How Headlights Work

All vehicles since the 1920s have had electric headlights. Older and lower evaluated models use halogen bulbs (or standard incandescents) however, In higher end cars, high intensity discharge (HID), or bi-xenon lights have been used. Another new advancement is the LED headlight, which utilizes less energy, runs cooler, and might possibly last the life of the vehicle.

But, by far most of vehicles out and about worked in the beyond 30 years have simple replace to halogen or incandescent bulbs. This undertaking requires no experience and barely any, devices, and will require simply an issue of minutes.

The History of Headlights

When the car first started production, the headlight was more like a lamp, with a closed acetylene flame, which had to be manually lit by the driver. Those early headlights were introduced in the 1880s, giving drivers the freedom to drive more safely at night. The first electric headlights were produced in Hartford, Connecticut and introduced in 1898, although they were optional when buying new cars. Because it takes a lot of energy to produce enough light to illuminate the road, they have a short lifespan. When Cadillac integrated modern electrical systems into cars in 1912, headlights became standard equipment for most vehicles. Today’s vehicles have brighter, longer-lasting, multi-faceted headlights; such as daytime running lights, low beams and high beams.

Types of Headlights

There are three types of headlights. Incandescent lamps use filaments inside the glass, which generate light when heated by electricity. It takes amazing energy to produce such a small amount of light; anyone who has run out of battery power by accidentally turning on the headlights can attest to this. Incandescent lamps are being replaced by more energy-efficient halogen bulbs. Halogen headlights are the most commonly used headlights today. Halogens have replaced incandescent lamp headlights, because in incandescent bulbs, more energy is converted into heat instead of light, resulting in energy waste. Halogen headlights waste much less energy. Today, some brands of cars, including Hyundai, Honda, and Audi, use high intensity discharge (HID) headlights.

Common Problems With Headlights

Today’s car headlights have some common problems. They may lose brightness due to long, dirty or muddy lens covers, and sometimes dim headlights may be a sign of alternator problems. There may also be cracked or broken bulbs or broken filaments. A quick check by a licensed mechanic for diagnosis will point you in the direction.

Position of Headlights

The position of the vehicle’s headlights should provide the driver with the best view without affecting people driving in the opposite direction. In old cars, the lens is adjusted with a screwdriver; in newer cars, it must be adjusted from inside the engine compartment. These adjustments allow the lens to be tilted in various ways to create the best lighting conditions. Although it is not technically a headlight repair, it is not always easy to get the correct angle and position on the headlight. Licensed mechanics have experience to make this adjustment and ensure safer night driving.