Every car has safety features and devices installed, and this is for different reasons.
Among these safety features are the high beam headlights, which are generally the brighter headlights.
Even though it is installed on every car for safety purposes, it’s somewhat surprising that are a lot of drivers don’t usually use them.
Some of these drivers often think they can see well enough and don’t need high beams.
However, using this type of headlights correctly improves driving safety, especially at night.
Read on as we have provided all the information you need to know about these headlights.
What is High Beam?
A high beam is the strongest headlight included in cars, and it’s designed to be used mostly at night or in low light conditions.
This provides sufficient light for the driver to see clearly while driving. Unlike low beam headlights, the high beam can easily light a larger area of the road.
However, one thing to note about this type of headlight is that even though the light they produce is more than that of low beams, the light can temporarily alter the vision of other drivers and even pedestrians.
This occurs mostly when it is not correctly used, and it’s why different states have requirements for high beams. The requirements also specify the right time to use the high beam.
When to Use High Beams
High beam headlights are designed to be used at night or in conditions that require greater visibility so that people can drive safely.
No one will want to drive in a condition with low visibility, as it can be really scary, even for experienced drivers.
This is because vision plays a vital role in determining how a driver reacts to different situations.
It includes color recognition, peripheral vision, and depth perception, and they are all reduced at night. They provide a handy way to avoid this type of situation.
This is because their light shines bright enough to illuminate up to 400 feet of the road, which is two times more than that of low beams.
However, even though they are designed for safety, it’s important to use them correctly so that the safety of other drivers is not affected.
As stated earlier, different states usually have requirements for the use of this type of headlight.
Following these requirements is of utmost importance, especially when it involves the safety of other drivers.
Also, the requirements vary for different states, but in general, you should not use them within 500ft of any pedestrian or oncoming vehicle.
You might already be wondering when is the right time to use brighter headlights? Here’s what you should know:
The most obvious reason why anyone would need to use a headlight like this is under dark conditions, especially when a driver cannot clearly see ahead.
However, before switching to the high beam headlights, the first thing to do is reduce your speed to check if your visibility will improve and ensure that you’re not only overdriving the low beam headlights.
Once you’re sure that the problem is not from your speed, then you can conveniently switch to them again.
02. High-Speed Driving
In addition to driving in dark conditions, high-speed driving is another instance requiring the use of this type of headlight, especially under dark conditions.
Higher responses are required when driving at high speed, and the chances of things happening is equally on the high side.
With that in mind, you can further increase your safety by using full-beam headlights.
03. Interstate Highways
We cannot overemphasize the need for increased visibility on interstate highways.
These roads usually have different conditions that require greater visibility that can only be provided by full-beam headlights.
Despite this, you should always dim your light whenever you see an approaching vehicle.
04. Low Visibility in Rural Areas and Country Road
Rural areas and country roads are not usually lightened.
Driving through these roads can be dangerous, but with a headlight of this standard, you can be sure of your safety when driving through these roads.
What Are High Beams Used for?
The main use of high beams is for providing enough light in poorly lit conditions.
Low beams are not usually sufficient under these conditions, and it further poses more risks to the driver.
However, when on a road that is properly lit with streetlights, the low beams may be sufficient.
High beams are also ideal for cases that require seeing as far as possible to avoid running into obstacles like bumps on the road, pedestrians, or even animals.
Provided that there are no incoming vehicles, you can use high beams, but always remember to turn it off the moment you notice an incoming vehicle or even a pedestrian.
These beams are also handy for cases that require driving in rural areas or country roads.
If you have ever driven in such regions, you’ll notice that there are no sufficient streetlights, and they can be excessively dark.
However, with full beam headlights, you can easily drive through these roads with increased visibility. Full beams also come in handy driving on highways.
In general, the beams are a handy tool for any case that would require a greater and more increased level of visibility, as using the regular headlight may be insufficient in such instances.
Researchers, wildlife experts, and people who tend to go into the wild also need these beams for increased visibility at night.
There is a need to ensure wildlife preservation, and no one would want to drive through any animal at night.
However, you can easily increase your visibility and see farther distances with these beams. It’s also important for safety.
Low Beam Headlights Vs. High Beam Headlights
A lot of people believe that the only difference between the two is their brightness, but there’s more.
Here are the key differences between low beam headlights and high beam headlights:
Low beam headlights are not as bright as high beam headlights.
Low beams can only illuminate shorter road distances, but full beams can cover longer distances and provide better visibility.
03. Symmetrical Illumination
Unlike high beams, the low beams provide asymmetrical illumination.
Therefore, only little illumination is provided for the side of the road, particularly for oncoming vehicles. However, it’s sufficient to lighten up your side of the road.
04. Field of View
Low beam offers a wider angle than the full beam, which is why its peripheral illumination is a lot better, unlike those of high beams that are less as their beams are narrow.
These are the main differences between the two headlight beams.
However, it’s also improved to understand how to use both beams and when to use them because road conditions and circumstances differ for each beam.
Road safety is also an important aspect to consider when using any of the beam headlights.
Why Can’t You Use High Beams All The Time?
You can’t use high beams all the time because even though they are designed for better visibility, there are cases where they end up compromising visibility.
For example, high beams can worsen the driver’s vision under rainy, snow, or foggy weather conditions.
The light rays will directly shine into the water molecules, and a greater proportion of the right is reflected to the driver.
It’s even more severe during snowflakes, ice crystals, and snowstorms, as a greater proportion of the light is reflected, making it difficult for the driver to see clearly.
Which Headlight Bulbs Are Used for High Beams?
Today, most high-performance and high-end vehicles use two separate bulbs. The halogen bulb is the commonly used option for low beams.
On the other hand, the bulb that is used for the high beam is the highest-intensity discharge bulb. These two bulbs cannot be switched or interchanged.
Therefore, if one wears out or gets burns, you’ll have to get a replacement, rather than using the other as a replacement.
Dual filament bulbs can also be used for high beams, although they are equally handy as low beams. The bulbs have two different filaments in a single bulb.
It acts as a low beam when the lower filament is on. For it to function as a high beam, both filaments will need to be on for the bulb to illuminate brighter and better.
Is it Safe To Use LED Bulbs for High Beams?
LED lights are now very popular because of their wide applications. Today, they are used in digital clocks, televisions, and even in-car headlights.
There are a lot of cars that now utilize LED bulbs, even for interior lights, fog lights, and brake lights. But is it safe to use LED bulbs for high beams?
The first thing you should know is that upgrading from the regular halogen bulb to Led light is not road legal.
This is because it’s considered a headlight modification, as you would invariably be switching between different technologies.
However, there are different road-legal his that can be used in normal traffic conditions, thanks to technological advancements and innovations.
The laws determining how safe it is to use LED bulbs for high beams vary depending on the state.
In general, using LED bulbs for high beams will be considered safe only when the goal is to have a clear view of objects that are 100 meters away.
People like to opt for LED headlights because they give cars a modern and stylish look.
The main point of concern is with the seller, as not all sellers are reputable enough.
People Also Ask
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
01. What’s The Right Distance To Turn Your Headlights?
Whenever you’re driving at night or in a condition that requires increased visibility, especially over 500 ft, you’ll need to keep your headlights on.
This is because the regular daytime running lights may not provide enough illumination for you at night as they are too dim.
One thing to always remember is to turn off the brighter headlights if you notice an oncoming vehicle or after a vehicle overtakes you.
02. What Does it Mean To Overdrive Your Headlight?
When it comes to headlights, you’ll often hear many people say, “overdriving a headlight,” which might leave you wondering what it means.
This is a phrase used in referring to when the visibility of a driver is altered by darkness or fog, but the driver maintains a greater speed which further puts them in danger as they won’t be able to respond quickly when required.
03. What Should You Consider When Driving at Night?
Driving at night or in cases that require greater visibility can be tricky, especially when using lights effectively and safely. You’ll need to consider certain things when driving at night.
first thing you should always do is ensure that you’re considered whenever you’re using the full beam. Always consider incoming vehicles and vehicles that overtake you.
You don’t want to get anyone blinded by your high beams. Driving at night requires alertness, and you should keep your lights on always.
04. Why Should You Use Your High Beam Lights?
The main reason for any driver to consider using high beam lights is for greater visibility.
Full beam headlights can provide enough light to cover for as much as 500 feet, which further increases driving safety.
With this, you can see clearly when driving on the highways or streets, especially in cases where animals, bikes, or even pedestrians may be present.
However, always ensure that you are using the brighter headlights correctly, and you’re not going against laid down requirements.
High beam headlights are undoubtedly vital for safety, and this is why you’ll find them installed on every vehicle. However, you can only guarantee your safety when you use them properly.
For example, you might be tempted to use them in extreme weather conditions, but this will only worsen your vision.
For this reason, we have taken the time to research and include the right information in this article so that you can correctly use your brighter headlights.
We have also answered some of the most frequently asked questions to guide you further and ensure that you’re correctly using your brighter headlights.