What Are The Different Types Of Lights On A Car?

Are you wondering what you will learn after signing up for driving classes? Learning how to drive can be exciting, fun, and scary at the same time.

I mean, this is something that you have never done before. Thus, to become a pro, you have to give it your all and pay attention to detail. One of the things you’ll have to learn is the different types of lights on a car.

Not many people understand how car lights are essential when driving. In fact, misusing car lights can lead to major road accidents.

So, all drivers should know the different types of lights on cars and their respective functions.

In this article, we look at the different kinds of car lights as well as their functions.

Various types of car lights and their functions


The most noticeable type of car lights is the headlights. Typically, headlights are on the front section of the car slightly beneath the bonnet.

These car lights help you see the way forward on a night. Also, headlights enable you to see oncoming vehicles.

Similarly, oncoming cars can see you using your headlights. Therefore, these lights are essential in keeping you safe when driving at night.

Headlights come in two forms; high beam and low beam.

Low beam headlights

As the name suggests, low beam headlights offer low brightness levels. So, they are useful when you need to see a short view of the road in front of you.

Unlike high beam headlights, low beam headlights do not affect other drivers on the road. Remember, they do not radiate a lot of light yet are effective.

It is advisable to use low beam headlights in two-way traffic roads. They do not impose a lot of glare on oncoming drivers on the road.

High beam headlights

High beam headlights are much more robust and help you to see over long distances when driving.

As much as they may be useful, high beam lights shine brightly and blind other drivers. Consequently, high beam lights can be a significant trigger for road accidents.

Experts recommend avoiding high beam lights in two-way traffic roads and crowded places.

High beam lights should only get used where excessive light is required. And after navigating such areas, turn them off and go back to the low beam light mode.

Otherwise, you would blur the view of oncoming drivers.

Signal lights

Blinkers, popularly known as signal lights, are mostly found on the car’s front and backside.

They are literally found next to the headlights and tail lights. Signal lights enable you to communicate with other drivers that you will be making a right or left corner or branching off-road.

This way, other drivers will slow down and give way. You can also use blinkers to alert other drivers of something wrong.

For instance, if you notice an oncoming driver hasn’t switched on their headlights when it is dark, you can turn on the blinkers to alert them.

Brake lights

Brake lights alert other drivers that you have reduced your speed. As a result, they will slow down as well.

Brake lights will only go on when you press on your brakes. They are often located next to the rear lights.

Nevertheless, brake lights tend to wear out pretty fast. It would be best if you continuously check on them to ensure they are still functioning correctly.

Otherwise, they would burn out without your knowledge. In turn, you could end up causing a road accident.

Daytime running lights

Another type of car light is the daytime running lights. These lights are usually found on both the front and backside of the car.

Anytime you turn on the vehicle, it automatically turns on. Daytime running lights allow other drivers to see you.

Even so, some drivers report that daytime running lights can be more of a distraction. Fortunately, there is often the option of switching them off.

Hazard lights

Another type of car lights is the hazard lights. Found in the car’s front and back section, hazard lights are often meant to warn other drivers of an existing problem.

It could be a problem with your vehicle, yourself, or a wedding/funeral procession. So, anytime you see a car with hazard lights, slow down and overtake it carefully.

However, note that hazard lights should not get misused.



The other type of car lights you should be aware of is the tail lights. These lights are usually found on the backside of the car.

They help drivers behind you recognize that there is a car in front of them. Taillights automatically go on when you turn on the headlights.

Moreover, tail lights always indicate when you brake. So, they alert drivers behind you in case you stop or stumble across something on the road.

Fog lights

Fog lights are usually located slightly under the headlights.

They help you navigate in harsh weather conditions when the headlights are not being beneficial. Fog lights help you see ahead by preventing any refraction.

Which car lights to use at what time of the day?

At sunset

When the sun starts going down, it would be best if you switched on your low beam headlights.

This way, you’ll be able to navigate the road as well as see other oncoming vehicles.

At night

When it is dark, you can switch on your low beam and high beam headlights alternatively.

Avoid switching on your high beam headlights in crowded places and two-way traffic. Turn them on when you need excessive lighting.

And after you pass through very dark corners, go back to using your low beam headlights.

During the day

Often, there’s enough natural light in the daytime. So, you need not use any car lights during the day.

Nonetheless, when you pass through tunnels or any other dark areas, you might have to switch on your headlights.

Use low beam headlights to avoid blinding the view of other drivers.

In conclusion

Undoubtedly, every car owner should understand the different types of lights on their car and their respective purpose.

There are various types of car lights, and each performs different functions.

For instance, headlights help you see oncoming drivers while brake lights alert other drivers that you are slowing down.

Before you start driving, ensure you know and understand all these lights. In turn, you will contribute to keeping the road a safe space to drive.

Leave a Comment