It has been some ten years since it became mandatory for newly registered vehicles in the European Union (EU) to be equipped with daytime running lights. That hasn’t led to major changes in those countries with decades of experience with mandatory lights during the day. Germany is not one of them. From the point of view of traffic safety, that is counterproductive. Because cars driving without lights move among brightly lit road users as if under a cloak of invisibility. They simply don’t stand out and are thus easier to overlook. This is due in part to the fact that there is growing willingness among drivers to turn lights on – even those drivers whose cars don’t have special daytime running lights.
No disadvantages to having lights on
If your low beam or daytime running lights aren’t automatically switched on when the engine starts, it can be easy to forget them. But there are still some drivers out there who drive without daytime lights on purpose. It’s only possible with older cars, of course, but it does happen. When asked why they do it, plenty of outdated notions come to light. Often, it’s the belief that lights cause higher fuel consumption. Stories include incredible numbers of one to one-and-a-half liters higher consumption. Actual measurements and calculations have determined that even the use of full low beam lights results in just 0.15 liter higher consumption per hundred kilometers. A few enthusiastic green light accelerations use more fuel.
Fear of an empty battery due to excessive driving with lights is no longer relevant either. Anyone harboring these concerns began their driving career with a VW Beetle with a 6 volt system and a DC generator.
All that’s left is the worry about early burn out of the headlight lamps. In fact, halogen lamps don’t last forever. But a remedy has been found for these frequent failures: Longlife lamps such as the Ultra Life lamps from Osram. These lamps last about three-times as long as standard versions. Skeptics will be convinced by the four-year guarantee that Osram grants after the Longlife halogen lamps are registered. Xenarc Ultra Life Xenon lamps even have a ten year guarantee. Xenon is a very long-lived light technology to begin with. Even standard lamps last approx. 3000 hours. When the car’s initial assembly reaches the end of its lifetime and is replaced by the Xenarc Ultra Life, the lamps will generally last for the remaining lifespan of the car.