2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test


2014 Acura MDX: Jewel Eye LED Headlight Output

February 26, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

Here's what the light output looks like from the Jewel Eye LED headlights on our long-term 2014 Acura MDX. For comparison, I previously took a similar photo of our long-term Cadillac ATS's headlight output in the same dark garage.

At 25 feet away, the light output from the MDX looks stronger to me, but the light is not spread as widely across the ground. Like the Caddy, the MDX's output has a clear cutoff at the top of the beam, even though it is aimed a bit higher.

On a dark rural road, the Acura's headlights don't cast a wide beam, but drivers in oncoming traffic likely consider that a plus. Although it's not exactly a fair comparison, I prefer the Cadillac's adaptive headlights as they allow for a bit more vision around a corner.

Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 6,162 miles

Comments

  • as long as the wide part of the beam is low then it isn't a problem. Too often though people decide the hard-cutoff means their lights are aimed too low and raise them up to where it reduces the other drivers ability to see. And don't even get me started on the tools that 'convert' their regular headlights to HID and in the process turn them into floodlights.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @zimtheinvader: I couldn't agree more on HID kits! We're starting to see more enforcement on both selling and using those "kits", so that's a big plus.

  • dgcamero dgcamero Posts:

    In person, these are the bluest colored OEM lights I've ever seen. They did not blind me though.

  • Don't think the complexity of the lights are worth it. The output seems similar to the ATS or most xenon lights. The adoption rate by automakers for this tech leads me to believe that they must be cheaper than HIDs. LED headlights are standard equipment on Toyota Corollas yet HIDs have never been offered on other Toyotas except loaded Avalons. Honda never offered HIDs on anything and now LED headlights are now standard on top level Accords.

  • joner800 joner800 Posts:

    good to know that there is some functionality behind those fugly LEDs...

  • hank39 hank39 Posts:

    Thanks for taking a pic of the light output!

  • juddholl10 juddholl10 Posts:

    Acura is notorious for its ugly, super-ricer blue xenon headlight color. Other automakers do it better. But these LEDs seem to remedy the hyper indigo color.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    allthingshonda: Two reasons for the adoption of LEDs. First, marketing. Throwing "LED" into product description is a great way of drawing interest from potential customers. You can throw all kinds of semi-accurate buzz words at them; such as better efficiency, ultra long life (even though the polycarb lenses will deteriorate and yellow long before then, but let's not mention or think about that), and the whole "closer to daylight" spiel. Secondly, LED technology is advancing extremely rapidly. The lumen/watt ratio is constantly getting better, and so is the light quality (CCT, CRI, etc). As such, most auto manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers are going to jump in since it is most likely going to completely replace HID systems in the premium segment given a couple of years. LEDs will also migrate into other segments (see Corolla), but it will probably take much more time to eat at the market share because of the extremely low cost of Halogen implementation.

  • mlin32_ mlin32_ Posts:

    I would disagree that there's a sharp cut-off on the beam pattern of these headlamps; compared to the ATS picture and most other xenon-equipped vehicles I've driven, the beam pattern shown above lacks the asymmetrical cut-off. I've been in front of the new MDX with these headlamps at night and well, let's just say I was glad for my auto-dimming rearview mirror.....

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    "At 25 feet away, the light output from the MDX looks stronger to me, but the light is not spread as widely across the ground." That could be an optical illusion caused by the reduced spread allowing more dark areas into your field of view. That makes the lit area look brighter. I'd take those lights in a heartbeat over the POS "dark patch creators" on my 2005 SUV. They are so bad that if I decide to keep the truck a few more years I'll try some aftermarket projector lamps. They are worse than the stock lights on the LT Wrangler they had here.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @agentorange: Please be extremely careful and discriminative when looking at aftermarket headlights. A HUGE number of them a pure junk... Your best option may be to get a pair of driving lights from a reputable company (Hella, JW Speaker, Cibie/Valeo etc)

  • tyguy2k_ tyguy2k_ Posts:

    So - should I add fog lights to my order to get the corners (if I'm understanding the test correctly)?

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @tyguy2k: In my experience, fog lights are useless almost all of the time. Here's an interesting read on why: http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/lights/fog_lamps/fog_lamps.html

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