Vehicle lighting

Car lights at night on motorway
Vehicle lighting

A summary of the main type of lighting currently in use and some of the issues associated with modern vehicle lighting

In order to make vehicle lighting more efficient and to minimise the chances of the driver forgetting to switch on lights, manufacturers have been introducing new technologies which are designed to make vehicles safer and reduce the likelihood of dazzle to oncoming drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

This factsheet looks at the lights most commonly used: Xenon, Halogen (HID) and LED, the lighting regulations they must conform to and the technical systems now being introduced such as Daylight Running Lights and Adaptive Lighting Systems.

Higher intensity headlights offer better illumination during night time driving which potentially could be associated with casualty savings. However, increased light intensity may also be associated with an increase in the ratio of head light luminance and glare. The Department for Transports view is "There is no evidence to suggest there is an underlying road safety issue associated with modern vehicle lighting".

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