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About Car Lights

Hitting the road without all the necessary car lights in proper working condition is an easy way to get pulled over by the police. Besides, it is a dangerous thing to do. Read on to find out more about the invention that enabled us to use cars regardless of whether it is day or night.

Car lights have been around since there were cars. In the earliest car models that came out in the 1880s, a time when there were no electric bulbs, acetylene lamps were mounted on the front of the cars to light the road. Then came sodium vapour lamps. They ruled over the world for the better part of a century. Today, there are more advanced and energy-efficient lights in place. Apart from headlights, there are also other lights on cars to serve a variety of purposes. While some of them are for the driver to see ahead, some others are for signalling. This guide will tell you everything you need to know before you purchase a new set of lights for your car.

Different types of car lights and the uses of each of them

There are a few different types of lights on all kinds of automobiles, including cars. They let the driver see the road and help other drivers to see them. Some of these lights are indicators to let others know if you are about to turn or brake the vehicle. To ensure one’s own safety and the safety of others, it is imperative to use proper lights at proper times. For that, you have to know which these different lights are and what they are supposed to do. Here is a list of the five most common types of lights used in cars.

Headlights

Which is the most important light in any vehicle? You guessed it, the headlights. When somebody says car lights without specifying, you always think of the headlights, don’t you? This light serves two vital purposes. One, to illuminate the road ahead for the driver to see. Second, to signal other drivers or pedestrians about an approaching vehicle. Although very bright headlamps are great for the driver to see the road nice and clear at night, that would make it difficult for other motorists on the road. To serve both these purposes at appropriate times, headlamps have a high beam and a low beam setting. Of all the lights in a car, headlight bulbs consume the most power.

Fog lights

These must be the set of car lights that people are mostly oblivious to. That’s because, for the most part of the year, you do not use them. Because yellow light can penetrate further than normal headlights, fog lights are bright yellow in colour. They will help you see the road and also to let other motorists know that you are there in foggy weather. But bright yellow lights can refract back to the driver’s eyes. In order to reduce this effect, manufactures mount them low on the front bumper. So, you should use them only during fog.

Brake lights

These lights alert the drivers behind you that you are slowing down or stopping your car. They are bright red to make them easy to notice. Brake lights turn on whenever you push the brake pedal. On cars, brake lights are located alongside the tail lamps. If you want to tell the driver you are going to stop or going to slow down, you can tap on the brakes a few times before flooring the pedals to avoid the drivers confusing the brake lights with taillights. It is important to maintain brake lights in proper condition and ensure its visibility to avoid accidents.

Taillights

Usually, taillights and brake lights are inside the same globe. But a taillight will turn on automatically as you turn on the headlamps. These lights are for the drivers behind your car to recognise that a car is ahead of them. Without taillights, a fast-moving vehicle will not notice other vehicles in front of them and will ram into them. Both taillights and brake lights are red in colour. But to help distinguish between each other, brake lights are made brighter. Also, there will be additional red lights on the rear of the cars apart from the taillights that only light up when the driver brakes.

Signal lights

When you are making turns, it’s important to let other cars know that you are turning and which way you are turning. This helps avoid collisions and avoid unnecessary slowing down of traffic. Signal light, or blinkers, are therefore on both sides of the vehicle. Unlike a brake light, you have to turn on the signal light manually. It is actually a more convenient way to signal than of throwing your hands out as people did in the days of yore. But a lot of people fail to ensure that it is in proper order and will only know that they were not working when police stop them. Using LED car lights for the blinker is a good idea to give it a longer life.

Tips on buying Car Lights

In the old days, the only way to get a better look at the road at night was to turn on the high beam on your headlamps. But those days are gone. Now, a good pair of headlights will help you see the road even with a low beam without blinding other drivers on the road. So, not only will a good set of lights will help you drive better, but other drivers on the road will also benefit from it. Following these tips will help you when you are shopping for lights.

  • Types of bulbs – These days you will find three types of bulbs for car lights in the market; Halogen, HID, and LED. Halogen bulbs were the default choice in cars that came out until a couple of years ago. Xenon bulbs, on the other hand, were only used in higher-end cars and is already on their way out. Recently, LED bulbs have started to replace them both.
  • Light output or Lumens – All car lights have a Lumen rating that denotes how bright they can be. When you are shopping for them, you should ensure that they are bright enough for you to see the road, but not too bright to dazzle other drivers. There is also a legal limit on how bright your headlight can be.
  • LED car lights – The days of sodium and halogen bulbs in the automobiles are about to end. These days you can find all kinds of car lights that use LED. The benefit of LED car lights as compared to older halogen bulbs is that they have more light output and less wattage. And in turn, they are less taxing on the battery. This is a handy feature that makes LED lights the default choice in electric vehicles.
  • LED lights for car bumper – Apart from the main lights, you can install additional lights on the bumper. You can either fit LED car lights that only eats up less power on the front bumper, to use when you go off-roading. But be aware that these lights are illegal to use when you are driving on normal roads. And in some places, it is even illegal to install these lights in the first place.

Apart from this, there are some minor things to look for when you buy car lights, like the ease of installation and lamp life. If you plan to install the lights yourself, go for LED lights that do not have a lot of wiring. The lifespan of bulbs is rated in hours. In some cases, cheaper bulbs end up being more costly when you consider the lifespan. And in case of brake lights, faster reaction time is an important factor to look for. Finally, don’t forget to check out all the other amazing products from the Car Supplies category.

Question & Answer

Are LED car lights legal?

When LED lights were first introduced to automobiles, they were too bright for normal road usage. At that time, the brightness level of LED lamps far exceeded the legal limits. But for the last few years, LED lights are becoming more commonplace in the automotive industry. But when you purchase LED headlamps for your car, make sure that they are certified for road use. That’s because there are lights available in the market that are designed for off-roading purposes. These lights will be too bright and will blind other drivers on the road.

Can you use toothpaste to clean car lights?

Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Although it sounds like most of the hacks that you find on the internet that never works, toothpaste can help clean your foggy car lights. Well, to an extent. That’s because toothpaste acts as a soft abrasive and also an antioxidant. This can clean up the dirt on the lights and remove some of those sun-damaged layers. To do this, apply a fingertip amount of toothpaste on the bulb and rub for some time. After that, wash away the toothpaste and dry it with a clean cloth. This will improve the lights to clear up a little bit but don’t expect your lights to come out shiny and brand new.

Which car lights should I turn on at night?

It is not only enough to ensure that all of your lights are working fine. If you do not turn on the proper lights when you are out on the road at night, you can get fined, or worse, cause an accident. Everyone knows that they should turn headlights on at night. But driving with only one headlight is illegal. In that case, as a temporary solution, you can use sidelights to let other drivers understand the width of your vehicle. Also, it is a legal requirement to ensure that your brake lights are working all the time. But you can probably get away without a fine for a malfunctioning taillight albeit being a dangerous thing.

How do you know if it’s time to replace your car lights?

Headlamps of cars are made to last five or six years. That doesn’t mean once it hits the six-year mark it blows out. But headlamps will lose their brightness due to ageing of the bulbs and fogging of the glass. After a long time, it will become increasingly difficult for you to see the road with your old headlamps. If you want the lamps that last longer, LED bulbs are a perfect choice. But they are generally more expensive than a traditional halogen lamp. Despite that, because they only consume far less power, you can save a bit on the fuel cost. You can easily find car lights on sale online for affordable prices.

Car lights often are expensive. There is a brilliant way to get cheap car lights online, though. By visiting Shops.ae, the largest retail search engine in Dubai, you can access a large collection of car lights in Dubai. Here, you can explore more than 500+ shops and brands offering premium quality hose clamps at affordable prices. These include Hella, Philips, Sylvania, KC Hilites, and Anzo.