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Light test headlights: LED, xenon, halogen or laser?

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Light test headlight systems (2015)
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Opel Astra with convincing LED headlights

I In the first part we compare the standard halogen lighting with the respective optional lighting for Seat Leon, Opel Astra and VW Polo. Only with the Astra is the LED light completely convincing. As the first in its class, it is equipped with matrix LED light. This allows him to darken certain areas in high beam mode so as not to dazzle other road users.

The whole You can find the light test in auto, motor und sport issue 01/2016 - from 21.12. 2015 at the kiosk or here in the shop (see link!)

With the Leon, on the other hand, the LED headlights that cost almost 1,200 euros are not worthwhile. While the halogen spotlights illuminate the roadway surprisingly brightly and evenly, the LED light seems too weak overall and has an unfavorable, only narrow light distribution.

Hans-Dieter Seufert
There are visible differences in the various lighting systems.

LEDs in the Polonot adaptive

Depending on the model variant, the Polo offers a choice of xenon or LED headlights, both of which are recommended. The LED light lacks a slightly wider illumination and adaptive functions for brisk cornering, but the high beam is convincing. The xenon headlights shine wide and wide, but the light distribution with a bright spot in front of the driver takes some getting used to.

BMW 7 Series with restless laser light

In the second part of the light Tests have to show modern adaptive lights of the upper class what added value they bring and how reliably they act. To do this, we are comparing two sedans, two SUVs and two sports cars on a winding country road in normal traffic.

On the BMW 7 Series, an additional laser high beam supports the LED headlights. For the adaptive illumination of the road, the headlight modules pivot independently of one another (to the side). This sometimes seems quite restless and distracts the driver.

The Mercedes CLS, on the other hand, works with a matrix LED light and 24 LEDs that can be switched off individually. Not only are the lighting and light distribution pleasing, but also the quieter nature of the system.

Hans-Dieter Seufert
We have Astra with serial light (left, red) and LED headlights (silver) compared.

Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 - LEDs with light and shadow

It is the same with the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 similar. The Swedish SUV forms a wide and bright tunnel of light. However, the swivel movements and abrupt switching on and off of the headlights sometimes seem nervous. The Q7, on the other hand, uses a matrix LED system with 30 individually controllable LEDs, in which even the cornering light works without mechanics.

BMW i8 and Audi R8 with laser, but without adaptive function

The two sports cars Audi R8 and BMW i8 shine extremely far into the distance with their additional laser high beam. However, the light cone remains quite narrow and both systems lack adaptive functions.

Here it becomes clear that cornering lights and glare-free high beams in particular improve safety when driving at night immensely. The driver simply sees more.


So a good light source is not enough. ThereforeSuch systems should be available in all vehicle classes if possible.


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