You can subdivide vehicle lighting modifications into two;
- Headlights and taillights.
- Lighting in and around the car.
These lighting modifications depend on the car’s electrical system setup of wiring harnesses. Once the chassis is assembled, the wiring harnesses are put in place. Incase there is a vehicle electrical problem, the wiring harness should be checked out.
There are different laws to consider when undertaking a vehicle lighting modification. Firstly, all vehicles must have functional headlights and taillights.
Secondly, there are set standards for these headlights and taillights. Every state has varying regulations that must be met. Therefore aftermarket parts that you install during vehicle lighting modification must adhere to those laws.
List of vehicle lighting modifications.
We will take a look at different types of vehicle lighting modifications. Be sure that we will cover both the car’s outside lighting and interior lighting.
Most people have split opinions about the car customization we are about to discuss. But if you’re a fun of vehicle lighting then this is the place to be.
1. Interior lighting upgrade.
Interior lighting upgrades are often classified as interior automotive accessories. They usually have a low cost of purchase and installation. But they tremendously transform your car’s interior.
These lights are dim in order to ensure that your visibility is not distracted. Therefore, the lights fit onto the car dashboard to illuminate the controls.
Further, they fit onto the car celling, doors and footwells in order to illuminate the pedals. Hence granting you the visibility you need.
They play a functional role whereby they allow drivers to see all the controls and pedals. Further, they also serve an aesthetic purpose whereby you can set a mood with an ambient and colorful interior.
Aftermarket lighting for the vehicle’s interior are inclusive of LED lighting strips, custom light kits and under-seat lighting.
2. Accent lighting.
The meaning of accent lighting is focusing a light beam onto an object in order to enhance its visibility. Secondly, this lighting ads an aesthetic effect on the vehicle’s interior parts.
Further, the accent lighting uses small low power LED lights which can fit onto different locations. For example, on the dashboard, door panels, edges of the floor-board and along the side of the seats.
These lights also help passengers to locate switches, controls and items that could be difficult to find in the dark. This is their practicality.
3. HID lighting.
They are also known as high intensity discharge [HID] lights that people install as a form of car body modification. Additionally, they adapt the new technology that replaces the traditional type of headlights bulbs and housing.
These types of headlights have a bulb that is filled with Xenon gas and has two electrodes. Therefore, electric current passes through the electrodes and it heats the Xenon gas which burns in a bright light.
Advantages of HID lighting.
- Energy efficiency because the amount of electric current they use isn’t as high as the halogen bulbs.
- Secondly, they burn brighter than the other types of headlights.
- Thirdly, they offer a highly focused light beam.
4. Auxiliary lights.
They are an extra light installation that you use to provide extra lighting for the vehicle. Their installation totally depends on the intended purpose. Hence they can be installed in the front, rear or on the sides of the vehicle.
Types of Auxiliary lights styles.
They provide a much more focused light beam that is narrow and illuminates a single object or area of interest.
Their light beam is less focused in comparison to the spotlight. Therefore, they illuminate a wider surface area because of their diffuse beam.
- Combination auxiliary lights.
These ones offer a mixture of beams. For example, they provide a spotlight beam which can be transformed into a floodlight beam. This switching from one beam to the other is controlled by the operator.
5. Underbody lighting.
This is the installation of light on the bottom side of the vehicle. This vehicle lighting modification uses LED lights.
Therefore, the intended purpose is aesthetics as it creates a sensational visual effect as the vehicle moves. The LED strip lights are installed around the chassis or the wheel well. These lights can change color according to the user’s preference.
6. Light bars.
This is a perfect example of an auxiliary light installation that falls under the category of compound auxiliary lighting. Their installation is done on the roof and the front bumper in order to provide extra lighting.
Light bars are mostly for emergence vehicle lighting, work vehicles or off-road vehicles. Additionally, they are available in different sizes, mounting designs and mostly LED.
7. Halogen lighting bulbs.
Halogen bulbs are used in the vehicle headlights, interior lights and taillights. They use halogen bulbs to halogen gas and tungsten filament to provide light.
They fairly affordable in comparison to other types of bulbs and they provide warm light that’s relatively bright. However, they don’t provide the energy efficiency seen in high intensity discharge [HID] lights. Additionally, they barely last as long as the LED and HID lights.
8. Angel eyes.
This is a headlight modification that involve a change in the appearance of the headlight beam. They are LED lights which people place around the bulb of the headlight.
This creates a hallo effect around the headlight beam. Hence creating a desirable aesthetic effect. Further, the additional LED strip provides extra light for better visibility.
9. Light tinting.
This is the headlight modification that involves the application of a light film onto the headlights and taillights. This totally changes their appearance.
The tint films have a protective purpose for preventing any damage that could come to the headlight or taillights. Further, the modern type of film prevents fading because it is made up of fade resistant components.
Additionally, the vinyl film has a peeling resistance effect. Another method of undertaking light tinting is by painting over the headlights and taillights.
Types of headlights.
There are several types of headlights for you to choose from when undertaking a vehicle lighting modification. The type of headlight you choose will affect the lighting you get, the durability of the headlight and the power utilization.
- Projector headlights.
This is a type of headlight housing that has a reflective interior around the bulbs. Once the light comes from the headlight bulb, it is reflected by the shiny background.
- Adaptive headlights.
They are the latest vehicle lighting modification technology. This headlight adjusts its angle according to the inclination of the vehicle in order to focus the light beam in the correct direction.
- Dual beam headlights.
They have both a high and low beam within the same headlight bulb. This allows the driver to interchange between the two beams as per their will.
- Laser headlights.
You find these headlights only on a limited number of high-end luxury cars. Because they are expensive to produce. These headlights produce a highly focused beam of light.
- Halogen headlights.
They use Xenon gas and a filament to produce light. Once electric current hits the filament, it produces heat which causes the Xenon gas to glow incredibly. Therefore producing bright white light. In fact, they are the most commonly used type of headlights.
- LED headlights.
They use diodes that produce high quality light beams. Additionally, they are energy efficient and less expensive in comparison to halogen lights.
- HID headlights.
High intensity discharge headlights are not energy efficient. Because they use a lot of electric current to produce a white bright light. Which makes them less preferable in comparison to LED and Halogen headlights.
Best practices for installing vehicle lighting modifications.
Installing vehicle lighting modification requires you to observe the following best practices. Because it will prevent you from getting into trouble with the law enforcement.
1. Headlights and taillights.
All the lights must be in place, including the headlights, taillights and signaling lights. Further, these lights must be in a good working condition.
The tail lights should always be lit when driving in low visibility. For example at night or in foggy weather during which you use fog lights.
2. Lighting colors.
The color of the taillights must be red. This will signal the car behind yours when you hit the brakes so that they can slow down in order to avoid a collision.
Secondly, the signaling lights must be yellow and fully functional. They’re also called turning lights. Their function is to alert other drivers when you’re about to change lanes on the highway.
Further, they play the role of communicating to other road users that you’re about to divert to another direction. Reverse lights are white in color and are at the back of the car body.
The color of headlights should be white or amber. Other colors of lighting should not come from the vehicle’s front area. Therefore, preventing occasions where the car is confused for an emergency vehicle.
3. Mandatory use of lights.
When driving down a 30mph street which has well lit street lights, you can use the low headlight beams. Secondly, if your driving conditions are such that you cannot see past 100 meters, use the full headlight beam. This is mandatory.
4. Aftermarket bulbs brightness.
The luminous intensity of headlights must be between 500 to 3000 candelas. Further, taillights are subject to this brightness limitation as well. However, since they shine a red color, there is a low probability of violating this regulation.
5. Emergency vehicle lighting.
They have a light restriction that limits them to display blue lights on their dashboard, roof or grilles. It is illegal for other cars to display the blue light because it might be confusing.
6. Hazard lights.
They are strictly yellow in color and they blink from both sides of the vehicle. You should not modify the hazard lights because they alert other drivers that you’re causing a temporary obstruction. Additionally, they warn the driver behind you that there is an obstruction ahead.