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Concerns around new headlamps design
Just bought a 2002 Bolt and am driving through a nearby park at night, portions with no street lights or ambient light in the environment.

These are my first days with the car and headlamps are on auto
The way the lamps project, there is no gradation between light and no light, making a severe line so strong that my eyes can't see into the dark at all. It's black. I can only look at the lit part of the road- which seemed very bright. The road had some slight inclines/declines and on the decline headlamps only lit a few feet ahead- couldn't see into dark distance at all. It is kind of blinding. I have good eyesight and my eyes weren't capable of adjusting to both dark and light, so I had to look at the lit road and ignore the rest. I would never see an animal on the side of the road. On any dark road at night I would need to drive v slowly, especially if road quality isn't good. My speed was only about 10 miles p/h.

Is this a serious design flaw? Any adjustments to be made?
 

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The good news is that if your headlights are mis-aimed it'll be very easy to see. I ended up having to adjust the low beams on my 2017 Bolt down a bit so as not to shine into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
 

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2020
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2,137 Posts
Concerns around new headlamps design
Just bought a 2002 Bolt and am driving through a nearby park at night, portions with no street lights or ambient light in the environment.

These are my first days with the car and headlamps are on auto
The way the lamps project, there is no gradation between light and no light, making a severe line so strong that my eyes can't see into the dark at all. It's black. I can only look at the lit part of the road- which seemed very bright. The road had some slight inclines/declines and on the decline headlamps only lit a few feet ahead- couldn't see into dark distance at all. It is kind of blinding. I have good eyesight and my eyes weren't capable of adjusting to both dark and light, so I had to look at the lit road and ignore the rest. I would never see an animal on the side of the road. On any dark road at night I would need to drive v slowly, especially if road quality isn't good. My speed was only about 10 miles p/h.

Is this a serious design flaw? Any adjustments to be made?
They're set that way to light the road, but not shine in the eyes of oncoming cars.
 

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2020 Bolt
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Back in the sealed beam era I would spend goof money to replace my headlights with Cibie Z-beams that featured the sharp cutoff. I wish the Bolt low beams had more of a right side kick-up but they are pretty good on my 2020. Turn the automatic dimmer on (if you have it) and once you're used to them you'll find them to be pretty good lights.
 

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2021 Bolt Premier Cajun Red Tintcoat, Grizzl-E EVSE
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What is your age? Have you had cataracts? (I am 69.) There’s a reason many old people stop driving at night. I like my 2021 Premier headlights a lot. And I’ve been “dazzled” by other people’s HID lights ever since they became a signifier of auto luxury. Like blacked-out windows, and view-blocking SUV height, they are a marketing sell-out to today’s It’s All About Me lifestyle. I think the SAE should be ashamed for not speaking out.
 

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The focus'd 'cut-off' beam was a great invention (for on-coming). That said, I do 'get' the problem with the flat-beam design and negotiating hilly terrain. I will oft-times slow and use the 'flash-to-pass' switch for a quick look ahead. Generally a positive for myself and really do enjoy having the broad 'sweep' of light across the entire highway on flat terrain (although I did enjoy the 'up-tick' of light projecting higher-and-further down the curb side as with the original Assymetric headlighting of years past. That was really 'safe' in my view.
 

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The focus'd 'cut-off' beam was a great invention (for on-coming). That said, I do 'get' the problem with the flat-beam design and negotiating hilly terrain. I will oft-times slow and use the 'flash-to-pass' switch for a quick look ahead. Generally a positive for myself and really do enjoy having the broad 'sweep' of light across the entire highway on flat terrain (although I did enjoy the 'up-tick' of light projecting higher-and-further down the curb side as with the original Assymetric headlighting of years past. That was really 'safe' in my view.
Have you tried the Bolt's automatic high beams?
 
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