Headlights of the Future
Are Your Headlights Using Old Technology?
Driving at night is a challenge in itself simply because natural daylight is absent. That’s why it isn’t at all surprising that about 50% of driving-related deaths happen when it’s dark, or during the period from dusk until dawn. To make matters worse, it is kind of disappointing how headlights have not been given more importance. Until now that is.
Presently undergoing what is being referred to as a “transformational” period, automotive lighting is expected to become brighter, smarter, more efficient, and less expensive in preparation for 2019 when the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) starts including headlight performance as a factor in determining overall car ratings.
If we are to believe the results of a study on car lights released by the IIHS last March, it is definitely time to step up the headlight game. Apparently, most car headlights are not performing as effectively as they should. And some of the poorly rated ones happen to be on luxury vehicles. Considering how much you have to pay to own such a vehicle, it’s really unfair that you must experience difficulty in driving at night not because of poor eyesight but because of poor headlights. It’s only fitting that something should be done about it now so we can all be safer on the road.
What types of headlights are available in the market today?
HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights
Considered the most advanced type of headlights they are currently the most expensive kind. HIDs consume less electricity and are typically characterized by a bluish-white glow that supposedly performs with better precision and focus.
Considerably more affordable than HIDs, halogen lights are the most popular kind because even if they do not last long, they can easily be replaced without much strain on one’s budget.
With the green movement in full swing and as more and more consumers place higher value on energy-saving, LED lights are expected to make their way and figure more prominently in the automotive industry. Manufacturers will just have to find a way to reduce LED production costs to make it a reasonable headlight choice for many.
LED Matrix headlights
Incorporating “smart” technology, LED Matrix headlights have the ability to respond to different road conditions, like brighten or blacken certain sections or objects depending on what will be most beneficial. Although this type of headlight is still currently illegal in the U.S., many are hoping that the technology will be approved soon. Why? Having headlights that know what to illuminate and what to shade out will be quite helpful in preventing accidents.
Probably the brightest of them all as these headlights can supposedly provide brightness that’s 10 times more than what a LED light can do. With brighter light, there’s increased traffic safety and lesser risk for road mishaps. The technology is still being developed and we won’t see these for a few more years at least.
The Future of Headlights
It’s a no-brainer really. We need better headlights so driving at night will not have to be as difficult. And with the kind of technology we have that’s constantly improving and evolving, isn’t it reasonable to expect that we shouldn’t have to wait too long to for that kind of achievement and improved functionality? The ability to brighten and darken based on road conditions should just be the beginning. Aside from that, here are a few other capabilities we hope to see in future headlights:
- Speed reduction or automatic braking when obstacles (like a deer or maybe a wandering pedestrian) on the road are detected
- Auto adjustment of light for the benefit of oncoming drivers (anti-glare)
- Higher illumination to make your lane brighter than the rest of the road
Big Sky Collision Fixes Headlights
Most accidents damage the front of a vehicle. So what do you suppose gets replaced often? The headlights of course. We know how these devices work, and we understand that your headlights are an important piece of your vehicle. We keep them working properly!
Give us a call at 406-259-6328 if you need to schedule an estimate for hail damage, crash repair, or if you just want your car detailed before the winter.