Car light is good for road safety. That’s one of the main contents of this blog. But car lights can also give you a safe feeling if the car is not moving anymore, and lighting the road is no longer the main purpose. Light to calm you down basically.
Virtually everyone knows this situation. A ride in a sparsely populated region ends in a pitchblack driveway. The good visibility you just had thanks to the headlights is suddenly gone. Or entering an underground garage feels like being in a scary basement. So basically not such a good, safe feeling. It’s a similar story if the last few meters to your rented holiday home appear like one dark wall.
A flashlight can help here; or a feature that many new cars now have. After switching off the engine, briefly pull the headlight flasher and the headlights will come on and will switch off automatically only after one or two minutes. They also stay on if the car has already been locked by remote control. The bright light of the main lights is enough for covering these last meters to the door or the staircase of the unlit underground garage (yup, they actually exist!) without feeling like you’re in a horror movie.
This function is unknown to many car owners and they sometimes even wonder that they don’t seem to be able to switch off the lights after accidentally pulling the headlight flasher.
The marketing geniuses of car manufacturers gave the practical feature beautiful names such as “Safe Home” or “Coming Home”. Sometimes you need to buy it as an extra and in other cases they are standard. That particularly applies to cars which are also sold in the US. There the need for safety when getting out of the car has long been greater than in Europe. The fact that it comes as standard in the New World also means that you can upgrade your car to these coming-home lights. Sometimes that works through a small software change in the garage. In other cases the dipped beam relay can simply be replaced. There isn’t a universal guide because of the differences in vehicle electrical systems, but it’s worth asking at the garage.
There’s a second lighting solution that has a calming effect and is from the US originally. It’s when the interior lights come on at the same time as the doors are unlocked, which is now common on all continents. In America there were and still are many cases in which robbers and other criminals were crouched behind the front seats waiting for their victims. The interior lights and footwell lights, if there are any, give people the chance to recognize the danger before getting in the car. Over time car manufacturers combined this function with the position lights, or now also with what are well and truly “light carpets” around the parked car. These, however, usually only come on after opening the doors, and they’re also mostly a gimmick with beautiful names like “Welcome Lighting”.
They’re not that helpful when getting in the car but more when leaving it. They then fulfill the same purpose as those simple floor lights which are attached to the bottom of rear-view mirrors or the door itself. While they don’t add to personal safety, they keep you from stepping in mud or even worse things. That will surely also leave you feeling good, won’t it?