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Thread: Dim Headlights

  1. #1
    Junior Member RobinT's Avatar
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    Dim Headlights

    Hi
    Daft question, but lately I have noticed my headlights don't seem to be as bright as before - do the bulbs gradually degrade and should I look to get them changed to fix the problem (2014 XFS).
    There is no condensation inside the headlight itself, so either I'm going blind, or the lights are getting dimmer.
    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks
    Current Jag:

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    • 2006 XJ6 2.7 TDVR Sport Premium in Black

  2. #2
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    What type of headlights do you have? Are they incandescent (Halogen) or High Intensity Discharge (HID, Xenon, Bi-Xenon). The former most certainly do become dimmer with age as the tungsten from the filament is deposited on the inside of the capsule. HIDs tend to either go red/purple or just give up. A set of Halogens will be under £20 but a pair of HIDs will be around £110 from Halfords (unless you have a trade card).

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    Senior Member jberks's Avatar
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    If it's an XF-S I assume it's bi-xenon. It may be that you've just got used to them.
    Bulbs do go off over time so yes, new ones would be brighter though by how much it's hard to say. By 10 years they're definitely past their best, at 4-5 only if you're particularly sensitive, though I accept on the A61 to Harewood, you need as much light as you can get!
    2012 XF 3.0D S Premium Luxury

  4. #4
    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
    HIDs tend to either go red/purple or just give up.
    True, but they seem to lose output long before they discolour. Standard HID bulbs are about 56-60 pounds a pair. The "high-output" (technically - better focused/lower loss, as the total output is limited by law) types like Nightbreaker Laser, etc are about double.
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  5. #5
    Junior Member RobinT's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. No idea what sort of bulbs they are, I haven't made any changes to them, so with it being the XF-S, I would assume they are the best ones available as standard (if that makes sense).
    Is there some sort of test I can do, or do you think I should get them looked at by a garage? I'm guessing if I take the car to Halfords, they just simply sell me a new set whether they are needed or not?
    Current Jag:

    • 2014 XFS 3.0 V6 Portfolio in Italian Racing Red

    Previous Jags:
    • 2013 XF 2.2 (200) Sportbrake R Sport in Arctic White


    • 2006 XJ6 2.7 TDVR Sport Premium in Black

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilr View Post
    Standard HID bulbs are about 56-60 pounds a pair.
    I had to look pretty hard to find them at that price and they weren't a well known brand. My like for like replacement was an Osram Xenarc and cost £44 for one at trade price. Given that such things are a "grudge" purchase and thus also an urgent requirement looking for a lower price on-line isn't really an option, I won't willingly drive with one headlight out.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    Do you have another car to compare with? Make sure that the dip angle isn't too low. Just over 1% dip is typical and you could do a rough check against a wall if the surface in front of it is more or less horizontal (5m away should have a drop of 5cm from the headlight height).

    The other problem is that as we age, our night vision also deteriorates, typically anytime after about 40 years old. Not a lot one can do about that one apart from slow down at night
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
    XKR 5.0 Speed Pack MY2011 in Polaris White with Ivory/Charcoal Leather, Nevis Alloys and R-Performance Interior plus some other stuff ... 17k miles.
    Hyundai Tucson 1.6T AWD MY2016 in White Sand. Basic, comfortable and surprisingly fast and competent ... 12k miles.
    FIAT Coupe MY1997 in Steel Grey with Tan Leather ... 55k miles.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
    I had to look pretty hard to find them at that price and they weren't a well known brand. My like for like replacement was an Osram Xenarc and cost £44 for one at trade price. Given that such things are a "grudge" purchase and thus also an urgent requirement looking for a lower price on-line isn't really an option, I won't willingly drive with one headlight out.
    Interesting! Is the UK so expensive these days? A pair of Osram Classic D1S or D3S bulbs can be had from 60€ from reputable dealers in Germany, incl. delivery. The D1S Nightbreaker Laser Next Gen I bought were about 90€ on special offer but 110-120€ is always possible. Delivery takes 1-2 days so no big deal most of the time and I have kept the original bulbs for emergencies.
    Last edited by Neilr; 03-12-19 at 10:26.
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
    XKR 5.0 Speed Pack MY2011 in Polaris White with Ivory/Charcoal Leather, Nevis Alloys and R-Performance Interior plus some other stuff ... 17k miles.
    Hyundai Tucson 1.6T AWD MY2016 in White Sand. Basic, comfortable and surprisingly fast and competent ... 12k miles.
    FIAT Coupe MY1997 in Steel Grey with Tan Leather ... 55k miles.

  9. #9
    Senior Member J.J.X.T's Avatar
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    Ebay is the cheapest place - you can get a cheap pair of bulbs for a tenner or so something like Phillips or Osram are about £20+. I had a pair of Phillips X Treme vision in mine slightly better light but not that much - they didn't last that long about 18 months and blew within a week of each other.
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    previously Jaguar X Type 2.1 V6. Gone but not forgotton

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.J.X.T View Post
    Ebay is the cheapest place - you can get a cheap pair of bulbs for a tenner or so something like Phillips or Osram are about £20+. I had a pair of Phillips X Treme vision in mine slightly better light but not that much - they didn't last that long about 18 months and blew within a week of each other.

    Are you talking HIDs? The cheapest I found were £13 or so a pair and the expected life of a HID lamp is around 5 years but usually more.

    I don't use eBay and as I said earlier my need was for a part "right now" which eBay can't do.

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