Lake Gazette

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JC Automotive & Truck

Let there be light! (Even at night)

Brian Dean, General Manager at JC Automotive Repair

With the exception of certain luxury and sports car manufacturers, many of today’s automakers equip their vehicles with standard halogen headlights. While such headlights are effective in the short-term, within two or three years the bulbs used in halogen headlights start to break down due to aging, exposure to the elements and everyday usage. Such a breakdown can compromise their light output by as much as 40 percent, dramatically reducing visibility as a result.

The reduced visibility associated with older halogen headlights is a legitimate safety concern, especially for the multitude of motorists who are already uncomfortable driving at night, when the visual acuity of the human eye is reduced by up to 70 percent. While drivers might not be able to do much about the makeup of their eyes, they can take steps to enhance their nighttime visibility.

  • Don’t wait for nightfall. According to the National Safety CouncilĀ®, traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day, despite the fact that roads tend to be less congested after sundown than they are in broad daylight. Many drivers feel their vision is most compromised during the twilight hours, when the sun is gradually setting and day is transitioning into night. To combat such difficulties, make a conscious effort to turn your headlights on earlier. Make it a rule to turn lights on when leaving the office at the end of a workday or set a daily alarm on your smartphone so you’re reminded to turn your headlights on at the time you feel your vision typically starts to suffer.
  • Upgrade your headlights. A recent study from the AAA motor club found that the halogen headlights used in more than 80 percent of the vehicles on the road today fail to safely illuminate unlit roadways, even when vehicles are traveling at speeds as low as 40 miles per hour. But drivers and their passengers need not be at the mercy of their manufacturer-issued headlights. Philips Upgrade Headlight Bulbs, such as the X-tremeVision Bulbs, employ advanced technology that can deliver up to 100 percent more light on the road than standard halogen bulbs. Compatible with various makes and models, each Upgrade Headlight Bulb produces a longer beam pattern than standard halogen headlights, vastly improving nighttime visibility on even the darkest roadways.
  • Take care of your lights. Drivers know to heed “check engine” warnings and schedule regular tuneups and oil changes, but vehicle maintenance entails more than just taking care of what’s under the hood. Properly maintained headlights can go a long way toward helping motorists feel safer when driving at night. When headlights are ignored, the resultant clouding can reduce their light output, thus compromising drivers’ visibility. And thanks to sunlight, ozone, pollution and other factors, the plastic headlamp lenses found on many vehicles can become hazy and yellow over time, making it more difficult for drivers to see. Utilizing a protective UV coating to produce longer lens clarity and prevent clouding for up to two years, the Philips Headlight Restoration Kit quickly and effectively combats clouding on headlights as well as taillights, turn signals and reflective lens covers, making it easier for drivers to see the road and for others drivers to see them.