A tail light or a tail lamp is the part of the lighting system of a vehicle which is attached in front and at the rear part of the vehicle. They usually come in pairs (left and right). It has different types for different functions.
The signal lights, or turn lights, are parts of the tail lamp assembly. Usually yellow in color because of regulatory standards, these indicate whether the vehicle is going to turn right or left. They are also used during times of emergency. The reverse lights are also parts of the tail lamp assembly to indicate if the vehicle is backing up. The reverse lights automatically turn on when the driver puts the vehicle in reverse shift. These lights often have the highest illumination in the tail lamp assembly but not as bright as the head lights.
The park light in the tail lamp assembly signals the drivers behind that there's a presence of another vehicle whenever it is dark, foggy or rainy weather. It is also used as a brake light. The park light usually has the highest part in the assembly which turns on as the driver steps on the brakes.
To go for that "Euro" look on your vehicle, the Euro tail light sports the look found in various elite, high-class European imported cars. Aside from adding that distinct feature, Euro tail lights enhances the prestige on your vehicle compared to a stock tail light assembly. It is also easy to install. This is the kind of quality Euro tail lights have been known for.
Tail Light Buyer's Guide
- 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.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Tail Light
Keep the communication lines between you and the vehicles at your rear open by equipping your four-wheeled baby with a dependable Tail Light Assembly.
If there's one thing you should keep in mind when driving, it's to never make light of using a busted tail light assembly on your ride. You may think it's a trivial thing, but trust us, it isn't. Imagine this: you're making your way down a dim street and you slow down to park. All of a sudden, you hear the deafening sounds of squealing tires and a split-second later, the car behind you slams against your bumper. This possibly fatal accident could be prevented though-if you use a functional rear tail light assembly.
So why does it pay to use working tail light assembly parts? Well, aside from increasing your vehicle's visibility at night or other poor-visibility conditions, this assembly includes turn signals, brake lights, and reverse lights-all of which are crucial warning devices that alert the drivers behind when you're about to brake, turn, or switch lanes. These lights ensure that the driver behind your car has enough time to slow down and thus avoid collisions. Each assembly part is covered by a plastic casing or tail light lens mounted on a frame called the tail light bezel.
Most modern cars now use LED tail lights because these are brighter and more distinctive. But no matter what type-LED or traditional-of tail light assembly you use in your car, one thing remains true: that this assembly is something your car can't do without.
Tail Light: Just the Facts
A countless number of both drivers and pedestrians have lost their limbs, and even their lives, to road accidents. You could blame it on reckless driving or inexperience, but you can't deny that accidents have a lot to do with visibility on the road. Whether you're a neophyte or a veteran driver, though, you can encounter serious problems on the road if your vehicle isn't equipped with a functional tail light assembly. The tail lights, located at the left and right corners of your vehicle's rear, emit a red beam that illuminates your vehicle's backside. These lighting components are activated whenever the parking lamps are switched on, to make your car more visible to other motorists. Without functional tail lights on your vehicle, you are exposed to more driving hazards. So don't be caught driving without a fully functional tail light assembly. If you need replacements for damaged tail lights, you can trust CarParts.com. We have tail lights for most vehicle makes and models.
• Keeps your car visible, especially during nighttime.
• Reduce your chances of being involved in road accidents.
• Can be easily wired to activate with the parking lamps.
A Newbie's Guide to Installing Tail Lights
Are you replacing a broken tail light? Or are you switching to a prettier or more efficient aftermarket one? Either way, it would be much cheaper to install new tail lights on your car yourself instead of having a mechanic do it for you. Replacing vehicle tail lights is not as hard as it sounds, especially if you have all the right tools and a bit of DIY know-how. It takes only take an hour or two to accomplish.
Required skill level: Novice
- Wrench or screwdriver
Removing the paneling
Open the trunk of your car and remove the paneling needed to gain access to the backside of your tail lights. These panels are often secured with screws, so have a screwdriver ready.
Removing the bulbs and wires
Pull out the tail light bulbs and wires from the tail light housing. Be extra careful in removing the bulbs so as to avoid breaking them.
Taking out the housing
Unbolt or unscrew the tail lights from the car. Once all the screws or bolts are removed, pull the housing out from the outside of the car.
Installing the new tail light
With the old housing out of the way, put the new tail light housing in its place. Secure the housing with the appropriate nuts or bolts. Most tail light assemblies come with screws and other installation hardware, although you can purchase them separately as well.
Inserting the bulb and wires
Attach the new bulb and wiring to the new tail light housing and put back the paneling you removed earlier to access the tail light in its place. Test the tail lights to check whether they have been installed properly.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure that aftermarket tail lights are legal in your state before installing one in your car. Several states have strict regulations on the use of aftermarket vehicle tail lights.
- Make sure that the ignition is turned off and the negative battery cable detached from the battery to avoid the risk of electric shock when installing the tail light.
Tail Light Assembly: Illuminate Your Vehicle for a Safer Ride
The tail light assembly of your vehicle is one of the mandated automotive lights by the federal law. It has to be working properly every time you're driving on the road. Otherwise, you could end up with a violation ticket if a highway patrol officer notices your faulty tail light assembly. Don't wait for this moment to happen. When you already notice that your vehicle's tail light assembly is acting up, check it immediately. If it already needs to be replaced, use this quick installation guide that can help you out.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
- New tail light assembly
Preparing the tail light area for the task
Open the trunk cover or lower the tail gate of your vehicle before removing the old tail light assembly. Locate the mounting screws and bolts of the tail light assembly and remove them. Detach the wires carefully before pulling the entire assembly from your vehicle.
Fitting the new tail assembly
Take your new tail light assembly and fit it slowly on the mount. Make sure the tail light assembly fits along the edges of the mount smoothly. When the tail light assembly fits perfectly, remove it from the mount to connect the wires.
Connecting the wires
Connect the wires of the new tail light assembly firmly so they will not loosen or detach. Check the position of the wires when you're placing the tail light assembly back so they will not bend or kink.
Checking the lights from the new tail light assembly
Check the lights of the tail light assembly by switching your car on, but don't start the engine. Use the tail light switch lever and the brake pedal and observe if the lights are responding correctly.
Screwing the tail light assembly in place
Take the bolts and screws you have removed earlier and screw them back in place. Tighten them so the tail light assembly sits properly on the mount and it won't move or shake. Close the trunk lid or the tail gate of your car once you're done.
- Perform a final test drive with the new tail light assembly before driving on the highway. Ask someone that can help observe the lights from behind your vehicle.
Spyder vs. Anzo: The Comparison between the Two Big Names in Automotive Tail lights
Two of the leading tail lights manufacturers today, Spyder and EBC, offer high-quality and top-of-the-line performance products. However, both brands claim to offer the better product than their stiff competition. If you're having a hard time choosing the better tail lights that would give your vehicle style and will save some of your budget, here's a quick guide that can help you decide.
Both Spyder and Anzo brands produce tail lights for almost all car make and models from Acura Integra to Volkswagen Beetle. Aside from that, they also design Euro-style and LED lights in red, chrome, and black finishes, which can give your car an edgier and stylish look. Although Spyder and Anzo have Halo, LED, and Projection lighting methods, only Anzo has Halogen and CCFL or cold cathode methods, which is a slight advantage.
Now that we have compared the range of their products, it's now time to see who can really provide the better performance. We have tested Spyder's chrome LED tail lights and Anzo's smoke LED tail lights on the 2005 Ford F-250 Super Duty. We weren't surprised to know that both tail lights provided adequate lighting in the morning, and they did the same good performance at night. The lights were very visible even at the far distance of 1,000 feet.
WINNER: Spyder and Anzo
The Spyder tail lights we're sold at a more affordable price of $53.02 compared to the Anzo tail lights that costs $62.08. Although both these prices are relatively expensive, the Spyder tail lights comes at a cheaper price which is already a good deal considering its unique style and high quality.
The tail lights of Anzo have a one-year limited warranty period, while the Spyder tail lights only have a 30-day warranty.
There's no doubt that both Spyder and Anzo tail lights provide the best performance tail lights in the market today. The outstanding design of their tail lights is also a cut above the rest. However, it all comes down to the price and the warranty you have to carefully consider since the two brands have their own disadvantages.