Headlamp beam deflectors

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Tintin
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:51 am

Headlamp beam deflectors

Postby Tintin » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:39 pm

In times gone by, if you wanted to take your car to the continent you probably fitted something like this to your headlamps
WP_20170904_12_15_07_Pro.jpg
. These masks were cut to a specific shape to match your particular headlamp lens and fitted precisely - they served to totally block out that part of the headlamp beam which might otherwise dazzle oncoming drivers abroad.

Nowadays you are sold something like this.
WP_20170904_12_15_07_Pro.jpg
. These are a "one size fits all" shape, do not require significant cutting and are impossible to fit precisely. I don't know whether they deflect the beam from the headlamp or block it entirely or do a bit of both.

I have kept a set of old LUCAS masks so I can use either system for my forthcoming trip to France in my 1971 sovereign (traditional round halogen headlamps). Can anyone tell me which system will be better for both my night time driving vision and for the oncoming drivers?

Robbie
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WP_20170904_12_15_41_Pro.jpg
1996 4 litre XJS Celebration 2+2
Daimler Sovereign S1 4.2 1971

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Tintin
Posts: 561
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Headlamp beam deflectors

Postby Tintin » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:40 pm

PS

I have the photos in the wrong places but I hope the intention is clear!!!!
1996 4 litre XJS Celebration 2+2
Daimler Sovereign S1 4.2 1971

mike020150
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:26 pm

Re: Headlamp beam deflectors

Postby mike020150 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:48 pm

For what it's worth, I still use the old fashioned Lucas tape and recently bought an old stock pack on eBay to ensure continued supplies for a few more trips. This year I actually had to drive my coupe at night in France on unknown country roads with taped headlamps and it wasn't a pleasant experience! I couldn't see a thing.
Previously, I have also tried the oval style deflectors. If I recall correctly, one fell off, never to be seen again, and they weren't much better than the tape. Originally, I used to fit a pair of LHD headlamps for driving in France and they were great but it was a faff to do and considering that most of my continental holidays are taken during long summer days, it was a seldom used advantage. Sadly, those lamps have long since rotted away.
In part it may be my eyes deteriorating but I don't think that the modern replacement round headlamps are as good as the original 1970's Lucas halogens (those OE units with halogen written on the face in white), with or without tape fitted. The light scatter and beam patterns seem less well controlled for those currently on sale. Mike.
2014 XK Dynamic R convertible; 1977 Daimler Double Six Coupe; XE S

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Tintin
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Headlamp beam deflectors

Postby Tintin » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:11 pm

Thanks Mike. It's helpful to know that both systems are as bad as each other. I think I'll use the modern teardrop masks and cut them to the (smaller) pattern of the LUCAS masks - that way I won't cover more of the lens than is necessary but will get a little light through if they are transparent.

I'm not intending to drive at night but want to be legal - just in case the French fuzz decide to teach the Brits a lesson, as Michel Barnier put it.

Robbie
1996 4 litre XJS Celebration 2+2
Daimler Sovereign S1 4.2 1971


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