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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A car with the stats of the upcoming Z needs good headlights.

However, I'm a bit concerned about the design of the Z headlights, specifically that they are LED and have only a single projector. Most good LED headlights have multiple lighting elements, Lexus uses triple beam, Tesla, Honda and the Tacoma uses multiple MSR LEDs, Acura has 5 projectors....
My concern is that current state of white LED works best with multiple elements, there's only so many lumens to come out of a LED light engine into a single projector. My wife's new car has single LED projectors, and they are weak compared to the HIDs in my older Infiniti.
Since we can't change bulbs for brighter options nor is there any good place to add aux lighting, I'm a bit concerned. Even the Nissan Maxima has more effective looking LED headlights.

I'm just a little concerned that the design of the headlights is a compromise, if they aren't great we're stuck with them.

Just thinking out loud, hopefully Nissan or their supplier found a way to make a single LED projector perform well, and my concern is unfounded.

Anyone driven a newer vehicle that had good single projector LED headlights?
 

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Time will tell.
I don't know about where you are but a lot of Nissan, Honda, Jeep drivers here don't even know how to operate their lights anyway.
They are driving oblivious with only their DRLs at night.
Manufacturers are partly to blame with their DRL contests. DRLs with an always lit instrument cluster results in this. That and smart tech makes dumb people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Time will tell.
I don't know about where you are but a lot of Nissan, Honda, Jeep drivers here don't even know how to operate their lights anyway.
They are driving oblivious with only their DRLs at night.
Manufacturers are partly to blame with their DRL contests. DRLs with an always lit instrument cluster results in this. That and smart tech makes dumb people.
I was riding in my coworkers CR-V one rainy, dark winter morning in Seattle, and she had driven the entire 35 miles just on her LED drl accents. Yup, the always lit dash causes lots of people to drive without headlights.

In Seattle area, the roads are poorly lit and the weather is bad in winter, it's very important to have good headlights, and to make sure they're on!
 

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I was riding in my coworkers CR-V one rainy, dark winter morning in Seattle, and she had driven the entire 35 miles just on her LED drl accents. Yup, the always lit dash causes lots of people to drive without headlights.

In Seattle area, the roads are poorly lit and the weather is bad in winter, it's very important to have good headlights, and to make sure they're on!

Hope she makes sure the headlights are on now.
"Safety" tech in cars is a catch-22. It'll help some people but most will rely on it resulting in an unsafe driver.
Hyundai commercials makes it seem like it's ok to have a selfie party while you are driving.


But back to your question, Toyota 4runners now use a single led projector that seems to perform better than the old halogen projector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hope she makes sure the headlights are on now.
"Safety" tech in cars is a catch-22. It'll help some people but most will rely on it resulting in an unsafe driver.
Hyundai commercials makes it seem like it's ok to have a selfie party while you are driving.


But back to your question, Toyota 4runners now use a single led projector that seems to perform better than the old halogen projector.
That's probably the same single projector that's in my wife's 2020 Toyota, and it's not very good.
I drove next to a new Tacoma with the optional LED headlights and those are impressive. If you look at them in the day, you'll see they are multiple MSR elements. They look like a seriously good design.
Seems they use 4 MSR elements:
Automotive parking light Car Vehicle Grille Automotive lighting
 

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I'm sure they conform to NHTSA standards, for whatever worth that is. You can't really determine the spread or effective range by looking at them.

Most stalks have an Auto setting to make sure the correct lights are on at night.
 

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There can be multiple LED chips behind the projector, some have hundreds. I seriously doubt it's just a single LED behind it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There can be multiple LED chips behind the projector, some have hundreds. I seriously doubt it's just a single LED behind it.
That's not how projector LED works.
It's difficult to bring everyone up to speed on the limitations of LED projector, but basically you need a small, intense light source to match the focal point of the projector.
Instead of adding more LED chips, you can spec out I brighter LED engine, or just assemble a headlight assembly with multiple lighting elements.

There's a good side to the Z headlights, because they are single projector, it might be possible to retrofit an hid projector (or a replacement aftermarket LED projector) in the future when headlight replacements are no longer available.
 

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It still requires people to realize their headlights aren't on.
That's why it's auto. When the ambient light level drops to a preset degree, the normal and correct driving lights are activated, without any thought or action by the operator. DRL's off, driving lights on.
 

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That's not how projector LED works.
It's difficult to bring everyone up to speed on the limitations of LED projector, but basically you need a small, intense light source to match the focal point of the projector.
Instead of adding more LED chips, you can spec out I brighter LED engine, or just assemble a headlight assembly with multiple lighting elements.

There's a good side to the Z headlights, because they are single projector, it might be possible to retrofit an hid projector (or a replacement aftermarket LED projector) in the future when headlight replacements are no longer available.
"PDLS Plus is a more advanced system for your Porsche. Its matrix beam technology takes 84 individually-controlled LEDs that adapt to the environment by switching on and off or even dimming, depending on the situation. "

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
"PDLS Plus is a more advanced system for your Porsche. Its matrix beam technology takes 84 individually-controlled LEDs that adapt to the environment by switching on and off or even dimming, depending on the situation. "

That is LED matrix tech. I'm familiar with it.
No way is Nissan using that.
I'm thinking, seeing as how our 2020 Toyota and the upcoming Z are both made in Japan, both manufacturers probably utilizing the same vendor, I'll bet the Z projector is the same as our Toyota.


Anyway, now I'm beginning to regret starting this thread, I seem to have a knack for making crappy threads.

Just gotta check out the car myself at night. I doubt the IIHS will bother assigning a headlight rating to the Z
 

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Right, I doubt it will have switching functionality, but the idea of using many LED's behind the lens still remains, and I'm guessing that's what they've done. Hopefully we can get some more info on them at some point.
 

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That's why it's auto. When the ambient light level drops to a preset degree, the normal and correct driving lights are activated, without any thought or action by the operator. DRL's off, driving lights on.

I know what AUTO means.
What I'm saying is the operator doesn't even know to put it into the Auto position. Leaves it in the OFF because DRLs and instrument cluster lights up as soon as the car is started making them think the headlights are on.
 

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Anyway, now I'm beginning to regret starting this thread, I seem to have a knack for making crappy threads.

Just gotta check out the car myself at night. I doubt the IIHS will bother assigning a headlight rating to the Z
Don't beat yourself over the head. There are a lot worse.
If anything, see it as a positive that maybe we have taught one or two people to check their lights at night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My GTI had HID's, which I found to be dim, even after replacing with a better quality bulb. The LED's on my truck are easily 5x brighter.
I had a 2016 GTI with the "lighting package". I even used OBDEleven to program the lights to European mode where they raise up as speed increases. I really liked the corner illumination lighting, but straight-ahead driving SUCKED, with JB4 that car could outrun it's own headlights in 3 seconds.
And our 2020 Toyota is no better than the GTI. The only advantage our Toyota has is auto high beam, the system does a good job of identifying the appropriate time for high beam, and that helps a lot.

It appears that the Z has a separate LED high beam, and that'll help too, as our Toyota used a bimodal LED projector.

My Q60 and truck both have hid projector, and they both are significantly better than the GTI or Toyota are, the truck being especially good, probably because it sits higher.
 

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I had a 2016 GTI with the "lighting package". I even used OBDEleven to program the lights to European mode where they raise up as speed increases. I really liked the corner illumination lighting, but straight-ahead driving SUCKED, with JB4 that car could outrun it's own headlights in 3 seconds.
And our 2020 Toyota is no better than the GTI. The only advantage our Toyota has is auto high beam, the system does a good job of identifying the appropriate time for high beam, and that helps a lot.

It appears that the Z has a separate LED high beam, and that'll help too, as our Toyota used a bimodal LED projector.

My Q60 and truck both have hid projector, and they both are significantly better than the GTI or Toyota are, the truck being especially good, probably because it sits higher.
Right on, mine was a 2015 Autobahn (Eurodyne Stage 2). Loved the car, super fast, but I was not impressed with those headlights. Now I'm in a Ram 1500 Laramie with LEDs and it's an amazing difference. However, they use reflectors, not a projector lens. That being said, I've been in a 1500 Limited which use projectors and it was similar brightness.

Here's a picture of TRX headlights, which is the same as the Limited, and you can see multiple LED's behind the lens.

 
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