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Automotive Lighting Tips

Do you know when to replace your headlights?

Drivers who find it increasingly difficult to see the road at night may not need new glasses. Rather, they may not realize that their vehicle's standard halogen headlights naturally dim over time. Fortunately, replacing headlights more frequently is a simple and inexpensive way to make night driving safer for any age driver.

"Drivers don't have to buy a new car to get brighter headlights," said Laura Peach, SilverStar® new product marketing manager at OSRAM SYLVANIA. "Much like wiper blades on a vehicle, headlights should be checked periodically and replaced in pairs. Changing and upgrading a car's headlights before they burn out helps ensure optimum performance."

However, not all replacement headlight bulbs are created equal. According to a research study conducted by the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., SYLVANIA's high performance halogen headlights produce a whiter light that helps improve a driver's ability to see roadside objects, such as street signs. The whiter headlights also help drivers improve their reaction time and avoid potential road hazards.

"SilverStar headlights are closer to the color of natural daylight, compared to standard halogen bulbs," added Peach. "Drivers often tell us that SilverStar gives them a greater sense of safety and security on the road."

In fact, many consumers are unaware that they can see a difference in brightness in headlights until they have reason to compare. Just ask Robert Palonis who noticed that his 2003 vehicle's headlights cast a yellow shadow and had limited illumination. "When I read that Consumer Reports rated my vehicle's headlights as only "fair", I decided to have the dim bulbs changed to SilverStar," said Palonis. "With the SilverStar headlights, I can now see almost twice as far down the road and I have a greater margin of safety and stopping distance."

Changing a car's headlights can be as easy as changing the light bulb in a lamp. National auto parts stores and mass merchants carry a variety of replacement headlights. Shoppers should check the bulb package for labels such as "100 percent street legal" and "high performance halogen" to ensure that the product they purchase is safe and can deliver the performance they need.

General Automotive Headlight Safety Tips

There are ways to minimize the dangers of night driving or under difficult weather conditions, particularly if you find yourself driving with dim or misaligned headlights. Keep your headlights in good working order by following these easy tips:

  • Give your headlights a quick scrub to get rid of debris when you wash your windows at the gas station. Clean headlights help you see better at night and in poor weather conditions. This small task can also help prevent glare, which can be intensified by dust and dirt on the glass.

  • Don't wait for your headlights to dim and burn out before you replace them. Most headlights will dim over time. Replacing them regularly will ensure the best lighting performance.

  • Replace your headlights in pairs to avoid uneven illumination, which can diminish driving visibility.

  • Consider replacing standard halogen headlights with high performance headlights that produce a light closer in color to natural daylight. These whiter, brighter bulbs help improve your visibility at night.

  • Ask your auto service person to check that your headlights are properly adjusted. Headlights can be knocked out of alignment by rough driving and, if not properly aimed, can be distracting to other drivers.

  • Take a moment to periodically check that all your car lights are in good working order. Ask a friend to turn on the headlights, brake lights and turn signals as you walk around the outside of the car

For more information on SYLVANIA's SilverStar high power halogen headlights or how to find the right headlight replacement for your car, visit