Are Vehicle Headlights Getting Brighter?

Vehicle Headlights

You probably do not overthink the technology behind headlamps, but you might be thinking the next time you are driving during the middle of the night and someone’s high-beam light pierces through your eyes. That is glare – when a car that is coming right at you has their lights on and it shines brightly in your windshield – and it is a severe problem if not adequately addressed.

As a matter of fact, according to NHTSA or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, their new proposed traffic rule when it comes to headlamps have gotten a lot of complaints from consumers about this issue.

To find out more about this issue, you can check out websites like for more information.

Then there is the opposite issue: you are driving on a dark road and it feels like you cannot see properly using your low-beam lights. As a matter of fact, according to the American Automobile Association, if you are driving at 39 miles an hour on a road that has no proper lighting with only the low beams, you can out-drive your headlights.

It means that by the time the vehicle in front of you is illuminated, it is too late to step on the brakes and stop to it. While modern technology can be the best solution to this problem, it is worth exploring the state of vehicle illumination.

So, Are Headlamps Starting To Get Brighter By The Minute?

The answer to this question is a big NO – although there are tweaks on headlight regulations a decade ago – different factors can cause the bulb to seem brighter. Vehicle headlights are controlled by different rules and regulations, also known as Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 108 that ruled how bright these bulbs can be, at a minimum and maximum.

One point that pertains how much light is released above the horizontal mark on the lower beam lights. Imagine your bulb from the side of the car, and imagine that the light should not be allowed to escape on the parallel line to the ground that comes out of the headlamp cover.

Anything that is above the horizontal point is supposed to be a regulated brightness. But there is a significant problem with these regulations, even if the bulbs meet the requirements, a vehicle manufacturer can mount them on cars at a specific angle, potentially tweaking the headlights upward in a way that it can cause glare.

The misalignment if the lamp can also be unintentional. It is near the end of the line – they are just trying to crank the car off. That is a problem that experts believe is improving, thanks to the test program, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been doing. The car manufacturers have started to pay attention to how these devices are aimed at car factories.

Vehicle Headlights

The color of the light is also changing. While most of it needs to be white, a different type of bulb has different hues. Newer models of HID and LEDs have more white or blue hues, while halogens are more of a yellow. Lamps, with different color may appear to be a lot more glaring since they look too novel.

To know more about halogens, click here.

It is a perception issue. Even though the intensity is not altered, we can recognize the blue light-emitting diode to a lot brighter compared to halogens. Imagine seeing a number of cars using halogen lights, followed by a vehicle using LEDs. It is going to be more different.

Other problems can also cause glare. As the technology has progressed, the horizontal line – bright below, dark above, where the light is on the road – can become more distinct. Modern lights like light-emitting diodes have car manufacturers to design a sharper cutoff. It means that you can notice the difference between bright and dark.

Author: Flavia