Always Headlamp On (AHO) Feature in 2-Wheelers: Boon or Bane?


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Friends, We all know that "Always Headlamp On" (or) "AHO" in short, was made mandatory by the Government to two wheeler manufacturers in India. Hence the manufacturers replaced the headlamp on-off control switch with a dummy. The rider now cannot switch off the headlamp while riding in day time. I am severely affected by this as oncoming motorists ignorantly ride with their switch in "high beam" position. Many a times i nearly get blinded by oncoming two wheelers that i completely pull over to the side !

A few examples are : Honda Activa 5G / Bajaj Dominor etc...These bikes have very powerful White light LED's that cause total blinding if ridden in high beam mode. Attached is an googled image for reference.

Would love to hear your opinion on this topic & experiences.
Thanks.[confused]
 

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Akash1886

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Sir, Problem is not with the technology but with those using it. Half of them may not even know the issues caused to the fellow motorists. The A.H.O feature in daytime is largely about seeking attention of the on-coming driver by 2 wheeler but often the riders misuse it thereby causing problems. I am absolutely against the use of LED Daytime Lights which are often used in mopeds and many other two wheeler(s) and they remain ON during day. A simple but powerful wattage Halogen light is good enough in my opinion to remain ON in daytime. I think, riding with the full-beam in daytime makes it up for a rider's weak eyesight (pun-intended). The rider possibly thinks, with full-beam, now it's the responsibility of the fellow motorists/on coming traffic to take care of their vehicle as well as his.

Regards

Akash
 
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Yes, I too noticed many ride with high beam on. It seems most of them not aware of it or least bothered about others who suffers because of this.

I think this system was introduced in foreign countries where they have the fog condition most of the morning and early evenings (or most part of the day) which may reduce clear visibility and as such head light on condition will get attention of big vehicles coming in the opposite direction. But they use it properly by respecting the other road users which is not the case in India.

May be, I feel, in India (most of the places) it is not at all required to make the headlight on condition all the day - it's a nuisance for other road users.
 
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Now that AOH is common place, our brain ignores it and relegates it to background visual signals, so AHO has become useless even during day time. Apart from this Rushlane has an article detailing AHO's disadvantages

1 – Power consumption within the vehicle becomes higher. This gives a comparatively higher load to the magneto/alternator, which is transferred to the crankshaft. Consequentially there will be a drop in mileage in the vehicles with this type of AHO, by as much as 1 kmpl. This is in case of halogen bulb for low beam. After a year or two, when every vehicle (especially two-wheeler) on road has around 1 kmpl drop due to wear & tear, the collective consequence of burning more fuel could really high.

2 – In India the duration of vehicle idling is significant due to excessive traffic. If the reflector dome within the headlamp is not redesigned, the prolonged high heat from the bulb will cause the reflector to fade and deteriorate much earlier, especially during vehicle idle condition. This consequence will be more negligible when LED DRL is tuned to be AHO.

3 – AHO would be more useful on highways than in city. In cities with dense traffic, AHO seems less needed.

4 – If the vehicle doesn’t have the throw/angle of low-beam adjusted properly, it will cause irritation to the pedestrians and on-coming drivers. This has the potential to cause accidents. In case of an LED DRL, such an incident is less likely to happen.

5 – There is another potential disaster that could be accelerated by AHO in India – Global Warming. After a year or two, when most of the vehicles in the city would have the halogen lamps always lit, think of the collective heat that will be emitted. At a traffic signal, where heat radiation is already felt high, those hundreds of vehicles would contribute to much higher heat because of always ON halogen lamp. This will accelerate the rise in temperature of the region.

6 – In European countries, as said before, DRL was implemented as the weather is foggy most of the time. India is a very diverse country. Foggy roads are witnessed mostly in North India and rarely in South India. This is why Solar Farms are setup mostly in the central and southern part of the country, given the closer vicinity to the equator and brighter days. So, AHO will have good purpose in the North, but not at all in the South.

7 – When the battery of the vehicle is down, or when the fuel is very low, the user may not be able to crank the vehicle as many times as he would be able to in a vehicle that doesn’t have Always ON Headlamp with halogen bulb. For instance, if you could crank the engine 10 times before, with AHO, you would be able to crank the engine only 7-8 times now. This is just a vague example.
 
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A hot topic which needs to be made aware by users who have no clue about the merits of AHO.

Thanks for the timely thread.

My immediate neighbor a senior person bought Activa 3g last year, and he questioned me that there is no on off switch and the headlight is always on, so I told him that from 1st April 2017 it is mandatory to have AHO for 2 wheelers, and it's advantages etc, he got satisfied and am sure he must have educated a few more.

Another neighbor yesterday asked me the same thing with lot of anger against the govt etc, I explained to him the advantages and told him if people follow the rules properly we can see much less head on Bike collisions in the coming years, hopefully he will comply, and educate some people on AHO advantages.

So as passionate drivers, we should use this opportunity to try and stop the person driving with high beam, surely things will change in the near future.
 
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I am not against the rule and may have healthy reasons behind implementing it but majority of users don't even bother to check if they are riding with low beam or high. Most of the scooters I find on road are running with high beam. This is such a nuisance. I feel instead of making auto headlight, Govt should push auto DRL which is much less harmful to eyes.
 
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carcommentor has already explained most of the points which I wanted to discuss. (Buddy atleast leave a few points for me next time [lol])

The problem can be understood in two parts-

1. The doofy and hasty implementation of the idea by the government. This allowed the manufacturers to just remove the switch and make connection to headlight direct. And they also advertised it as a "feature". Which it is not. This leads to all the issues as commentator Pointed out.

Rather, Government should have specified dedicated LED DRLS with specific beam pattern so as to aid in low power consumption as well as avoid blinding effect.
Are AUDI DRLs super Bright? yes.
Do they blind you? No.
Do they grab your attention? Super yes.

Also, way back in the 90s when this law was introduced in europe, They had a special circuit to put both high beam filaments into series. So each bulb is running at 6v rather than 12v. As the output of Halogen filament is not liner, What you get is about 20% of regular headlight brightness. And not to mention the added benefit of Long bulb life and negligible heat on reflector.

But what Indian 2W are doing are running headlight on full brightness.

2. The lack of education of Indian folk. Average two wheeler is uneducated, jobless fellow roaming on streets just contributing to global warming without an aim in life. This is very pronounced in rural areas.

Which also allowed Manufacturers to get by with Jugaad implementation rather than giving proper LED DRL.
 
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If I see such biker approaching, I use my Super Blinding high beams on them, but they don't budge. They surely get blinded more than me, but they still opt not to switch off high beams. At least I get some mental satisfaction of blinding a tapori.
I don't always do that, I do check if others will be effected.
 
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