jlsoaz
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:57 pm
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Leaf Number: 24218
Location: Southern Arizona, USA

Headlights that see better to the side?

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:28 pm

I believe I have the LED lights, as I have the 2012 SL. I was able better to see forward once I got used to the adjustment wheel, but seeing to the side is very difficult. After a few minutes of looking I haven't yet run across a thread about this, though I suppose maybe there could be.

Whenever I am making a turn on a poorly lit city street, whether to right or left, I feel as though I am driving blind for 10 or 20 feet until the car gets going in the direction that I am looking. I suppose this may be true, to some extent, for many cars, but perhaps it is exaggerated by the LED lights? I must admit, I haven't really tested, prior to writing this post, as to whether the other cars I drive or ride in are worse or better in this area.

In any event, I'm wondering if the difficulty in night-time seeing at a 90 degree angle to the path of the carcould be ameliorated. The auto companies must have looked at this question and found some answers. I suppose one way might be Tucker style lights that turn to some extent with the car (IIRC). Perhaps there is some reason that I don't know about that these are not widely implemented.

I wouldn't bother about it too much, and my lease is up in about 7 months, but I figure as I near the end of my use of the car, it's an opportunity to think back and give constructively-intended feedback to Nissan. This seems like a safety issue, and not an EV issue, and one that continues to come up for me almost every day, so I figured I'd leave a comment on this point.
josh@jlaz.com
near Tucson, AZ, USA
Former lessee 2012 SL
http://www.pluginamerica.org/surveys/batteries/leaf/vehicle.php?vid=229
opinions expressed are my own

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TomT
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Re: Headlights that see better to the side?

Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:13 pm

A number of auto companies already have available or are working on such systems... Ford, Audi, BMW and Mercedes, just to mention a few...
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2017 Volt Premier. Model 3 reserved.

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Nubo
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Re: Headlights that see better to the side?

Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:36 pm

Subaru has a neat system where the fog light will illuminate on the side towards which you're turning.

Duesenbergs had headlamps that angled with steering, in the 1920's.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

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OrientExpress
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Re: Headlights that see better to the side?

Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:20 am

Steerable headlights have been around for many years, most recently they are options on some VW and Audi products. My 2010 VW GTI has steerable headlights which will move up to 30 degrees left or right based on steering angle. It is especially nice when going on roads with hairpin curves. It also has "cornering lights" which do double duty as fog lights. They illuminate when the turn signal is on, or when the car is turned at speeds under 18 mph.

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jlsoaz
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:57 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Oct 2012
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Location: Southern Arizona, USA

Re: Headlights that see better to the side?

Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:34 pm

Hi everyone -

I think a basic thing to get from these three helpful responses is that it sounds like steerable headlights, or some other solution that gets the job done (multiple headlights with overall wider dispersal?) would be do-able for Nissan at this time, as far as we know.

I was happy to have innovative energy-saving LED lights when I got my 2012 Leaf (I think this is a cool feature) and although there was a concern about the beam of LEDs maybe being narrow, I think overall they have worked well, except that I don't think they provide enough light to the side.

As mentioned, I think this should get some prioritization in light of its safety aspect. It feels a bit dangerous at times. One scenario on my mind is 15 mph driving in the neighborhood near home, at night, where there a lot of stop signs but insufficient street lamps at times, and there may be cars parked around a bend, even kids playing to watch out for - things like that.
josh@jlaz.com
near Tucson, AZ, USA
Former lessee 2012 SL
http://www.pluginamerica.org/surveys/batteries/leaf/vehicle.php?vid=229
opinions expressed are my own

asimba2
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Re: Headlights that see better to the side?

Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:09 am

I am running LED fog lights in both my cars for the reason you mentioned--the desire for a wider field of view. This hack-a-thon isn't for everyone, but the BMW X5 LED fog light jammed inside the Leaf housing makes for a super wide field of view.

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jlsoaz
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:57 pm
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Location: Southern Arizona, USA

Re: Headlights that see better to the side?

Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:31 am

asimba2 wrote:I am running LED fog lights in both my cars for the reason you mentioned--the desire for a wider field of view. This hack-a-thon isn't for everyone, but the BMW X5 LED fog light jammed inside the Leaf housing makes for a super wide field of view.


Thanks much.

Maybe Nissan can simply proactively look at how some folks are hacking their Nissan Leafs (to overcome what some might call a deficiency) and provide the equipment as standard in upcoming Leafs.
josh@jlaz.com
near Tucson, AZ, USA
Former lessee 2012 SL
http://www.pluginamerica.org/surveys/batteries/leaf/vehicle.php?vid=229
opinions expressed are my own

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TomT
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Re: Headlights that see better to the side?

Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:42 am

Heck, the Tucker had them!

OrientExpress wrote:Steerable headlights have been around for many years
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2017 Volt Premier. Model 3 reserved.

jlsoaz
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:57 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Oct 2012
Leaf Number: 24218
Location: Southern Arizona, USA

Re: Headlights that see better to the side?

Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:43 am

Indeed, and yet, in a 2012 Leaf, I can't seem to see very much to the side at night, turning a corner, even moving with defensive driving attitude, more or less slowly, appropriate to conditions.

TomT wrote:Heck, the Tucker had them!

OrientExpress wrote:Steerable headlights have been around for many years
josh@jlaz.com
near Tucson, AZ, USA
Former lessee 2012 SL
http://www.pluginamerica.org/surveys/batteries/leaf/vehicle.php?vid=229
opinions expressed are my own

Arlington
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:47 am
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Leaf Number: 414434

Re: Headlights that see better to the side?

Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:18 am

jlsoaz wrote:Indeed, and yet, in a 2012 Leaf, I can't seem to see very much to the side at night, turning a corner, even moving with defensive driving attitude, more or less slowly, appropriate to conditions.

I agree. I'm actively posting here hoping somebody has a solution for side vision, even if it is an always-on foglight.
The problem seems particularly urgent when I can't seem to see pedestrians in crosswalks at night (on the driver's side). I can't tell if the problem is the A pillar blocking my view or that not enough light is being case to the sides. I don't seem to have the same difficulty by day, so to me that suggests a lighting problem.

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