9 types of car lights and their functions


Posted by: Kennedy Ilediagu

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There are several components of a car that are meant to make safety sure, and lights are some of them! Here is a list of 9 car lights and their functions!

When you hear car lights and their functions, what comes to mind are the headlamps and back lights which are meant for seeing what is ahead and behind respectively. But there's more to that and other lights that serve several purposes.

Car manufacturers, perhaps, installed these lights on automobiles to ensure that a driver's attention is drawn to an every activity going on in their environment. They also serve as one of many driver assistance and safety systems that help make sure you don't get into an accident. But asides the front and rear lights, you must be wondering what all other lights in your vehicle are for.

In this article, we will focus mainly on those on the car's body, not the dashboard. Not only will it assist professional drivers in making better decisions, but you need to use these lights diligently if you intend to pass your driver's class. So here's a guide on 9 types of car lights with their functions.

1. Headlights

Headlights beam from the headlamps installed in the front of your vehicle near the lid of the hood and the front fender. The lights are meant to help a driver or occupants of the car see what's ahead when it's dark or foggy. The lights beam high and low depending on where you're driving. If you're on a highway alone, the high beams are perfect to allow you see what's far and a lot more clearly. It also makes it easier for cars from afar to see yours coming and avoid any possible collision on time.

The low beam is ideal for when you're on a busy road, as you won't want to blind other oncoming drivers. It's also unnecessary to increase the beam when you can clearly see with the help of other drivers' lights and the streetlights as well.

>>> This is important: Signs of misaligned headlights & how to tell if it's aligned properly or not

2. Tail lights/ Back lights

Tail lights or back lights as Nigerians know them as, are at the car's rear. It's installed and mace in a way that it comes on when you turn on the headlights. It shines red and it's somewhat reflective even when off. The idea is so that vehicles behind you can see that your car is on or in motion. When off, the reflective feature still tells any oncoming car of the position of your vehicle to enable them steer clear.

3. Brake lights

These are lights located just by the side of the back lights. You don't have to turn them on to show you are about to use your brakes. All you need so is maintain them and fix them when they burn out. To use, simply apply your brakes and they come on to notify any oncoming vehicle of your intention to slow down. When they go off, the vehicles behind you will know that you are back to your previous speed.


Brake lights are automatically on when you apply the brakes

4. Trafficators

Trafficators are actually known as signal lights. They can be found both at the rear and the front of the vehicle. They are beside the brake lights, at the edge of the vehicle, to make them noticeable.

These signal lights or blinkers keep going off and on briskly to notify oncoming vehicles that you're about to turn either left or right. It's easy to activate or deactivate while driving. Always ensure that they are working because hand signals won't always work especially on busy roads or on an expressway.

>>> Another interesting question, answered by Naijauto: Why are all the main lights on car yellow?

5. Hazard lights

Hazard lights can be found in front and behind a vehicle. They are mainly used to let other drivers know that there's danger ahead, barricades, or that you're about to maneuver. The lights are also known as flashers. Simply turn them on and they'll keep emitting flashing signals.

6. Daytime lights

These are not found on every vehicle. It's mostly on newly made cars. They are located at the rear and front. These lights come on automatically to make it easy for your car to be seen by oncoming drivers. Some vehicles come with a switch for turning the daylight running lights off and on.


Daytime running lights are mostly installed on modern cars

7. Fog lights

Do you notice some white lights directly underneath the headlights? Those are fog lights. Initially, headlights were meant to do both it's job and that of the fog lights, but modern cars have those installed below so they don't refract back at you while enabling you see through a foggy weather.

>>> Editor's pick for you: How to distinguish fog lights & daytime running lights?

8. Driving lamps

Driving lamps are commonly known as inner lights in Nigeria. They can be put on to enable you see your environment within the vehicle. It's usually install at the roof of the car.

9. Door lights

Asides the sign on the dashboard that shows a door is open, there used to be lights on the door to indicate this. They are red in colour and come on when a door isn't properly shut or when open.

Now you know all about the major car lights and their functions, you can drive safe and smart without putting your life and that of other road users at risk.

>>> Read more car facts and safe driving right here on Naijauto.com!

Kennedy Ilediagu
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Kennedy Ilediagu

Kennedy Ilediagu


Kennedy Ilediagu is an experienced wordsmith and a creative automotive writer for Naijauto.com. His forte ranges from vehicle maintenance and latest industry updates, to car review articles. He is also a brand management and content creation expert who has worked with Daily Posts (United Kingdom), ESUT Egg Day magazine, and many others for years. Digital copies written by him inform, educate and engage readers globally. When Kennedy is not writing, he is busy taking care of animals, traveling or watching football.

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