Blinding Headlights


Suzanne Coleman, MD

I previously wrote about the blinding new LED lights on vehicles and other locations, well they are not the only problem and I wanted to update you on the new information I have.  I have recently learned that some of the most blinding headlights on the road are halogen headlights.

Halogen headlights are the ones that send out streaks of light in all directions so that in the dark you are completely unable to see anything around them, including cars, people, or other objects on the road or next to it.  This is unsafe.

These lights are almost always a bright white or bluish white, but recently I have also noticed yellow ones which behave in the same blinding way.

I encountered these blinding lights on our local police SUVs and contacted them about it.  Through them, I learned that these vehicles are Ford Explorer SUVs and are equipped with what Ford calls “halogen projector beams.”

More and more cars seem to have these dangerous lights on them, it isn’t just Ford.

If you notice a vehicle whose lamps are too bright, contact the manufacturer and let them know that this is a problem.  That is what I did.  I think if they are made aware, they will go back and modify their designs so that it isn’t a problem.  I don’t think that they want to be responsible for harming others due to blinding drivers or pedestrians. And I know that they don’t want the possibility of lawsuits costing them millions if not billions of dollars in damages.

What else can you do?  You can take the initiative and go out at night and check your vehicle’s headlights, taillights, turn signals, and back-up lights to see if they are too bright If they are, go to your mechanic or car parts store and see if you can get a different type of bulb put in instead.

If you have LED bulbs, this may simply mean switching out your bulb with a lower wattage bulb.  Most early LED bulbs that were used were way too bright because people didn’t realize that you need a much lower wattage to get the same amount of light as your older bulb produced.  This brighter light is due to the LED’s ability to create an increased light output at lower energy, or wattage.

If you aren’t able to find a better bulb, at least make sure that your headlights are properly aimed DOWN at the roadThis is something that everyone should do.  When you do this, also do an additional check to be sure that when you are angled up a the top of a hill, or going over bumps in the road that your headlights don’t shine too brightly into oncoming drivers’ eyes as well.  You can do this by bending down a bit to make sure that the lights are aimed down far enough.  This simple fix will do a lot to help other drivers be safe out there and they will surely be thankful.

Most cars have a simple adjustment under the hood that you can move yourself to adjust the headlight direction up and down.  But if you prefer, your mechanic can do it for you, just be sure that you are there with them and make sure that it is done correctly.  Otherwise, what’s the point?

Be safe out there!



  1. […] these bright streaking lights [note, it is now known that these streaking unfocused headlights are halogen headlights, see more info here], you will notice that after you look away they can leave a burned out black spot in your vision. […]


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