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Drivers Being Blinded By ‘too-bright’ LED Headlights On Posh New Cars, Warns RAC

Nanjing Huiguang Lighting Co.,Ltd | Updated: Mar 28, 2018

One in six drivers say they have narrowly avoided an accident because of the blinding effects of the new headlights, the motoring body said.


Two-thirds of drivers say they are regularly dazzled by oncoming headlights even though they are dipped.

The majority of those affected said it takes up to five seconds before they can see clearly again.

A car travelling at 60mph would cover 134 meters in that time.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: "The intensity and brightness of some new car headlights is clearly causing difficulty for other road users.


"Headlight technology has advanced considerably in recent years, but while that may be better for the drivers of those particular vehicles, it is presenting an unwanted, new road safety risk for anyone driving towards them or even trying to pull out at a junction."

The complaints have led the Department for Transport to set up a United Nations working group to find out why more drivers feel headlights have become overly bright.

LEDs – light-emitting diodes – have a lifespan and electrical efficiency several times greater than incandescent and fluorescent lamps, although they are more expensive to buy.

Experts said it was “no coincidence” that makers of upmarket cars were using LED lights instead of traditional halogen bulbs.

Stephen Dixon, a lighting expert, said the rise of LEDs in headlights was likely to be why people perceived them to be brighter.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “LED light is more directional. Rather than a spread of light which comes from a halogen bulb, LED light is more focused.

It is also a traditionally brighter light which appears as blue white, hence why it appears brighter in the dark.”

LED lights are most commonly found in upmarket cars as well as topspec versions of mid-range vehicles.

Cars sold in the UK have to be fitted with headlamps that conform to standards set by the EU in line with the United Nations’ World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations.
Government guidelines say headlights must illuminate the road ahead while not affecting the vision of other road users.

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