Lotus Elan

Auxiliary lamps ( 'S' model )

PostPost by: chrishewett » Tue May 15, 2007 3:38 pm

I decided the other day it was about time I got the spot lights working on my 1971 +2. Having looked at the handbook I discover that they are refered to as being a driving light and a fog light. They look the same to me and someone has messed with the wiring and I only have one switch.
I thought it would be a good idea to get them working in case the daylight driving light law ever comes into being.
Any thoughts?
Chris
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PostPost by: ppnelan » Tue May 15, 2007 5:48 pm

I believe that ANY light below the 'bumper line' (24" off the ground) that is more than a certain wattage is classed as a fog light i.e. only for use in conditions of poor visibility e.g. fog or falling snow. It is a common misconception that they are 'driving' lights (witness all the new car adverts showing front fog lights on presumably to make them 'look good'? :? ). Driving lights have to be ABOVE the bumper line and only come on with headlights on main beam.

The difference between driving & fog lamps in the 70s was usually the lens pattern - one was mostly clear glass without much of a pattern (I forget which one). I would be surprised if Lotus intended the two lights to be operated independently, if that is what you are suggesting, but anything's possible... :wink:
Min come on together. If they came on independently, you could be mistaken for a motorbike either near the middle of the road or near the gutter, depending on which light was used :!: :shock:

:arrow: Matthew
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PostPost by: sparkey » Tue May 15, 2007 5:53 pm

Mine come on independantly, and are different (different lenses), but I don't know which is which. I think the clear lens one is the "spot light" and the other is a "fog light". Both live behind the black plastic covers and have never been used in anger so I guess it doesn't matter !

S..
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PostPost by: ppnelan » Tue May 15, 2007 7:21 pm

sparkey wrote:Mine come on independantly...


I stand corrected :!: :oops:
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Tue May 15, 2007 8:47 pm

Chris,

I have 2 identical lamps on my S130. They are both fog lamps (with the ridged lense). They come on at the same time and are operated by a dashboard switch, funnily enough with FOG written beside it. I have altered the wiring slightly so that the switch operates a relay which in turn controls the lights.
Rarely use mine because they are so low. They really are only any good in fog, falling snow or heavy rain.

Hamish.
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Tue May 15, 2007 8:55 pm

Just for completeness,

A spot lamp has clear glass for long range. A driving lamp has very light ridges in the lens to spread the light a wee bit but still have long(ish) range and a fog lamp has heavy ridges in the lens. These really spread the light and are short range.

The +2 S130 has Lucas rectangular lamps both of which I think, have fog lenses.

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PostPost by: chrishewett » Tue May 15, 2007 9:35 pm

Hamish,
Trust a scotsman to know about fog lamps!
Just a jest, I am descended from The Bruce myself!
I shall investigate further. As far as I can see every bugger puts their lights on at the first opportunity these days, I might as well jump on the bandwaggon.
Chris
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PostPost by: Foxie » Tue May 15, 2007 10:12 pm

Chris,

I have replaced these lamps quite a few times, always with two "driving" type lamps.

I have wired them so they can be switched on independently for daylight use. Also so they are 'on' with full beam and 'off' with dip I have also wired them so they can be flashed with the +2S dip switch, which I discovered has a "flash" function. I have found this is a very useful.

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PostPost by: chrishewett » Wed May 16, 2007 6:04 am

Sean,
That sounds just what I am looking for.
Chris
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed May 16, 2007 7:43 am

Sean,

that sounds very interesting. I have fitted 2 small driving lights behind the air intake grill on my S4.
They are wired to come on with the main beam.
I really wanted them wired to that I could use them to flash in dodgy situations because the headlights take too long to react.
My tame "Sparks" who rewired my car said that this was not possible.
Although the headlight stalk on the steering column has a switch which could operate a headlight flasher it only has power to it when the headlights are switched on.
Have you devised some clever trick to get power to the flasher switch so that auxiliary lights can be flashed independantly?
If so I would love to know how.

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: andyhodg » Wed May 16, 2007 11:59 am

John

My early +2 has had fog lights fitted by a PO. Although they do not work at the moment they did flash with the headlight stalk. I don't know how its been wired but I don't think you are to far from me (I'm in Solihull) so if you would care to come and have a look you would be more than welcome.

Regards

Andy
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PostPost by: Foxie » Wed May 16, 2007 6:59 pm

D.J.Pelly wrote:Sean,

Have you devised some clever trick to get power to the flasher switch so that auxiliary lights can be flashed independantly?
If so I would love to know how.

Cheers
John


I will try to do a circuit diagram from my notes when I get some time. Basically, I took a signal feed from the feed to the headlamp relay (at the connector by the steering column) through the spotlamp switch on the trim panel lower right, on to the spotlamp relay coil. The feed from the flasher is also wired into the spotlamp relay coil. Both the headlamp and dip relay earth goes through the pod microswitch so the headlamps are off when the pods are down.

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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed May 16, 2007 10:23 pm

Fog lamps are fog lamps and can never be driving lamps. A bight lamp which illuminates the spot immediately in front of a car degrades night vision, and effectively makes your long distance night vision worse. Once a driver puts on fog lamps and is dazzled by the bright patch in front of the car, they find it difficult to turn them off, because their eyes have adjusted to the bright light. This in turn leads them to find it difficult to see further ahead, so they think they always need fog lamps and even brighter lights. This is called a feedback loop. Think about it - how often have you flipped your lights onto main beam and been dazzled by the reflection off a roadsign. Fog lamps are designed to illuminate the road ahead in fog by shining under the layer of fog, alerting oncoming vehicles to your position, while you are slowly moving forward with due caution. In thick fog, even normal dipped headlamps will dazzle you by reflecting straight back, hence fog lamps are fitted low down. When did you see a rally/LeM car with low mounted driving lights? Also racers don't have oncoming traffic. As a +2 is so low down and I use mine at night, fog lamps on oncoming vehicles are particularly unwelcome...

The cult of fog lamps to 'aid' night vision is a false belief and followers should be forced to stare at a procession of oncoming drivers with badly adjusted beams, blue 'high power' bulbs, Xenon systems, driving lamps, under-vehicle flashing lights, whilst following a car with its rear fog lamps on etc etc. If you can't see where you are going at night, slow down, get your night vision checked - it is different to day vision and can be a serious problem if undiagnosed. Don't make other road users suffer by blinding them as well. There, rant over!

Jeremy

PS you are committing an offence by using fog lamps in good visibility, and could have three points put on your licence - but I've never heard of anybody being 'done' in this way. Still its a good reason to stop a vehicle and check everything else......
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PostPost by: Dave_Newcastle » Tue May 29, 2007 7:34 pm

http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=14830

For info: above link to gallery section clearly shows a plus 2s with one fog light and one spot.
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PostPost by: sk178ta » Tue May 29, 2007 10:24 pm

Yes any light, fog or spot, below a certain height (can`t remember what?) can only be used in fog or falling snow. Except, of course, unless you have a Subaru Impreza, an ageing Vauxhall Nova, live in Wilmslow, have a vanity number plate, or wear your baseball cap on back to front... in which case the whole point is to draw attention to yourself.
Jim
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