Welcome to 4Sight Automotive

Should you have an inquiry regarding a bespoke automotive lighting upgrade  please contact us on :-

enquiries@bettercarlighting.co.uk

or call us on 0121 773 7000 - If you can't get us on the landline (sometimes we have complicated enquiries), please send  an email and we will get back to you.

2021
2020 Has, without doubt, been the year most of us hope to forget, and we have all lost things we valued, but perhaps took for granted. The new year brings hope, but there is no doubt that we still have a long way to go and much to endure before we can re-learn how to relax and truly enjoy life again. During these difficult times, many of us have been reminded of what a wonderful hobby old cars are. There is always more we can do to improve them, and they usually reward our efforts with a great deal of pleasure. I have been privileged to help many of you in that process, and I am grateful for your trust. I often feel that I enjoy your rebuilds, restorations and improvements almost as much as you do, especially when we have a running conversation as your projects progress. Thank you all for that. I look forward to doing more of it during 2021.



Good news
For those of you who have been looking for high quality period style headlights to set off a beautiful classic or vintage car, I now have my PL700 extremely high quality 7" headlights. They have gained all of the necessary approvals and for the first time ever, these have been granted to a headlight that has been developed to work perfectly with either halogen bulbs or my high performance, period-style LED units. They are available for LHD or RHD, and UK ones have the choice of coming either with or without pilot lights. You can find them at the end of the Classic Cars section of this website.

During 2021, I will be looking to expand my range of LED headlight upgrade kits to include some more modern cars. This is challenging, because, apart from those pesky bulb check systems, many will require adaptors to fit correctly. It will be a slow process, but will continue, as many of you have pointed out to me that it is frustrating to now have better headlights on your classic or vintage car than on your daily driver.

I will also be continuing my development of electronic control unit based LED upgrade systems for vintage and older classic cars. The only way to make it easy for owners and restoration companies alike to invisibly upgrade both the safety and the convenience of these special cars is for me to continue to find ways of building all of the necessary extra functions into one compact controller, leaving only a few cable runs and bulb swaps  to transform the indicators, sidelights and stop and tail lights. These are in their third incarnation after just one year and I have a feeling that there will be several more evolutions during this year. I am immensely grateful for the efforts early adopters have put into installing these upgrade systems and for the knowledge they fed back to enable me to make running improvements. This sort of thing has never been done before, so there has been a lot to learn, but things are moving quickly now, and the kits are becoming easier to install, with fewer "bits" to accommodate.


  To those of you who have both supported me and given me invaluable feedback, please don't stop. What I do would simply not be possible without you.
   A small but useful tip for those of you who like to keep up with developments, check out the Classic Cars section starting from the end and working backwards.

Stop Press
On Tuesday 12th January, a vigilant customer made me away of actions by the Department for Transport to change the MOT test requirements with regard to car headlights yet again. In the last changes, published in April 2018, they outlawed upgrades to HID Xenon, removing the vagueness that had surrounded this issue for twenty years of argument. That was it. Full stop. Everything else was fine. I, and many others, following extensive legal consultations, then renewed efforts to produce the very best, most reliable and safe upgrade LED systems that have ever existed. For any business, this represents a great deal of work and an even greater amount of investment. Now, with effect from 1st February 2021, they have decided that upgrading from halogen to LED should result in an MOT test failure. While it is comforting to see that the DfT have found a way to distract themselves from some of the very real problems we are all facing, this is a totally illogical and backwards decision. There are stronger words I could use, but that would be pointless. Halogen bulbs were not generally fitted to cars before the mid 1960s and the technology is old and power greedy. If you follow their instructions to the letter, it means that cars made before these bulbs were fitted as standard are fine to enjoy brighter, more efficient and safer headlights, but the later, and often more powerful cars made after, cannot. If their argument is that they are reducing the risk of badly upgraded cars blinding the drivers of cars coming in the opposite direction, that is spurious, as the beam check test weeds those out. That part of the MOT is the same whether the car is a newish one, equipped with halogen, HID Xenon or LED headlights as standard, or one that has an LED upgrade fitted. There is no logical reason why the technology creating the light should make any difference. Also, many MOT testers have a very limited amount of time to fully check a car over, and are, quite rightly, more concerned about real safety features rather than blindly following some mandarin's idea of what constitutes his ideal. Is he supposed to take headlights apart to see what is producing the light?

This is a change that will create a great deal of controversy here in the UK. Most overseas customers will carry on regardless and will enjoy safer motoring as a result. Here is the UK, I have to advise customers that from 1st February next, they must think about their upgrades and know that LED ones for headlights are officially for offroad use only. Also, I advise all customers to email their insurance company stating that in an effort to make their cars as safe and visible as new cars,they are planning to upgrade their lighting to brighter and more efficient LED units and asking if their insurer has any objections. In my experience, this always  brings a positive and approving reply, and if kept on record, will protect my customers from future embarrassment.

Stop Press 2
On Monday 15th March, I received a letter from Baroness Vere, forwarded to me by my hard-working local MP, Nadhim Zahawi, thanking the many of us who raised the subject of the illogical and potentially unsafe changes to the MOT regulations with regard to brighter LED headlights and other lights on classic and vintage cars. She has confirmed that she is instructing all UK MOT test centres to note that any car made on or before 1st April 1989 is exempt from these changes and should be issued with a "Pass" if their headlights conform to the beamsetter check. There is no explanation of why cars are assumed to have changed so much on that day that cars made a week or a decade later should not be submitted to the same logic, but at least we have a partial concession to common sense. I, and others will continue the fight to allow owners of later cars to enjoy safe lighting as well. I would like to thank both Nadhim Zahawi and also Nigel Griffith of the White Knight blog and website for their help and advice, as this progress would not have been made without them.

We really should not let this rest. It is too important. It is both unfair and unsafe and financially punishes those who can least afford it - those who cannot afford a new car. I ask every one of you to write to your MP and to ask for this to be changed back to how it was before the recent changes. I will happily email you a suggested letter laying out the arguments if you contact me. Just insert your name and address and send it off. If enough of us do this, it will make a difference.


Gil Keane.



 

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