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LED Headlight RetroFit on Older Cars

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Mike K, Aug 10, 2016.

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  1. TSLA Pilot

    TSLA Pilot Member

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    Excellent video, and concur that Tesla really seems to have "phoned it in" with some things, and this is one of them. I think it's a question of priorities and this one doesn't get close to the top because of geography. In Germany, they have long, dark winters, hence the great headlights on many BMW's (but the so-so AC). On the other hand, it must never get dark in CA, hence the crappy interior lighting and lousy headlights on a Tesla. (I guess Elon spends very little time in a really hot climate too, hence the atrocious NVH when the AC is working hard . . . .)

    Thanks for the great info on this, and here's another plus for real adaptive headlights--LESS ACCIDENTS and lower insurance claims!

    Source:

    Adaptive headlights improve visibility

    Earlier research by HLDI showed that vehicles equipped with optional adaptive headlights had lower rates of insurance claims under most coverage types than the same vehicles without the technology (see Status Report special issue: crash avoidance, July 3, 2012). The benefits were greater under property damage liability insurance, which covers damage to someone else's vehicle or other property, than they were for collision insurance, which covers damage to the insured vehicle. Injury claim rates also were lower.

    "We already had evidence that adaptive headlights are reducing crash damage and injuries," says David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer. "This study fills in some of the gaps in our knowledge about how they help."


    Come on Elon, this is old news. We all know your plate is pretty full, but step it up here as good headlights matter! If you were going to spend the money for a re-design anyway, why not hit it out of the park with a really big improvement?
     
  2. Da0ne

    Da0ne Member

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    im interested and would pay to have those installed
     
  3. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    I wouldn't go that far. They do retrofit the back seats and for awhile they would retrofit the parking sensors and folding mirrors and they do still retrofit the console which is now just an OE part that they're putting in an older car. That combined with the fact that my SA thought he heard some chatter that they would be retrofitting them, gives me some home. Theoretically it would be one of the easier retrofits.

    Yes, these are the arguments against for sure. They are way overloaded with work. They will do the console though and the console appears to be a decent amount of work. So that gives me some hope.

    I'm not sure how old your car is but I think a lot of the NVH has been addressed. My early 2013 is the same way. On really hot days the compressor makes quite a racket, not enough to be bothersome but enough that you know it's running. The newer cars (2014+) seem to be much quieter.

    I don't get the headlights though. I never have. I can forgive the missing features from other flagship cars because the Model S excels in other ways but headlights are one of those basic things that you have to get right and even if you're not going to use the latest technology, at least use a high quality projector. I really thought the LED lights would be their chance to right that wrong. Apparently no though. They look gorgeous though and they are good enough.
     
  4. TSLA Pilot

    TSLA Pilot Member

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    HVAC NVH issue is on both of our MS's, but I drive our '15 P90DL most often and it's surprising that after all these years of production Tesla hasn't gotten around to addressing this issue. Exasperating, really, to feel the steering wheel vibrate at high HVAC loads as even cheap rental cars don't do that . . . but, again, I just don't think it's getting any vis as Elon lives in SoCal where he just doesn't experience it.

    Off topic, but anyone else with a '15 MS notice unsat NVH under high HVAC loading?
     
  5. jerjozwik

    jerjozwik Active Member

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    mike k, your car is a 2013? i wonder if a newer model s would have an easier time retrofitting. constant improvement and all.
     
  6. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    Yet another sign that Tesla is focusing too many resources on other distractions and not enough to improving the actual vehicle. At this price point, the headlights should be a step ABOVE what BMW and others provide. Bowl reflectors, are they kidding? Post facelift Model S doesn't even have height adjustable seat belts or the nicer seats from Model X. Tesla is really skimping here where they should be splurging. There is really nothing in Model S that is superior to any other vehicle in its price range except for its drivetrain, and Tesla has been sitting on those laurels for four years.

    Tesla needs to up its game here, in my humble opinion. To have Tesla owners say the headlights are sub-par is just sad. As others have said, these are things Tesla needs to get right. When I took delivery of my 2013 Model S, I made service replace the headlights twice because they had fingerprints on the inside of the projector lenses. That's really sloppy. My 20 year old Acura Integra had cleaner projector lenses. TWENTY YEARS AGO!

    But I guess Tesla thinks it's more important to spend $2-$3B to buy Solar City instead of investing a fraction of that into making a better car. At some point the chickens will come home to roost.
     
  7. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    I live in SoCal too, in the same hills Elon lives in. It gets HOT here! :) Everyone thinks all of SoCal is this temperate climate but Los Angeles has 4 or 5 different microclimates. Where I'm at is up in the hills and it's generally 5 - 10 degrees cooler here but if I drive literally 5 minutes down the hill to the valley it's 10 degrees hotter and if I drive down to the basin it's generally a few degrees hotter. It's been steadily high 90's and low 100's in the valley which is enough to kick my AC into overdrive when it's initially trying to cool down the car. I know what you're talking about. I guess for me it doesn't happen enough to bother me. I didn't notice it at all in the P90D loaner I had which is why I assumed they had addressed it. I believe they are using a different AC compressor in the newer cars.

    Not likely as I believe all the HID headlights have the same part number through the years and that would be impossible if they had changes the means of communication down the line. There's really no advantage to them doing so either. That's the kind of change you wait until you need to, to make.
     
  8. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    Other criticism aside, let me address the bowl reflectors as I've seen a few people reference them as if they are inferior. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using bowl reflectors. BMW's LED lights use them as well and they are amazing. The problem is using cheap bowl reflectors. That's an issue. This is the same issue they had with the HIDs. There's nothing inherently wrong with projectors but Tesla used cheap projectors and as a result, light output was mediocre to just about everyone that came from another car with HIDs.

    I don't think they need to be better even. They just need to be good. These aren't really good in my opinion.

    This is tough to argue with. Most of this stuff doesn't bother me but I do have friends that are waiting on the sidelines for must-have features. I have one business associate ready to buy the moment they release vented seats. He won't buy it without that and thinks it's silly that the car doesn't have it.

    I get your anger. I'm just not sure I'd go that far. The car, even with it's shortcomings, is leaps and bounds better than comparable vehicles. It's easy to forget just how good the Model S is and then remember that it's literally their first car. And as an early adopter I realize that the money must go to the Model 3 for now and so we suffer with some of these small, seemingly trivial issues. For me the headlights don't take much away from the car. I wish they were better but in the grand scheme of things the car is so great that the fact that I can sit and bitch about it's headlights and that's literally the worst complaint I have... Well, put that in perspective.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. SevenWithaT

    SevenWithaT Member

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    BTW, Is the LED headlamp of the same dimensions as the classic headlamp?
     
  10. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    Identical yes. It will pop right in. The physical plug shape is even the same.
     
  11. Lightmatrix

    Lightmatrix Member

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    Technicalities aside, I would spring for the LED as well if it were available as a retrofit.
     
  12. TampaRich

    TampaRich Member

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    Same here. I'd pay for the upgrade.
     
  13. studiojon

    studiojon Member

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    Likewise. I would love to retrofit these
     
  14. Adrian

    Adrian Title(D)

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    Count me in.
     
  15. DustinDep

    DustinDep Member

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    I would also be interested in this upgrade!! $$$standing by
     
  16. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    With the aid of someone with a lot more experience than I, we are making headway. So that's good. It will likely be a month or so before there's anything to report though.
     
    • Like x 3
  17. DustinDep

    DustinDep Member

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    Cant wait!!!
     
  18. Adrian

    Adrian Title(D)

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    Can you throw the new ventilated Performance seat into the retrofit-mix?
     
  19. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    Oh man. I missed that. Are they finally putting the vented seats in the facelift cars?
     
  20. Adrian

    Adrian Title(D)

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    Yep!
     

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