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12 Types of Car Headlights [When & How to Use?] Pictures

In this article, you’ll learn what are different types of car headlights, when, and how to use them? all explained with pictures.

Car Lights or Headlights Types

Car lighting has become a long way. Since the automobile is advanced, so is the car lighting system. In the early 1880s, they used acetylene lamps because of the flexibility of the air flame.

In the current 21st century, vehicles clearly travel at much faster rates than in 1900 and our downgrade visibility needs to be developed.

There are many options available these days when it comes to headlights. So much so that drivers oftentimes pick headlights based on the added aesthetic to their vehicles.

Apart from looking good, there is not really a clear argument as to why you should choose one type over the other. Let’s take a look at how these different styles of headlights work and each have some distinct advantages and disadvantages.

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Types of Car Headlights

Following are the different types of car headlight with name and pictures:

  1. Headlights: LED lights, HID lights, Halogen
  2. Driving lamps
  3. Parking lights
  4. Direction-signal lights
  5. Blinker lights
  6. Stoplights
  7. Backup lights
  8. Taillights
  9. Interior lights
  10. Fog lights
  11. Daytime driving lights
  12. Hazard or warning lights

1. Head Lights

types of car headlights

Headlights are required to illuminate the highways sufficiently to permit safe night driving. These are usually provided with two beams, one gives maximum illumination for night driving and the other gives deflection to the ground, and to the side of the road to a third beam is used which is of low intensity for city driving.

High-beams can be blind to an oncoming car, so they should only use when there is no car coming in front of you. Different bulbs are usually responsible for low-beam and high-beam, so if one goes out the other can work. The Headlights are maybe of LED lights or HID lights.

LED Lights

types of car headlights

LED lights are a highly energy-efficient type of headlight and have begun to create a strong presence in modern-day headlights. These headlights are versatile and bulbs can be made in many different sizes.

This allows LED lights to be designed for headlights and taillights in new and creative ways. Car manufacturers are starting to use this type of headlight to give cars a unique look.

HID Lights

types of car headlights

Another type of car light that can be used for different lights on a car is the HID light bulb. These HID lights are unique because they don’t have a filament as most light bulbs give.

The reaction caused by the shooting of electric current by a spherical bulb filled with a variety of vapors and gases allows the HID bulb to emit light, and the strong beam of light produced by the HID light bulb allows for ideal headlights.

Halogen

types of car headlights

Halogen lights are the popular type of lights on our roads today. They use a combination of gases commonly nitrogen and argon, and tungsten filament in a glass tube.

After the filament is heated, light is produced. They are inexpensive and easy to change but have come out of favor in recent years. A standard halogen bulb will produce 1300 lumens, which is a good level of light compared to other options but is dimmer.

2. Driving Lamps

types of car headlights: Driving lamp:

These are placed inside the vehicle and are used for the passenger or driver to illuminate the cab so that they can safely view maps or directions or locate objects in the dark. They should never be employed for a long time.

3. Parking Lights

Driving lamp: : parking lights
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In addition to the headlights, low-intensity parking lights are usually provided in the front of the car, either as separate units or as part of the headlights, and are used while the car is parking.

For parking the car during dark, the parking lights are kept on to provide a signal for other moving objects and thus avoid the accident.

4. Direction-signal Lights

Direction-signal lights are used to indicate the direction in which the vehicle is to turn. These lights give signals to the vehicle coming from the front or rear. In addition, some special signal lights are also used.

These include a red signal light to indicate when the high beams of the headlight are burning, to indicate when the parking brake is applied, to indicate that oil pressure is low, that the cooling water temperature is too high or too low, or that the generator is not charging the battery.

5. Backup Lights

Backup lights used when the driver shifts into reverse. This closes a switch linked to the selector lever which connects the backup lights to the battery.

6. Blinker Lights

Driving lamp: : blinker lights

Blinker lights provide a means of signaling when the car is stalled on the highway or has pulled off to the side. The blinking is much more noticeable than steady light and provides a warning to approaching cars.

7. Tail Lights

Tail light

The taillights illuminate the back of the car in the night so that the other vehicles coming from behind it are able to see it. Taillights are kept on all the time when the car is running at night.

8. Brake Lights

car Brake light

Stoplights or brake lights are also at the rear of the car and become on when brakes are applied. Certainly, the brake lights illuminate when stopping, but it is important to use and maintain them properly.

Repeatedly tapping on brakes when stopped suddenly can help to attract the attention of the drivers behind you and possibly avoid a crash.

Many people do not know that the brake light is out until they pull. To avoid a ticket and points on a car license for this, check brake light once a week by asking someone to stand in the back of the car during tapping on the brake.

9. Fog Lights

car fog light
Frettie, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The fog light is one of the various lights on a car. Many people wonder what lights should be used when driving in the fog. Depending on the thickness, low or high beams may perform each task better than the other.

But your car may also have fog lights that you should turn ON when driving in fog weather. The aim of fog lights is to make it more visible to other drivers. They are usually positioned lower on the car than headlights to show under the fog line.

They are commonly yellow or golden to draw attention to the vehicle. In dense fog, high beams can bounce moisture back into the air and make it harder to see.

10. Daytime-driving Lights

Daytime-driving Lights

Most cars have daytime driving lights that run when the car turns on automatically to provide additional visibility to other cars. Usually, if you do not want to turn them on, there is an option to turn them off.

If possible, it is useful to set lights to automatic, so that car can adjust the amount of detectable light. This helps to assure the correct amount of light without constant self-monitoring.

11. Interior Lights

Interior Lights

Interior lights include instrument panel lights, various warning indicator lights, compartment lights. Keyhole lights, map lights, radio dial lights, clock lights are also provided in some cars.

12. Hazard or Warning Lights

The hazard lights are located in the front and rear of the vehicle. They are also known as flashers. Many different countries use hazard warning lights in many different ways.

When they are ON, they accept a flashing signal to warn other drivers that you are experiencing a problem or an immediate danger. They should only be used as a warning of a disaster or traffic problem.


That’s it, thanks for reading. If you have any questions about types of car headlights you can ask in the comments.

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Saif M
Saif M. is a Mechanical Engineer by profession. He completed his engineering studies in 2014 and is currently working in a large firm as Mechanical Engineer. He is also an author and editor at theengineerspost.com