Getting light from a car on dark or overcast roads in your city is vital. Without this technology you put your safety and that of others at maximum risk. That’s why today we’re going to talk about the different car headlights types that exist.
These equipment’s are used to not only give us light on the road, but also to generate signals that help other drivers, for example, to indicate that something has happened on the road of cars going in the opposite direction to us. Or to indicate to drivers further down the road that we need help.
The bulbs are as useful as they are necessary in every type of vehicle. In that sense, today we want to give your car headlights explained and why they are so important to have optimized. Give them good maintenance and do not let the light go out. It is a complete guide full of valuable information for your next purchase or recovery of the current ones.
What are car light bulbs?
The first thing is to start from their basic concept and understand why they are so vital. They are a group of lighting systems that are placed in the front of the car. Some vehicle models allow them to be placed on the roof, using a specialized light bulb, which gives more light on the road.
It is perfect for inhospitable places where the public lighting in highway, does not work, also, in places where fog or snow makes visibility difficult and puts the driver at risk.
Although some people prefer to use light bulbs to improve the style of the car, in reality their contribution is safety, prevention, alertness and confidence on the road. When choosing between the different types of car bulbs we must know that the variety is great. The right one for your vehicle exists, but you must know some elements.
One of them will be the type of route that we do with the car. This will indicate the types of car bulbs we can buy. There are models of halogen, projector, halo, LED, high intensity and the newest ones, laser.
Although you get this kind of car headlights explained you cannot leave aside the manufacturer. Know the type of bulb you use, model of the headlight that matches the vehicle perfectly, among others.
What are the advantages of having quality bulbs in the car?
It is time to give prominence to the advantages of using any of the car headlights types that exist. Having them functional in the vehicle can make a big difference between being safe or not.
When you have poor visibility and you want to keep driving, lighting is the key. Here’s why you should have and know the car headlights explained before installing them.
– They are useful for driving at night because they open up a path of light through so much darkness.
– They have a long life, because they are specially designed to last and resist all kinds of demands and inclemency.
– The different car headlights are ideal for minimizing risks and latent accidents behind the wheel. They improve visibility and provide greater control, confidence and stability when driving.
– There are different car headlights types, whose illumination varies in intensity, improving visibility on any type of road.
– Their strength and power are adapted to the demands of the road. They can be used for driving in dark, cloudy or snowy areas or for hunting.
– Although the bulbs can be changed and are not expensive, their replacement is complicated – so an expert must do it. By illuminating any space, you can improve the visibility of the driver who will be able to detect, in time, deviations, animals, holes, flaws, other drivers, passers-by and more.
– They serve to warn other drivers of any problems, whether it is their own or an external problem that they have not noticed. Lights alert in different ways according to how they are activated. The most common is the flashing or popular changing of lights (turning them on and off constantly). Also, turn right or left at the next intersection.
When the first car was invented, it already had a headlight with bulbs within its specifications. This makes it very clear that, his invention is of principle and has been attached to cars ever since.
Although the car headlights explained indicates that they go in the front of the vehicle, side or rear; vans include them in special locations such as the roof or bumper. This expands their use and improves their road safety.
Technical evolution of car light bulb types
Halogen bulbs in the 1960’s stood out a lot for road safety use. They had a range of up to 100 meters. However, this technology has advanced greatly, and we now have laser bulbs. They now impact up to 600 meters away. Also, with 30% less power purchased with LED bulbs.
Although this technology transition between bulbs and lighting system exists, most users are only looking for one specific model, this depending on the design of their car and the capacity or level of use of the vehicle.
However, today we hear terms like xenon, bixenon or LED. Most of these lighting technologies come in new cars, but what about the older ones? Can they be renewed? Yes, they can be improved, but you have to bear in mind that the evolution in the car headlights types requires changes and improvements in space and bodywork.
The first range of Xenon bulbs to come onto the market was launched in 1992. They were the sensation of the time because they had a bluish white shade, which simulated daylight. This minimizes fatigue, eye strain and improves the quality of lighting on any stage. Also, the impact is less because it doesn’t need much power to shine.
If we go to the halogen bulbs, these do not generate more power and demand more energy. However, it’s not all there. By the year 199, bixenon bulbs were born. These car headlights types can be used in the front, on the side. They are ideal because they don’t dazzle other drivers and illuminate the road perfectly.
At the beginning of the 21st century, a new technology based on LED (Light Emitting Diode) types of car bulbs is launched. These are highly efficient and very durable models. In addition, their consumption is quite low and they adapt to all types of vehicles easily and improve the visual quality of the driver.
There are even models of LED bulbs used in daytime running lights. They are compulsory on vehicles manufactured – for example – in Spain.
Types of car bulbs | Where are they used most?
The different car headlights types on the market can be a bit confusing. The variety, quality, prices, designs and power can lead you to buy one you don’t need or more expensive than you require.
There are currently nine different models of car light bulbs on the market. However, they are classified according to their location inside the vehicle. Below is an explanation of car bulbs and where they are placed. Remember to replace them when they no longer work:
1. Short light bulbs
Our car has a short light bulb system which improves our view to the front. It is the most used one inside a vehicle, because it marks the way when it is night. Some locations in the world require them to be turned on during the day and certain places during the day.
When used in excess or turned on for a longer period of time, they wear out faster. They minimize the life span and must be replaced constantly. That’s why we recommend checking them periodically for function and light quality.
2. Long-light bulbs
Also, they are known as high light and carry that name because their range is greater. They are ideal for long, dark roads where the driver requires greater clarity. In addition, they are perfect because in front distance they light more than 100 meters if you use modern types of car bulbs.
They are used as an alternative to short-light bulbs. This allows extending the life time of both, because the functionalities are behaved. In addition, leaving the light high for so long is a danger or represents a state of discomfort to other drivers.
This is because the direction of the light goes directly to the mirrors and side mirrors causing the driver to turn on. However, it is the most helpful light and benefits in improving visibility and knowing what is ahead without even being close.
1. Bulbs for rear lights (reverse)
Within the car headlights types, these backwards are vital. Going in the opposite direction from the front increases the risk of an accident. However, if these light signals are activated properly, you can minimize accidents or crashes.
These two rear bulbs are usually white light. They serve to warn passers-by and other drivers that the vehicle has reversed. Although it does not directly improve visibility, it is key to maneuvering with the car in reverse.
2. Fog light bulbs
Although this type of fog light bulb is not used in countries where this type of climate does not exist, cars usually include it. At least, they leave room for it if necessary. In addition, there are two models, rear and front.
The front ones improve the driver’s visibility when driving forward. The rear ones indicate to other drivers that the car is reversing. In both cases they are used for safety, prevention and confidence when driving on cloudy roads.
3. Position lamp bulbs
These lights have the function of indicating to the drivers of the road, the magnitude of the car in width and length. They are common in heavy duty vehicles, trucks, but also particular models carry it. It is the best way to notify the size of the car when it is stopped on a dark road.
4. Flashing light bulbs
Although all types of car bulbs are indispensable, the indicators have more functions. One of them is to indicate that we have stopped or that the car is failing and needs to slow down. It alerts other drivers that we are not driving at the right speed.
Also, they are used to indicate to the cars behind us that they should slow down. They are perfect for drastic maneuvers on the road and need to be warned to other drivers, helps to avoid accidents, so their operation cannot fail.
What are the types of light bulbs for the car?
In a car headlights explained, we find that there are three types, models of halogen, xenon and LED. Although there are variations and more modern as the laser, these are the most common. Let’s take a look at them below:
1. Halogen bulbs
It’s the light bulbs in classic cars. They are characterized by being the most economical on the market. However, this type of light has undergone important changes and improvements in its technology, leaving optimal and satisfactory results among its users. The downside is that they are parts with a very short lifespan. In addition, their intensity and range are also limited.
2. Xenon bulbs
They were the best-selling bulbs at one time, until LED came along. Among their advantages, the most notorious are the intensity of light they offer, this if we compare it with halogens. In addition, they last much longer and consume less energy.
3. LED bulbs
The most popular and in demand today, besides their aesthetics, they last a long time in use. They even outlast cars. Another factor is that their light temperature is similar to that of sunlight. So on dark roads you’ll feel like its daytime.
What criteria do you have when buying car bulbs?
With the different car headlights types on the market, you don’t have to worry. The right one for your vehicle exists and is available to you. When looking for them, you must be clear about the purchase factors. You must classify the models of light bulbs to choose the right one.
But first and foremost, you must get them and install them as soon as possible. At this point, you know how vital they are and the key to keeping them up to date. They guarantee your safety, well-being and the peace of mind of others. However, before going to buy any, you must learn to choose the right one. Here is a list of considerations to take before paying for one:
1. Type of bulb needed
This purchase is mainly based on need. You know the car headlights types that exist, just locate the one that has worn out or is about to wear out and change it. It is not necessary to change the whole system or purchase them in their entirety. Just invest in the ones that need to be replaced.
2. Bulb life time
Manufacturers manage a programmed lifetime of their bulbs. When this happens, either the bulb stops working or it simply loses power and illumination. This is an indication that it is coming to an end.
Among the causes is the wear and tear of the bulb, also the action that the light beam generates on the protection that makes it opaque. However, according to driving standards, it is recommended to change them every 10,000 kilometers, or after two years of use.
3. It must be the right size
The car headlights explained given above makes it clear that not all cars are the same. They work differently so, when you buy new products, they should be the right size. Car models vary and with them their components.
This includes the bulbs and their use in the sides, front, rear or extra for roof or bumper. It is essential to have the exact measures to be able to acquire the indicated one. In addition, you take better advantage of their use and capacity of illumination, protection and security.
It is essential that, when choosing a car headlights types, we know well its brand, model and year. With the renewals of cars that are from the same company and line, you can find minimal changes in usability.
4. The brand of the bulbs
The market for light bulbs is big and with it its variety of products. To this we add the type of technology they offer for lighting. That’s why we must focus well on our current needs. And the best brands have what you need.
However, they can be very expensive, but at the same time of higher quality. So, one thing outweighs the other and you’re guaranteed an incredible user experience.
5. Use clear bulbs
Many young drivers think that using colored bulbs is cool. However, they greatly limit one’s visibility and make others uncomfortable. Some countries have forced users to avoid using them by fining or stopping them.
Clear car bulbs are better, safer, and cheaper and last longer. In addition, they offer the right function in safety, optimal visibility and respect for others and laws.
How to make adjustments to the bulbs?
If your car has a headlight system and fixed bulbs, these will light in a different direction when the car is uneven. They will not go to the front as they should, but they will project to the ground. In other words, your visibility levels will be limited and your integrity and that of others will be compromised.
If you have headlights with movable bulbs, what allows you is, in these cases of unevenness, to adjust according to the angle generated. In this way you can improve your visibility no matter how heavy the car is. Usually, an extremely loaded truck, focus your light on a blind or wrong point in the road.
When the light beam focuses on a point other than the regulation point, it makes other drivers uncomfortable. Also, it can prevent you from looking at the road properly by causing accidents on the road. To stop this situation, we show you how to improve the levels of the headlight and to improve its quality of focus:
1. Prepare the car before it is leveled
When adjusting the car’s bulbs, you should remove as much weight as possible from the car. This will allow you to set the lights to the specified height. Check that the tires are correctly graduated and that the damping system works properly.
For this you must have the support of another person if the mobility mechanism is through an internal knob. If so, the helper should be the driver and turn the switch. This will initiate a progressive adjustment in order to guide you to a higher quality approach.
We recommend that you clean the windscreens, headlights and anything else that allows you to see in front. This will help to better evaluate and analyze the amount of light being emitted.
2. Place the car on a flat surface
Try to place the car in a flat area facing a wall, between 3 and 4.5 meters away. Look for dark walls or areas of low light.
Make sudden movements on the car to level the suspension. To do this, put pressure on the car at all four corners. This will give you a perspective on the alignment of the shock absorbers. Finally, measure the distance from the ground to the types of car bulbs you have installed. They should be the same on both sides.
3. Turn on the headlights
It’s time to turn on the vehicle’s headlights. Start with the short ones first. On the front wall, mark with a tape right in the center where the light hits. Mark both the vertical and horizontal direction.
4. Analyze the markings
Once you have the lights marked on the wall, check their condition. Ideally, they should be equal in distance and dimension. The distance between them should be one centimeter. If the two center lines are not equal, you should try to adjust them so that they are. This is considering the maximum distance with the dream of one meter.
5. Make another measurement
Another light measurement with the wall is indispensable. This time remove the car about 7.5 meters from the test wall. Measure the correct distance. In addition, they must be the same distance from the ground.
This time do it without the ring that covers the edges of the headlight. Locate the adjusting screws. If you are not sure what they are, check the manual. Some models have a bubble leveler to adjust the orientation of the lights. This is a straightforward way to do it without too much fuss.
6. Adjustments should be made separately
It is understood that, the adjustments of the bulbs must be made independently. To this end, cover a headlight completely and ensure that it does not illuminate, while you check the other one independently. For this you must have the support of an assistant who turns the lights on and off to facilitate the process.
7. Adjust the vertical and horizontal field
For the vertical field you must turn the upper bolt or screw on your bulb from left to right and raise the lights. From right to left, you must lower the lights. To know that the adjustment has been made correctly, you must see the most intense part of the light. It should be at the same height or just below the center line marked on the wall.
read more “How to Adjust Car Headlights“
For the horizontal field, you should adjust the bolt or screw and look for the brightest part of the bulb, which should be at the rightmost end of the wall mark. If you are driving on the left side, it should be as close to that side as possible.
8. Test the alignment of the car
It is essential to carry out a system of evaluation of the car in terms of alignment and balancing. This guarantees that the vehicle is straight and adjustments will be made towards that direction. To do this, travel safely through dark areas and test the lights. Do this in the company of another car that will assist you in case of problems.
Maintenance of the bulbs in a car
Over time, the bulb becomes very opaque, preventing the light from coming out cleanly. This prevents the path from not being properly lit and the potential of the bulb from being wasted. In view of this we must take precautions and always keep the housing free of dirt.
There are many homemade tricks that clean these parts leaving them 100% free of dirt. However, taking them to a workshop with polishing experts will always be the best option. You will pay a little more, but you will be assured of professional results. In view of this we recommend the following:
– Initial wash: before going for the bulbs, it’s best to do a general car wash. Make a general cleaning of the whole machine and dry it well. Do not leave any drops anywhere, especially in the part of the lights. When you open it, you can dedicate yourself to polishing this area with peace of mind.
– Isolate the area from light bulbs and headlights: you will need a painter’s tape to cover the entire lighting area. This will prevent damage to parts that are not part of this area. Do it with all the lights of the car without exception.
– Time to clean: there are three ways to generate an effective cleaning system in your car’s headlights and they are
– With toothpaste: it’s the easiest and most economical to achieve. Put some of the paste on the headlight and spread it evenly. Wait a few minutes and remove with a damp cloth and dry the surface.
– Soap and bonding: this technique is the one that requires the most effort. With soap and water, clean the headlights using sandpaper. Apply gentle pressure until the dirt is removed. The sandpaper should be between 400 and 800 grains. Apply circular movements, forward and backward. At the end, use finer sandpaper and touch up the piece.
– Commercial products: are sold especially for cleaning all types of car headlights. Or you can take it to a specialized center where they do it.
The different types of car bulbs on the market can be used according to the model of vehicle you have and the need you have. Not all of them work the same. There are parts that fit better than others so it is essential to be clear what you require.
In any situation, it is always better to investigate. Know for sure the car headlights types that exist and which one is right for you. In addition, the technologies of the bulbs have evolved in such a way that they are more and more powerful and are manufactured for very specific uses.
The ideal is to buy a bulb that works well and does not disturb others. Remember that every road has its complexities, and these products are designed to improve road safety. But it’s up to you to use them wisely and install the one that provides the greatest road benefits.
Finally, remember to align or adjust your headlights. They should be pointed at the road properly without disturbing others. The idea is to give you greater visibility on the road and minimize accidents. They are not accessories to make the car look good, they are tools to save lives and protect.