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Headlight Question
#1
MKII berlingo van.

When I switch from dipped beam to main beam, the dipped beam goes out, is this normal with berlingos ? the other two vehicles that I drive, a yeti and a mercedes, the dipped beam stays on when the main beam is on.

The problem I am finding with the berlingo configuration is; when driving in very wet weather if I go to main beam there is a poorly lit area immediately in front of the vehicle that makes spotting surface water quite difficult. If there is a lot of surface water I will drive just on dipped beam as I find that safer, but that is far from ideal.

Curiously if I hold the indicator stalk back in the "flash" position, both main and dipped stay illuminated which gives wonderful lighting.

any thoughts ?

I was thinking of fitting fog lights and wiring them up to come on with just full beam, would that work ? are berlingo fogs any good?
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#2
You have H4 headlight bulbs so they work on dipped OR main as both filaments are in the one bulb and it would overheat with both filaments on at the same time.
If you had H7's or H1's they normally both come on with main beam as they are seperate bulbs (I suspect this is the case with your other cars)

It is an offence to use foglights if visibility is over 100mtrs. as they can dazzle oncoming traffic and are likely to get you a £30 fixed penalty.
You would be better to fit supplimental spotlights, or try adjusting lights downwards slightly.

http://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/driving-i...w-226.html
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic...45251&i=20
http://www.swiftcover.com/about/press/fog-lights/
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#3
(08-01-2016, 06:15 AM)Col Wrote:  You have H4 headlight bulbs so they work on dipped OR main as both filaments are in the one bulb and it would overheat with both filaments on at the same time.
If you had H7's or H1's they normally both come on with main beam as they are seperate bulbs (I suspect this is the case with your other cars)

It is an offence to use foglights if visibility is over 100mtrs. as they can dazzle oncoming traffic and are likely to get you a £30 fixed penalty.
You would be better to fit supplimental spotlights, or try adjusting lights downwards slightly.

http://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/driving-i...w-226.html
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic...45251&i=20
http://www.swiftcover.com/about/press/fog-lights/
Indeed, and I wish the police would crack down on misuse of fog lights, about 1 in every 6 vehicles round these parts seem to drive about with fog lights on, I am sure some thing they are bling jewellery - bloody annoying.
You will see in my OP that i suggested wiring the fogs to come on only with "Main Beam" so effectively they would no longer be fog lights but supplementary spotlights
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#4
I too have never had a car with H4 headlights before, and I noticed the same when I got my Berlingo about a year ago.

I've got factory-fit foglights on my 64-reg, and just recently I was driving on some unlit country roads at night, so I tried out the yobbo foglights to see if they did improve things. They do - massively. They light up exactly the area that you miss once the dipped beam lights go off.

As I'm not a BMW driver, I did switch them off whenever I saw oncoming lights approaching, but eventually thought "what's the point" when you see that the other car happily drives past with theirs on.

Eventually I decided that you can't beat them so may as well just join them. Front fog lights seem to be treated as country road lights these days. In future I'll probably just leave them on like everyone else - I'd rather take the chance on a £30 fine and be able to see the edges of the road, together with the potholes and bumps. I wouldn't use them on lit or major roads or if behind someone else, but they really are extremely useful on dark twisty roads.

I've also got the auto headlights option on my Multispace. With this, one foglight switches on automatically if you're driving below about 25mph and either indicate OR even just turn left or right. So without you doing anything you're technically breaking the law anyway.

Front foglights don't seem as dazzling as they once were. I'm guessing that they're probably tipped down a bit on modern cars, whereas before they were like laser beams out of the front.

On the other hand, I have zero tolerance for the dipsticks that stick their rear foglights on because it's raining. They get my fully beam right in their mirror.
[+] 2 users say Thank You to doofer for this post
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#5
(08-01-2016, 10:10 AM)Noel Brig Wrote:  
(08-01-2016, 06:15 AM)Col Wrote:  You have H4 headlight bulbs so they work on dipped OR main as both filaments are in the one bulb and it would overheat with both filaments on at the same time.
If you had H7's or H1's they normally both come on with main beam as they are seperate bulbs (I suspect this is the case with your other cars)

It is an offence to use foglights if visibility is over 100mtrs. as they can dazzle oncoming traffic and are likely to get you a £30 fixed penalty.
You would be better to fit supplimental spotlights, or try adjusting lights downwards slightly.

http://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/driving-i...w-226.html
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=945251&i=20
http://www.swiftcover.com/about/press/fog-lights/
Indeed, and I wish the police would crack down on misuse of fog lights, about 1 in every 6 vehicles round these parts seem to drive about with fog lights on, I am sure some thing they are bling jewellery - bloody annoying.
You will see in my OP that i suggested wiring the fogs to come on only with "Main Beam"  so effectively they would no longer be fog lights but supplementary spotlights

Fog lights are fog lights due to their position and beam pattern.
If you wired them up as stated you could fail an MOT for incorrect beam pattern  (section1.8 MOT testers manual) but testers seem to differ on this as they are not "Prescribed lights".
Properly adjusted fog lights only light up a few feet in front as they are designed to *shine* under fog and light up Kerb and centreline for a very short distance, hence they have no real range. This is to stop the light reflecting back at you from the fog. This really is to close to the front of the car to make any real difference

Check out http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/...on/20/made Check items 2 & 6 and follow the schedules and you will see spot & fogs are very different in use, position, and beam pattern.
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#6
Whether they should or shouldn't make vision better doesn't matter - the fact is that they're a big improvement on dark roads, especially when the dipped bulbs are switched off. The fact that they are tipped down should mean that they're not particularly dazzling to oncoming traffic - they're certainly nothing like full beam, and probably less dazzling than dipped beam on most of the cars that have those awful HID lights that should have been banned long ago.

I suspect that the car makers know they can get away with having poor close-up illumination because they expect people to switch them on. I've already tried premium light bulbs, and they're an improvement but there's still a big black patch where the dipped beam should be.

I've accepted that I can't beat the rest of the world, and do use them on country roads now. I've never felt the need to before, on cars that have the dipped bulb on at the same time as full beam.
[+] 1 user says Thank You to doofer for this post
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#7
(08-01-2016, 01:30 PM)doofer Wrote:  Whether they should or shouldn't make vision better doesn't matter - the fact is that they're a big improvement on dark roads, especially when the dipped bulbs are switched off.  The fact that they are tipped down should mean that they're not particularly dazzling to oncoming traffic - they're certainly nothing like full beam, and probably less dazzling than dipped beam on most of the cars that have those awful HID lights that should have been banned long ago.

I suspect that the car makers know they can get away with having poor close-up illumination because they expect people to switch them on.  I've already tried premium light bulbs, and they're an improvement but there's still a big black patch where the dipped beam should be.

I've accepted that I can't beat the rest of the world, and do use them on country roads now.  I've never felt the need to before, on cars that have the dipped bulb on at the same time as full beam.

I'm delighted to read all this about Berlingo fog lights. I've got a 2014 VTR and I too find them brilliant (excuse pun). I use them at night on dark country lanes, and you can spot an oncoming vehicle miles away, so there's no danger of dazzling anyone except the odd peasant or pheasant. 
I had integral foglights on a succession of Volvos but they didn't shine on the road really, whereas the Berlingo ones light up the kerb properly.
Does anyone remember the fog-light on the old RT buses? It was angled sideways and down to find the kerb and was the only thing that kept London Transport working in the smog filled days in the 1950s. Happy days.
[+] 1 user says Thank You to rnamman for this post
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#8
(08-01-2016, 12:21 AM)Noel Brig Wrote:  Curiously if I hold the indicator stalk back in the "flash" position, both main and dipped stay illuminated which gives wonderful lighting.

any thoughts ?

I was thinking of fitting fog lights and wiring them up to come on with just full beam, would that work ? are berlingo fogs any good?

Having both filaments lit together will overheat the bulb and shorten it's lifespan. Fogs are for fog you need accessory lights or Specsavers Big Grin
So where does this bit go then ?
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#9
The transit connect I had for awhile had really bad lights as the original poster describes. They have great big headlights with plenty of room in them and a way of overcoming the shortage of light on the road was to connect a wire at the dipswitch so that the dipped beam stayed on when switched to main beam. It didn't affect the bulbs life through overheating because the headlights had plenty of internal room to dissipate heat.. The lens were plastic and didn't seem to affect them either.

In a really long term things may have turned out different as I only ran it for a year before going back to berlingos.
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#10
Thanks for all the replies, some interesting comments. Interesting to note that others have noticed this poorly lit area immediately in front of the vehicle when on full beam, its an important area and if it is well lit it gives very important last minute visuals on puddles and pot holes.

Thanks "Doofer" for letting me know the fogs illuminate this area really well

Thanks "Col" for the caveats, my thinking is still that; if they only come on with full beam then they are no longer fogs, they become just additional spots and the rules are quite lax with those, you can have them up on the roof or all the way along the front. I will ask a lad who is an mot inspector and see what he thinks.

"Brodfather11" I was sort of thinking of just wiring the things up so the dips wouldn't go out, but I'm a bit feared of melting some cable somewhere, Also, if you just joined the wires together then main beam would always be on when the dip was? I'm sure I could figure it out with some relays but would hate to feck up the wiring - LOL

I am going to have a look at how easy it would be to fit some fogs, and if it is not to difficult or expensive I might give it a go. I will have this van for many years to come and it would be nice to have proper lights fitted, especially as I live in a rural area with crappy roads that are regularly flooded.

And on a final thought regarding the improper and anti social use of fogs - the other week I seen someone having a driving lesson and had the fogs on on a clear evening in a built up area - presumably the instructor must have told her to put them on, there's no hope....
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