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Model S LED Headlights Poor ratings - likely same for Model 3

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by yesup, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. yesup

    yesup Member

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    The recent IIHS test result for Model S has to be a setback for Tesla.

    The new LED headlights received a disappointing "Poor" ratings.
    Since Model 3 headlights are of a similar and simpler design, I don't expect Model 3 to fare any better in this category.

    [​IMG]

    I personally am not too surprised by this result; as Tesla has decided to save some money to go with LED reflectors design rather than LED projectors.

    Projectors are not always better than reflectors. But in tight spots and very small space for each light element as in Tesla headlights design, projectors would give you much better light control than reflectors.

    Seriously, if Toyota Corolla can put LED projectors as standard equipment in a $20k car, Tesla has no excuse not to use one in a their much more expensive car.
    And yes, the Toyota Corolla single LED projector performed better than the Tesla LED matrix reflectors.

    So forget HUDs or other gadgets, Tesla should get the basics right first.
    Headlights are not exactly rocket science, so please, Tesla, give us headlights which can perform as well as it looks.
     
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  2. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Supporting Member

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    I think it's a big assumption that the headlights on the Model 3 will be the same or similar to the Model S, good or bad. This is something that could conceivably be tweaked between now and the debut.
     
  3. yesup

    yesup Member

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    Model 3 prototypes use a similar LED reflectors headlights, and the LEDs are arranged in more or less the same pattern as Model S.
    So it is not a wild assumption. And if they decided not to use the more expensive LED projectors design for Model S and Model X, what is the chance that they would use it for Model 3?
    I do hope they would change their mind after this report.
     
  4. Hotlobstah

    Hotlobstah Member

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    I must say I've never thought my headlights were sub par and in fact felt with the auto hi beams they were pretty awesome...so meh.
     
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  5. Hotlobstah

    Hotlobstah Member

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    And if it really gets sketchy we always have radar:cool:
     
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  6. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    The articles all say Tesla is working with suppliers to correct the issue so there's zero chance the Model 3 will have the same headlights.
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    Maybe not a wild assumption, but think it is big assumption none the less. What we've seen of the 3's headlights are one (1) prototype, probably made more for aesthetics than functionality. Who even knows what the production headlights will look like. Maybe they will end up with something entirely different in shape and design.

    I didn't read the test results, but wonder if the S headlights were aligned properly. I wouldn't put it past Tesla QC to drop the ball on that.
     
  8. 3Victoria

    3Victoria Active Member

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    Interesting, thanks. Do you have a link to a useful site about this?
     
  9. yesup

    yesup Member

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    This would only work if it was caused by sub-par parts by suppliers.
    But I don't think that was the source of the poor performance at all.

    If the problem is caused by inherent poor headlight design, it would require a redesign of the headlights.
     
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  10. strykeroz

    strykeroz Member

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    Would it be fair to say either LED type would still be superior to the halogens on both my existing vehicles?
     
  11. BestRadar

    BestRadar Member

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    Compared to my 2014 CTS the headlights in the Model S were very disappointing and I can certainly agree with these test results. I was also very disappointed with the adaptive headlight function compared to the real moving projectors I had on my car that cost 1/2 the price of my 90D..
     
  12. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    So you are saying the Model 3 will have these headlights, because I can assure you that it won't after that rating.
     
  13. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    haha yes probably
     
  14. yesup

    yesup Member

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    Even though external headlights appearance may look different for each model, but the basic headlight design is similar across the model range for most manufacturers.
    Look at BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Acura etc. BMW and Mercedes use projectors, and their adaptive function works by motorized headlight assembly. And while each BMW and Mercedes model has different headlight graphics, but all of them use similar design.

    The more expensive Model S and X use reflectors matrix, and the adaptive function uses a more primitive design.
    And of course, Model 3 headlight would "look" different, but most likely it would not deviate too much from this formula to achieve cost savings.

    I am not saying that a total different headlight design for Model 3 is not possible, but it is unlikely given the cost constraint.

    I am sure they would do some tweaking to improve the ratings. But I am just disappointed with their design decisions to go with tiny reflectors instead of projectors.
     
  15. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    Let me ask you a simple question. As a company do you think they will let a poor rating go unchanged for months?
    It doesn't matter how the headlights look, the design will change as soon as possible on all models to increase their rating.

    Model 3 will not receive a poor rating, you watch.
     
  16. yesup

    yesup Member

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    Changing a design in cars is not trivial matter. It incurs major expense to the company.
    And you think Elon and his design team do not know their current design weakness and that projectors should work better than reflectors?
    Of course they know about it. And yet they made this design choice; I have to guess because of cost concern. So it boils down to priorities.

    Would this headlight ratings be a deal breaker for potential buyers? Probably not. Buyers are probably attracted to how cool they look more than actual performance.
    So it all depends on how Tesla balance the potential bad publicity vs cost.

    I hope not, and that's the purpose of this post.
     
  17. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    The post makes an assumption that the Model 3 will likely be the same (see title), but the very existence of the poor rating makes it less likely we will see it in the Model 3.
     
  18. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    They'll be better in terms of energy efficiency, but my research suggests the light quality of reflectors with appropriate LEDs is just as crummy as with Halogens. On the other hand, LEDs seem to be regarded as better than HIDs in projectors.
     
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  19. boiler81

    boiler81 Member

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    This IIHS headlight testing is relatively new and many car's headlights don't rank well (tough test). That being said, LED headlights do not guarantee good visibility down the road.
    My wife's 2016 Mercedes C300 has LED projectors for the low beams and LED reflectors for high beam. Although I love the light color and beam spread (more peripheral light) it doesn't reach far enough down the road with low beams, and I need high beams to feel like I not overdriving the headlights at 40+mph. IIHS rated these Mercedes headlights as "Poor" also.

    I don't have high hopes for the initial production M3 headlights, but I'm hopeful I can retrofit when Tesla or aftermarket finally figure it out.
     
  20. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    Not sure about the MS, but the headlights in my MX are awesome!
     

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