Gas discharge lamp
Gas-discharge lamps are described in the list of optional extras, mostly as Xenon-headlights. Apparently, they are capable of approx. two and a half times more light while using only a little more than half as much
energy as Halogen. Apart from that, the light is much brighter and more similar to natural daylight, thus illuminating the road surface further ahead and also with a wider, better beam. Because the wider light-cone also
works in the immediate area, additional fog-lamps are not necessary. According to the manufacturer's claim, only 35 W, compared with the 55 W for Halogen lamps, are necessary and that the Xenon lamps also have a substantially longer service life. Apart from having approx. twice the
range, the Xenon lamps, compared with the further developed Halogen lamps, do not tire the eyes out as quickly. However, the high contrast from light to dark is somewhat disturbing.
In a gas-filled sealed glas tube (pictures 2 and 4) which has a cathode on one side and an anode on the other, an approx. 4 mm long electric arc is generated between the two by a high-tension electrical impulse.
Due to the gas-filling, the shimmering light has a greenish- and above all, a bluish hew (picture 1). A control device (picture 3) generates the high-tension impulse of beween 20.000 und 30.000 V, for safety reasons,
in the event of a defect, it also switches itself off. The full illumination is only reached after a short start-up phase, When burning for a longer period it loses some of the blue colour. The tension drops from 8 - 9 Amps.
down to less the than 5 Amps., which in reality means that the consumption is a little more than 35 W. As far as their service life is concerned the Xenon lamp lasts around 3 to 4 times longer than the Halogen lamp
Legislation in Germany stipulates that vehicles with gas discharge lamps be fitted with headlamp-cleaning and automatic headlamp range control (without the option of manual intervention). Previously only common for dipped headlights, it is now available as a
Bi-Xenon lamp with a fast switch-over from dipped- to high beam. Either the Xenon bulb is shifted or when dipped, a cover is suitably positioned. 08/11