Blinded by Brighter Headlights? It’s Not Your Imagination

Blinded by Brighter Headlights? It’s Not Your Imagination

4. Burned-Out Bulbs

Modern headlight bulbs can be much brighter than they were in the past. If one burns out, you may not realize it, and you could be driving around with just one illuminated headlight. If the second one burns out, though, you’ll notice it right away!

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What to do when approaching vehicles with bright headlights

  • Don't look directly at the headlights of an approaching vehicle — look to the left hand side of the road and make sure you also drive as near as possible to the left.
  • Slow down and, if necessary, pull over at a safe location as soon as possible and wait until your vision returns to normal.
  • Keep your vehicle's windscreen clean inside and outside, as it'll be easier to see at night.
  • If you find it harder to see at night, get your eyes checked as difficulty with driving at night or in poor weather conditions is often one of the first signs that your vision isn't as good as it should be.

Source: Royal Automobile Association Adelaide

4. Retrofit your headlights fog lights

Another great way to improve the brightness of your vehicle’s headlight and fog light is to completely replace your existing halogen headlight assembly for either an LED or HID headlight assembly. This process is known as a retrofit.

However, unlike a conversion kit, not every car is eligible for a retrofit and retrofitted headlight assemblies can cost upwards of $2,000. Further, you’ll likely need a mechanic to complete the job, which will run you a couple more hundred dollars on top of that. Lastly, a retrofit may void your vehicle’s warranty, assuming it’s still covered.

Nonetheless, like conversion kits, a retrofit would upgrade your current lighting system from halogen to LED or HID and dramatically improve your lighting by up to 500%.

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2. Problematic Wiring

Bad wiring can cause a fuse to blow, but it can also manifest itself in many other ways. Even if the fuse is still intact, a problem with the wiring in your Subaru could cause the headlights not to turn on. Because the wiring is so complex, it’s best to leave these repairs to the people who really know what they’re doing.

LED vs. halogen: Which is brighter?

Halogen lights have been the standard for headlights. They’re cheap, easy to make, readily available, and effective. They’re dimmer than LEDs and offer a softer glow. But LED lights are becoming more popular because they last longer — sometimes as much as 100 times longer — than traditional bulbs. They’re also relatively cheap and easy to make. However, they’re incredibly bright and can be blinding if they’re not directed properly.

Having a well-lit road is crucial to avoiding nighttime crashes. And though it might be tempting to try to blind other drivers whose headlights are too bright, it’s not safe in practice. 


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