Category Archives: Headlights

Low Beam vs. High Beam: When to Use These Headlights

Headlights are designed specifically to cater to the safety and convenience of the driver and ensure the visibility of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, animals, as well as other obstacles on the road.

Headlights come in two specific modes — low beam and high beam. The main difference between low and high beam headlights is that a low beam is used for normal night-time driving; whereas high beams are used for driving on roads that have little to no light.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE YOUR LOW BEAM LIGHTS?
Low beam headlights illuminate the road better in certain conditions and allow other drivers to see your vehicle without blinding them, ensuring fewer accidents. They are also ideal for all weather conditions or anytime your visibility is less than 150 metres. As a lower\ beam lights up the road at short ranges, you’ll mostly use them in the city with well-lit roads and areas. Low beams are designed to aim light down to the ground and towards the side; this way they don’t blind vehicles in the opposite direction or those in front of you.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE YOUR HIGH BEAM LIGHTS?
High beam headlights are only suited for use in poorly-lit urban roads and rural areas. They should have limited city usage as they tend to blind oncoming traffic due to their bright, long-range illumination. They’re usually used on highways and areas without much traffic. Because high beams are so bright, be sure to switch to your low beam when you’re approaching a vehicle from behind so you don’t blind the driver ahead of you.

While high beams increase your visibility to 350 to 400 feet and help increase visibility when driving on dark streets or highways, you should never solely rely on high beams; nor should you use them on city roads amongst traffic. Never use high beams during unfavourable weather conditions as they cause glare and momentary blindness, making them extremely unsafe.

Over time, headlights tend to get dirty with accumulated dirt, and this can cause lower illumination and visibility on dark roads. Remember to clean your headlights occasionally as a necessary safety measure.

Make sure you adjust your driving speed according to the road and traffic conditions and always be considerate of the other drivers around you.

Types of Headlights Explained

These days the headlight technology that has been advancing at such a rapid rate that there are several options when it comes to headlamps. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of headlights available on the market.

Halogen Lights:
Most vehicles are equipped with halogen headlight bulbs from the factory. A halogen bulb is similar to an electric bulb but uses halogen gas to increase brightness instead of a filament. The bulbs emit a yellowish hue, due to the high 3000k colour temperature. Halogen lights produce a lot of heat as electricity, making these bulbs quite difficult to handle, while the lumen output is fairly low (about 700 -2000). However, Halogen headlights are relatively inexpensive to manufacture compared to other options and are still in use today. These standard headlights are the most common headlights on the road.

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HID/Xenon Lights:
HID or high-intensity discharge headlights are also called Xenon headlights as Xenon is one of the gases inside the bulb. These headlights don’t use a metal filament to create light and produces a bright white/bluish colour. They are relatively brighter than halogen and produces around 3,000 lumens; this makes them take extra time to warm up and makes them a bit more expensive. Some countries have banned these lights as they are too bright to be used.

LED Lights:
LED Headlights or light-emitting diodes are the most energy-efficient choice of bulbs available. The advantage is that they light up instantly and last longer than other light sources. These lights work by converting electricity into light through the diodes inside the headlight. This makes them a more expensive option, but they are worth the price. Due to their stronger intensity with a range from 4,000 to 12,000 lumens, visibility is improved whether on high or low beam.
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*Lumen is the amount of light emitted from a source. Higher the lumens, the brighter the light.