Imagine a road full of cars with gleaming bright lights in front of all of them. That would be the worst and most dangerous place to drive a car. Dipped lights make driving much safer by directing the headlights away from drivers’ eyes and towards the road.
Dipped lights were a default part of all cars that came out after 1915, just two years after the invention of the first electric headlights. In those earliest car models, people had to get out of the car to change from high beam to low beam. As you can imagine, this was a pain in the neck. But today, we can easily switch between the two with just a click on the steering wheel control. The need to replace the headlamps comes when the bulb has burned out or if you have broken it. Having at least a basic understanding will you make a good purchase decision when shopping for headlamps. This guide will help you with the basics of dipped lights and how to select the right one for your car.
While discussing car headlamps, you might come across many different terms. If you are wondering what low beam, high beam, dipped lights, and the main beam is, this article will help you. In fact, there are only two modes to headlamps; one that points straight ahead and the other mode that illuminates the road right ahead of you. Low beam or dipped lights are the names for the latter, and high beam or main beam refers to the former. Here are the most important things you should know about the low beam lamps on your car. On this page, you will also come across some tips that will help you pick the best options.
Knowing the difference between dipped lights and high beam headlights will make you a better driver. And you should also know how and when to use each of them. Dipped lights are what turn on first when you switch on the headlamps. They point downwards towards the road rather than straight ahead. This means they will only illuminate a distance up to 50 meters ahead of you. In the case of high beam lights, you have to turn them on intentionally. And when you do, there will be an indication to let you know that the high beam is on. They point straight ahead and can illuminate more than a hundred meters in front of you.
There are pros and cons for each of them. But as a general rule, you should use dipped lights most of the time. On regular roads in and near the cities, there is always enough light from other vehicles and the streetlights. You should not use high beams in such cases as they don’t make your visibility any better but dazzle the drivers in the cars approaching from your opposite. On the other hand, driving without high beams is a big safety risk on dark country roads as you won’t be able to spot pedestrians fast enough with only the dipped lights.
Different cars have different headlight configurations. In cars that use single filament bulbs for the headlamps, it is not possible for one bulb to function as both high beam and low beam lights. So they use two separate bulbs for each purpose. But there are more advanced halogen bulbs that have two filaments. One of these filaments will have a small mirror that reflects the light down towards the road. These twin filament bulbs are called H4 lamps, and they are slightly more expensive than single filament bulbs. Dipped headlights bulbs are highly useful when you require increased visibility.
Sometimes you can still dazzle the oncoming drivers even if you are using the low beam lights. This can be because of any one of the few possible reasons. When the road you are driving on has ups and downs, this will change the angle of the illumination and can glare straight onto the windshield of the opposite vehicle. The height and balance of the vehicle also vary with the load, thus changing the level of headlamps as well. In cars that have auto, levelling dipped lights; the light will adjust itself. The good news is that you can get aftermarket auto levelling lamps if you don’t mind the high cost.
Headlights have made night journeys an enjoyable affair. Being one of the most critical safety features in any vehicle, you must be careful when you shop for a new pair of headlamps. And in the case of low beam headlamps, there are a few more things you have to look for. These tips will help you buy the perfect pair of dipped lights for your vehicle.
If you are a regular DIYer, it will not be difficult to install the lights yourself. But make sure that you are doing it right by referring to the owner’s manual. And take care to clean the glass that covers headlamps regularly to avoid getting hazy over time. And because there are strict legal guidelines regarding headlamps, only buy them from a certified brand.
Dipped lights are the most important part of your headlight and also its default mode. Instead of shining straight ahead, illuminating the empty space a hundred meters ahead of you, these car lights focus the beam on the road. They are called dipped lights because they point downwards. When driving on city roads with a lot of traffic, they ensure that the cars don’t shine bright lights into other drivers’ eyes and dazzle them. These are the lights you should be used in urban areas and during the daytime, in case you want to use headlights.
When you turn on headlights, it is always the dipped lights that turn on first. On the other hand, you have to turn on the high beam manually. This is to avoid drivers using high beams unintentionally on busy roads. And turning the high beam on and off has the same controls. To switch to a high beam, you have to put the headlight stick on the steering wheel towards you. Once it’s on, you can push it once more towards you to go back to using the dipped light. You can check if the high beam is on or off by looking at the dashboard indicator.
Use only dipped lights whenever they would suffice. When the visibility is low just after or before the sunset, you should only use the dipped lights. Same when you are waiting for the green in a traffic light or driving on a city road, if the road is well lit with streetlights, or if the visibility is low due to rain. This will help you to save yourself from being flashed by other drivers. And even when you are driving on a country road, you should switch back to a low beam from a high beam if there is another vehicle approaching you or if you are closely following another vehicle.
There are headlights available in different price ranges. The cost of dipped lights usually depends on the type of bulb and its make. Halogen bulbs are the cheapest among all. If you want to go for more efficient and brighter lights, there are HID lights that cost a lot more. But here on our product search engine, you can find a huge collection of cheap dipped lights. Amongst the top brands and shops, you can choose from in the car supplies category include Philips, Toyota, Hella, Lazerlamps, and Trevos.