DRL – why and where?


G10365436_Light_at_day_MiRo_05.inddOh, it’s nice and bright here. Since February 2011, daytime running lights have been mandatory in new cars. Of course owners of older vehicles are not obliged to install these much discussed light sources retrospectively. But maybe you’ll at least take part in the discussion and will think about it because there’s some information most drivers are not even aware of. And discussions at work, get-togethers or among petrolheads only really make sense if you have the right arguments at hand.

The Scandinavians very often show us how it’s done, and they’ve been driving around with permanent light sources connected to the ignition since the 70s. Even though it’s not everywhere dark for quite as long as it is in Sweden and Norway, and even though there are mostly no endlessly dark woods with half-tonne mooses running around, many still drive with at least dipped beam during the day. And why not, cars look better with their lights on and are easier to spot. Don’t you think? (more…)

Web myths


Headlight washer systems are compulsory everywhere, not just in Germany.

The internet knows everything and Google certainly does. Things you can’t find on the web don’t exist. Oh, and everything on Wikipedia is correct. At least as far as car lighting goes that’s not true. Here are some examples.

In forum discussions dealing with questions on retrofitting xenon lights, people like to claim that headlight washer systems for 35-watt xenon lights are only compulsory in Germany. In actual fact, they’re compulsory in all countries complying with ECE regulations. These regulations apply in the whole of Europe and in many other countries. North America is the exception, where xenon headlights neither have to have automatic headlamp leveling nor a headlamp washer system. (more…)

Different countries, different lights


Nowadays car lighting is largely internationally standardized, and there are only very few national oddities. This didn’t used to be the case.

Headlight adjustment device: this bull’s eye level helps adjust the range of the headlights to the load in North America.

Spirit level in headlights

Experts in the US often complain that headlights are only adjusted rarely and not very accurately. Glare is not seen as critical in the States, with headlamp leveling, which has been compulsory in countries with ECE regulations for more than 25 years, being largely unknown to North Americans. It isn’t mandatory.

But what do Americans do if their cars are heavily loaded and their headlights dazzle? They sometimes use a bull’s eye level. A what??! Something on a dartboard? (more…)

In a flash


544048-O-Ring-Leuchte_1_OhneWasserzeichenLet’s talk about turn indicators, simply known as indicators in everyday language. Indicators – they’re these things that can be found on the four corners of the vehicle, which more than half of today’s drivers seem to have forgotten about. But they’re great. Both in cities and in the country you come across so many different versions that you wonder whether the rules in Germany are really that clear? They definitely are. But obviously the rules are sometimes interpreted a bit more loosely, so we’ll show you a few no gos and some attractive alternatives to standard indicator lamps in our mini series. Click clack click clack … (more…)

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