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Lighting The Way Ahead

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When do you know it’s time to change your headlights and how do you find one that is suitable for your car? Read on to be enlightened.

Your vehicle headlights illuminate your way on the roads at night. Although they are typically rated to last hundreds to thousands of hours, depending on whether they are halogen or LED bulbs, prolonged use and other factors can affect their lifespan. If they are not functioning, especially in conditions with low visibility, it could be dangerous for you and other road users. If you notice that the light coming from your headlights appear dimmer or is flickering, these could be warning signs that it is time to change them.

When the light is dim, it could be a case of build-up or grime on the headlight covers, so make sure to do a thorough cleaning first. If it is still dim after that, it’s due for a change. Dim light or uneven lighting could also point to a single headlight bulb being out. Even if only one light is out, the remaining working light could be near its end as most headlights are replaced in pairs. So get both changed as soon as possible.

If your lights are flickering, it could mean that the filament of the headlight bulb is damaged or is close to burning out entirely. It could also point to a faulty connection. For safety, flickering lights should be addressed immediately rather than waiting till the headlights give out for good!

Halogen bulbs are affordable and easy to replace. They still make use of a filament, and cars fitted with halogen bulbs are rather common. Of all the bulbs available, they have the shortest lifespan of 500 to 1,000 hours.

High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs light up when electricity is passed through ionized xenon gas. These have a longer lifespan than halogen bulbs at 2,000 hours. Do note that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has regulations governing HID headlamp kits due to concerns over unwanted glare. If your vehicle is equipped with approved factory-fitted HID lamps when you purchased it, make sure to get replacement bulbs recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Most cars today are running on LEDs. They consume less power compared to halogen bulbs and have a long lifespan at approximately 30,000 hours.

When it comes to illumination, brighter is not necessarily better or even legal in Singapore. High-wattage lamps are not allowed as they could be blinding for other drivers. Decorative lamps — such as wiper washer LEDs, undercarriage neon lights, vehicle-interior neon lights or flashing decorative lights, as well as aftermarket HID kits — have been deemed illegal by LTA.

So if you’re planning to change your own lights, do check with your vehicle’s local distributor to ensure that the aftermarket lamps are within the regulated specifications as specified by LTA.

No matter how good your headlights, they’re useless if your car’s battery is dead! Should you be stranded due to a flat battery, call 6748 9911 — that’s the 24-hour hotline of AA’s 24-hour car battery breakdown service. Our friendly service staff will meet you whenever, wherever (within Singapore mainland) to replace your car battery on the spot! What’s more, we carry a wide range of brands and models, so whatever car you’re driving, we’re more than likely to have a suitable battery.

The good news is that non-Members can also enjoy this service too. For more details on the brands we carry, and the terms & conditions of this service, click on this link.

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