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Automatic Spare Bulbs

To prevent an annoyance and safety hazard.
  [vote for,

Sometimes you get a burned-out headlight or taillight. That, or the bulb rattles loose (I've actually heard that excuse used). It's (usually, unless there are a lot of streetlights) pretty easy to know when you don't have a headlight working at night, not always so easy during the day.

This idea calls for a separate bulb in each light (headlights, tail lights, brake lights, etc...) with a sensor in them to detect when the main bulb goes. If the bulb goes, the spare comes on in its place automatically so you don't have a ticketable safety hazard on your hands. At the same time, a dash indicator lets you know the spare is in use and the main needs to be checked and/or changed.

21 Quest, Nov 14 2006

Flash cubes http://www.protom.org/motor/magicubes/
Like this, only with bulbs whose expressed purpose isn't to burn out [Veho, Jan 31 2007]


       sounds like there's no downside. +
acurafan07, Nov 14 2006

       Sounds good. By definition, the backup bulb won't be in the optimal focus point as per the main bulb, but that's ok, it's just a backup until you change the main bulb.

Custardguts, Nov 15 2006

       Many A/V projectors (2x2 slides, overhead projectors, for anyone who remembers the pre-digital age) have a manual version of this feature: if a bulb blows, rotate a lever, and a new one is put in place. No reason this couldn't be automated, with acceptable accuracy. +
csea, Nov 15 2006

       <aside>Having a bulb out is not a reportable offence in UK, so long as you have a spare in the car.</aside>
angel, Nov 15 2006

       My brother got a ticket for having a brake-light out. The cop thought he kept signalling when he tapped his brakes at intersections, and finally pulled him over and wrote a ticket for "faulty equipment".
21 Quest, Nov 15 2006

       Yes sir I like it.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 15 2006

       In a way, headlights do have this: high beam. Not the sensor or dash indicator just the bulb or filament.

       [angel] Do they make you replace the bulb or just check there's a spare and send you on your way?
caspian, Nov 17 2006

       I suspect that they would strongly suggest that you replace it there and then. If you have any sense, you'd do that anyway. "Oh, thanks, officer. I have a spare; I'll put it in now."
angel, Nov 18 2006

       Why do I never quite understand your posts, [Treon]??

       I'm really not trying to be rude here, you genuinely seem to have a good working knowledge, but I find your posts quite a challenge to decipher:

       //senses when to change from 30Khz to a coating dissipation frequency to activate a new filament while meltfuse isolating the previous one then its back up to phosphor optimal 30Khz//

       Um.. the following is what goes through my head as I'm trying to decipher your post...

       "Senses when to change from [Normal Operation] 30kHz [some type of gas discharge lamp] to a coating dissipation frequency [perhaps to evaporate the old filament, or something to disable the faulty bulb or element] to activate a new filament [ok, with you so far] while meltfuse isolating the previous one [ok confused now, I thought we "dissipation frequency" 'd it.. or maybe not. "meltfuse isolating" - that's a bloody clever ballast that will up the voltage+current to melt a fuse in a circuit it wishes to isolate - or am I once again, confused: why not just switch it out??] then its backup to phosphor optimal 30kHz [um. hmm. This is activating the new backup circuit, yes? "phosphor optimal 30kHz" ok this is some phosphor based arc lamp. cool. I think.]...

       See? I'm really trying to follow your posts, but think I'm missing something in the translation. I mean, hey, your posts are valued and appreciated either way but I do think there's a communication barrier in place here somewhere, and I think we [1/2 B users] are missing out on appreciating what you have to say because many of us don't understand what it is you are saying.

       I suppose I'm asking for you to word out your comments a bit, maybe explain a little more, and perhaps beef your text out a little with some grammar, etc so we can follow your ideas more closely.

Custardguts, Jan 30 2007

       ---sorry [21] for the interruption---
Custardguts, Jan 30 2007

       It's good, but it doesn't take into account the laziness of so many people - how many cars have you seen running around on SpaceSaver spare wheels, for example? People will just ignore the light on the dashboard. Fair enough, it introduces redundancy into the system which would hopefully see the car through to its next service, at which point the mechanic can check the bulb status and change it if necessary.

       As [BrauBeaton] says, many cars are switching to LEDs, but not for headlights - they're just not bright enough. This is where I see this being useful.

       Good idea, anyway.
Defiler, Jan 31 2007

       Maybe you could use the four-way-bulb system like on the old photo cameras [link]. Once a bulb burns out, just rotate the whole thing 90 degrees, the new contacts slide into place, and the new bulb is ready to go. This way you have to do a general bulb replacement 3 times less often.
Veho, Jan 31 2007

       Aha.., Understood now.

       Cheers [Treon]
Custardguts, Jan 31 2007

       This would add complexity and weight to the vehicle, affecting performance and fuel economy, increasing initial cost and maintenance cost.

       The tradeoff is that it adds safety, since the overwhelming majority of drivers fail to properly maintain their vehicle.

       Treon's idea is nice and simple, if I understand it correctly. There are multiple filaments in the same bulb. When one dies, a new one is automagically zapped on. No physical/mechanical intervention needed. I just ponder how reliable a fluorescent bulb would be in cold environments with a lot of vibration.
ed, Jan 31 2007

       What about having logic to reprogram light usage to achieve optimal results? For example...

       -1- If the high-beam filament burns out on a headlight, don't switch off the low-beam one on that side when activating the high-beams.

       -2- If the low-beam filament burns out on a headlight, use the high-beam one but dim it severely. Won't be nearly as good as a low-beam, but still better than nothing.

       -3- For marker lights, use bulbs that are designed to be brighter than the normal desired level, but generally operate them 'dimmed' (this will improve bulb life anyway). If the brake light fails, use the marker light at extra brightness.

       -4- If a marker light fails, use the brake light at reduced brightness.

       -5- If a rear turn signal light fails, flash the corresponding brake light.

       -6- If a front turn signal light fails, flash the corresponding marker light.
supercat, Jan 31 2007

       I have to agree with [-ed] on the complexity issue, esp. if the system by which you engage the redundant bulb is mechanical or electromechanical. Hell hath no fury like moving parts.

       I think [Treon]'s idea is not wrong, but his earlier descriptions sounded a little like my son trying to describe 'Magic: the Gathering.'

       Better to just be a more responsible driver.
elhigh, Feb 02 2007

pashute, Jan 13 2016


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