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Author Topic: Dim-Dip running lights  (Read 216 times)
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lancianut666
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Slow but rough


« on: 26 May, 2020, 09:55:19 PM »

Intrigued as I was by the extra wiring on the parallel project see Y10 resto thread  I dug up this Dim-dip History... in my opinion if you can't see a car coming towards you must need glasses...anyway if you have trouble getting of to sleep try this bad boy of quangos, committees and commissions. At the time I wondered how much extra CO2 would be produced as all those millions of cars powered those lights...rant over

 At the 18th Sessional Meeting of the Commission Internationale de l'Éclairage (CIE) in London in 1975, a joint committee concerned with visual signalling, road lighting and automobile lighting came to the following conclusion:

It is recommended that a 'town beam' be introduced which is intermediate in intensity between that of the currently used low beam and side lights. Such a light should have a luminous intensity between 50 and 100 cd and should have an area similar to that of current headlights. Therefore it is recommended that all relevant organisations consider this matter seriously and take the necessary steps to introduce a town beam as an essential part of the lighting systems for road traffic.
The committee believed such a beam would provide conspicuous and glare-free front lighting on vehicles. They suggested the beam could be simply realized by using the existing dipped beam headlamp on a lower voltage.

The UK was the only country to introduce a dim-dip system as required equipment. The simplest such system merely consists of a relay and a 0.5- to 1-ohm resistor. This causes the dipped headlamps to light up automatically at reduced intensity whenever the engine and the front and rear position lights are switched on. Position lights can still be used on their own when parking, and dipped headlamps for any roads at night when they are necessary to illuminate the road.

In 1980, in response to Parliamentary pressure about the advantages of headlamps or side lights in towns, the Minister of Transport decided to consult interested parties about the implementation of the dim-dip system as described above.

Following strong support from the public and professional bodies eg: Association of Chief Police Officers, RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), Institution of Public Lighting Engineers, with the exception of the motor industry itself, the Minister made regulations in 1983 bringing in the dim-dip requirement for all cars, buses and trucks first used after 1 April 1987. As an alternative to dim-dip requested by some vehicle manufacturers, a pair of running lights could be fitted; Volvo, for instance, employed this option on some of their cars—the running light function being provided by the brighter of the two filaments in the 21/5-watt front position light lamps.

In 1976 the EC made a special Directive covering the installation of lamps on vehicles (76/756/EEC). The Articles made it clear that Member States must permit free circulation and sale of any vehicle which conformed to the Directive in respect of the lighting devices listed and covered by detailed provisions.

The dim-dip device, the daytime running lamp, and the side turn signal repeater lamp were not so listed, so the UK took the view that although the Directive had successfully standardised the installation of all common vehicle lamps, it did not prohibit a Member State from requiring other devices not listed in the Directive. This view was reinforced by the fact that the side turn signal repeater had been required by UK law for many years without challenge, and the CIE statement recommending "relevant organisations" to take the necessary steps to implement the town beam had also not been challenged.

The European Commission sought technical advice from GTB on the value of dim-dip. GTB recommended against dim-dip or town lights, and instead recommended mandatory use of dipped headlights in towns at night. The EC did not take advice from road lighting experts, nor from CIE; the EC believed that having consulted GTB they had taken the advice of CIE as the sole relevant expert authority on the subject of vehicle front lights for lit streets.

On the basis of GTB's technical advice, the Commission prosecuted the UK in the European Court of Justice, whose 1988 Decision favoured the Commission on the grounds that the Commission had intended the vehicle lighting Directive to cover all vehicle lighting devices and therefore any device not listed in the Directive could not be required by a Member State.

When the decision was announced, the UK amended its regulations to permit, as an alternative to dim-dip or running lights, full compliance with the EC Directive—including, in particular, the requirements in respect of accurate headlamp aim.
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