Probably next to your brakes and the car battery, your headlights are probably the most important part of your vehicle. Headlight bulbs would be changed maybe two or three times during the lifetime of your car. This is a very important aspect of your ride, as most accidents happen at night when visibility is low. And faulty or dark headlights are often the underlying cause of these types of accidents.
There are many reasons as to why you are not getting enough illumination even if you have LED headlights attached. One of them is electrical in nature, and it is recommended that you hire a professional to have this checked and corrected. If the problem is with your headlight bulbs or with faulty or weak lights, however, then you can resolve the issue on your own without having to spend too much money on repairs.
Cleaning the Headlight Cover
Cleaning the headlight cover just as you would all parts of your car just wouldn’t cut it. This is because headlight covers are coated with a special chemical which would erode over time. This would cause your lights to become dull and your covers to become yellowish and cloudy. And this will cause your lights to diminish even if your headlight bulbs are LED. Without having to remove your headlight covers and buying a new one, here are some ways to prolong their life and save you money.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Use one part baking soda and two parts vinegar to make a mixture. Then you can then use a clean microfiber cloth to apply to your headlight covers. The natural abrasive qualities of the baking soda will help in removing the particles embedded on the surface, while the vinegar will give the covers a sparkle that may even be better than the ones you can get from commercial cleaners. Just make sure that you do not rub too briskly as your headlight covers may get scratched.
After a couple of minutes, you can rinse the mixture off with water and wax to give it a good shine. You will definitely see an improvement after this treatment. However, these are only temporary fixes and you will see degradation in the performance over time.
Cleaning with Toothpaste
Commercial toothpaste is also a cheap and very effective way to clean your headlight covers. Just like the mentioned procedure above, apply a liberal amount of toothpaste on the surface and rinse off after a couple of minutes. You will definitely see a difference especially if your headlight bulbs are of good quality. Again, these are only temporary fixes and even having LED headlights will not resolve the issue as, ultimately, replacing headlight covers will be the permanent solution.
Headlight Bulbs Restoration Kits
Headlight restoration kits contain materials that you can use to buff and shine your headlight covers. These are very effective, but of course can be quite costly as compared to the aforementioned methods. Still, if you want quality that will last comparatively longer, then this is the way to go. You can find different brands of headlight restoration kits mostly where LED headlights and other kinds of headlight bulbs are being sold.
Replacing Your Headlight Bulbs
Faulty or broken headlight bulbs would definitely have to be replaced. Not only is it dangerous to be on the road without lights, but it also counts as a traffic violation. On the other hand, vehicles with dim lights may have trouble traveling at night. And it can be uncomfortable for the driver as well as very dangerous.
There are several types of headlight bulbs. But first, you would have to know the different specifications that you would need to consider. Not all LED headlights are one size fits all, for example, so you would need to have a basic knowledge of what type of headlight bulbs your car would need. Of course, your own personal preferences would play a part, too. Factors such as lumens, alignment, ECE or SAE regulations, and reflectors or projectors are just some of the terms that you may encounter when purchasing headlight bulbs, but mostly the choice of which type of bulbs to buy will fall into these three main categories:
Headlight Bulbs Comparison
|Halogen||The 1960s||Very common with multiple varieties||very cheap Short life (1,000 hours)||very sensitive even to the touch due to chemicals used|
|HID/Xenon||The 1990s||Better visibility||Uses less power at normal operating temperature Not eco-friendly||may not be legal in certain states due to glare|
|LED||The mid-2000s||Very low power requirements||can last 10,000 to 15,000 hours before burning out More expensive||requires cooling systems as LED emitters heat up faster than regular bulbs
|Laser||The Mid-2010s||Best quality light within a very small package||comes in very modern and elegant designs Very expensive; not available for all vehicles||Cannot be used for both high and low beams
Out of all the above choices, the best that you can get are LED headlights. While a bit more expensive, LED headlights ranks top among other headlight bulbs when it comes to longevity and cost. A single LED headlight can last for the entire lifetime of your vehicle. So replacing your car’s stock headlights with LED headlights can be a really wise investment. There are many types of headlights with LED that you can purchase. While still quite expensive as compared to other models, LED headlights are fast becoming much more common and, based on the principle of economies of scale, these would become much cheaper to acquire in the near future.
Of course, whatever you do, get LED headlights from a reputable supplier as faulty ones or those that have not gone through testing may pose as an electrical or fire hazard. Only go for LED headlights, or any type of headlight bulbs, for that matter, from trusted manufacturers and authorized sellers. Invest in good headlights and you will be assured of a safe and comfortable ride even under the poorest of light conditions on the road. If you are interested in LED lighting or vehicle modifications, please read on to know more.