This article will discuss headlight beam patterns and the standards that agencies such as ECE/DOT require. The following points will be addressed to help gain a better understanding:
1. What does the original ECE front headlight testing graphic look like?
2. The original ECE front headlight testing graphic combine with driveway image
3. Some testing points that need to pay more attention to
4. Other standards used in other countries and areas (SAE/ADR)
How do we define a safe and effective headlight beam pattern and what are the standards it has to meet? Most people would say they want a headlight that is super bright, covers a large area in front of the vehicle and has uniform illumination with no dark spots. But can this be achieved and still meet the standards set forth by ECE (E-mark) or SAE (DOT)?
The short answer is, YES! The keys to optimal performance are to be sure the light is focused in the proper position and it does not create glare or a safety hazard for oncoming traffic. Quite simply, this is the definition of an acceptable light beam pattern, but there is much more technical information behind the standard.
Let’s have a look at the RHT (right hand traffic) ECE light beam pattern graphic that defines the standard.
It is quite complicated at first glance, right?
Each point and line on the graphic are key to establishing an acceptable pattern for headlights. Let’s break this down so we can understand the graphics and the standard.
This is the traditional view you will have while driving on a single-lane road:
Let’s combine the drivers view with the ECE testing graphic. If the headlight is properly aimed (yellow dot with red border) we can now see heights and angles determined by the ECE that determine the correct and safest pattern for a headlight beam. Notice the data points are intentionally lower than the windshield of the oncoming vehicle, except for one.
There are two distinct lines that define the V and H axis: the Vertical line (V) and the Horizontal line (H). The V represents the centerline of the vehicle’s heading. The H represents the horizon line for the top of a headlight beam pattern. The ECE additional data points are intentionally placed within the area that the headlight beam will be illuminating. Each data point indicates an area to be measured during testing.
Now that we have a general understanding of the above image, we can look at the data points in the ECE standard one by one. In general, there is a horizontal line and an angled 15 degrees oblique line that forms a clear horizon line in the ECE standard graphics. There are many data points and lines in the ECE standard graphic, to further understand the graphic, we should look at the 8 main data points (highlighted in red) in the ECE standard. The data points are marked as B50L, 25R, 25L, 50R, 50L, 50V, 75R, 75L.
Each data point represents a separate area of concern. Some of the data points are more important than others. Can you guess which ones? Let’s see if you are correct:
1. B50L test point
The B50L test point represents the position of the oncoming driver's eyes that are 50 meters from the headlights. If the headlight beam pattern is unfocused and creates a glare, the B50L test point will determine how dangerous the pattern is. Unsafe levels of light at this data point could lead to potential danger for an oncoming vehicle. Blinding light leads to accidents that could prove fatal. According to the ECE standard, the Lux of B50L should be less than 0.4 lux tested in 25 meters distances.
2. 50V test point
In addition to the B50L test point, the 50V data point is also very important. While the B50L measures the safety for oncoming drivers, the data point for 50V measures the brightness at 50 meters in front of the vehicle. The 50V data point naturally will be brighter so it can illuminate ahead of the vehicle at a longer distance. According to the ECE standard, the lux value of 50V should be the highest in order to illuminate ahead of the vehicle, in all driving conditions, while maintaining safety for oncoming traffic.
3. 25R, 25L, 75R & 75L test point
The 25R & 25L (Right & Left) test points measure the furthest points or spread of brightness. Think along the lines of an animal coming out of the woods or a person walking alongside the road. This is where 25R & 25L brightness levels are crucial for the driver and potential hazards on the roadside. Additionally, the 75R and 75L data points measure the spread of brightness closer to the focus point of the headlight. 75R measures the right side of the road shoulder at 75 meters and 75L the left side road shoulder at 75 meters.
- The first example
The lux value of the 50V data point should be the brightest and is potential without limits. If the 75L and 75R test points both have a high lux value, it can be assumed that it is safer for the driver to see down road clearly. We can also assume this would help avoid any potential road hazards. Think of driving in a city environment. You want to see what is directly ahead of you, but you also need to see damaged areas of the road and potential obstacles that may appear from either side of the lane you are in.
- The second example
Now that we know that we can see at a distance of 75 meters ahead of the vehicle, within the defined driving lane we are in, what about the unexpected objects that may appear directly in front of us? The lux values at the 25R and 25L (25 meters) data points are very important for determining overall safety. If you cannot see that pedestrian or animal making their way onto the roadway you are driving on, you will most likely harm them or yourself. So, the data points at 25L and 25R are very important for determining the proper brightness to allow the driver to see any potential hazards.
Now that we know the RHT ECE standard and the data points on the graphic, we can understand why headlights need to meet safety standards. But what about the rest of the world? Do they comply with the ECE standard? There is the Commonwealth of Nations, Australia, Japan and let’s not forget the drivers who drive on the opposite side of the road. How do they measure a safe and standardized light beam pattern?
The reality is, ECE standard has a measure for left hand drive traffic (LHT). The difference between LHT and RHT is that the test points and the lines are reversed. The LHT is an inverted graphic to the RHT.
Actually, ECE still has left hand traffic standard (LHT). The difference between LHT and RHT is that the test points and the lines are opposite. In short, the LHT is contrary to the RHT.
In Australia, they adhere to the ADR standard. It is similar to the LHT ECE standard.
The other standard for front headlight rules is the SAE (DOT) standard. It is different from the ECE standard. DOT standard is tested in a distance over than 18.3 inches, it requires a wide light beam. The SAE test point 12, point 13, point 14 and point 15 are wider which ECE is not required.
Although SAE is different from ECE, it still similar to ECE RHT. That is:
50V in ECE = SAE point 7
50L in ECE ≈ SAE point 8
25L in ECE ≈ SAE point 10
25R in ECE ≈ SAE point 11
B50L in ECE is in the SAE line 4
DOT standard required a wide light beam, there are more test points than ECE. The dark spot of SAE requires more test points. The hotspot of test points is closer than ECE.
The light beam pattern standard introduced today is suitable for the low beam, the high beam has different standards.
Do you like this article or do you have any thoughts about it? Share it with your friends or follow us on Facebook, we will keep you up to date with all the latest news.
Tell us what you want to read about next…
1. What is a good light beam pattern for high beams?
2. How to test the light beam pattern of LED headlight bulbs when you don’t have a lab?
3. Other ideas??? Send us your comments to let us know.
M3 led headlight was launched on March 2019. it is a high performance led headlight with High-speed turbo fan, the high beam led bulb is housing with 12 pcs Lumileds ZES chip and low beam led bulb has 6 pcs of Lumileds ZES chip. The maximum light output of M3 led bulb can reach 5000 lumens (a set of led headlight). Its appearance is close to the halogen bulb. M3 series bulb is housing on a 1.5mm extremely thin copper PCB board with opposing LEDs on two sides that decrease the distance between two side LEDs. With this special design, it can make the thickness of the light source close to the tungsten filament of the halogen bulb. Emitting ECE/DOT standard light beam pattern in reflector headlight housing without any dark spot. The M3 headlight equipped with a high-speed cooling system, which can make the bulb body in a stable condition with a 1300 rpm fans. It is easy to install as well, that would not influence to mount the dust cover. The bulb of M3 used 6003 Aluminium al...
Standards for Headlight Beam Patterns -- edited by Kevin This article will discuss headlight beam patterns and the standards that agencies such as ECE/DOT require. The following points will be addressed to help gain a better understanding: 1. What does the original ECE front headlight testing graphic look like? 2. The original ECE front headlight testing graphic combine with driveway image 3. Some testing points that need to pay more attention to 4. Other standards used in other countries and areas (SAE/ADR) How do we define a safe and effective headlight beam pattern and what are the standards it has to meet? Most people would say they want a headlight that is super bright, covers a large area in front of the vehicle and has uniform illumination with no dark spots. But can this be achieved and still meet the standards set forth by ECE (E-mark) or SAE (DOT)? The short answer is, YES! The keys to optimal performance are to be sure the light is focu...
This is our new M2 LED Headlight series launched on November 2018. Its single beam housing with 2 pics CR CSP led chip while the dual beam housing with 4 pics leds, M2 led headlight kit can reach 6000 Lumen output. With an advanced dynamic design, high counterclockwise and low vibration of the fan, the M2 LED Headlight to work out the issue of noise in a safe situation. The bulb of M2 used 6003 Aluminum alloy, and bulb body is integrated by the hot-pressing process for better heat dissipation. And it is using double layer copper PCB which provides a good heat dissipation. Because of the high adhesion between the double layer copper PCB, it is beneficial to the heat dissipation and extends the lifespan of LEDs, the LED chips would not burn out easily. All in one style, the length of the bulb body is 77mm, the width of the heat sink is 31mm. The compact bulb body is close to the halogen bulb size LED Bulb Operating Temperature Testing Testing the led bulb with 1...
F2 led headlight was launched on September 2017. it is a high performance led headlight with fan, the double beam led bulb are designed with 4 CR CSP led chips while single beam led bulb has 2 pcs of CR CSP LEDs. The maximum light output of F2 led bulb can reach 6000 lumens. The F2 bulb is housing one PCB board in middle with opposing LEDs on two sides that decrease the distance between two side LEDs. With this special design, it can make the thickness of light source close to the tungsten filament of the halogen bulb. The F2 headlight using a small size fan is easy to install which would not influence to mount the dust cover. The bulb of F2 used 6003 Aluminium alloy with a decent surface treatment that creates a good texture for the bulb. Its operating power can up to 36W which will have a better canbus performance than the common 25W led headlight. Next, we test the F2 led headlight performance, the reviews are shown as below: LED Bulb Operating...
This is Blade led headlight which was launched on May 2018. Its double beam led bulb was designed with 24 pcs of SEOUL CSP-Y19 LED CHIPS, while the single beam led bulb was designed with 12 pcs of SEOUL CSP-Y19 LED CHIPS. Take the H11 led bulb single beam as an example, its length is 87.3mm, the width of its heat sink is 32mm. For the bulb body part, the length is 41.9mm and the width is 12.mm. Besides, the distance between opposing LEDs is 2.54mm, almost equivalent to the filament width of factory halogen bulb, which is 2mm. Generally, its volume is relatively compact compared to others fanless led headlights. The heat sink of Blade led headlight using 6003 Aluminum alloy, heat sink and bulb body are integrated by the hot pressing process for better heat dissipation, which can’t be disassembled. LED Bulb Operating Temperature Testing : Testing the led bulb with 13.5-volt power supplied for 30 minutes and the room temperature is about 25 d...
For the PCB boards now in application to LED headlight, there are mainly four kind of materials, Fiberglass(FR4) PCB, Aluminum PCB, Copper PCB and Ceramic PCB. It is a good deal to understand the distinctions for these four types PCB. Which PCB you choose depends on the circuit design construction of the headlight. FR4 vs. Aluminum PCB Price Comparison In the cost comparison, the Aluminum PCB is more expensive than FR4, as well as more superior in performance. Thermally conductivity Aluminum PCB has a great capability of thermal conductivity than FR4 which makes them play an important role in LED lighting technology. Technology practices The thermal conductivity dielectric material of Aluminum PCB is a thermal bridge that connects the components and metal plate. It can transfer heat to the heat sink through the core automatically. An Aluminum backed PCB is assembled with aluminum backing, highly thermally conductive dielectric layer and the standard circuit lay...
In this post, we will introduce to you the methods to select the best led headlight bulbs with fan or without fan from the engineer view, by analyzing what is important to a led headlight bulb, telling the methods to test the led headlight and get a conclusion from the data. And also mentioned what other factors are related to the quality of led headlight bulbs. After reading our post and follow our steps, you will be able to easily judge a led headlight is good or bad. The Structure of this Article - 4 Simple Methods to Select the Best LED Headlight Bulbs Three Type of Led Headlight Heat Sink - Aluminum heat sink, fan for heat sink and copper braid heat sink, what are the different among them? The pros and cons? What Should We Concern on When Picking Fanless Led Headlight Bulbs? - Led Chips, bulb size, or Lumen output? All these info are told by the seller, but what should we concern on when picking fanless led headlight bulb? How to Choose the Best Fanless Led Headli...
I think many people will meet this situation while shopping two similar products but with a great difference on prices.it is hard to make a choice for you, because you want to purchase the cheaper one but also worry about its quality as well. It is saying that you get what you pay. This is the best description of the current electronic products industry condition in China. Even high-value product like the laptop, or a cheap product like power bank or led light, we can find many similar products from different manufacturers. How can we identify which one is good and which one is in bad quality? We should take the product shell apart to see what kind of electronic component they used inside. In this way, we can understand the reasons why the suppliers always say that the price they offered is the best price and couldn’t be low, while another supplier can casually offer you a price cheaper 5USD, or 10USD. On our last post: How to Identify Genuine PHILIPS G7 or Fake PHILIPS G7 LED Headl...