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DRL / Daytime Running Lights (lamps)


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63 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:29 AM

Can any Canadian member tell us if your C-Max has DRLs, aka Daytime Running Lights?
Here's a reasonable article about DRLs:
http://en.wikipedia....me_running_lamp

I wish it were possible to keep the lights on all the time automatically but if I leave the switch in non-automatic position, the parking lights never go out when the car is parked and locked. For the moment, I just switch it to non-automatic, then back to automatic when parked. Seems silly to do but in this season when the sun is low in the sky and it is beneficial to be seen by other motorist/pededestrians, the auto setting doesn't activate the headlights until it is rather dark outside.

It seems someone with a 2011 Focus was able to activate the DRLs by "IDS Programmer and the vehicles Smart Junction Box", coincidentally on a forum with a similar look to ours:
http://www.blueovalf...hts-activation/

Here's a recent article about the design of automotive lighting:
http://www.nytimes.c...to-be-seen.html

As I've noted in other posts, Ford has the technology available but how they decide on which model(s) to use that tech is a mystery. For example, the new Escape has LED DRLs in the lower section of the headlight and several other models use LED bulbs/housings in various places. The C-Max, which could benefit from less electrical use, only uses LEDs in the interior lighting.







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#2 OFFLINE   valkraider

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:45 AM

I wish it were possible to keep the lights on all the time automatically but if I leave the switch in non-automatic position, the parking lights never go out when the car is parked and locked. For the moment, I just switch it to non-automatic, then back to automatic when parked. Seems silly to do but in this season when the sun is low in the sky and it is beneficial to be seen by other motorist/pededestrians, the auto setting doesn't activate the headlights until it is rather dark outside.


Can this be adjusted in the lighting settings in the vehicle configuration menus?



As I've noted in other posts, Ford has the technology available but how they decide on which model(s) to use that tech is a mystery. For example, the new Escape has LED DRLs in the lower section of the headlight and several other models use LED bulbs/housings in various places. The C-Max, which could benefit from less electrical use, only uses LEDs in the interior lighting.


Cost.

My guess is that adding LED external lighting would add another $1000 to the vehicle, and they are leaving it out due to cost since the other systems in the vehicle are already expensive. I will bet that after a couple model years when Ford has recouped some of the development costs, and we have seen some sales numbers from the C-Max that they will upgrade (or offer a package upgrade) the lights to LED versions.

The same thing happened with our Dodge Caravan. In 2008 they released them with regular lights for the initial runs. After a few model years they switched to LED versions. I have seen this in other cars as well, from VW and GM alike.

LED light housings are costly, especially LED headlights.

I would have liked to have them as an option though - I would have bought them...

#3 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:38 PM

Thanks for the input.

I've looked at the settings and haven't found that particular configuration.
Yes, it's all about cost. I'm glad Ford chose to make our models available now and hope LED and other features will be available down the road.

#4 OFFLINE   shaners

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:29 PM

I think they are a great safety feature and I have noticed that the Prius has them. I wonder if Ford left them out to extend battery life and therfore increase overall MPG?

#5 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:37 PM

Hybrid dude I will let you know when I get my C-Max. All of our newer cars have daytime running lights as it is the law so I will be shocked if my car doesn't have them. I remember being surprised when we drove down to Palm Springs last year seeing cars without their lights on in the daytime. You see the odd beater here without daytime running lights on, but it is rare.

#6 OFFLINE   Bob999

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:09 PM

Daytime Running Lights

The manual lists this feature as shown below. What is not clear is whether all models are equipped with the feature--I can't find it in the listing for either the SE or SEL.

DAYTIME RUNNING LAMPS (IF EQUIPPED)

WARNING:


Always remember to switch your headlamps on in

low light situations or during inclement weather. The system does

not activate the tail lamps and may not provide adequate lighting

during these conditions. Failure to activate your headlamps under these

conditions may result in a collision.

The system switches the headlamps on in daylight conditions.

To switch the system on, switch the ignition on, and switch the lighting

control to the off, autolamp, or parking lamp positions.

#7 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:18 PM

Thanks for checking. I guess if you happen to be at a dealer prior to getting yours, you could know for sure, assuming they had one on the lot?
It seems from Bob999s post that the Ford version uses only the main beams, which is too bad, IMO.

#8 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:56 PM

Hybrid dude I picked up our C-Max today and it does have daytime running lights.  I put regular headlights on awhile ago for a little trip to the grocery store as it is stormy--and forgot to shut them off and got some bell ringing to remind me to switch them back to running lights when I shut down the car.  It is a great feature and I'm surprised it isn't universally available. 



#9 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

Congrats and thanks for the info. If you have a chance, I and I'm sure others would like to have more details as to exactly what lights are illuminated in DRL setting. Is it just the low beam headlights and if so, are they at full brightness or a reduced level? I assume you have the same four-position light switch as everyone else, so the DRLs must be controlled by the automatic light sensor, which decides based on how dark it is outside whether to have just the DRLs or add the parking ones as well. I'm a lighting nut, thus the detailed questions.

 

Also, I had a eureka moment last night in my quest to have DRLs. I'm going to find the location of the light sensor, which I think is on the dashboard and cover it with a piece of black tape ... and hopefully my wish to have the parking lights and low beams on all the time will come true. This idea is prevalent on a lot of other automotive forums across many brands.



#10 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:40 PM

We don't have a separate position for DRL as they come on automatically.  Only a dim low beam front light comes on and no parking/tail lights come on.  If you select parking lights on the switch, you have the DRL and parking lights on.  Driving with DRL only has its hazards and people forget that they don't have tail lights.  When we go into the city, we go through an underground tunnel and there is a sign telling people to manually switch on regular headlights.  With the DRL  the drivers can see in the tunnel, but the cars behind can run up on other car's rear ends pretty quickly without any tail lights on.  So DRL would be safer with tail lights too.  Why don't you just drive with your headlights on all the time?  I tend to do that even with the DRL's on as we live in a very grey rainy climate and it is easy to get rear ended when it is pouring and visibility is so poor for 7 months of the year.



#11 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:29 PM

Thanks so much for the info.

 

I agree with the hazards which come with low beam only DRLs but didn't go into a long rant in my original post but I'd classify them in the 'What were they thinking and why do they still think this way" category.

 

I've had lots of Volvos which do automatically have parking and low beam lights on all the time (though one can cancel that feature), thus I was looking for and have found a way to do it in the C-Max. I appreciate your suggestion but just don't want to have to remember to turn them on and off all the time.



#12 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

The SEL has the autolamps which is handy and they will go off automatically and we can adjust the time delay. 



#13 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:04 AM

You mean the feature called 'home lighting'? The SE has that as well, same configurations. My use of the term 'automatic lighting' in this post was only in reference to lights illuminated while driving.



#14 OFFLINE   MikeB

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:27 AM

I think 'home lighting' leaves the lights on for a few min when you get out of the car, so you can see you way to the door.

 

My VW Jetta has 3 different DRL modes embedded in the control computer, people with the right software and a cable can get in and tweak it. I put mine into 'Scandinavian' DRL mode, which turns on both the headlights and parking lights whenever the car is on. Fortunately, the headlights turn off when you move the switch to the parking light position. I'm an amateur astronomer, and need to be able to drive on our dark property without headlights. So while I really want DRLs for general safety, I also need a drivable mode with either no lights or just parking lights.

 

I'm looking at buying the european headlight module for HIDs, from the picture they also have a DRL lamp next to the high beam. It'll be interesting figuring out how to make that switch on at the right time.



#15 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:06 AM

You mean the feature called 'home lighting'? The SE has that as well, same configurations. My use of the term 'automatic lighting' in this post was only in reference to lights illuminated while driving.

No, we have a setting that senses when it is dark out the car puts on the headlights on.  My husband doesn't generally recommend I use it as I start up in the garage where it is dark, and then when I pull out into the brighter light they go off--he figures it is hard on the headlights ie going on and off too much.  It is on page 91 called Autolamps. It is the fourth symbol to the right on our gauge.  So if it is bright and sunny we just go with the automatic DRL and if it is grey and rainy we use the regular headlight setting.



#16 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:17 AM

The SEL has the autolamps which is handy and they will go off automatically and we can adjust the time delay. 

I think we both know the distinction between Autolamps and Automatic lighting. My question to you only arose to clarify that there is not a manual setting for the Automatic lights feature ( light switch rotated all the way clockwise), which I thought you impied from the sentence I quoted above. I realize there 'is' one for the autolamps or home -lighting as I refer to it. Understand?


Edited by Hybrid dude, 02 December 2012 - 11:18 AM.


#17 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

No, I don't understand, but I think you are getting annoyed with me.  I am thinking that my Canadian manual and light set up is different than yours as we do have a manual setting for Autolamps and my car has built in DLR that I don't have a switch for.  Sorry if I am being obtuse.



#18 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:49 AM

No, not annoyed at all, just curious. I am fascinated by lighting standards in other countries and love to learn about them and sometimes convert my US model to have such standard, like fitting European headlights to 1970-1980s Mercedes-Benz models.

 

I'll check my owner's manual and other online resources and post if I find additional info.

 

I think you answered my question but here's how I interpret the features (please edit if necessary):

1. DRLs:

Canadian models do have this feature

Not manually controllable

Low beams only at reduced power

Works when light switch is in parking light or automatic light switch positions. (Thus doesn't work in off [first] or manual [third] positions)

 

2. Autolamps or Home-Lighting (How long after one shuts off the vehicle that the low beams remain illuminated)

This is manually controllable via the left display screen and can be set for various time delays, 30 seconds, 1 min. etc.


Edited by Hybrid dude, 02 December 2012 - 11:49 AM.


#19 OFFLINE   Laurel

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

1.  DRLs manual says "The system switches the headlamps on in daylight conditons.  To switch the system on, switch the ignition on, and switch the lighting control to the off, autolamp, or parking lamp position". 

2.  Autolamps are manually set on my light control knob --clockwise it is the last position and it looks like a snowflake.  Manual says "headlamps will switch on and off automatically in low light situations or during inclement weather.  The headlamps will remain on for a period of time after you switch the ignition off.  You can adjust the time delay using the information display controls. If you switch autolamps on in conjuntion with autowipers, low beam headlamps will illuminate automatically when the rain sensor activates the windshield wipers continuously".



#20 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:50 PM

Great, thanks for the clarification and typing the data from the manual.

I think it was my mistake, referring to autolamps as automatic lights, which is incorrect.








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