There are three main types of vehicle illumination available, halogen headlights, xenon headlights, automatic headlights, etc, but which offers the best option?
In recent years, new technologies have appeared that have been a major step forward in terms of illumination, improving the capacity and lighting quality. Normally, cars are equipped with a basic lighting system, which does not mean that they are insufficient. On the contrary, the evolution of lights in vehicles is already evident from the recent developments and models on the market.
However, if we do make a decision to improve our vehicle´s lighting, we not only face a potentially large bill, it may not even be possible as changing the vehicle characteristics may result in difficulties with the ITV test, so caution must be exercised before the investment. In fact, a visit to the ITV station may also be prudent to check before you proceed.
That said, we can still consider the options available in order to make an informed decision before we proceed, with the knowledge of the different types of lighting available.
The Three Main Systems
There are three main types of optics in vehicles. Halogen headlights are still the most common and, in most manufacturers, offer good lighting capacity, showing the evolution of a system with a long journey in the automotive industry. Xenon headlights have become the first alternative to give a greater field of vision, with a clearer light and greater range. But it is the LED headlights that show the greatest possibilities to apply more advanced technologies.
New vehicles already have daytime running lights, even in the lower segments, both for the front and, in many cases, the rear optics, and most of these are formed by LED lights. LED lights offer longevity in their life, are easier to handle, and offer the best options for adaptive adaptive lighting, taking us another step closer to the autonomous car.
In recent years, automatic headlights have been installed in some vehicles. These lights turn on and off autonomously in dim or light environments respectively, and more recently are able to adapt their position when crossing with other vehicles, without the driver having to operate them (they use sensors or a camera at the height of the rear-view mirror).
Another alternative is adaptive lights, which adjust the parabola that the lights emit constantly, keeping the areas that do not produce glare illuminated. This technology is only available with LED lights and the new laser headlights.
We can see that the amount of light emitted, thus illuminating our path is vital in providing safer roads, and the new technology is able to offer that without glaring or distracting other road users and thus creating an additional hazard.