From built-in WiFi and backup cameras, to driverless cars, it seems there is no limit to tech’s stronghold in the automotive industry. The majority of high-tech advancements in the auto world typically revolve around your safety. One of the largest contributions to driver safety has been the introduction of LED lighting. While the majority of manufacturers are still using regular incandescent bulbs, pioneers in the business are pushing for LED lights to be the new standard.
Making LED Lights the New Standard
The simple answer is, they are better. LED technology breaks the mold in several different ways; the most obvious is their versatility. There are more dynamic choices for headlights, back-up lights, brake and taillights, fog lights, side markers, interior lights, underbody lights, and license plate lights to name a few. They are brighter, use less energy, last longer, and are comparable (if not cheaper) than traditional bulbs in cost due to their longevity. To top it off, LED lights are proving to be the safer choice, because they greatly improve driver visibility.
Changing Your Automotive Lighting Mindset
When it comes to safe driving, and automotive upkeep, we tend to focus on the basics. Make sure the oil is changed, get tune-ups regularly, change and rotate tires often, get a yearly smog inspection, and so on. Often your vehicle’s lights are overlooked. You only think about them when you forget to turn them off and kill the battery, another motorist lets you know you have a light out, or a police officer is tapping at your window with a “fix-it” ticket.
The lights on your vehicle are extremely important. They alert drivers behind you when you are braking, and making turns; at night they are what guide you and help you see other vehicles. So don’t make your automotive lights an afterthought when they should be a priority.
Headlight Safety Tips
- Keep exterior car lights clean. When you wash your car, give special attention to the lights. Make sure they’re in good working order, and one isn’t dimmer than the others. Check both low beam and high beam headlights. Clean headlights allow you to see better and prevent glare.
- Keep lighting balanced and even. If you notice you have one light out that needs to be changed, change them both. Auto bulbs are sold together for a reason; you want the quality to be the same on each side. Having one light dimmer than the other can be disconcerting to both you and other drivers.
- Change lights annually. Even if you don’t see any real need to change your headlights, and they are all functioning properly, change them at least once a year anyway. Most people wait until one burns out; they’re already malfunctioning before this happens. Keep them balanced and at their brightest by changing them regularly. Choose a specific date each year to get all new lights.
- Enlist an inspection buddy. If you want to forego the stranger at the stoplight telling you that your brake light is out, recruit a friend to help with inspections. Have your friend sit behind the wheel of your car and systematically turn on and off all of your lights, and pump the brakes while you inspect them. The low and high beams, daylight running lights, brake, and reverse lights should all be inspected.
- Align your lights. There is nothing more annoying for you or oncoming drivers than misaligned headlights. Besides being annoying, they are also distracting, which makes them dangerous. Aligned headlights reduce the uncertainty of drivers that is caused by wonky lighting conditions. Be sure to you have your auto headlights aligned regularly or learn to do it yourself.
- Get regular eye exams. Night vision is the first thing to go as you age or if you already wear corrective lenses. If you have contacts or glasses, or are over 50, it is recommended that you get annual vision screenings. Any time you feel as though your vision may be impaired, making it more difficult for you to drive, get an exam.
- Switch to LED headlights. A recent study showed that most headlamps are woefully inadequate for night driving, some offering as low as 130 feet of vision ahead of the vehicle. The best rated vehicle was the Toyota Prius V, which uses LED headlights. It reaches 387 feet ahead, giving a car moving 70 mph enough time to stop for an obstacle in the road.
Appreciating LED Lighting’s Stylish Side Too
Now that you are armed with the technological benefits of LED lighting, and all the ways you can use LED lights to make your vehicle safer, it’s time for the fun stuff. One of the best things about LED lighting is the design options. They are incredibly versatile; you can be as low-key cool, or limo party flashy as you want to be.
One can choose from a selection of interior lights that glow on the floor beneath your driver and passenger side seats. They come in a variety of colors, red, blue, green, yellow, purple, and orange. You can even choose multi-color, which allows you to change the colors based on your mood. Wheel well LED lights, and underbody LED lighting are other options for your car’s glam lighting. Make your life even easier by choosing kits that are Bluetooth capable, and remote or smartphone controlled. Not only will you be making the streets safer, you’ll look good while you’re at it.
What are some new automotive technologies you think will keep us safer on the road? Are there any that haven’t come out yet that you are looking forward to?
Author: Lauren Jones via www.ledunderbody.com