12 Types of Lights on a Car (With PDF & FAQs)

Types of lights on a car

Last Updated on October 2, 2022 by Atul Singla

Lights on a Car has come a long way. As cars advance, so do their lighting systems. In the early 1880s, acetylene lamps were used because the air flame was flexible. In the current 21st century, vehicles are traveling significantly faster than they were in 1900, requiring downgrade visibility to develop.

There are many options these days when it comes to headlights. Drivers often choose headlights based on the vehicle’s aesthetics.

Aside from looking better, there is no clear argument as to why you should choose one type over the other. How do these different types of headlights work and each has some different advantages? Let’s see what it has and its drawbacks.

Lights on a Car
Lights on a Car

This article will explain when and how to use different types of headlights & lights on a car. Everything is explained in this article with images to understand easily.

Head Lights On a Car

Headlights must illuminate the highway sufficiently to allow safe driving at night. These are usually fitted with two beams, one providing maximum illumination for night driving and the other deflecting towards the ground.

High beams can block the view of oncoming traffic, so use them only when there is no vehicle in front of you. There are usually different bulbs for high and low beams, so if one burns out the other may work. The headlights can be LED lights or HID lights.

Types of Headlights on a car

The followings are the three types of headlights on a car

  1. LED headlights
  2. HID headlights
  3. Halogen headlights

LED Highlights

These lights are a very energy-efficient type of headlight and are beginning to create a strong presence in modern headlights. These headlights are versatile and the bulbs can be made in different sizes.

This allows you to design headlight and tail LED lights in new and creative ways. Car manufacturers have started using this type of headlight to give their cars a distinctive look.

HID Lights

HID Lights stands for High-Intensity Discharge lights. HID light is another type of light that can be used for various lights on a car. These HID lights are unique because they have no filament like most incandescent bulbs.

HID filament lamps emit light through a reaction that occurs when an electric current is passed through a spherical bulb filled with various vapors or gases. The intense light beams produced by HID filament lamps make for ideal headlights.


Halogen lamps are the most popular type of lighting on the streets today. It typically uses a combination of nitrogen and argon gases and a tungsten filament inside a glass tube.

When the filament heats up, it produces light. They are cheap and easy to change but have fallen out of favor in recent years. A standard halogen bulb produces 1300 lumens. This is a good level of light compared to other options, but weak.

Parking Lights On a Car

In addition to the headlights, low-intensity parking lights are usually installed in front of the vehicle either as separate units or as part of the headlights and used while the vehicle is parked.

When you park your car in the dark, turn on your parking lights to signal other moving objects and avoid accidents.

Driving Lights On a Car

These are placed inside the vehicle and used to illuminate the cabin so that the passengers and drivers can safely see maps & directions, and find things in the dark. They should never be employed for long periods of time.

Direction Signal Lights On a Car

Turn signals are used to indicate the direction when the vehicle is turning. These lights signal vehicles coming from the front or the rear. In addition, some special signal lights are also used.

This includes when the high beams are on, the parking brake is applied, the oil pressure is low, the coolant temperature is too hot or too cold, or the generator is not charging the battery. Sometimes includes a red traffic light too.

Blinker Lights On a Car

A blinker light signals when the car is stopped on the highway or veers off onto a side road. Blinking is much more noticeable than a constant light and warns of approaching vehicles.

Backup Lights On a Car

Reverse light is used when the driver reverses the car by using reverse gear. This closes the switch linked to the gear selector that connects the backlight to the battery.

The rear of the car also has a brake light that comes on when you apply the brakes. Brake lights are of course lit when the car is stopped, but it is important to use and maintain them correctly.

Brake Lights On a Car

Repeated braking during a hard stop can attract the attention of the following driver and possibly avoid an accident.

Many people don’t realize their brake lights are off until they pull over. To avoid a penalty or driver’s license demerit, once a week s/he should have checked the brake light with the help of someone standing behind the car and applying the brake.

Tail Lights On a Car

Taillights illuminate the rear of the vehicle at night, allowing other vehicles coming from behind to see it. The tail lamp is always on while driving at night to avoid accidents.

Fog Lights On a Car

Fog lights are one of many lights on a car. Many people wonder which lights to use when driving in fog. Depending on thickness, low beam or high beam, one may work better than the other.

However, your car may have fog lights. Fog lights are designed to be easily seen by other drivers. They are usually placed lower on the car than the headlights so they can be seen below the fog line.

They are usually yellow or gold to draw attention to the vehicle. In dense fog, the high beams repel moisture and impede visibility.

Interior Lights On a Car

Interior lights on a car include instrument panel lights, various warning lights, and interior lights. Some cars are also equipped with keyhole lights, map lights, radio dial lights, and clock lights.

Daytime Driving Lights On a Car

Most cars are equipped with daytime running lights, which come on automatically when the car is switched on, increasing your visibility to other cars. If you don’t want them enabled, there is usually an option to disable them.

If possible, it makes sense to set the lighting to automatic so that the car can adjust the amount of light it sees. This ensures the right amount of light without constantly self-monitoring.

Warning Lights On a Car

Hazard warning lights are located on the front and rear of the vehicle. It is also called a flasher. Many countries use hazard warning lights in different ways.

When turned on, it receives a flashing signal to warn other drivers of problems or imminent danger. Use it only as a warning of disasters and traffic problems.


It’s important to know the different lights on your car and how they work, as well as the different types of lights you can use for them. Knowing these things will help you stay safe on the road and be prepared for changing driving conditions. Learning about cars always leads to safe driving. Learning about car lights is no exception. The types of car exterior lights and their various functions are designed to protect you and the people around you. You can also protect yourself and other drivers by protecting your lights with taillight and headlight covers.

If you are here at this part of the article then I am assuming that you have gone thru each type of light on a car. I am hoping that this article helps you to understand the various types & its function.

Further Readings: Related Articles

Click on the below links to know the various parts of a car.

External Parts of a Car

Internal Parts of a Car

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

What do the lights on the front of a car mean?

Signal lights are important when driving and can pass through turn signals. You can find them both on the front and back of the car next to the headlights and taillights. Activate these lights to let other drivers know you are turning and where you are going.

What are interior lights in a car?

The interior light is located inside the vehicle and illuminates the interior of the vehicle. Do not use it for long periods of time, especially while driving, as it may impair your judgment

What type of light is used in car headlights?

Halogen lights are the standard lights on most vehicles and use a combination of gases such as nitrogen and argon inside a tube with a tungsten filament that heats up to produce light. They are cheap and easy to maintain but have overheating issues

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