Vehicle Headlights Are Normally Operated at:

Vehicle Headlights Are Normally Operated at:

There’s a lot more than to headlights and auto lights than just illuminating the route alee at night. Lights on a motorcar have many uses, and it’southward essential to exist aware of the different types of lights. This guide explains the different types of car lights and when they should be used.


Understanding when, how and why you should use the different car lights helps keep y’all – along with other road users and pedestrians – safe. For instance, you lot should know what car lights you should employ at nighttime, in the rain or in the fog, and so that you are able to spot potential hazards despite the weather and reduced visibility.

The most of import car lights are headlights. The 2 types of headlights are low beam and loftier beam, which allow drivers to see the road in the dark and make themselves visible to other motorists. Other motorcar lights include DRLs, sidelights, and fog lights.

Here’s a full breakdown of the unlike lights on a car, followed by the unlike situations in which yous should use them.

Types of lights on a motorcar

  • Headlights: High beam or low beam
  • Daytime running lights (DRLs): Vivid front lights, automatically activated
  • Sidelights: Dim lights located in the headlamp units
  • Rear fog lights: A unmarried or double red light
  • Front end fog lights: Small white lights, depression-set in the bumper expanse

What are Daytime Running Lights?

Although most drivers know most their cars’ headlights (hopefully!), a term that may not be as familiar is ‘daytime running lights’. Too known every bit driving lights, daytime running lights (DRLs) have been compulsory on all new cars congenital since 2011. Some drivers mistakenly recall they are forepart and rear, however they merely operate at the front of your automobile. Similar sidelights, they are not suitable on their own if you lot are driving in the dark. Once it gets nighttime, or even on a slow day, regular headlights should exist used in combination with sidelights.

Following the rules of the road

Clearly, if you are a driver it is very of import to be aware of which types of lights yous need to use and when. Not using your car lights correctly can pb to unsafe driving, putting yourself and others at risk.

The Highway Code states you must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. The definition of “seriously reduced” is when you can run into less than 100 metres in forepart of you. In other words, headlights should be switched on at nighttime-time and during poor weather.

If you are defenseless driving in the dark without headlights, you could face a fixed charge per unit penalization of £100 and three points on your licence. However, if the police strength deems that the offence can’t exist covered by a fixed penalty, then you tin wait to go to court, where the biggest fine would be £5,000 and nine points on your licence.

Using your lights at nighttime

The master employ of machine headlights is for driving in the dark, but this can be subjective. What one person considers dark, another may retrieve is still quite low-cal. This means that when one person turns on their principal headlights, another may feel sidelights are notwithstanding fine.

The key is to make sure you lot are seen as well equally being able to see the road, so if in dubiousness, plough on the main headlights. Information technology is recommended that you turn your car’s low axle (besides known every bit ‘dipped’) headlights about an hr before sunset, and go along them on for an hour afterward sunrise. This will help you to make sure that y’all are visible to others, and are able to meet the road clearly.

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If yous are driving in the dark on an unlit road, it is a skillful idea to turn on your high axle headlights. Just brand sure that y’all turn them dorsum down to depression beam if another motorcar approaches – otherwise you could dazzle the driver and bear on their visibility.

It’s vital that you utilize your headlights when it is dark

Using your lights when there’due south fog

All cars will accept a rear fog calorie-free, and the button volition show a lamp with a wiggly line in front of it. Some cars will also take forepart fog lights. Equally a general rule, the forepart fog light button volition take the light pointing the aforementioned way every bit it does on the headlight switch.

And then how much fog makes it officially foggy? At what indicate is it right to turn on your fog lights? The Highway Code states that you should use your rear fog light if y’all cannot run across more than than 100m beyond your car. The best way to measure out this is to use the car in front: if you lot are struggling to see their rear lights, then turn your fog lights on. It is important to call up though that fog lights tin can dazzle other drivers and obscure your brake lights, and so should not be used unless they are definitely needed.

Using your lights in wet weather

In the Britain we run across our off-white share of pelting and storms! Both falling rain and spray from standing water tin can affect visibility when driving. The simple rule of thumb when information technology comes to using lights in rainy weather condition is to turn on your dipped (low beam) headlights. There are some cases of motorways when the spray is and then bad that you may even need to use the rear fog light. Every bit mentioned above, if you can’t run across the car in front end of y’all, and so the motorcar behind tin can’t run across you – which means it’s time to turn on your main lights.

Wet windscreen

Information technology’s important to utilise your lights correctly in tricky driving weather such as moisture weather

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Using your car lights for heavy loads

Most cars volition accept a separate minor dial (unremarkably located to the lower right of the steering bike) which allows you to modify the angle of your headlights when your car is heavily loaded or towing. Without the adjustment you could dazzle drivers because a heavily loaded car or a towing vehicle will lean back and indicate upward. Get a friend to assist test this and gear up your lights up correctly if you fit into this category. Just remember to reset the headlight bending adjuster when your auto is back to conveying a normal weight or no longer towing.

Using automatic lights

A lot of newer cars take automated headlights. They utilize a sensor to automatically turn on the lights when it gets night. They vary in sensitivity, and then it is of import to rapidly check that your lights are on if you lot feel it is getting dark. The dashboard symbol will come on as usual so y’all tin can tell when they are switched on. Y’all tin can always override them too, and turn your lights on manually.

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Automatic high beams

Traditionally, drivers have manually flicked headlights from brilliant high beams to depression beams at the first sign of an oncoming automobile, so as not to dazzle other motorists. Many mod cars have automatic high beams which detect oncoming vehicles and automatically switch to a dipped beam, before switching dorsum to a high axle once the vehicle has passed.

Using your lights when you become away

In many countries, it is illegal to turn off your lights completely and then check online before you set off and brand sure you follow the local rules. Also, Great britain headlamps are specifically designed for driving on the left-mitt side of the road. Consequently, when driving on the right in Europe your headlamps will dazzle oncoming motorists. Before driving on the continent, ensure your vehicle is legal past adapting your headlamps. The easiest way is to fit headlamp beam converter kits, which are widely available. These self-adhesive adapters are cheap and take a few seconds to fit.

Flashing your headlights

The only valid use of flashing your headlights is to warn another road user of your presence. As the Highway Lawmaking states: “Only flash your headlights to permit other road users know that yous are at that place. Do not wink your headlights to convey whatever other message or intimidate other road users.”

Have you been flashed by an oncoming car, seemingly for no reason, then further downwards the road y’all come across a mobile speed trap? Flashing your headlights to warn other motorists of a speed camera is confronting the police force. Under Section 89 of the Police Deed 1996, it’due south accounted “wilfully obstructing a constable in the execution of his/her duty” and could land you lot with a £1,000 fine.

It’due south as well common for drivers to utilise a flash of their headlights to tell another route user that the way alee is clear. Nonetheless, you should ignore a signal like this because you lot only take the other commuter’s word for information technology. In other words, information technology could issue in an blow.

Other types of automobile lights

As well as the car lights which are used to improve visibility, there are also other types of car lights that have unlike functions – they are usually meant to signify something to other drivers, for example if you are going to switch lanes or slow down. Here are some other lights that your car will have:

Brake lights

When you printing the brake pedal two red alert lights are activated at the rear of your car. They are brighter than the tail lights, or sidelights, and warn the traffic behind you that yous are slowing down. If you are stationary at traffic lights or roadworks, for example, it’s useful to go along the restriction pedal pressed – the bright crimson lights will warn cars approaching from behind that you are at a standstill or slowing down.

Tail lights

As yous’d expect, tail lights are located at the rear of a vehicle. One on either side, they are red in colour and are activated automatically when the headlights are switched on. They assistance drivers behind you recognise that you lot are there, and aid them estimate how close or far abroad your vehicle is.

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Hazard warning lights

When you lot switch on your hazard alarm lights (usually a big push button with a cerise triangle in the centre console) all four of your car’due south indicators will flash continuously and simultaneously. Run a risk alarm lights should just be used when your vehicle has cleaved down in a unsafe location or if y’all are travelling on a motorway/unrestricted dual carriageway and y’all demand to warn drivers behind y’all of a hazard or obstruction alee. Switching on hazard lights is not an excuse for dangerous or inconsiderate parking.

Emergency brake lights

Automatically activated to alarm vehicles behind you during heavy braking, this safety system is becoming common on new cars. In normal braking, the brake lights shine with a constant glow. Emergency brake lights will flash. Additionally, your car’s hazard alert flashers are automatically activated. Y’all may have seen this system in action on a motorway, where a commuter alee has had to restriction hard suddenly.

Indicator lights

As well known equally plough signals, indicators, signal lights or blinkers, indicator lights are amber in color and are located at the forepart, rear and sometimes the sides of the machine (ofttimes on side mirrors too). They are used to permit other drivers know that yous are planning to turn – this includes when you are driving on roundabouts, pulling abroad from a parked position, changing lane and overtaking. They are activated using the indicator stalk on your steering wheel column and they automatically switch off one time you’ve straightened your wheels later on making a plow. You should use them in proficient time, to give other road users and pedestrians time to react to your signal.

Reversing lights

When you put your car into reverse gear, either ane or two white lights are activated at the rear of the motorcar. This is a clear signal to other road users that you have engaged reverse and you are in the process of carrying out a manoeuvre. If at that place are vehicles or pedestrians around, wait for them to pass earlier moving.

Parking lights

Sidelights (the four depression-wattage lights plant in the corners of your automobile) too have a secondary purpose – as parking lights. The Highway Code says that all vehicles must display parking lights or sidelights when parked on a route (or lay-by) with a speed limit of more than 30mph. They tin can exist left on for long periods of fourth dimension when you lot exit your auto and shouldn’t drain your bombardment. The Highway Code also recommends switching on your parking lights if your motorcar, for unavoidable reasons, is parked on whatever route in fog.

Number plate light

Also known every bit licence or registration plate lights, your rear number plate has a modest low-cal that illuminates the plate number. If the machinery or bulb isn’t working, your machine volition fail its MOT.

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Vehicle Headlights Are Normally Operated at:

Source: https://news.motability.co.uk/everyday-tips/when-to-use-car-lights-the-complete-guide/