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Daytime running lamp product information

The automobile daytime running lamp is an important component of the overall lighting system of roadway vehicles. During the 1990s, many European countries, including Canada, began to make use of daytime running lamps on automobiles mandatory due to safety concerns during the darker winter seasons. Daytime running lamps are allowed but not mandatory in the United States. Many studies have shown increased safety, while driving during the daytime hours with a low beam headlamp in operation. The use of running lamps announces an automobile's presence on the roadway to other drivers.

Critics of the daytime running lamp believe the low beam lights used during the daytime produces unnecessary and dangerous glare that bothers other drivers. Other critics of daytime running lamps contend that they interfere with the visibility of turn and directional lights, confusing other drivers on the road. Drivers of motorcycles believe automobile daytime running lamps confuse drivers trying to distinguish motorcycles from automobiles. For many years, only motorcycles operated daytime running lamps, and now many new automobiles come equipped with daytime running lamps as well.

Daytime running lamps are headlamps mounted on both sides of the front grille of an automobile to provide a low beam safety light during daytime driving. The daytime headlamps automatically turn on when an automobile begins to move forward. The automatic nature of daytime running lamps provides an added layer of safety. It is believed that the daytime lights increase visibility of automobiles to other drivers, which results in fewer accidents and vehicle collisions.

Daytime running lamps can be separate headlamps or lighting systems, apart from low and high beam assembly. These separate lighting systems are referred to as functionally dedicated daytime running lamps that have the brightness level, but not to exceed 800 candelas, in most European countries. These dedicated daytime lamps also required to emit a brightness level of at least 400 candelas. A few countries have made dedicated running lamps mandatory. Dedicated daytime running lamps also must produce a white light beam in many countries.

Other types of daytime running lamps are incorporated into existing automobile lighting systems, such as low or high beam headlamps, directional lights, or fog lights. Some automobile manufacturers designed the directional lights to remain running permanently, except when the directional lights are used to signal turns. Other manufacturers have designed the high beam headlamps to run on reduced power to act as daytime running lamps. Many European countries now allow low beam headlamps to function as daytime running lamps, providing the candela levels comply with European regulations.

Canada and the United States allow candela levels up to 7,000, with yellow and white lights allowed as well. Some European countries now allow up to 1,200 candela levels. Critics of the higher levels allowed in Canada and the United States contend, dangerous levels of  daytime lights present a safety concern to other drivers on the roadways. Depending on the weather, amount of ambient, natural lighting available and roadway conditions, the use of daytime running lamps are recommended and are here to stay. As daytime running lamps become mandatory in most European countries, United States and Canadian auto manufacturers will continue to add them to new vehicles.

Daytime running lamps use additional fuel to operate the daytime lighting. Auto manufacturers have studied the increased levels of carbon dioxide levels produced by constant running of daytime headlamps. Due to these environmental concerns, many auto manufacturers and regulators are beginning to implement LED daytime running headlamps. LED technology has been shown to have the capability of producing sufficient levels of lighting for use as daytime running lamps, without contributing significantly to increased levels of carbon dioxide emissions due to its power saving feature.

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