Energy Efficiency, headlights and electrical systems - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Huachipato View Post
I sometimes wish this car was "dumb" like my Cobra. Unfortunately - the W220 is too smart in some ways.

I've done this to the Cobra - and I've seen how the electrical system is less stressed and everything is brighter now that every single bulb is either HID or LED. I've thought about different ways to do this on the W220 though - and I don't think it is worth it. Everything you do will be with the addition of a resistor to offset any electrical benefits you may have gained. Just doesn't seem worth it.
No, you don't need a resistor on a W220. What you do is code the car for "XENON=PRESENT", and your HID's will work beautifully. Interestingly, the W220 also seems to work fine with halogen assemblies if the car is programmed for XENON=PRESENT. Makes one wonder why MB would bother with two separate settings, doesn't it?

I *love* my HID conversions, and it is most definitely worth it.

2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2000 S500 (wife's DD: my first W220 project car)
2003 S600 ("sex on wheels"--second w220 project car)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--third W220 project car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Terry,

After your post I started thinking about LED lights again. The deal is that if LED was not giving good light pattern it means that they were not designed right to replace H7 HID. I think I would need to do search on the bulb which may work for the car! I guaranty that it is possible to design LED bulb with will provide any type of pattern needed. Of course the next concern would be to find a properly designed driver which can emulate halogen bulb. It should be very easy since H-bulb is a simple resistive load.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 05:07 AM
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If you're looking for better light, go HID. The lights on my S600 are simply superb. They work.

Because the LED has to match the resistance of the bulb it replaces, there is no electrical savings (which was miniscule to begin with).

Most LED headlight bulbs that I've seen, or members have tried, don't have the right pattern and produce lower quality illumination of the road.

In some applications (interior lights), the LEDs make more light, and run cooler, though again, they have to have a resistor to keep the SAMs happy and aren't saving electricity.

I've got lots of LED flashlights and worklights in my garage. They're great. Particularly the natural color one I use when applying wood finishes. I'm not anti-LED, but they're not always an improvement in every application.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 06:34 AM
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LED's seem to work on interior lights, without additional resistors. They also work well inside the trunk. Other places, not so much; this is due, as others have said, to the SAM's. M-B should've made the "low current" parameter a lot lower to account for efficient bulbs (e. g. LED's) in, say, turn signals, reverse lights, tail lights, and so on. Interestingly, license plate illuminators *are* monitored by the SAM. I replaced those with error-canceling LED assemblies, and smooth sailing since.

Back to the low-beams. With the LED's, you can get 35W models, and if you have the XENON=PRESENT setting, the 35W LED's will look very much like 35W HID's, as far as power consumption goes (I'm excluding the initial HID power spike here, of course). When I first tried LED's in the project 2000 S500, I did not get the errors. As time went on, I saw the errors and the low-beam flashing here and there. The project 2000 S500 does have XENON=PRESENT, as it came with reflector HID's from the factory. But then you get into light dispersion issues, as noted above.

Yeah, I'd stick with HID's for our cars.
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2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2000 S500 (wife's DD: my first W220 project car)
2003 S600 ("sex on wheels"--second w220 project car)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--third W220 project car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 06:44 AM
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That is some good info on the HIDs. When I said I changed all the bulbs on the Cobra, I really mean there are no regular bulbs left on the car...

Changing the scope to headlights low beam only - HID is king as far as brightness and ease of install. The light output is by far the main benefit, but when comparing to LED you can't really ignore the fact you don't have to do any bulb heat management either. It will be a while - but at some point I do want to retrofit my headlights with some new projectors and do the conversion to HID at that time as well.

It could be argued too - that is you retrofit a projector that is designed to handle the LED light beam - it should work as well assuming you can find some real 35W LEDs bulbs that will fit... To the point of everyone prior, I'm unaware of any such projector/LEDs for the W220.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 08:21 AM
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Hi,

LED's that I've seen in the interiors of MB's do work yes, and they don't put up a fault indication on Dash, because they are not monitored / reported to Dash.

BUT, they do put Fault Codes up in the various Modules that are controlling them, and I'm far too anal for that

I like an SDS "Quick Test" that shows all "Ticks"

None of that F or f malarky on my MB's ...................

Soooooo, when I die, no one can read one of my Cars and say "He had a load of F's and f's in that Car"
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huachipato View Post
That is some good info on the HIDs. When I said I changed all the bulbs on the Cobra, I really mean there are no regular bulbs left on the car...

Changing the scope to headlights low beam only - HID is king as far as brightness and ease of install. The light output is by far the main benefit, but when comparing to LED you can't really ignore the fact you don't have to do any bulb heat management either. It will be a while - but at some point I do want to retrofit my headlights with some new projectors and do the conversion to HID at that time as well.

It could be argued too - that is you retrofit a projector that is designed to handle the LED light beam - it should work as well assuming you can find some real 35W LEDs bulbs that will fit... To the point of everyone prior, I'm unaware of any such projector/LEDs for the W220.
Turns out you do need to do some heat management, because there is heat at the bottom end of the LED. They do run way cooler than incandescents, but they do still generate some heat, and LED's, being silicon-based semiconductors, are susceptible to thermal runaway (FET's are not, but both diodes and bipolar transistors are). That's why they have those heatsinks, and sometimes fans, on 'em.

You are certainly correct in that an LED in a projector or traditional reflector that's designed for that type of "bulb" will be very bright, indeed. We see this already on the newer USA Acuras (Hondas everywhere else in the world); their headlights are actually LED strips which are every bit the equal of HID's in output. Them things are BRIGHT. Currently there is work to do projector LED's, and when those do get perfected, they're going to be a fine choice. I'm looking forward to it! See, eventually, our HID projectors will burn out, like what happened with my S600, necessitating replacement. Should take about 10-15 years, depending on use. By then, really good projector LED's should be available at a reasonable price, sort of like what's happened with household LED light bulbs.

Your Cobra, by the way, is like my '90's-era Honda Civic. There is no computer to play nanny regarding the current usage, so the retrofit was conceptually easier. The only "complication" was that Civics use an H4/9003 bulb, which means a single dual-filament bulb in the housing. Hit the high beams, and the power to the "low beam" circuit goes off. Not so good when you're dealing with bi-xenon projectors, as you want that HID bulb to stay on continuously when you hit the high-beams; all you want to do is lower or raise the high-beam solenoid, as appropriate. Calls for a diode in the circuit, basically, and that solved the problem.
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2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2000 S500 (wife's DD: my first W220 project car)
2003 S600 ("sex on wheels"--second w220 project car)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--third W220 project car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)

Last edited by cowboyt; 01-15-2019 at 10:03 AM.
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