Lights ! This is one of the topics that took a lot of time to decide what type to choose. Our ideas changed a few times but finally we decided to go for LED technology. It’s just a matter of time for Led to take over the light scene !
Highly Efficient InGaN (Indium Gallium Nitride) and SiC (Silicon Carbide) produce an never seen light output. The end in this technology has not been reached yet. The biggest problem is focusing and directing the beam according to the laws of physics.
First option was the US because LED technology has been widely spread in off-road use. Baja designs have nice products but the cost and getting everything in Belgium costs a fortune. (shipping, duties,..) European motorsport laws are different from the US ones and this could also cause a problem. This was not an option !
Leds were tolerated in Belgium but for KNAF in Holland it was a no go. Fortunately – after long negotiations- an agreement was reached on FIA level so LEDs with an E-approval are allowed now ! For the make LAZER this means ST8 and ST4 are allowed.
Dirk got convinced after talking to Nicky Grist en Mark Higgins. Mark tested the ST-8 lamps in the forests of Wales and he was very pleased with the result. Another fact that made us decide to go for Lazer (ST-8) was that Biesheuvel Autosport (Nieuwendijk Holland) became a Lazer dealer
One has to get used to the LEDs because the scope is less than half of conventional lamps. The visibility for the first 500-600m is tremendous, this should compensate the lower scope. We don’t need to see for 1500m , even with a speed of 200km/u (125 miles/h) you have about 10 seconds of perfect view in front of your car ! The change from Xenon to Led seems to be very frightening because you lose a lot of visible distance. Since we are just starting to race and have almost no night experience this is not an issue for us.
An advantage for the LED beamers is that there are almost no vibrations visible because of the relative big opening angle. (20°) Other advantages are : longer lifecycle , lower power consumption, color temperature and compactness.
The M3 wasn’t built with very good lamps in Munchen. For this reason all we want to see at night has to come from the “double boomer” layout. This means that we are going to use 4 identical ST-8 units in 2 rows. The back row can be adjusted with 18° to get a wider lighted area.
We expect this to be enough but tests will have to prove we’re right. Worst case we will mount 2 extra ST4 units vertically on the front bumper.