Incase anyone is wondering.. here’s some good info. Currently posted on page 12 but I figure I’d relocate to the first page so no one has to go digging for this info.
How Projector Headlights Work
Projector headlight use a very simple design. At it’s most basic form, there are three parts:
Light source (halogen bulb, HID or LED)
The reflector portion is similar to what you see in a flashlight. It’s a reflective half-sphere that throws the light from the light source in a specific direction.
The lens bends, spreads or concentrates the light. The distance the light source and reflector are from the lens determine the intensity and dissipation or concentration of the light.
Similar to a Magnifying Glass
An easy way to wrap your head around this is to compare this to a handheld magnifying glass. If you’ve ever been 9 years old, you know that when you take a magnifying glass outside on a sunny day you can have some fun. If you line things up just right with the sunlight and a dry leaf, the magnifying glass lens will concentrate the sunlight to a fine point and the leaf will begin to burn and smoke. If the magnifying glass is held too closely, or too far away, the light spreads and the leaf doesn’t burn.
The Cutoff Shield
The cutoff shield creates a distinct light barrier so that the light coming out of the headlight is concentrated out and down, and keeps the light from exiting out and up, which would blind oncoming traffic. You’ll probably recognize this, but here is a shot of the distinct barrier that a cutoff shield produces:
Without the cutoff shield, you’d get a more round light output shape, similar to a flashlight. Which leads me to the next component of the headlight, which is the solenoid. The solenoid controls the high and low beams. The cutoff that you see above is for the low beams. When the high beams are engages, the solenoid drops the cutoff shield out of the way allowing all of the light the pass through, giving you full light output, or in other words, your high beams.
Pros & Cons of Projector Headlights
Even distribution of light with little to no “hot spots” or intense and weak spots.
Distinct cutoff of low beams, which keeps oncoming traffic from being blinded.
Because of the distinct cutoff, projectors can handle a brighter headlight bulb, namely high intensity discharge (HID) bulbs.
A brighter headlight bulb provides a better night driving experience.
Projectors look awesome.
The light output looks different than that of a reflector headlight. Most like it or prefer it, but there are some that don’t. It’s a matter of opinion. You’ll have to make that call yourself.
How Does a Reflector Headlight Work?
Reflector headlight use an even more simple design. It consists of a light source (headlight bulb) that is situated in the middle of the reflector cup. Here is a cross section of that design:
Pros & Cons of a Reflector Headlights
Simple design. Less expensive to manufacture
Light output is less controlled and the low beam cutoff for oncoming traffic is less distinct.
Because the light output is a less controlled, high output light sources are not used with this design. Most reflector headlights use a halogen bulb which puts out less hight than an HID.
The beam often has intense and weak spots in the beam.
Info taken from website I found on google
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