What to know before buying Brake Lights
When it comes to the world of brake lights, there are many things to consider. If you're looking for a new set of brake lights, you might be asking yourself questions like "What is the difference between amber and red?" or "Do I need LED or HID?" Follow this guide to learn the basics about brake lights and helpful tips for buying them.
What are brake lights?
Brake lights are different from blinkers, as the name implies. While blinkers are used to indicate when you need to change lanes, brake lights indicate the presence of your brakes, and thus, indicate the need to apply the brakes. In other words, they are emergency brake lights.
Brake lights are so incredibly important because they are designed to indicate the need for you to stop. Most people don't want to stop. They'll make any number of excuses to stay on the road and get to wherever they're going, even if it means accelerating at dangerous speeds. If someone tries to pass you, your brake lights will illuminate and tell them to get out of the way.
When you're driving, you need to know that you can stop the vehicle. Brake lights ensure that other drivers will know that you can stop as well. If you don't see your brake lights, you're likely driving with inadequate lighting to be seen by other drivers. This could allow them to run you off the road and cause a crash.
Why are brake lights important?
Brake lights are a fundamental safety feature. If you're ever in an accident, the first thing that will be on the checklist of your emergency kit is your car's brake lights. If they're out, then you're essentially invisible to other motorists and can be in serious trouble if you have to use your brakes suddenly. Also, seeing your brake lights on the road keeps drivers alert and alerting other motorists if you suddenly brake. When your brake lights go out, you're also in danger. Here are the five reasons why it's important to always check your car's brake lights before you drive.
- You're able to avoid an accident quickly
- You're not incapacitated
- You're not hurt
- You don't lose any time getting to your destination
Why do we need brake lights?
This isn't a new question, but it's one that has come up a lot since the age of the standard-equipment car. Consider it a tip of the hat to the old country driver. People in Europe and parts of Asia don't worry about people running red lights; they just hope the driver brakes in time to stop and let the passenger down safely. Some cars have a flashing light to alert the driver that they're about to brake, but that's not as effective as a steady light.
Red light dangers aren't just limited to vehicles, either. Roughly 45 percent of pedestrians in the United States were hit at intersections during the day hours, not after dark, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition, a national organization focused on improving traffic safety through education and promotion.
What are the different types of brake lights and what they mean
Brake light units on the front and the rear of the car can be red, amber or white. Different technologies also apply different colors to the light. Red lights indicate that the vehicle has not activated its safety features and the brake is on. White lights mean that the system is activated and there is no brake on. Amber lights mean that the system is on but the brake is on. White lights mean that the system is on but the brake is not. LED lights are a relatively new option that operate in a wide range of colors and can activate different functions for the brakes and the horn. These systems can cost as little as a few dollars per light and can also feature sophisticated technology that helps the vehicle react to pedestrians.
Know some important facts about brake lights before purchasing
Brake Light Function
The brake lights come in the same basic set of sizes, but there are many different types of brake lights. There are rear indicators and red pointers, a blinking yellow light, and lights that flash.
Brake light indicators are the most common and are simply the front brake lights that appear on the front bumper of your car. Some, such as the Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus, have the brake light indicators integrated into the actual brake lights. As the name would imply, a flashing yellow light indicates that the light itself is active, while a red "walk-on" light means the vehicle's entire brake lights are on.
The reason your vehicle's brake lights work this way is that it's illegal in the U.S. for any light to be used as an indicator.
Brake Light Safety
To make sure your brake lights work properly, you should always make sure that there are fresh batteries installed in them. Just because your brake lights were installed does not mean that they are fully functioning. It's always a good idea to check your brake lights regularly and inspect any wear and tear on the parts that make up your brake lights. If you suspect that there may be any problems with your brake lights, make sure to contact your local auto repair shop or your mechanic to get your car's brake lights fixed.
If your brake lights are on, that means that you're already safely traveling down the road. The next thing you need to check is whether your brake lights are functioning correctly. Make sure that you get a reading from your brake lights.
Brake Light Malfunctions
If your brake lights aren't working correctly, it means the bulbs aren't burning correctly. Your brake lights, along with the turn signals, automatically illuminate when you press the brakes. The problem here is that your brake lights aren't fully heated. According to TheDrive.com, if you don't replace the brake lights for a prolonged period, the red lens inside the bulb will eventually become too cold and cause it to burn out. If you're going on a road trip, this is a terrible situation to be in because you won't be able to see other vehicles while driving.
Red Flickering or Dimming
The first cause for concern is when your brake lights flash or dim for an extended amount of time. This is not uncommon as they are designed to dim or darken automatically once your car reaches a complete stop. It is pretty normal to see brake lights flash for a few seconds and then dim for up to 15 seconds, but when they suddenly start flashing continuously, or dim or dim and then flicker, that's not normal. While there is no definite explanation for why this happens, the most common reason is when a driver changes your brake lights to a high beam. When done at an authorized dealership, high beam driving is the most common method of deactivating the brake lights.
Yellow Flickering or Dimming
Your brake lights will initially have a yellowish tint. This indicates that your brake lights are on. However, your brake lights will gradually darken over time as they begin to recharge. The tinting will become less pronounced as the recharge progresses. If you notice the yellow light is flashing or dimming, your brake lights are drained, and you need to contact a garage immediately. This indicates that your brakes have been compromised and need replacing.
Why should you keep an eye on your brake lights?
Your brake lights are a safe and necessary way to alert other drivers of your braking status. While it may seem a bit annoying to check your brakes and keep them in good working condition, these lights are essential in deterring any criminals who might be following you.
When you’re stopped in traffic or a parking lot, you should be checking your brake lights. The reason for this is because they’re vulnerable when the car is moving, and you’ll need to make sure they're functional. They may not need changing, but they can certainly look out of place or out of action.
While many people might only drive their car for a short period of time during the day, the fact is, every driver needs to know how to use their brake lights when the occasion arises. Like having a car's horn or doors unlocked, knowing how to use these simple but potentially life-saving devices can save your own life as well as others'. Always remember to turn them off when you park your car.