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1977 280SE, 1984 280SEL
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Discussion Starter #21
The absolute best option (as far as improving performance) would be to swap to Gen 1 headlights and put JW Speaker LED sealed beam replacements in them. Otherwise, euro lights with reflectors in good condition and good quality conventional bulbs would also be a big improvement.
On wet roads with bright headlights coming AT me, the painted lines on the road just vanish. On windey Vermont and New Hampshire back roads, even a brief uncertainty scares the heck out of me. Looking to the fog line on the right side is no help if that disappears, too, and lots of back roads don't even HAVE fog lines. If I augment the fog lights with under bumper mounted driving lights pointed right at the lines in front of me without blinding the oncoming driver, what do you all think of that?
 

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1977 280SE, 1984 280SEL
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Discussion Starter #22
Unfortunately, apart from ensuring your lenses are spotless, your bulbs are of high quality and your lights are properly aimed and aligned, there isn't much to be done.

Fog lights don't help and installing nuclear-powered stadium lights are of limited use. Yes, new Xenon, LED and Laser headlamps are better, but poor night vision is an unfortunate side effect of advancing age.

I drive much slower at night than I used to.
But my night vision on DRY roads is still fine. And, yes, I drive as slowly as I can without infuriating the persons behind me and that is usually the speed limit.
 

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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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152 Posts
Cataract surgery certainly helped but I see that many of us share JR's issues. I found that finally correcting the headlight alignment definitely improved night vision even though I still have Phillips halogens, except on wet roads. Still nothing like going down the old N1 in France with the trees (either silver birch or white painted) whizzing by late at night and the high beams on.
Am looking at Lumen headlights carried by Carid wih H4 bulbs. Anybody have an experience with these?
 

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1991 350SD W126 - My fog lights next to the headlights are not doing it for me on wet nights, even on newly paved road with newly painted lines. Oncoming headlights just blind me. What do others put in to overcome this problem. I know I'm not alone. I have tried these night driving yellow tint over glasses which do not seem to help.
John,
I have the same problem lately. I’m certain that what causes this phenomenon is the clouding of the ocular lens, a cataract in its early stage. This cause dispersion of the light entering your eye and creates a haze which is noticeable mostly at night. There is an eye drop in the testing phase which can reverse cataracts without the need of an operation to remove the lens. Hopefully, it will be available soon.
 

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300sel W109, 280S 70 , 220s 62. 230 66. Lancia Flavia 63.Pininfarina
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831 Posts
For nightime screen bloom likely decades of micro residue build up the windscreen, best removed by cerium oxide glass cleaner.
 

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1982 380 SEL (ret 370,000 mi) 1985 500 SEC (ret) 2000 S500 (current)
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This came to me with a brand new windscreen, clean and scratch free, Brand new wipers and a carefully applied coat of RainX
1991 350SD W126 - My fog lights next to the headlights are not doing it for me on wet nights, even on newly paved road with newly painted lines. Oncoming headlights just blind me. What do others put in to overcome this problem. I know I'm not alone. I have tried these night driving yellow tint over glasses which do not seem to help.
I spent an afternoon last summer polishing and coating the headlight lenses on my 2000 S500. I had to do the work over and over again to get it right. It still isn't perfect but the difference is amazing.
I used a DeWalt battery powered random orbital sander, 800, 2000, and 4000 grit disks, foam disks, rubbing compound and polishing compound. I finished with Sylvania hedlight restoration UV block clear coat. I think the 800 grit was too coarse to start. I don't remember having this problem with either my 1982 380 SEL or my 1985 500 SEC. Maybe the lenses were glass.

If your car lights are clean glass you might need some kind of conversion kit to make them brighter.
 

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2007 CLK350, 1987 420SEL, 1985 300D, 1983 240D 4sp, 1979 300TD my 1st. No longer have
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I always found the US spec fog lights on my 87 420SEL to be quite good. Especially after I replaced the H1 bulbs with 100 watt halogen. You have to bend the tabs on the H1 to allow fitment. I believe 80 watt H1 are available if you don’t do a wireing upgrade. These are really bright so use cautiously and be courteous of others. Of course nowadays the LED lights on newer cars are so bright I doubt anyone will notice yours. Also be sure your headlights are ajusted for optimal lighting. To my 69 year old eyes I feel assulted everytime I encounter the newer headlights at night that look like welding arcs in the distance. A couple of years ago had a laser iridotmy and as a result I now have prismatic effect which causes a starburst around every point of light.
Several months ago I flashed my headlights at an oncoming vehicle that was blinding me. Only to have it turn around and be pulled over by county sheriff. Who told me he normally issues a ticket for that. I said they are too bright, he said it was new technology. At the end of the stop he did not write me a ticket which I wanted him to do. I have time to go to court and fight it. He finally admitted that some of the lights are too bright.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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Unfortunately the newer lights have been found to be too bright for oncoming traffic, over here at least. I was reading the other day that the authorities are considering legislation, that previously wasn't needed.
That will only cover cars sold after the implementation though so we'll still have all the silly bright lights around.
 

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Seems to me that 40% of the pickup trucks and SUV have the headlights misaimed and/or super bright. I need to put my hands to the left of my face to block their headlights. Being higher help (in the van). You’re not alone.
 

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Also most LED aftermarket bulb have a different projection pattern than the standard H bulbs. You might be adding to the problem of other people being blinded by the on-coming headlights. Also many don’t last long due to overheating.
 

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2008 AMG CLK63 Conv., 2012 R350 4-Matic, Wife's 2015 C300 sedan
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Worth getting your beam alignments checked. We just had a body shop bend some metal straight and fit a new headlight to our Land Rover and they ended up using regular bolts in place of the ball and socket mounts originally used and the headlights were more use for spotting overhead bombers than they were for lighting up the road.

100 watt bulbs, H7, are available on Amazon and eBay, a straight swap for the OEM 55-watters. Technically illegal in many states, but I doubt the average drive-in sticker shop would notice.

Failing that, it's perfectly legal to fit additional 55-watt fog lights and use those in conjunction with your low beams and / or spot aka driving lights and use them with your high beams. Easy enough to wire them in with under-dash switches and relays triggered off your original lights if your MB wiring loom doesn't already have the wires and relay sockets built into it.

Another thing you might try changing to ones with blue or yellow hues rather than plain white. FWIW the French used to reckon yellow headlights were way better than white ones, and only stopped using them under pressure from the EUSSR.
 

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I am in my 80's. As I got older I use yellow shooting glasses. It not only helped seeing the road at night and/or in the rain, but also made the new super bright headlights from on coming automobiles more tolerable. I also learned to focus to my right at the edge of the road and use my left peripheral to keep track of the oncoming automobile or truck.
 

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2007 CLK350, 1987 420SEL, 1985 300D, 1983 240D 4sp, 1979 300TD my 1st. No longer have
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Glad to see some interest in this subject of overly bright lights and nightime visibility. This could be a discussion by itself. I use bronze tinted glasses to reduce the starburst effect at times. As to adding more fog or driving lights, in the US the NTSB limits all vehicles to only four lights on at a time. My VW Passat has four headlamps and two foglights, but only four can be on. So running down the highway with five or more lamps on is illegal. All bulbs are supposed to be DOT approved, that includes light bars. I have had ocasion to be blinded by those when a truck had three on heading down the interstate.
Lastly, everybody have a pleasant Thanksgiving!
 

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1990 300 SEL
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The absolute best option (as far as improving performance) would be to swap to Gen 1 headlights and put JW Speaker LED sealed beam replacements in them. Otherwise, euro lights with reflectors in good condition and good quality conventional bulbs would also be a big improvement.
Please help with definitions and model #s. What are Gen 1 headlights? Which JWS LED sealed beams would fit in them? I will be starting with completely stock U.S. sanctified car and headlights...
 

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1991 350SD W126 - My fog lights next to the headlights are not doing it for me on wet nights, even on newly paved road with newly painted lines. Oncoming headlights just blind me. What do others put in to overcome this problem. I know I'm not alone. I have tried these night driving yellow tint over glasses which do not seem to help.
Check out “Powerbulbs”. Google them, they are a specialist online seller of vehicle bulbs. I have bought from them before at very reasonable prices (I try and wait for discount emails).
The selection they have is mind blowing. Even though I’m in Australia and they are UK, this is not a problem which is great, as some firms only sell within that country. Good luck.
 

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420SEL
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Would it be possible to install ellipsoid hid projector inside a USA headlight housing or inside the fog light ?

Or auxiliary lights inside the bumper openings ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Also didn’t someone mention running direct power to headlights makes a huge differences ?
Some relays. Some wires. Shouldn’t be hard.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2008 AMG CLK63 Conv., 2012 R350 4-Matic, Wife's 2015 C300 sedan
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Unfortunately the newer lights have been found to be too bright for oncoming traffic, over here at least. I was reading the other day that the authorities are considering legislation, that previously wasn't needed.
That will only cover cars sold after the implementation though so we'll still have all the silly bright lights around.
100 watt bulbs were always an MOT failure, even 40 years ago but a decent mechanic would turn a blind eye.

When I was a spotty kid on a 'Onda 250 "Wetdream" I fitted 55 watt twin driving lights to the crash bars because the local MOT stations were being cnuts. Those were legal and brilliant (especially when old farts wouldn't dip their headlights for a motorbike) but the battery lasted about 10 miles :-(

Thatcher tried to introduce "dim dip" headlights in the 80s but the public and motor manufacturers didn't like them and wouldn't buy cars with them.

In the 2000s "blue" tinted headlights became fashionable because UV light causes white stuff to fluoresce (even if the blue tinted bulbs didn't actually emit any UV lots of muppets bought them anyway) but the plod were insistent any shade of blue, however mild, was illegal, and kids were getting pulled over left right and centre.

In the US the current DOT regulations are based on lumens not watts, but they equate (roughly) to 55 watt bulbs, but doesn't say how many bulbs you can fit... So you could also consider an LED light bar or LED spotlights hidden discretely behind the radiator grill or under the bumper. As I said previously, it's easy enough to fit a discrete switch and relay under the dash or even wire in a separate relay and high current circuit triggered by the front fog light switch.
 

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1977 280SE, 1984 280SEL
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Discussion Starter #40
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