Which Car Lights Should Be On At Night?

Even as an experienced driver, you may not know the exact type of car lights to switch on during the night.

Okay, let’s not exaggerate; you may know a few, but not all. In fact, some of us are guilty of never switching on our fog lights.

Well, know that you are not alone. And all of us need to learn one or two things about car lights. So, which car lights should be on at night?

Different car lights and their functions

First, you have to note that there are many car lights. Each varies in their configuration as well as provides different functionality.

It would be best to understand how each of them works to conclude on the specific car lights that should be on during the night.

Car lights that should be on at night

Dipped headlights

One type of car lights is the dipped headlights. Most people can identify with dipped headlights.

They are found on the front of the car, and most car owners refer to them as standard headlights.

Even so, note that dipped headlights are not as bright as full beam headlights. As their name suggests, these lights point downwards and enable you to see ahead of the road at night.

Aside from using dipped headlights at night, you can use them whenever you can’t see the road due to harsh weather conditions like mist or fog.

Ultimately, it would help if you switched on dipped headlights at night.


The next type of car lights that should be on at night is taillights. Taillights work simultaneously with headlights.

So, anytime you turn on the headlights, the taillights will go on. These lights are in the back part of the car.

They make you visible to other drivers during the night. You must turn on your tail lights at night to prevent road accidents.

Full beam headlights

Another type of car light you may require to switch on at night is the full beam headlights.

Full beam headlights offer the highest level of brightness compared to other car lights.

Therefore, if you are not careful, you may blind the sight of other oncoming drivers on the road.

Although these lights may be useful in too dark places, avoid turning them on in two-way traffic roads and crowded places.

Otherwise, they heighten the risk of getting an accident. Unlike dipped headlights, full beam lights are inclined towards a wider angle.

Thus, they enable you to see a large surface area of the road.

You can always use full beam lights at night in less crowded areas. And when you notice an oncoming vehicle, switch to dipped headlights.

Additionally, if you are struggling to navigate a murram road during the night, full beam headlights will come in handy.

Other car lights that are not compulsory for nighttime use

Hazard warning lights

The next type of car lights is hazard lights. You can use hazard lights at any time of the day, whether morning, noon, or night.

Hazard lights are often meant to alert other drivers that your car has a problem. These lights blink on all sides of the car.

This way, all other drivers can be cautious when they are near you.

Additionally, if your car experiences a breakdown in the middle of the road, hazard lights are an excellent way to warn other drivers.

Brake lights

Another type of light that every car owner is familiar with is the brake lights. So, how do they work?

Typically, anytime you press on your breaks, the brake lights go on. As a result, they will alert other drivers that you have reduced your speed.

In turn, other drivers will slow down too. Brake lights are critical. Thus, ensure that they are in good condition at all times.

Anytime you experience a faulty brake light, get it fixed immediately. Otherwise, you might end up in bad books with the police.

Fog lights

When should you switch on the lights located slightly underneath your headlights?

Well, as the name suggests, fog lights are helpful when navigating across roads with low visibility.

Thus, if you drive around an area surrounded by mist or fog, consider turning on your fog lights.

They will assist you to see the road as well as notice other oncoming vehicles. To turn on your fog lights, you would have to switch on your dipped headlights first.

But of course, it depends on the model of your car. So, you don’t have to use your fog lights at night necessarily.

Use them anytime you can’t see in front.


If you have to branch left or right, you have to turn on your indicator to alert other drivers. Indicators are often found on the exact spot as hazard lights.

And they blink at the same time on the sides of the car. Therefore, indicators are used at any time of the day when driving.

The good thing is that you never have to worry about switching off your indicator. They automatically go off after the wheels make a turn.

Sidelights/parking lights

Popularly known as parking lights, sidelights are often located on the front section of the car.

These lights are usually meant to alert other drivers that there is a car in front of them. Drivers use parking lights in the evening before it gets completely dark.

Think about it. Headlights can be too bright for other drivers in the evening. So, sidelights are an excellent option.

Therefore, it is not advisable to use parking lights at night since they may not be bright enough to alert other drivers of your presence.


Usually, cars come with different lights meant to perform certain functions.

Occasionally, it can be hard to master all the different car lights and their functions.

But keep in mind that you should always turn on your dipped headlights and taillights during the night.

It would be best if you also used full beam headlights on nights, but be careful not to blind other drivers on the road.

Before you think of switching on other car lights at night, ensure these three are at the top of your list.

Moreover, try your best to master all the different types of car lights and their respective functions. Doing this will help you promote safety on the roads.

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