Why my headlights aren’t bright enough

Have your been driving around at night and thought to yourself that your headlights aren’t bright enough? It is a common problem that many have. It can be due to road conditions. On the other hand your headlights might have some issues.

Having bright headlights can keep you safe on the road. If you can see obstacles in the road it can mean the difference between running into them or having time to avoid them.

Why your headlights aren’t bright enough

Weather conditions

car driving in rain

Weather conditions can affect your visibility on the road. If it is raining it can seem like your headlights aren’t bright enough. Light can reflect off the water which makes it harder to see lines in the road.

With the reflected light it may appear that your headlights aren’t even on. When driving in conditions like this it is best to take your time and drive slow. Driving slower will give you a better chance to stop if you end up seeing an obstacle in the road. Your car can stop in a shorter amount if you are driving at a slower speed.

Headlight Assembly Wear

One of the most common reasons why your headlights might not seem as bright is because of headlight wear. Over time the sun’s UV rays slowly deteriorate your headlight lenses.

Your headlight lense can become discolored and make it harder to see your headlights at night. Water also affects headlight lenses. If moisture gets into your headlight lense if can cause the assembly to get foggy.

Without a clear area for the light to shine out of your headlights might not seem as bright as they should be. By regularly cleaning your headlight lenses you can increase the lifespan.

Headlight Bulb Wear

Headlight bulbs wear over time. Depending on some factors your headlights can overheat which cause some black soot on the glass. The black soot blocks some of the light which may be why your headlights aren’t bright enough.

By removing and checking the bulb for any defects you can determine if the bulb is the issue.

Reasons to have bright headlights

Seeing the road

One of the most important factors in night driving is visibility. If you can’t see the road it could lead to an accident. By having decent headlights you can see further down the road.

Having a good amount of visibility can increase the time you have to react. It is important to constantly survey the road to make sure that there isn’t anything that could get you into an accident. Headlights can be a lifesaver.

Other drivers can see you

Another reason to have bright headlights if so that other drivers can see you. Other drivers seldom pay attention to the road. Even if you are a defensive driver there are always bad drivers on the road.

With brighter headlights, other drivers are more likely to see you. You might be able to avoid people swerving into your lane. If they are able to see your headlights that will let them know what you are in the lane.

There are times when people even forget to turn their headlights on. You might’ve seen some people on the road without their lights on. It is more difficult to see them. In with this decrease in visibility they are more likely to get into an accident.

How to get brighter headlights

Headlight Cleaning Kits

Headlight cleaning kit

If your headlights aren’t bright enough you may be able to use a headlight cleaning kit. These kits are specially made to repair years of damage to your headlights. The headlight cleaning kits have a multi-step process. There is usually cleaning and polishing involved.

If you headlights aren’t that bad the kit may be enough to restore the headlight and allow more light to shine out of your headlights.

New Headlight Assembly

Headlight assembly

If your headlights are blurry or discolored it may be better to replace the whole headlight assembly. By using your year make and model you can find which headlight assembly fits your car.

The assembly will come with a whole new lens and housing. This will allow your headlight to shine better and create more visibility. If you tried to restore your headlight but didn’t quite get the desired result then you can purchase a new set here.


Halogens Headlights

halogen car headlights

Another option is to replace your headlights. Over time bulbs burn out. If for some reason your headlight has some black suit or isn’t shining as bright it may need to be replaced.

You can search for your year make and model and get headlights for your car. There are different sizes per vehicle so you want to make sure you are purchasing the correct lights.

LED Headlights

LED headlights kensun

If you are looking for brighter headlights you could try LEDs. LEDs are typically brighter than standard halogens. In addtion there are sometimes difference in the color and brightness.

You can install LED headlight bulbs just like any halogen. Although you do want to make sure they are legal in your area. If you use LED bulbs in a standard headlight assembly you may blind other drivers.

Some vehicles come with projector headlights. This helps project the light better and prevent it from blinding oncoming traffic. You can purchase projector headlights online specific to your car.

HID Headlights

HID headlight kit kensun

Another option is an HID kit. If you are looking for even brighter headlights you could try an HID kit. HID stands for High-Intensity Discharge. This means that the light produced by the HID kit is extremely bright. Just like the LEDs, we suggest having a projector lens.

This will prevent oncoming traffic from being blinded at night. There are HIDs come as a kit. They usually include a ballast, which supplies power to the bulb, and wiring. IN most cases you can hook up to the existing wiring with the supplied harness.

HID are the brightest on the road so if you are looking to really light up your path then check out an HID kit.


Other ways to increase visibility at night

Clean Window

Believe it or not but cleaning your windows can help increase your visibility at night. If you drive with dirty windows they can glare and oncoming light. With a blurry windshield, you won’t be able to see ahead of you.

By using a simple window cleaner you can greatly increase your visibility. This in combination with your headlights will give you added safety and assist you with driving at night.

Night glasses

night glasses

Night glasses are another way to help you increase your visibility at night. These glasses help reduce glare and make it easier for you to see the road at night. Oncoming lights from other cars can blind you and make it difficult to see the lines in the road. With Night glasses you can get a type of night vision which helps you see at night.

Are brighter bulbs illegal?

Depending on where you live installing bulbs that are too bright may be against the law. It is important to check with your local laws before making any modifications. While they provide more visibility for you while you are driving they may end up bothering other drivers. If other drivers can’t see then it cause an accident.


Headlight Cleaning myths

Does WD40 restore headlights?

Can you restore headlights with wd40? While a wd40 headlight restore might fix your headlights for a little while it will only be temporary. The oil wears off quite quickly. Before you know you you’ll be back to square one. Are you thinking about doing a wd40 headlight restore?

In conclusion

If your headlights aren’t bright enough there are a few options to make your visibility better. Whether it is restoring your headlights or replacing your bulbs you can have better safety with better visibility.

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