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Brighten Your Car's High Beam
- Mar 05, 2018 -

High beam headlights can never be too bright. Find out more about bulb upgrades, headlight aim, replacement lenses and HID conversion.

While most drivers don't use their high beam headlights nearly as much as their low beams, they are actually a very important safety feature on any car. High beams are necessary to drive safely at night in areas that don't have ambient lighting, as well as driving at higher speeds. If you've noticed your headlights have seemed to dim recently, there are a couple things you might want to check out to keep them in proper working order. Remember that local laws may govern how bright your bulbs can be (although this more commonly applies to low beams), so you may want to check that out before upgrading beyond your car's headlights.

New Bulbs

Despite the fact that high beams don't suffer from wear as often as low beams do (most drivers just don't use them that much) it is still true that headlight bulbs don't just burn out, they also dim over time. As the filament in the bulbs becomes weak, it produces less light which causes the headlights to dim. So one thing you might try if you've noticed your headlights are no longer producing a satisfactory amount of light is simply replacing the bulbs. You don't have to wait for them to burn out to replace them. More often than not, you will notice a difference in the amount of light your high beams produce.

Bulb Upgrades

Several bulb manufacturers offer different levels of upgraded bulbs that will be a direct replacement for your factory equipment. The good news is that bulb upgrades really work. Some examples of cheaper improvements include Sylvania's Xtravision line of upgraded bulbs. There are upgrades available at varying levels all the way to the brightest (and most expensive) premium bulbs like Sylvania's Silverstar line or Bosch's premium line. This level of bulb upgrade will produce an impressive increase in nighttime visibility. Since high beams aren't meant to be used anywhere that there is oncoming traffic present, aftermarket manufacturers don't have to limit the output of the high beam headlights which means that this type of bulb upgrade is especially impressive when driving with high beams on.

Headlight Aim

Poor aiming of the headlights themselves can also cause lights to perform unsatisfactorily. Check your car's headlight aim by shining them on a wall or other surface and checking your car's recommended aiming pattern and adjust accordingly.

New Lenses

Another common problem that may cause headlights to appear dimmer is flaws in the headlight lenses that protect the bulbs. Lenses tend to become clouded over time, resulting in reduced light output. The clouding is usually due to oxidation of the plastic from the effects of sun or the elements. To tell if your headlights may be suffering from this type of problem take a look at them. The plastic lens should be completely clear. White coloration on the lens surface is a definite sign of oxidation. The most effective solution to this problem is replacing the lenses altogether, however there are some cheaper options such as kits that are specially made to help polish the plastic of the lens to remove oxidation. Some polishing kits work better than others, but you may notice an increase in nighttime visibility by giving it a try.