- Tail lights illuminate the rear edge of the vehicle, serving as a warning for other vehicles that your car is ahead especially on low-visibility conditions.
- It also allows other drivers to properly estimate your car’s size and shape.
- LED and Halogen are the two common light sources for tail lights
- Tail lights cost around $20 to $100.
- Signs of faulty tail lights include dim lights, cloudy, and lights that don’t turn on along with the headlights.
- Having faulty or busted tail lights are a traffic violation
A car’s automotive lighting system is an integral part of your car’s safety mechanism. Car lights are not just installed in cars as aesthetic accessories. Each of them serves a purpose, either to illuminate the road or to serve as the car’s signalling device. One of the most crucial components of a car’s automotive lighting system is the tail light.
Where are tail lights installed and what do they do?
Just like headlights, tail lights are also one of the vehicle’s safety components. Tail lights illuminate the rear end of the vehicle, warning other drivers about the distance between you and them, especially in low-visibility conditions. Since it is located in the rear, it also allows other drivers to properly estimate your car’s size and shape.
In most cars, brake lights are located on the same housing, with the same external covering as tail lights, but these two lights differ from each other. Brake lights illuminate only when you apply pressure to brakes while tail lights turn on along with your headlights, or whenever your parking brake is on. Brake and tail lights are all parts of the vehicle’s rear lighting.
Although some brands offer a different shade, most states strictly require the use of red tail lights. Since tail lights work simultaneously with headlights, these two are wired together. Automatic vehicles are fitted with automatic headlights that turn on during ignition.
What are the types of tail lights?
There are two common types of bulbs used for tail lights and these are halogen and LED. Each bulb has their own advantages and disadvantages, which is why it is important to consult your car’s user manual before deciding which is best for your vehicle.
Halogen Tail Lights
Halogen tail lights are a standard in most vehicles basically due to it being cheap. This type of tail light uses halogen gas mixed with tungsten-halogen filaments to generate light. One of the disadvantages of using this kind of tail light is its lifespan. It only lasts for about 18 to 24 months while a high quality LED light can last for years.
LED Tail Lights
Although halogen tail lights come as standard in most vehicles, LED lights are becoming more popular. As a matter of fact, car owners are starting to upgrade from the usual halogen lights to LED. Although LED lights are more expensive , there are tons more benefits compared to halogen lights.
LED lights provide better visibility than single halogen bulbs, making your vehicle more visible at night. Another advantage of switching to LED tail lights is its energy efficiency. LED tail lights only require minimal amount of energy compared to other light bulbs. It creates less stress on your car’s battery, which means less repair cost so you can save money to buy other car accessories. LED tail lights are also easy to install. Because it makes use of a new technology, LED tail lights require fewer wire splicing during installation. In fact, a lot of LED tail lights installation are simply plug and play. If you have LED lights installed, it will be easy for you to replace it with a new one. You always have a choice to contact your trusted mechanic to do it for you.
Some cars use Xenon bulbs for their tail lights but this rarely happens because Xenon bulbs are bright and irritating to the eyes. This type of tail light is also expensive and can only be installed by a professional.
Apart from the bulb being the major component of the tail light, some car owners also consider the tail light’s housing color options. There are a number of variants available when it comes to this but most come in either shades of dark black or chrome.
How much does a tail light cost?
At an average, the cost of a tail light bulb would be around $20 to $100. The whole tail light assembly would cost around $200 to $2000 depending on the inclusions and the quality of the bulbs used. This does not cover replacement and installation costs. Tail lights can be sold individually but most of the time, it is sold in sets of two or four since it is advisable to replace these lights all at once.
What are the signs of a faulty tail light?
If you are always the one driving, it will be difficult for you to detect a faulty tail light. What you can do is to ask someone to stand outside, while you turn on the headlights. If the tail light is in its good condition, it will turn on as soon as your headlights are on. You can also tap your break to make sure that your brake lights are also working. If you notice that your tail lights are dim or cloudy, it is time to have them checked. Remember that having a faulty or busted tail light is considered a traffic violation.