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Side marker light product information

Automobile side marker lights fall into the larger category of conspicuity devices which make up an important part of the general lighting system for automobiles and trucks. Conspicuity accessories for autos are designed to provide increased visibility and safety while a vehicle is in operation on the roadway. Automobile makers and safety experts have recognized the need for side marker lights and reflectors on both the front and rear of vehicles to display the vehicle's presence, directional turns and forward and backward movement.

Nighttime driving provides additional safety concerns, which warrant the many conspicuity devices required in roadway vehicles. Inclement weather, poor roadway conditions and lack of proper street lighting, all contribute to unsafe driving conditions, which may cause serious accidents. Side marker lights provide increased nighttime visibility from the front and rear sides.

Multiple lane highways, which often are populated with unsafe drivers, frequently changing lanes, without proper use of directional lamps, indicate the need for side marker lamps. The front amber, and rear red, side marker lamps alert other drivers on a roadway of the presence of a vehicle, changing direction, which can prevent an accident and collision.

Mandatory in North America
Side marker lights contribute to the general visibility of a vehicle, together with other conspicuity devices such as, daytime running lamps, parking lamps and tail lamps. Side marker lights are mandatory on all vehicles in the United States and Canada. Front mounted side marker lights are attached to both sides of the front fender of a vehicle. Safety regulations require the front side marker lights to be colored amber. The rear side marker lights must be colored red.

European vehicles are not required to include side marker lights, but they are not outlawed. They are, however, restricted to only amber colors, and are not allowed to flash. Some manufacturers add side marker lights to vehicles as a design, and adornment feature, as well as a safety feature.

Features of side marker lights
The standard OEM side marker lights, required in the United States and Canada, are designed with a typical incandescent lamp, or an LED lamp. Newer automobile models seem to favor LED side marker lamps for their energy saving features. The side marker lights are usually wired together with other conspicuity devices, such as the tail and parking lamps. This way, a vehicle is visible from the front and rear sides at all times when the ignition is turned on.

Paired with required retro-reflectors that provide illumination when the vehicle is turned off, side marker lights are a vital safety feature. Some vehicles are also equipped with wire side marker lights to flash with directional lamps as well, providing an added safety feature. Many automobile owners prefer the added safety of wiring side marker lights with turn signal lamps, and purchase aftermarket conversion kits to change the wiring.

Aftermarket embellishments
Although, regulations require that automobiles come equipped with front amber and rear red side marker lights, many aftermarket kits are available and quite popular, offering an array of different colors. Automobile owners may purchase an aftermarket side marker light kit and even change the standard color to a bright neon, blue or purple. Although not of regulation colors, aftermarket side marker lights provide custom adornments, and still provide visibility and safety.

Other conspicuity devices, such as fog lamps, tail and parking lamps are frequently upgraded with aftermarket kits and accessories to embellish and provide additional illumination. Automobile owners do need to take care, however, to ensure that the aftermarket lamps are not so bright that they produce dangerous glare.

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