All of the above I am afraid...
In the olden days, I was told that the sealed beam light lenses were polarized and so were the windshield of the cars. As recently as my old Mustang, I could see significant difference in transmisivity of sunlight if I tilted my head wearing my polarized sunglasses. Did they do away with this when they went to LEDs?
Also, I remember during state sticker car checks they were always testing that the low and high beams were aimed towards the right. Is this gone too?
Those are excellent questions. I always got the most out of my headlights thanks to a friend who had a service garage with inspection license. I remember the apparatus he used to dial in the beam. I don’t know if those things even exist anymore.
As far as LEDs are concerned, I wonder if they’re prone to the same kind of flare that bi-xenons are. It would seem so. I read that headlight washers were required equipment on xenon installs because of the tendency to diffuse. Of course, all this is moot in the hands of someone bent on defeating it and making high beam the only beam.
Once it gets bad enough (i.e., enough causal wrecks, prompting the IIHS into action), the next mandated autonanny will be auto-dimming headlights. That one I may just applaud!
In the meantime, at least when I’m in the Tacoma, I have a different approach. When my highs are on, I can spot owls in the treetops. Toyota put the “high” in high beam with those babies. So when some tool comes at me (and it’s almost always a car), I do the right thing and lower my lights. I give ‘em a while to do the same, but when it’s obvious that’s not happening and they’re close enough, I let ‘em have it. Treat them like they treat me is all I can do, and hope that they realize what they’re doing to others.