You don’t only need the best headlights and high-performance lamps for good light; accurate adjustment is also of great importance. Up to now, this was something that generally only mechanics could do. But the industry is working on automatic solutions that will enable the lights to adjust themselves properly.

Sometimes we get asked where the adjusting screws are on the headlights of model so and so because someone wants to adjust their lights. Well, anyone who thinks they are able to do it should know where to find the adjusting screws. But apart from that there’s something else you need for adjusting headlights: an optical adjuster. And it costs several thousand Euros or Dollars. That’s why we always give the same answer: take your car to a garage.

Unfortunately, some cars leave the “holy grounds” of the workshop with badly adjusted lights. The reasons are many and varied but two stand out. Firstly, some mechanics set them “a bit lower just to be on the safe side”. And secondly, some focus more on the beam height and less on the lateral alignment. Both can cost a lot of light.This could be a thing of the past soon because car and headlight manufacturers are working on a fully automatic solution. The starting point is that more and more lighting systems are controlled via a camera, which then sees where the headlights shine. Here information such as how much light reaches the important parts of the road beyond 50 meters is particularly valuable. As little as fractions of a degree or a slight turn of the adjusting screw determine whether the driver will be able to see something beyond that point. Headlight adjustment of the future will make sure of precisely that.

This is not to be confused with automatic or manual headlamp leveling systems which have been installed in Europe in all cars since the start of the 1990s. Headlight adjustment only influences the height of the light beam. The problem is that whenever the height is adjusted the lateral beam gets slightly misaligned. The ideal distribution of light in present headlamp leveling systems only exists when the zero setting is used. That’s not the case for automatic headlight adjustment. This also takes into account lateral adjustment, known as asymmetry.The new technology can be used in matrix headlights without the need for additional mechanical systems. After all, these headlights exclusively control the light by switching LEDs on and off. And this will work particularly accurately in µAFS pixel lights.

So when’s it coming and in which cars? A flagship model will probably get it first, and most likely in combination with µAFS – perhaps as early as in the next two years.Then nobody will have to ask for the adjusting screws anymore. There won’t be any in the traditional sense. Until then let’s stick with having them adjusted in the garage, shall we?

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