 06:49 PM
Kevin- Your takin your car on a long trip????

TR3driver
06-27-2009, 08:51 PM
Not strictly germane to the topic, but here's a comparative photo of an H4 halogen vs a standard tungsten sealed beam on my Stag. Both are correctly aimed, on low beam.

The difference in beam pattern is obvious, but the camera doesn't capture the difference in light. The H4 is much whiter and clearer, while the tungsten is quite yellow by comparison.
https://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh260/TR3driver/DSCF0008dimmed.jpg

tdskip
06-27-2009, 11:37 PM
Kevin- Your takin your car on a long trip????

Oh, yeah. Good catch Don.

What is the scoop? What sort of road trip? Do tell!

DaveatMoon
06-28-2009, 12:11 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:].....even in places like OH, IN and PA and I have never had an officer so much as mention them.

And I've not met one yet that carried around a light meter to check how bright your headlights are [/QUOTE]
I can tell you this much for sure. In PA if bring your car in for annual inspection and the bulbs are rated at all differently from 55/65W the car will fail inspection. If a PA police officer suspects a car on the road would not pass a PA inspection at any time he is within his rights to request a Penndot (PA-DOT) vehicle inspection team to evaluate the car and determine it's legality. If illegal and repairs can't be made on the spot the car is impounded until such time as it is repaired. And of course there are fines associalted with all of this.

And you can darn well bet that those little white Penndot vans you see checking 18 wheelers at the weigh stations <span style="text-decoration: underline">do</span> have light meters.

I know. I used to work with them (state/local police and DOT inspectors) as a PA Dept. of Environmental Resources inspector in numerous field projects.

...And I seriously doubt that PA is an exceptional state in this regard.

DaveatMoon
06-28-2009, 12:56 AM
BTW, Here's a link to the Federal Register Section for headlamp regulation (https://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2004/octqtr/49cfr571.108.htm), which is cited in the PA Code and probably every other state's vehicular regulations. The type of headlamp most lbc's used is called "Type D", 2 round 7" dual-filament bulbs. 49CFR571.10 Section S7.3.5(b) reads:
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]The maximum wattage at 12.8 volts (design voltage): 65 watts on upper beam, and 55 watts on lower beam. [/QUOTE]
Any compliant seperate bulb element or sealed beam unit will be plainly marked for "DOT" compliance. If that's not there, and an officer feels that a headlight system is causing a hazard to others on the road, I would not be surprised to see citations written on the spot with or without assistence from state vehicular inspectors. I know of a few people in 2 states (PA &amp; IA) who've been cited for illegal driving lights. Illegal headlamps are just as easy to enforce against.

All I'm saying is that if the bulbs chosen are too bright there will be risks involved. Anyone who's eyesight has problems with night vision knows what it's like to try and drive into lights that are too bright, and we all know how easy it is to spot illegal lights.

TR3driver
06-28-2009, 01:17 AM
I can tell you this much for sure. In PA if bring your car in for annual inspection and the bulbs are rated at all differently from 55/65W the car will fail inspection. I find that really hard to believe, especially since the standard 7" tungsten sealed beam headlight bulbs are not rated 55/65. Neither are the HID lights found on many high-end new cars.

Do they actually disassemble the headlights to check the markings on the bulbs?
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]...And I seriously doubt that PA is an exceptional state in this regard. [/QUOTE]Honestly, I don't know of any other state that is so anal about modifications. My college roommate claimed you guys can't even have different size tires front/rear (which I suppose makes cars like the Corvette and MR2 illegal there). Makes me wonder why PA residents put up with it. Is the horse and buggy lobby really that strong?

TR3driver
06-28-2009, 01:30 AM
49CFR571.10 Section S7.3.5(b) reads:
[quote]The maximum wattage at 12.8 volts (design voltage): 65 watts on upper beam, and 55 watts on lower beam. And section S7.1 says that only cars manufactured on or after Sept 1 1994 must meet any of section S7.3, S7.4, S7.5 or S7.6. Since no Triumphs were manufactured on or after Sept 1 1994, the entire section does not apply to Triumphs.

ichthos
06-28-2009, 11:27 AM
Thanks for all the input. I am confused by a lot of the conversation. So, is the first number listed always the highbeam and the second the low beam? Who would I go to to find out what is legal in my state (I live in WA)? I will be travelling east by way of Montana and dropping down into Ohio at some point. I figure if it is legal in my state, it should be fairly consistent across the US. Even if it is not in one state, I can always take a pair of the regular bulbs to switch out if it is not. I currently have Lucas 60/40 bulbs. Would you say that using a max of 65/55 halogens would be safe legally?

Here is the bottom line: all I want is the brightest light I can have without blinding other drivers. As I shared, I took my car on a night drive, about 6 hours, across the state. I had to be the only car that didn't have halogens. When they would pass me, their light beams were so strong that you could barely tell my lights were on. It is sort of hard on the eyes with the drastic light change all night long. Add to that it was raining, and it made it even more difficult. I will be driving about 12 hours a day for three or four days, hopefully during the day mostly, but if it does come down to night driving, I want to be prepared.

I don't know how well halogens will even work in the PL700's, but I am at least going to try it out and find out. I figure if the reproductions are all using halogens, it is worth a try.

TFR
06-28-2009, 11:41 AM
I work in a place that manufactures headlights. To calculate wattage you use the the amps x voltage (ohms law). So if you not sure of the wattage just measure the amps and multiply it times 12.8 (rated user voltage).
As for light positioning. It amazes me how we all get excited over the light positioning on a sealed beam headlight when all the new composites are barely able to aim. I can't figure out how they pass state aim inspection.
It also amazes me how aftermarket companies can sell europian headlights in the US when they allow way to much glare light.

My .02

angelfj1
06-28-2009, 12:28 PM
I work in a place that manufactures headlights. To calculate wattage you use the the amps x voltage (ohms law). So if you not sure of the wattage just measure the amps and multiply it times 12.8 (rated user voltage).
As for light positioning. It amazes me how we all get excited over the light positioning on a sealed beam headlight when all the new composites are barely able to aim. I can't figure out how they pass state aim inspection.
It also amazes me how aftermarket companies can sell europian headlights in the US when they allow way to much glare light.

My .02

I've lived in PA most of my life. It is quite backward in many ways, e.g. can't buy beer and wine in a grocery - uncivilized! So, I would believe almost anything.

"To calculate wattage you use the the amps x voltage (ohms law). So if you not sure of the wattage just measure the amps and multiply it times 12.8 (rated user voltage)."

yes, a simple relationship. However, the newer technology lamps produce more lumens per watt. It's the lumens that illuminate the road. So watts/lumens vary dramatically from lamp to lamp and therefor watts alone can not really be used for light output comparison, IMO.

DaveatMoon
06-28-2009, 04:53 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]However, the newer technology lamps produce more lumens per watt. It's the lumens that illuminate the road. So watts/lumens vary dramatically from lamp to lamp and therefor watts alone can not really be used for light output comparison, IMO.[/QUOTE]
Watts alone aren't used for comparisons or in defining legality. The PA Code, which I use because I'm somewhat familiar with it, uses both the CFR/DOT wattage descriptions and a candlepower rating. To be legal you have to pass both.

Legal lights will have their DOT certification printed or embossed on them somewhere. Without that you'll have a problem should they be called into question.

And yes, PA is especially restrictive in automotive regulations. It was their regs that originally outlawed glass covered headlights in 1965. Other states can be as permissive as they want, both in law and enforcement. Here, one state over in Ohio, there's a guy in my neighborhood who has red turn signals <span style="text-decoration: underline">on the front <span style="font-style: italic">of a <span style="font-weight: bold">motorcycle!</span></span></span> He's had them for three years now that I know of (and somehow hasn't been killed yet!). Over the border in PA you wouldn't get past the first cop like that.

DaveatMoon
06-28-2009, 05:45 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:] However, the newer technology lamps produce more lumens per watt. It's the lumens that illuminate the road. So watts/lumens vary dramatically from lamp to lamp and therefor watts alone can not really be used for light output comparison, IMO. [/QUOTE]
I forgot to mention that this is why there are so many classifications of headlamps. 7" round headlamps are classified as "Type D" out of a series of definitions that runs through at least "Type H". Each one has specific requirements that must be met and/or not exceeded, including wattage that varies by type.

DaveatMoon
06-28-2009, 05:47 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:] Do they actually disassemble the headlights to check the markings on the bulbs?[/QUOTE]
I they have a reason to, they're <span style="text-decoration: underline">required</span> to do so.

All they need to find is the "DOT" Certification markings. If they're not there, your car fails.

More to Kevin's issue, if you drive through a given state you are required to meet their regulations. They <span style="text-decoration: underline">may</span> grant some leeway, but in a situation where other's saftey is compromised (i.e. by lights that are too bright) that's a dubious thing to trust in. If (as he is) you're taking your car on an interstate tour, using non-DOT approved lighting that calls attention to itself is a questionable thing to do no matter what your state allows.

TR3driver
06-28-2009, 06:49 PM
All they need to find is the "DOT" Certification markings. If they're not there, your car fails.Which AFAIK lets out all PL700s (and replicas) as well as most lamps that take replaceable halogen bulbs. Even my "high tech" complex surface reflector lamps do not bear the DOT marking.

Oddly enough, neither do my old tungsten sealed beams! As I mentioned before, that entire section applies only to cars made since 1994. That's not to say that PA doesn't try to apply it to old cars (dangerous things, shouldn't be allowed on the road anyway), but the Fed doesn't.

DNK
06-28-2009, 06:51 PM
Been running illegal lights since I started driving my fist car. A Lotus Cortina with the Cibie concave lenses. Didn't pass inspection for the new tags,VA to MD.
Put DOT legal ones in and only put one screw in em so putting the"correct" unit back in would be quicker. Every car I have owned has had "better" lamps in it.

DaveatMoon
06-28-2009, 07:21 PM
All they need to find is the "DOT" Certification markings. If they're not there, your car fails.Which AFAIK lets out all PL700s (and replicas) as well as most lamps that take replaceable halogen bulbs. Even my "high tech" complex surface reflector lamps do not bear the DOT marking.

Oddly enough, neither do my old tungsten sealed beams! As I mentioned before, that entire section applies only to cars made since 1994. That's not to say that PA doesn't try to apply it to old cars (dangerous things, shouldn't be allowed on the road anyway), but the Fed doesn't.
Then your bulbs are (at least technically) illegal. The requirement for such a marking is listed in Section S7.3, immediately after the 1994 date you cited in Section S7.1

Also the 1994 date in Section S7.1 is simply the last time a new category of headlamp (probably "Type H") was added. Prior to that date at least one of the categories listed wasn't yet approved, so if units built prior to that date they were not retro-actively approved. Prior to 1984 there were only 4 categories. Prior to 1974 there were only 2, etc.

Again, this is only a problem if lights are chosen that are noticeably brighter than normal DOT approved lighting. If you don't look any different in the dead of night, you won't have a problem. If you put "off-road" bulbs in your car (which 80/90/100W bulbs will be marked as), you're taking a chance which is worsened with every state line you cross.

TR3driver
06-28-2009, 07:49 PM
I would certainly agree that, no matter what headlamps you opt for, it is very important to not blind oncoming drivers. But if you'll check the photo above, you'll see that my "illegal" headlights actually put LESS light into the other driver's eyes, while putting more light on the road.

I've only been through about 13 states so far with those particular headlights (with much of the driving at night) but I'll continue to take my chances. I'm hoping the CSRs will turn out even better.

Also the 1994 date in Section S7.1 is simply the last time a new category of headlamp (probably "Type H") was added. Could be.

But the words say the section does not apply to older cars. And if they are going to outlaw cars equipped "as original", I think the AACA et al would have a few words to say on the subject.

DaveatMoon
06-28-2009, 10:57 PM
But the words say the section does not apply to older cars.
Where?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]S7.1 Each passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, and
bus manufactured on or after September 1, 1994, shall be equipped with a
headlighting system designed to conform to the requirements of S7.3,
S7.4, S7.5, or S7.6.
[/QUOTE]
That doesn't say anything about anyone <span style="text-decoration: underline">not</span> being regulated.

I used to enforce regulations for a living. You do not read them like a set of instructions, allowing your intellect to interject things like "<span style="font-style: italic">Everything else is O.K.</span>" at the end of lines like that. That would be VERY dangerous to assume. This isn't english, it's legalese.

That section of the regulation (in different form) existed before 1994. Heck, it existed before 1944. Cars and aftermarket parts for them are subject to the regulations in place at the time of manufacture. We all know that or else we'd all be driving British sports cars with catalytic converters &amp; 1980 MGB bumpers grafted on to them. The current regulation, which is actually quite old by regulation standards, is what's currently available online. It's definitions for lighting systems that existed before 1994 still apply, including every one found on our cars. They haven't changed.

TR3driver
06-28-2009, 11:18 PM
That doesn't say anything about anyone <span style="text-decoration: underline">not</span> being regulated.Right ... it doesn't say you are allowed to eat white bread either; but it sure doesn't prohibit it.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]This isn't english, it's legalese.[/QUOTE]Wasn't it Thurgood Marshall who said the law should be interpreted narrowly? In any case, I don't believe any judge would interpret that section as prohibiting anything on cars manufactured before the given date.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]That section of the regulation (in different form) existed before 1994.[/QUOTE]Which also matters not at all. The current form is the law now.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]We all know that or else we'd all be driving British sports cars with catalytic converters &amp; 1980 MGB bumpers grafted on to them.[/QUOTE]Which would be perfectly legal, AFAIK, assuming you mean cars made before 1968. Adding seat belts and shoulder harnesses; even roll bars; are perfect examples. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:] It's definitions for lighting systems that existed before 1994 still apply, including every one found on our cars. They haven't changed. [/QUOTE]The definitions may be the same, but unless the law says which ones are allowed and which ones aren't ... it doesn't say. And we are not yet at the point of "everything not mandatory is forbidden". To be illegal, there must be a law against it.

DaveatMoon
06-28-2009, 11:40 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]To be illegal, there must be a law against it.[/QUOTE]
There is. These are regulations, not laws. There's a difference.

TR3driver
06-28-2009, 11:45 PM
These are regulations, not laws. There's a difference. And if the law says I must comply with these regulations, I am. There is still nothing in there that requires a sealed beam headlight on a car made before 1994.

DaveatMoon
06-28-2009, 11:50 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]Cars and aftermarket parts for them are subject to the regulations in place at the time of manufacture. We all know that or else we'd all be driving British sports cars with catalytic converters &amp; 1980 MGB bumpers grafted on to them. The current regulation, which is actually quite old by regulation standards, is what's currently available online.[/QUOTE]
Your question was answered.

TR3driver
06-29-2009, 12:20 AM
Your question was answered. Actually, it wasn't. Anyone happen to have a copy of the <span style="font-weight: bold">relevant </span>regulation?