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7 Different Types of Vehicle Lights and When To Use Them

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Vehicles are equipped with several different types of car lights, each with distinct functions. Some car owners may not even know about the multiple lights on a car, but you should be informed about every single light type, how to apply them properly, and how to keep them in tip-top shape. Here are the different types of vehicle lights and when to use them.

Daytime Running Lights

More often than not, people tend to mistake low beams for daytime running lights. The daytime running lights are designed to increase your visibility so other drivers can easily spot you. They generally comprise lights at the front and back of your vehicle, which turn on automatically when you ignite your car engine. There may be variations in the local legislation, but a modern car is usually configured to comply with local requirements.

Dipped Headlights (Low Beam Headlights)

Low beams, also known as dipped headlights, are far from full beams and provide adequate light to show you where you’re heading without too much glare that could blind oncoming drivers. Low beams are best suited for night drives and also enhance visibility and safety during the day. These headlights are also effective for adverse weather conditions, such as rain, fog, and snow.

Full Beam Headlights

Similar to dipped headlights, full beam headlights make the road more visible for the driver. It also shows oncoming drivers where you are. Full beam headlights provide a robust, center-weighted light distribution with extreme brightness. As a result, you should only apply them when it seems challenging to see or when you’re about 150m from oncoming traffic and need strong lights to see the road. Unless the situation demands the use of full beams, you should keep them off to prevent the risk of blinding or sidetracking oncoming traffic.

Brake Lights

Your brake lights inform other drivers that you’re decelerating or about to stop. These lights always turn on when you apply your brakes.

Puddle Lights

These tiny lights are located at the bottom of a car’s outside mirrors. They illuminate the ground beneath the vehicle door. The puddle lights usually turn on when the driver draws near the vehicle and uses the remote key fob to unlock it. There are many uses for puddle lights, and you can usually customize them with different colors and designs.

Signal Lights/Indicators

Also known as indicators, turn signals, or blinkers, signal lights are found at the front and rear of the vehicle. Signal lights may also be located on the car side mirrors. They’re designed to notify other drivers of your intentions to turn.

Hazard Lights

These are flashing car lights that you turn on manually. Their use is limited to emergencies. You should only apply them to caution other drivers. Apply them when stopped, mainly if you’re posing a risk or obstruction. Since hazard lights signify danger, it’s vital to use them appropriately and remember to switch them off when past a hazardous situation.

These are the different types of vehicle headlights and when to use them. Be sure to use your lights properly when you drive to keep yourself and others safe.

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Written by Logan Voss

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