Have you ever observed when driving at night that the headlights of approaching vehicles have a blue tinge and wondered why that was the case and how you might get one for your own car?
Perhaps you’re interested in learning more about the numerous headlight alternatives available to you. If so, you’re in luck because in this post, we’ll examine the advantages and disadvantages of the various light options. Since the first tungsten filament light was launched and then supplanted by the Halogen lightbulb in the early 1960s, lighting has advanced significantly.
Up until the early 1990s, when BMW introduced the HID headlamp, and then 13 years later when Audi introduced the LED headlight, it remained the standard with little in the way of innovation.
Halogen headlights are still the most prevalent type of headlight seen on cars today, but they will ultimately give way to newer technologies like HID, LED, and, as far-fetched as it seems, LASER. Before delving further into each of the aforementioned topics, there are a few things you should be aware of if you plan to upgrade or replace your current headlights.
Many people might not be aware of this, but your headlights are actually pointed precisely to accommodate nations where people drive on the right or left side. To show the driver the road and signs ahead without blinding opposing traffic, low-beam headlights for use in left-lane traffic countries dip to the left. The opposite is true for countries that drive on the right side, with most of its light directed downward and toward the right. Therefore, unless you intend to have the vehicle lights correctly adjusted for the change in the road, you could not purchase a headlight in Ireland if you expect to drive in France.
However, some vehicles include self-adjusting headlights that can be changed to either RHD or LHD with the push of a button.
Reflector and Projector Headlights
A reflector headlamp is exactly what it sounds like; the actual light originates from a bulb in the headlamp housing’s center and bounces off the housing’s sides. This makes it possible for the light radiated from the tiny bulb to spread out across the road in front of the car.
Additionally, projector headlights perform exactly what they say on the tin: they direct light rather than reflect it. To fit the housing, this kind of housing necessitates a different kind of light bulb. The light beams that are emitted from the housing can be more precisely controlled with projector headlights.
Projector headlights and HID headlights are two different things.
Although all HIDs are housed in a specific type of projector housing, not all projector headlight housings support HID bulbs, which is why some projector headlights are equipped with H1/7/15 bulbs, for example.
A tungsten filament and a gas—typically a mixture of nitrogen and argon—are found inside a glass tube in halogen lamps. Glass is designed to withstand very high temperatures. The electrical current from the automobile heats the tungsten filament within the light bulb, producing light.
It is thought that up to 80% of all vehicles have this type of headlight bulb fitted, making it the most prevalent headlight bulb in the automotive industry. Due to its low cost, ease of replacement, and relatively long lifespan, it has been the norm since the 1960s.
Auto Leveling/Load Modification
Used to great effect in trucks, load adjustment causes the headlights to automatically adapt and dip the beam downward to avoid blinding other road users if the automobile rises or falls in response to changes in weight or when the car accelerates or decelerates.
Brag of being significantly brighter than LED or HID lights; in fact, they are so brilliant that they only function at speeds above 60 km/h; at lower speeds, LED headlights to take over. As a result, it will be difficult to display these lights in an urban environment.
And if you were concerned that having too many of these lights on the road might cause you to become blind, you shouldn’t be because the dangerous components of the lasers are hidden deep within the assembly and have reflectors and a variety of safety features to guard against any risk to the general public.
In addition to the laser version of the LED Matrix smart-light system that was previously covered, BMW has also developed the “M4 Concept Iconic Lights.”
These lights not only shield oncoming traffic from blinding, but they also broadcast messages onto the road warning of hazardous overtaking, etc. Compared to typical LED lights, lasers provide a number of benefits:
Pros and Cons
- Even though the lasers themselves are 1,000 times brighter than LEDs, the system only requires roughly half as much power.
- The headlamp units themselves can be significantly smaller with laser-powered headlights since they can produce more light relative to their size. Designers will therefore have far more freedom to create designs that are more aerodynamic.
- In comparison to conventional lighting systems, laser lights can be significantly smaller, require less energy to run, and, well, they just plain look cool.
- Since laser lights are significantly more concentrated and do not easily scatter, they illuminate a wider area than conventional lights.
- They are currently only offered for a very limited number of automobiles.
- Since last Gen advances like LED and HID are still on the premium side of things, they will continue to be absurdly expensive for the foreseeable future.
Cleaning Techniques for Car Headlights
Most people who search for headlight repair advice end up using toothpaste as a cleaning solution. This technique can help restore cloudy lights at a low cost. Apply the paste with your fingertips to the interior of the plastic bonnet.
To remove the grit from the crevices, lightly brush the paste in small, circular motions. Last but not least, rinse with warm water to get the toothpaste off.
Cleaning anything is made simple by combining vinegar and baking soda. For cleaning car headlights, use the same technique. Utilizing a microfiber cloth, apply the mixture of the two chemicals to the surface. Repeat this procedure as necessary. Wax can be applied to the headlamp as an additional preventative measure to assist stop further damage.
One approach recommends using bug spray to get rid of the hazy appearance. Don’t employ this technique, though, unless you want the plastic permanently damaged. The spray’s chemicals clear the film from the headlight, but they also run the risk of damaging the layers of plastic.
Please read: TIPS ON MAKING SURE YOUR CAR IS CLEAN
Your car’s headlights are obviously an essential part, and maintaining them in good condition is crucial for a variety of reasons. Headlights that are properly adjusted and maintained might literally mean the difference between life and death.
You can see road markers, signs, and unforeseen obstructions with the help of headlights. Headlights invariably accumulate filth over time, and the bulbs eventually burn out or fade.
Your advantage of an extra second or two of reaction time to better react to an unforeseen problem, such as a pothole, deer, or debris in the road, will be provided by bright, clear headlights. Headlights also signal your approach to other vehicles.
A safer trip is ensured by headlights that are brighter.