The first vehicles with 25-watt Xenon lighting have been on the road since 2013. Find out more about the new Xenon bulbs, what they can do and where they are used here.
In vehicles from the mid-range upwards, the new Xenon lights frequently replace the halogen bulbs that were previously used as standard, which significantly improves the lighting. For the small car and compact class vehicle range, where the standard Xenon 35-watt lighting has so far not been offered at all, or where there has been very little demand, the 25-watt version is an attractively priced optional extra.
Automatic headlight range control and headlight washer system?
The common perception is that automatic headlight range control and a headlight washer system are compulsory for cars with Xenon lights, but this is only partially correct. The international regulations set out by ECE R48 do not actually refer to the type of bulb, but rather to the light stream emitted by the light source of the dipped beam. If the light stream is greater than 2000 lumen, the car must be fitted with both automatic headlight range control and a headlight washer system.
This was a relatively simple matter in the past. Halogen bulbs were always below this limit and Xenon, with around 3200 lumen, were always above. This is what first created the reference to Xenon technology as it still appears in the StVZO (Straßenverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung – German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations). The special feature of the 25-watt solution is that its light stream is now "only" 2000 lumen.
This means that the automatic headlight range control and headlight washer system can be omitted, although they can still be included. However, many car manufacturers are choosing to retain the automatic headlight range control and only dispense with the washer system. This maximises the benefit for the manufacturers, as only a small water tank is required, saving on space and weight.
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