All The Types of Car Lights And When to Use Them | Explained (2024)

If you are driving in India since long, you might have come across several instances when people around you are seen flashing their car lights on the road unnecessarily. Most of the people simply don’t know how to properly use car’s lights. Some are seen using caution lights in rainy or foggy weather while the others are seen using high beams in crowded areas. Different car lights have got different function and in this article, we will let you know about the correct use of your car’s lights.

  1. Daytime Running Lights

    All The Types of Car Lights And When to Use Them | Explained (1)

    The Daytime Running Lights have become a really common fitment nowadays. I myself have seen people confusing these with the low beam headlights. What I want to mention here is that some people don’t switch on their headlights at night considering the DRLs are sufficient for the illumination. It is not so. The DRLs are made to make you visible on the roads. In most cars, the DRLs are connected with the engine or the handbrake. You shouldn’t confuse them with low beam headlights at all!

  2. Low Beam Headlights

    All The Types of Car Lights And When to Use Them | Explained (2)

    These are meant to be used where you need to focus on a shorter range. Low Beam Headlights don’t let you see too far but give you an adequate view of the road ahead without causing excessive glares in the eyes of the driver in front of you. Low beam headlights can be really helpful in case of adverse weather conditions too.

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    All The Types of Car Lights And When to Use Them | Explained (3)

  3. High Beam Headlights

    All The Types of Car Lights And When to Use Them | Explained (4)

    Far-field headlights are used to give a far-field view of the road ahead. As an aware driver, you should know that using high beams in a crowded area is not good at all. This is because high beams create excessive glare which can possibly blind the view of other drivers. You should use high beams only when you are at an extremely dark place and are immediately switch to low beam if you see an oncoming vehicle to avoid blinding the driver.

    Read10 Night Driving Tips very specific for Indian Roads!

  4. Fog Lamps

    All The Types of Car Lights And When to Use Them | Explained (5)

    Fog lamps are usually not equipped with every variant of the car you buy. But did you know that these lights can actually prove to be helpful in foggy weather? Yes, fog lights, which are placed on the lower section of the bumper, emit a flat and wide beam which cuts through the fog really well and helps you have a view of the road ahead. You can switch on the fog lamps during normal road conditions because they don’t dazzle the oncoming drivers, but we recommend you to get them equipped if they are not available in your car. These car lights are extremely useful in foggy weather.

  5. Hazard Lights / Flashers

    All The Types of Car Lights And When to Use Them | Explained (6)

    All of you must be familiar with this button before we proceed. Your car’s hazard lights can be really helpful if used correctly. At the same time, these can be a huge distraction for other people on the road if you use them in the wrong way. You might have seen people flashing their hazard lights in rainy or foggy weather. It is not recommended to glow your flashers while moving in the rain or fog because they can distract the drivers behind you.

    ReadAutomotive Lighting Systems Explained | Halogen, HID, LED, Laser Lights

    These should be used only in emergencies such as situations where you need to stop on a busy road due to an emergency. You can also use them if your car is parked in a dark place to indicate the same to other drivers.

Which car lights to use at what time of the day?

  1. During the day: As there is an ample amount of light available during the day, you may not use any lights unless you are passing through a tunnel or any other dark enclosed area. Also, modern vehicles are equipped with DRLs which remain on as you drive. These alert other drivers about your presence on the road.
  2. During Dusk:When the sun begins to set, you should go for low beam headlights. This will help you have a better view of the road ahead.
  3. During Night:Depending upon where you are driving, you may switch between high beam and low beam.

Which car lights to use during which weather?

  1. Foggy Weather:When the weather is foggy, you should switch on your foglamps to ensure safety for yourself and others on the road. Also, you should maintain more distance from the vehicle moving ahead. Last but not least, drive on the side of the road and give up sticking in the middle.
  2. Rainy Weather:You should use low beams. They will give the best possible view of the road ahead. If you are not able to see even 100 metres ahead, you should keep your low beams on continuously. DON’T USE FLASHERS OR HIGH BEAM HEADLIGHTS!

This was all about the car lights and how and when to use them. We hope we were able to give you enough information to help you improve your driving habits. Share this article with all those drivers around you who are still confused about the use of the correct headlights.

All The Types of Car Lights And When to Use Them | Explained (7)

All The Types of Car Lights And When to Use Them | Explained (2024)

FAQs

What car lights to use and when? ›

Dipped lights are the brightest lights your car has that won't dazzle other road users. Therefore, as a rule to remember, always use them when visibility is poor e.g at dusk or night time, and in bad weather. Move up to main beam headlights when you cannot see any other road users in front of you.

How many types of car lights are there? ›

The most important car lights are headlights. The two types of headlights are low beam and high beam, which allow drivers to see the road in the dark and make themselves visible to other motorists. Other car lights include DRLs, sidelights, and fog lights.

What are car lights and their purpose? ›

These lights allow the driver to see the roadway in the dark, while also signaling to other motorists that a car is present. Low beams provide a light distribution to give adequate forward and lateral illumination without blinding other road users with excessive glare.

How many different lights are on a car? ›

On the exterior, the car has at least nine types of lights spread from the front to the back. But on some types of cars, there are also lights on the side of the body.

How do I know what lights to use? ›

You're supposed to use your dipped headlights when driving at night in built-up areas and at daytime when visibility is reduced due to the weather. (Generally speaking, low visibility is usually when you can't see more than 100 metres ahead of you.)

When to use certain lights on a car? ›

Turn on sidelights when visibility is low. Daytime running lights are not a substitute for sidelights because they do not illuminate the rear of the vehicle. Switch on the headlights when visibility is “seriously reduced” Use the fog lights when visibility is reduced to less than 100m by fog or spray.

Which lights must you use? ›

Lights – nighttime rules

To this end, you must always use your headlights at night (half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise), but you must ensure that they are dipped in built-up areas or when you are behind or approaching other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

When to use full beam? ›

You should only use full beam headlights on unlit stretches of road at night. When meeting oncoming traffic (including cyclists or pedestrians), following another vehicle, or driving on left-turning bends, you must turn off full beam headlights as they can often be dazzling and may cause accidents.

When to use fog lights? ›

Fog lights should be used when your visibility is less than 100 metres, roughly the length of a football pitch. They should also only be used when it's actually foggy or there's heavy mist, as the lights are very bright and can dazzle other drivers if used incorrectly.

What do all of the lights mean in a car? ›

Green or blue lights simply let you know that a system is on or operating. Orange/yellow warning lights generally signify that your vehicle needs to be serviced or repaired soon. These warnings are less urgent than if you have a red and/or flashing light. A red light means that you should take action immediately!

Which car lights to use at night? ›

Low beam headlights / dipped headlights

Low beams are essential when driving at night, but they have also been proved to improve visibility and safety when used during the day, for example during adverse weather (rain, snow, sleet or fog) or just after sunrise and just before sunset.

How to know which headlight to use? ›

Every headlight is designated with a bulb size. For a bulb installed in your car, you can find the number stamped or printed on the side of the bulb. It's also listed in the service manual and in an auto bulb guide. Only the correct bulb size will fit in the headlamp housing and connect to the factory wiring.

What car lights are always on? ›

Daytime running lights (DRLs)

Which lights should you switch on when? ›

Explanation: Only use your fog lights when visibility is seriously reduced. Use dipped headlights at other times when visibility is poor. Your headlights and tail lights help others on the road to see you. It may be necessary to turn them on during the day if visibility is reduced; for example, due to heavy rain.

How do I know what lights my car needs? ›

Every headlight is designated with a bulb size. For a bulb installed in your car, you can find the number stamped or printed on the side of the bulb. It's also listed in the service manual and in an auto bulb guide. Only the correct bulb size will fit in the headlamp housing and connect to the factory wiring.

What car lights should always be on? ›

Low beam headlights / dipped headlights

Low beams are essential when driving at night, but they have also been proved to improve visibility and safety when used during the day, for example during adverse weather (rain, snow, sleet or fog) or just after sunrise and just before sunset.

When should car lights be turned on? ›

Headlight Use Laws Across the US
StateTurn on your headlights…
CaliforniaWhen visibility is less than 1,000 feet When using your wipers continuously During darkness
ColoradoWhen visibility is less than 1,000 feet Between sunset and sunrise
49 more rows
Sep 4, 2023

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