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Is Modern Headlight Technology making roads brighter?

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Much about headlight technology is debated. It’s only while driving down a dark stretch of road that we realize that we can’t see right or the bright lights of an oncoming vehicle pierce our eyes, blinding us at that moment. Appropriate working headlamps of the correct amount of brightness are vital to safe roadways. Today we have a variety of bulbs being used in newer models of cars, each brighter than those of the past. There are different kinds of lights, right from LEDs to HIDs. Many today often run HIDs, because they are a bit brighter than the rest. One does occasionally behind someone and to that their lights are really bright.

Brighter lights illuminate the road better, especially at night making night driving less stressful. It makes objects in your way more visible at night. You also get to see your way in a greater distance. Many have limitations with night time vision, but brighter lights give clearer vision and we feel a whole lot safer. We are also able to see distant objects.

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 On the flipside, brighter beams can also present an unwanted road safety risk for oncoming drivers. It’s therefore important to understand carefully what intensity is and isn’t harmful to oncoming drivers. Brighter lights are great but we need to use them judiciously and have them installed by a qualified professional if you are seeking to upgrade your standard car headlight.

 If you are operating your high beams at night and you see an oncoming vehicle, you are expected to switch to your low beams. You therefore need to install correctly and point them in the right direction. Although laws vary from state to state, when it comes to the color of the bulb, whether it's a standard one or an upgraded, slightly brighter one, it needs to be yellow or white. Lights that are too blue are illegal as they are harmful to the eyes.

Looking at the three main forms of modern day auto lighting, all three are very distinct. Significant differences exist in light produced by LEDs, xenon and halogen lights. LEDs have the coolest color temperature at around 6,000 Kelvin, which makes them appear whiter than daylight. Xenon lights come in at around 4,500 K, while halogens round out the list at a yellowish 3,200 K. LED bulbs offer better light return from road signs, while HID illuminate the sides of the road better.

It’s because they typically produce more light in lumens than LEDs. High-intensity discharge (HID) lights are the same as Xenon lights. They produce a light brighter than halogen bulbs and with far less heat. The blue-white light emitted by xenon bulbs is so bright that it has been known to blind on coming drivers. Light Emitting Diodes or LED headlights although less bright than Xenon, have more advantages over all other light forms.

LED headlight bulbs have no filament. They transfer current through a semi-conductor and the movement of electrons emits photons producing light, and significantly less heat with better durability. If the operating temperature is maintained within limits, they could even run indefinitely or at least 20,000 hours of operating life. They require a lower voltage and give a brighter and whiter light. You can alter the color by changing the physical properties of the semi-conductor.

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