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Old April 4th, 2012, 18:19   #1
eb2143
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Default E-code v DOT beam pattern pictures

I know there's a good amount of information on the subject of MKIV e-codes. There are only a handful of photo comparisons out there though, if any to good stock lights and not stock lights with fogged lenses. These pictures are from a Jetta.

With the recent influx of what appear to be more affordable e-code lights from a number of sellers here and on Ebay, many are asking for reviews and pictures. I jumped on a set of these lights whose authenticity is a bit of a mystery—from all outward appearances they appear to be made from the same casts and components of the genuine $250/each Hella packaged lights (Hella logos scratched off). I have read that knock off e-codes have a plastic arm on the light shield for the H4 bulb and that genuine has a metal arm between the reflector and bulb shield--what I bought has a metal arm. I bought seconds from seller Vancity, and paid $100 for the pair. There were a few cosmetic issues and missing pieces, but nothing that should appreciably change the beam pattern or light output.

Pictures were taken last night and tonight before and after the swap, same spot in the road, same exposure (I found 1 second exposure on ISO 800 was very close recreation). Full tank of fuel, so I set the E-codes a tad high while aiming using Daniel Stern's excellent instructions. The old DOT lights have restored, clear lenses; I actually did not have a problem with their output whatsoever. I decided to try E-codes so that I could have fogs (at a later point) and hopefully a better beam pattern. E-codes have Philips VisionPlus bulbs ($16 for the pair on Amazon--stock wattage) while DOT had basic Slyvania bulbs; one Slyvania was a month old, the other was a year or two old. The Philips were of course brand new, so it's not exactly a fair comparison on the bulb front based on the bulb age differences.

Results,
DOT Low Beam:


E-code Low Beam:


DOT High Beam:


E-code High:


First Impressions:
  1. One question I often asked beforehand was, "are E-codes brighter than the DOTs (H4 v. 9007 bulb)?" or "do E-codes throw more light out?" I would now answer these questions with "No, but they do use the light differently"
  2. Low Beam: E-code wins hands down. DOT headlights have no beam concentration in a given area (low and high are identical, high is just a brighter version of low). As advertised, the E-codes' low beam does a nice job of keeping light out of the opposing driver's eyes, while lighting the right edge of the road better (notice the row of RH trees you can see on the E-code low beam and not the DOT). Also, it's not a deceptive photo, the E-code low beams do seem brighter.
  3. High Beam: E-codes will take some getting used to. Look at the photos carefully and you can see that the E-code does get light further down the road; DOT actually has a slight deadspot in the center (look just before and past the mailbox for each). What is a little distracting to me is that the E-code high concentrates light at further distances and leaves a dimmer spot in the 30 or 40 feet in front of the car. I also sensed an odd tunnel effect that's hard to describe By the end of my test drive though, I was already getting used to it.
Overall, happy E-code user. If I had spent the 300-$515 + shipping on them, I probably would have had a harder time justifying the expense (but that's an individual opinion based on spare cash and that I had already restored the stock lenses).

By the way, even genuine Jetta Ecodes do not have glass lenses (I used to think they did).

Does anyone with the genuine Hella e-code lights feel the lights I bought have a different or inferior beam pattern? I could measure the distance to the mailbox some time. It's probably a little over 100 meters.

Hope this helps somebody.
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Last edited by eb2143; April 18th, 2012 at 07:36.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 22:02   #2
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I too bought the "hella" eBay E-codes for my Jetta. Couldn't be happier and I am seeing the same result as you.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 12:56   #3
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Mods feel free to move to the non engine upgrade forum, that's where this thread belongs in hindsight. Thanks.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 12:57   #4
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Great pictures. Thanks!

-J
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Old April 5th, 2012, 12:59   #5
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I put E-codes in my Golf a couple years ago, best money spent ever. Far and away superior to the crappy DOTs.

I also have H4 conversion in my T3 Vanagon, with a great improvement.
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Old April 5th, 2012, 16:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb2143 View Post
Does anyone with the genuine Hella e-code lights feel the lights I bought have a different or inferior beam pattern? I could measure the distance to the mailbox some time. It's probably a little over 100 meters.

Hope this helps somebody.
I have the genuine Hellas in the Waggin, and the "other" E codes (from VolxTuning) in both the other Jettas. No real difference.
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Old April 6th, 2012, 07:39   #7
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So are the E-codes represented in the above photos from Vancity?
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Old April 6th, 2012, 12:48   #8
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Yup. Chrome style.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 07:21   #9
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While the differences I see between your two lights are noticeable but subtle in the photos my stock lights are NO WHERE near that good. My lenses are clear to (one is only a couple of months old d@m dear). I think I'm taking the vancity ecode plunge. What is everyone's feeling on the leveling motors and fog lamps? Worth the extra for the harnesses, euro switch?
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Old May 5th, 2012, 09:03   #10
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Leveling motors. I have them in my bug but haven't seen the need to connect them. Fogs in the jetta ecode...well worth it. I used hella yellow star bulbs in the fogs available at amazon.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 18:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo48 View Post
While the differences I see between your two lights are noticeable but subtle in the photos my stock lights are NO WHERE near that good. My lenses are clear to (one is only a couple of months old d@m dear). I think I'm taking the vancity ecode plunge. What is everyone's feeling on the leveling motors and fog lamps? Worth the extra for the harnesses, euro switch?
About the stock lights: might be worth checking their aim using Daniel Stern's instructions? I had a front-end collision several years ago, and my stock lights were replaced with used lights from another Jetta. After getting my car back, the lighting was much improved. I suppose it's possible that the used lights I bought were somehow better, but I think it's much more likely that the lighting improved because the body shop re-aimed them correctly (don't know if this was done after your Deer hit).

I did a lot of research and also found that nobody felt the leveling motors were worth the effort to hook up---maybe if you towed frequently or something? I have not purchased the fog-light harness and Euroswitch yet after exploring the prices; careful buying the Euroswitch; there are multiple levels of quality with true VW boxed switches demanding a pretty penny right now.
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Bosio Sprint 520s, Koni FSDs, VW HD Springs, 10mm spacer, Audi TT LCA bushings, 034 motorsports strut mounts, E-code lights, Audi TT "short"-shifter, IDparts rear sway bar, DG Panzer plate, Caterpillar 2m fuel filter, Frostheater, GLI Recaros, GTI 3-spoke steering wheel, Audi S3 shifter, R-line stainless pedals
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Old May 5th, 2012, 19:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb2143 View Post
About the stock lights: might be worth checking their aim using Daniel Stern's instructions? I had a front-end collision several years ago, and my stock lights were replaced with used lights from another Jetta. After getting my car back, the lighting was much improved. I suppose it's possible that the used lights I bought were somehow better, but I think it's much more likely that the lighting improved because the body shop re-aimed them correctly (don't know if this was done after your Deer hit).

I did a lot of research and also found that nobody felt the leveling motors were worth the effort to hook up---maybe if you towed frequently or something? I have not purchased the fog-light harness and Euroswitch yet after exploring the prices; careful buying the Euroswitch; there are multiple levels of quality with true VW boxed switches demanding a pretty penny right now.
They appear to be aimed just as they were prior to the dear hit.....I attempted to align them but it doesn't seem the adjusters work. Basically I think the car is dangerous at night and am all for not having to replace the lights but don't see a way around it. Perhaps you guys have the answer?
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