From the beginning of the 20st century cars have been equipped with lights. The first lights were very bright mercury lights. In 1912 however the starter motor and electric ligthing were introduced on cars in the US.
Besides xenon lights, all car lights have light bulbs at the inside. After a while these need replacing as they will slowly become less and less bright. In general car light bulbs need replacing every two years. In addition it is important to regularly clean your headlights to avoid dirt and insects sticking to them resulting in decreased visibility on the road. After fixing new light bulbs in your lights, these need to be correctly adjusted before you can start driving.
Both the headlights
and tail lights
of a car are of cours to lighten the road in front of the car, to increase visibility but there is also an aesthetical aspect to them. Altogether the lights of a car have different functions including:
- beam light which is only allowed at night and needs to be doused once meeting another car travelling in the opposite direction
- dipped lights which are allowed in bad weather and compulsory when driving at night
- brake lights, two at the side and one higher up
- reversing lights
- hazard lights
- fog lights which are only allowed when driving in fog or snow and when visibility is less than
- rear fog light which increases visibility when driving in fog. In heavy rain the use of the rear fog light is prohibited.
Besides the lights at the outside of the car, there are several warning lights at the dashboard indicating your hand brake is still on for example or that the brake pads need replacing. In addition there is a light fixed to the ceiling which is automatically switched on once the door is opened.