Facts That Every Driver Should Know About Car Exterior Lights

Illumination is an important safety feature for all types of passenger and commercial vehicles. Drivers should be aware of the need to replace or upgrade any of the exterior lights. When driving inside a vehicle, it's sometimes difficult to notice any minor lighting problems unless another person points out the issue. Improperly working lights might even lead to being pulled over by a police officer. It's illegal to drive with headlights that do not produce enough illumination at a certain distance.

Selecting the right type of lights requires some in-depth understanding of the technology. Most headlamps are powered by LED and HID mechanisms that produce reliable and intense illumination. The front lights of a vehicle should have the most powerful capabilities to illuminate the road ahead. Light bulbs for vehicles come with specifications that must be understood and met.

The maximum current rating is clearly labeled on every bulb that has to be installed for headlamps and other parts of a car's exterior. The typical current range for headlights is between 1.2 and 1.8 amps. Additionally, the voltage rating for light bulbs might be specified in a common range of 9 to 15 volts. Fuses in a car's electric panel could be easily burned out if improper connections are made between the power supplies and light bulbs. To control the heat inside headlamp bulbs, small built-in fans provide proper ventilation.

Color temperature is another common specification to check for in car lamps and bulbs. This parameter is given in degrees Kelvin, and it indicates a relative hot or cold appearance. For example, a color temperature of 5,000 K is usually yellowish in color. A much higher Kelvin rating is considered to have a "cooler" color such as blue or violet. Some LED bulbs actually do not come with any color temperature as they produce a distinct light that's not rated in degrees K. For any car light bulb, one of the most important specifications is intensity. The lumens rating gives a clear indication of a lamp's maximum brightness.

LED daytime running lights are designed to create relative soft illumination that is visible from far away. Such bulbs don't really illuminate the road but rather act as a warning to other drivers. Daytime light bulbs are usually programmed to turn on automatically based on visibility conditions during foggy and cloudy days.


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