Scattered light can be particularly irritating for oncoming traffic if it occurs above the light-dark boundary  and is strong enough to be perceived as glare. For this reason, the regulations specify narrow limitations, especially for the light beams radiating to the left .

How is scattered light actually created?

A headlight is an optical system. We know about blur from other such objects as lenses on cameras or projectors. Headlights also experience blur, and by no means only the ones that actually have a kind of lens in the headlight cover. As with cameras, the quality of the optical system determines the accuracy of the image. In cars, it takes the form of light distribution across the road surface. In other words: The better the headlight components, the more accurate the light distribution. One of the most important headlight components is the bulb. Experts say it is as important as all the other parts. A bad bulb therefore exacerbates the development of scattered light. Of course, there are also major differences between headlights in this respect.

What are the characteristics of a premium quality bulb?

What counts, for example, is meticulous adherence to the tolerances during production, or even better, staying well below the threshold values. Osram is already very well positioned in this area. Optimum optical properties are achieved not only by ensuring as few deviations as possible but also by strong luminous intensity. The smaller the area from which the light is emitted, the more precisely it can be distributed by the headlight. Luminance is the most important point in which Night Breakers and other upgrade lamps differ from standard lamps. They provide much more clearly defined light-dark boundaries and, as a result, produce less scattered light.

Is scattered light always negative?

When the first lens headlights came onto the market, headlight designers were so pleased with the clearer light-dark boundary that they virtually eliminated scattered light. However, practice showed that traffic signs were often difficult to see at night because the light no longer shone onto them. This was a big problem, especially with gantry road signs. Soon afterwards, headlight lenses also allowed some light to scatter upwards in a controlled manner. Which of course also works with Night Breaker lamps.

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