Influence Parameters on Headlamp Performance in Rating Systems and Reality
Headlamp performance has changed in the last 20 years significantly. Sealed beam lamps were replaced by VHAD, VOR and VOL types, but still the optical input in terms of tungsten filament based luminous flux remained more stable. With Xenon discharge lamps and now LED the performance of a headlamp may vary strongly and thus the optical performance. Various rating systems have been developed to assess the quality of lamps and light distribution, some based on laboratory based data, some based on static or dynamic street test drives with online measurements and assessments. Basic interest is to understand the performance of the light for a real driver. This article will discuss the influence parameters on achieving a repeatable and precise rating as well as the outer influence that creates glare and varying seeing distance. Mostly mechanical headlamp and car conditioning will influence the result as well as human factors like aiming precision and aiming tolerances.