by John M. Arnaud
A recent AAA report described deficiencies in standard halogen headlights on roads lacking overhead lighting. Rural roads, which convey 40% of this country’s overall vehicle traffic as measured in miles traveled, are the most likely to exist under such low-visibility conditions.
AAA found that halogen headlights were insufficient to illuminate dark roads at speeds as low as 40 mph. Though high-beam settings offered better results than low, halogen “brights” provided sufficient reaction time only for an additional 8 mph in real-world conditions. With halogen bulbs used in more than 80% of today’s vehicles, the study highlights serious opportunities to improve safety—specifically the ability to see and react to road hazards—using aftermarket HID and LED lighting.
HID and LED lights did a better job enabling faster reactions to road obstacles. In particular, their high-beam settings provided sight distances up to 500 feet—equivalent to 55 mph. No bulb can replicate the visibility of full daylight, and the US still has some work to do to catch up with the lighting output available in Europe, due to restrictions imposed by domestic regulations.
One final tip: Clean or replace your headlight housing at least every five years! Deteriorated or cloudy lenses can reduce intensity and increase scattering.
Total Truck Centers partners with several manufacturers that offer advanced HID/LED products, including Anzo, PIAA, Pilot Automotive, Putco, Race Sport, Rigid Industries, Vision X, and Westin Automotive. So head in to your Total Truck Centers retailer to find the bulbs perfect for your application. Or find a store using our dealer locator.
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Though this is not a paid review, this content has been produced by The AAM Group™ in support of manufacturers with whom it has a business relationship.