Your car’s lighting system might not be something you think about too often, but it plays a really important part in keeping you and other road users safe.
It’s safe to say that car lighting systems are actually pretty complex! They include all manner of rear and front lighting panels, as well as interior lighting systems and signaling features. Therefore, it’s worth keeping an eye on your lights and everything they do.
That doesn’t mean you need to worry or cause yourself any unnecessary headaches! Keep reading and we’ll fill you in on how it all works in practice.
How Car Lighting Works
Generally, car lighting is powered by anti-glare bulbs, specifically halogens. These are built into reflective plastic so that you can show other road users what you are doing, and where you are going.
However, you will also find that there are High-Intensity Discharge or HID bulbs which work even harder for you. These tend to give 3x the light of an average halogen! They don’t come with filaments but instead use xenon gas. These are very popular given that they tend to last longer than traditional options.
Each of your lights does something different! At the front, you’ll have headlights above the bumper. These are powered directly by the battery and can be switched on and off inside the car. This means you have complete control. Headlights are really useful for lighting your way and to help warn other motorists.
You’ll also find that indicator lights have an important part to play. These are fitted to the rear of your vehicle and can work with side indicators built into some cars. These simple lights can be triggered with a quick switch, and are used to show other road users which direction you are traveling in.
Do also consider brake lights! These are incredibly important. As the name suggests, they are connected to your brakes. This means that when you hit the brake pedal, they will light up bright enough for road users behind you to see that you are stopping.
On top of this, your car may have fog lights. These are sometimes called spotlights and are ideal for lighting the way if you are having trouble seeing ahead. Consider bad weather or low light. These are extremely bright and are only ever recommended for use when you really can’t see ahead.
Of course, there’s inner lighting, too! These are found around the dashboard and close to the passenger doors. They help you see what’s going on in dark conditions.
Common Lighting Problems
Your car lighting is crucial to the ongoing safety of your driving. The moment even a single headlight sparks out, you MUST make sure that you contact a mechanic or service center. Otherwise, you can generally check if an electrical fault is in play. You may need to replace a fuse. Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry.
The moment you notice any kind of issue with your car lights, raise the flag with a local service center. It might make all the difference for your safety, and whether or not you pass your MOT!