The lighting system of a motor vehicle consists of lighting and signalling devices mounted or integrated at the front, rear, sides, and in some cases the top of a motor vehicle. These light the roadway ahead for the driver and increase the visibility of the vehicle, allowing other drivers and pedestrians to see a vehicle's presence, position, size, direction of travel, and the driver's intentions regarding direction and speed of travel. Emergency vehicles usually carry distinctive lighting equipment to warn drivers and indicate priority of movement in traffic.
Early road vehicles used fuelled lamps, before the availability of electric lighting. The Ford Model T used carbide lamps for headlamps and oil lamps for tail lamps. It did not have all-electric lighting as a standard feature until several years after introduction. Dynamos for automobile headlamps were first fitted around 1908 and became commonplace in 1920s automobiles.
Silent film star Florence Lawrence is often credited with designing the first "auto signaling arm", a predecessor to the modern turn signal, along with the first mechanical brake signal. She did not patent these inventions, however, and as a result she received no credit for—or profit from—either one. Tail lamps and brake lamps were introduced around 1915, and by 1919 "dip" headlamps were available. The sealed beam headlamp was introduced in 1936 and standardised as the only acceptable type in the USA in 1940. Self-cancelling turn signals were developed in 1940. By 1945 headlamps and signal lamps were integrated into the body styling. Halogen headlamp light sources were developed in Europe in 1960. HID headlamps were produced starting in 1991. In 1993, the first LED tail lamps were installed on mass-production automobiles. LED headlamps were introduced in the first decade of the 21st century.
Colour of light emitted
The colour of light emitted by vehicle lights is largely standardised by longstanding convention. It was first codified in the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic and later specified in the 1968 United Nations Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. With some regional exceptions, lamps facing rearward must emit red light, lamps facing sideward and all turn signals must emit amber light, while lamps facing frontward must emit white or selective yellow light. No other colours are permitted except on emergency vehicles. Vehicle lighting colour specifications can differ somewhat in countries that have not signed the 1949 and/or 1968 Conventions; examples include turn signals and side marker lights in North America as described in those lamps' sections later in this article.
Forward illumination is provided by high- ("main", "full", "driving") and low- ("dip", "dipped", "passing") beam headlamps, which may be augmented by auxiliary fog lamps, driving lamps, or cornering lamps.
Dipped beam (low beam, passing beam, meeting beam)
Dipped-beam (also called low, passing, or meeting beam) headlamps provide a light distribution to give adequate forward and lateral illumination without dazzling other road users with excessive glare. This beam is specified for use whenever other vehicles are present ahead.
UN ECE Regulations for dipped beam headlamps specify a beam with a sharp, asymmetric cut-off; The half of the beam closest to drivers of oncoming vehicles is cut-off so that it is flat and low, while the half of the beam closest to the near side of the roadway is cut-off so that it slopes up and towards the near side of the roadway. This permits a functional compromise where it is possible to substantially prevent glare for oncoming drivers, while still allowing adequate illumination for drivers to see pedestrians, road signs, hazards, etc. on the near side of the roadway.
The United States and Canada use proprietary FMVSS / CMVSS standards instead of UN ECE regulations. These standards contain regulations for dipped beam headlamps that also specify a beam with a sharp, asymmetric cut-off; The half of the beam closest to drivers of oncoming vehicles is cut-off so that it is flat and low, however not as low as prescribed in UN ECE regulations. The half of the beam closest to the near side of the roadway is cut-off so that is also flat, but higher than the cut-off for half of the beam closest to oncoming vehicles. This results in substantially increased glare for oncoming drivers and also poorer illumination of the near side of the roadway in comparison to headlamps conforming to UN ECE regulations.
Main beam (high beam, driving beam, full beam)
Main-beam (also called high, driving, or full beam) headlamps provide an intense, centre-weighted distribution of light with no particular control of glare. Therefore, they are only suitable for use when alone on the road, as the glare they produce will dazzle other drivers.
Auxiliary high beam lamps may be fitted to provide high intensity light to enable the driver to see at longer range than the vehicle's high beam headlamps. Such lamps are most notably fitted on rallying cars, and are occasionally fitted to production vehicles derived from or imitating such cars. They are common in countries with large stretches of unlit roads, or in regions such as the Nordic countries where the period of daylight is short during winter.
"Driving lamp" is a term deriving from the early days of nighttime driving, when it was relatively rare to encounter an opposing vehicle. Only on those occasions when opposing drivers passed each other would the low (dipped or "passing") beam be used. The high beam was therefore known as the "driving beam", and this terminology is still found in international UN Regulations, which do not distinguish between a vehicle's primary (mandatory) and auxiliary (optional) upper/driving beam lamps. The "driving lamp" term has been supplanted in US regulations by the functionally descriptive term "auxiliary high-beam lamp".
Many countries regulate the installation and use of driving lamps. For example, in Russia each vehicle may have no more than three pairs of lights including the original-equipment items, and in Paraguay auxiliary driving lamps must be off and covered with opaque material when the vehicle is operated in urban areas.
Front fog lamps
Front fog lamps provide a wide, bar-shaped beam of light with a sharp cutoff at the top, and are generally aimed and mounted low. They may produce white or selective yellow light, and were designed for use at low speed to increase the illumination directed towards the road surface and verges in conditions of poor visibility due to rain, fog, dust or snow.
They are sometimes used in place of dipped-beam headlamps, reducing the glare-back from fog or falling snow, although the legality varies by jurisdiction of using front fog lamps without low beam headlamps.
In most countries, weather conditions rarely necessitate the use of front fog lamps and there is no legal requirement for them, so their primary purpose is frequently cosmetic. They are often available as optional extras or only on higher trim levels of many cars. Since as early as the 2020s, several car manufacturers have noticeably omitted the front fog lights from many of their latest models, as latest high-tech lighting such as DRLs and LEDs fitted on automatic high beams negate the use of fog lamps. However, some manufacturers who still offer foglamps as standard equipment in certain model trims have diversified its use to function also as an automatic lighting delay for vehicles, to light up the surroundings and roadside curbs after being parked.
An SAE study has shown that in the United States more people inappropriately use their fog lamps in dry weather than use them properly in poor weather.
Because of this, use of the fog lamps when visibility is not seriously reduced is often prohibited in most jurisdictions; for example, in New South Wales, Australia:
The driver of a vehicle must not use any fog light fitted to the vehicle unless the driver is driving in fog, mist or under other atmospheric conditions that restrict visibility.
The respective purposes of front fog lamps and driving lamps are often confused, due in part to the misconception that fog lamps are necessarily selective yellow, while any auxiliary lamp that makes white light is a driving lamp. Automakers and aftermarket parts and accessories suppliers frequently refer interchangeably to "fog lamps" and "driving lamps" (or "fog/driving lamps").
On some models, cornering lamps provide white steady-intensity light for lateral illumination in the direction of an intended turn or lane change. They are generally actuated in conjunction with the turn signals, and they may be wired to also illuminate when the vehicle is shifted into reverse gear. Some modern vehicles activate the cornering lamp on one or the other side when the steering wheel input reaches a predetermined angle in that direction, regardless of whether a turn signal has been activated.
American technical standards contain provisions for front cornering lamps as well as rear cornering lamps. Cornering lamps have traditionally been prohibited under international UN Regulations, though provisions have recently been made to allow them as long as they are only operable when the vehicle is travelling at less than 40 kilometres per hour (about 25 mph).
Police cars, emergency vehicles, and those competing in road rallies are sometimes equipped with an auxiliary lamp, sometimes called an alley light, in a swivel-mounted housing attached to one or both a-pillars, directable by a handle protruding through the pillar into the vehicle.
Conspicuity, signal and identification lights
Conspicuity devices are the lamps and reflectors that make a vehicle conspicuous and visible with respect to its presence, position, direction of travel, change in direction or deceleration. Such lamps may burn steadily, blink, or flash, depending on their intended and regulated function. Most must be fitted in pairs—one left and one right—though some vehicles have multiple pairs (such as two left and two right stop lamps) and/or redundant light sources (such as one left and one right stop lamp, each containing two bulbs).
Front position lamps
"Front position lamps", known as "parking lamps" or "parking lights" in North America, "parkers" in Australia and "front sidelights" in the UK, provide nighttime standing-vehicle conspicuity. They were designed to use little electricity, so they could be left on for periods of time while parked. Despite the UK term, these are not the same as the side marker lights described below. The front position lamps on any vehicle must emit white light unless the vehicle is a motorcycle which may have amber front position lamps In the US, Canada, Mexico, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia (only if combined with a side marker),  they may emit an amber light on any vehicle.The city light terminology for front position lamps derives from the practice, formerly adhered to in cities like Moscow, London and Paris, of driving at night in built-up areas using these low-intensity lights rather than headlamps.
In Germany, the StVZO (Road Traffic Licensing Regulations) calls for a different function also known as parking lamps: With the vehicle's ignition switched off, the operator may activate a low-intensity light at the front (white) and rear (red) on either the left or the right side of the car. This function is used when parking in narrow unlit streets to provide parked-vehicle conspicuity to approaching drivers. This function, which is optional under UN and US regulations, is served passively and without power consumption in the United States by the mandatory side marker retroreflectors.
Daytime running lamps
Some countries permit or require vehicles to be equipped with daytime running lamps (DRL). Depending on the regulations of the country for which the vehicle is built, these may be functionally dedicated lamps, or the function may be provided by the low beam or high beam headlamps, the front turn signals, or the front fog lamps.
Passenger cars and small delivery vans first type approved to UN Regulation 48 on or after 7 February 2011 must be equipped with DRLs; large vehicles (trucks and buses) type approved since August 2012 must be so equipped. Functional piggybacking, such as operating the headlamps or front turn signals or fog lamps as DRLs, is not permitted; the EU Directive requires functionally specific daytime running lamps compliant with UN Regulation 87 and mounted to the vehicle in accord with UN Regulation 48.
Prior to the DRL mandate, countries requiring daytime lights permitted low beam headlamps to provide that function. National regulations in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Slovenia, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark require hardwired automatic DRL systems of varying specification. DRLs are permitted in many countries where they are not required, but prohibited in other countries not requiring them.
Front, side, and rear position lamps are permitted, required, or forbidden to illuminate in combination with daytime running lamps, depending on the jurisdiction and the DRL implementation. Likewise, according to jurisdictional regulations, DRLs mounted within a certain distance of turn signals are permitted or required to extinguish or dim down to parking lamp intensity individually when the adjacent turn signal is operating.
Intensity and colour
UK regulations briefly required vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1987 to be equipped with a dim-dip device or special running lamps, except such vehicles as comply fully with UN Regulation 48 regarding the installation of lighting equipment. A dim-dip device operates the low beam headlamps (called "dipped beam" in the UK) at between 10% and 20% of normal low-beam intensity. The running lamps permitted as an alternative to dim-dip were required to emit at least 200 candela straight ahead, and no more than 800 candela in any direction. In practice, most vehicles were equipped with the dim-dip option rather than the running lamps.
The dim-dip systems were not intended for daytime use as DRLs. Rather, they operated if the engine was running and the driver switched on the parking lamps (called "sidelights" in the UK). Dim-dip was intended to provide a nighttime "town beam" with intensity between that of the parking lamps commonly used at the time by British drivers in city traffic after dark, and dipped (low) beams; the former were considered insufficiently intense to provide improved conspicuity in conditions requiring it, while the latter were considered too glaring for safe use in built-up areas. The UK was the only country to require such dim-dip systems, though vehicles so equipped were sold in other Commonwealth countries with left-hand traffic.
In 1988, the European Commission successfully prosecuted the UK government in the European Court of Justice, arguing that the UK requirement for dim-dip was illegal under EC directives prohibiting member states from enacting vehicle lighting requirements not contained in pan-European EC directives. As a result, the UK requirement for dim-dip was quashed. Nevertheless, dim-dip systems remain permitted, and while such systems are not presently as common as they once were, dim-dip functionality was fitted on many new cars well into the 1990s.
Side marker lights and reflectors
In the United States, amber front and red rear side marker lamps and retroreflectors are required. The law initially required lights or retroreflectors on vehicles manufactured after 1 January 1968. This was amended to require lights and retroreflectors on vehicles manufactured after 1 January 1970. These side-facing devices make the vehicle's presence, position and direction of travel clearly visible from oblique angles. The lights are wired so as to illuminate whenever the vehicles' parking and taillamps are on, including when the headlamps are being used. Front amber side markers in the United States may be wired so as to flash in synchronous phase or opposite-phase with the turn signals; nevertheless, they are not required to flash at all. Side markers are permitted but not required on cars and light passenger vehicles outside the United States and Canada. If installed, they are required to be brighter and visible through a larger horizontal angle than US side markers, may flash only in synchronous phase with the turn signals (but are not required to flash), and they must be amber at the front and rear, except rear side markers may be red if they are grouped, combined, or reciprocally incorporated with another rear lighting function that is required to be red.
Australian Design Rule 45/01 provides for two different kinds of side marker light: a type for trucks and other large vehicles producing amber light to the front and red to the rear with no requirement to emit light to the side. intended for showing the overall length of long from in front and behind a combination, and the U.S. type amber front/red rear lamps for passenger cars.
Side marker lights were a modern update of a light fixture used on vehicles during the 1920s to 1930s called a "cowl light" or "cowl lamp", which was a small light installed at the top edge of the cowl where it was met by the edge of engine compartment hoods that would fold up on either side of the engine, and would serve as a reference point for oncoming traffic where the widest part of the body was. This was sometimes used in tandem to a fender light during the same time period when fenders were separate from the engine compartment and only covered the wheels, having been a progression from running boards that would extend over the wheels to block splash back and road debris from the turning wheels.
Direction-indicator lamps or turn signals, informally known as "directional signals", "directionals", "blinkers", or "indicators", are blinking lamps mounted near the left and right front and rear corners of a vehicle, and sometimes on the sides or on the side mirrors of a vehicle, activated by the driver on one side of the vehicle at a time to advertise intent to turn or change lanes towards that side.
Cars from the 1970's or older have turn signals that are powered by thermal flashers which used a heating element, leaf spring and a bimetallic strip. When the signal stalk is pushed up or down, the heating element heats up, causing the bimetallic strip to compress the leaf spring and closing the contacts from the battery to the turn signal lamps. As the lamps draw more current than the heating element, the heating element has lesser current and cools, causing the leaf spring to push the bimetallic strip away and opening the circuit and this cycle keeps repeating until the turn is canceled.
Thermal flashers were superseded by electromechanical relays since the 1980s and used a relaxation oscillator chip to generate square waves to the relay coil, causing the relay contacts to open and close, causing the lamps to flash and also generates the clicking sound associated with turn signals.
Modern cars now use a relaxation oscillator and solid-state relay built into the body control module to flash the lamps and use speakers to produce the clicking sound, which varies by each car manufacturer. They also detect a lamp burn-out and mimic hyperflashing of a thermal flasher or a relay.
Electric turn-signal lights date from as early as 1907. The modern flashing turn signal was patented in 1938 and later most major automobile manufacturers offered this feature. As of 2013[update] most countries require turn signals on all new vehicles that are driven on public roadways. Alternative systems of hand signals were used earlier, and remain common for bicycles. Hand signals are also sometimes used when regular vehicle lights are malfunctioning or for older vehicles without turn signals.
Some cars from the 1920s to early 1960s used retractable semaphores called trafficators rather than flashing lights. They were commonly mounted high up behind the front doors and swung out horizontally. However, they were fragile and could be easily broken off and also had a tendency to stick in the closed position. These can be fitted with flashing lights as an upgrade.
As with all vehicle lighting and signalling devices, turn-signal lights must comply with technical standards that stipulate minimum and maximum permissible intensity levels, minimum horizontal and vertical angles of visibility, and minimum illuminated surface area to ensure that they are visible at all relevant angles, do not dazzle those who view them, and are suitably conspicuous in conditions ranging from full darkness to full direct sunlight.
Side turn signals
In most countries, cars must be equipped with side-mounted turn signal repeaters to make the turn indication visible laterally (i.e. to the sides of the vehicle) rather than just to the front and rear of the vehicle. These are permitted, but not required in the United States. As an alternative in both the United States and Canada, the front amber side marker lights may be wired to flash with the turn signals, but this is not mandatory. Mercedes-Benz introduced the side turn signal repeaters integrated into the side view mirror in 1998, starting with its facelifted E-Class (W210). Since then, many automakers have been incorporating side turn signal devices into the mirror housings rather than mounting them on the vehicle's fenders. Some evidence suggests these mirror-mounted turn signals may be more effective than fender-mounted items.
Electrical connection and switching
Turn signals are required to blink on and off, or "flash", at a steady rate of between 60 and 120 blinks per minute (1–2 Hz). International UN Regulations require that all turn signals flash in simultaneous phase; US regulations permit side marker lights wired for side turn signal functionality to flash in opposite-phase. An audio and/or visual tell-tale indicator is required, to advise the driver when the turn signals are activated and operating. This usually takes the form of one green light on the dashboard on cars from the 1980's or older, or two green indicator lights on cars from the 1990's to the present, and a cyclical "tick-tock" sound generated electromechanically or electronically by the flasher. It is also required that the vehicle operator be alerted by much faster- or slower-than-normal flashing in the event a turn signal light fails.
Turn signals are in almost every case activated by a horizontal lever (or "stalk") protruding from the side of the steering column, though on some vehicles it protrudes from the dashboard. The driver raises or lowers the outboard end of the stalk, in accord with the clockwise or anticlockwise direction the steering wheel is about to be turned.
In left-hand drive vehicles, the turn indicator stalk is usually located to the left of the steering wheel. In right-hand-drive vehicles, there is less consistency; it may be located to the left or to the right of the steering wheel. Regulations do not specify a mandatory location for the turn signal control, only that it be visible and operable by the driver, and—at least in North America—that it be labelled with a specific symbol if it is not located on the left side of the steering column. The international UN Regulations do not include analogous specifications.
Virtually all vehicles (except many motorcycles and commercial semi-tractors) have a turn-indicator self-cancelling feature that returns the lever to the neutral (no signal) position as the steering wheel approaches the straight-ahead position after a turn has been made. Beginning in the late 1960s, using the direction-indicator lamps to signal for a lane change was facilitated by the addition of a spring-loaded momentary signal-on position just shy of the left and right detents. The signal operates for however long the driver holds the lever partway towards the left or right turn signal detent. Some vehicles have an automatic lane-change indication feature; tapping the lever partway towards the left or right signal position and immediately releasing it causes the applicable turn indicators to flash three to five times.
Some transit buses, such as those in New York, have turn signals activated by floor-mounted momentary-contact footswitches on the floor near the driver's left foot (on left-hand drive buses). The foot-activated signals allow bus drivers to keep both hands on the steering wheel while watching the road and scanning for passengers as they approach a bus stop. New York City Transit bus drivers, among others, are trained to step continuously on the right directional switch while servicing a bus stop, to signal other road users they are intentionally dwelling at the stop, allowing following buses to skip that stop. This method of signalling requires no special arrangements for self-cancellation or passing.
Sequential turn signals
Sequential turn signals are a feature on some cars wherein the turn-signal function is provided by multiple lit elements that illuminate sequentially rather than simultaneously: the innermost lamp lights and remains illuminated, the next outermost lamp lights and remains illuminated, followed by the next outermost lamp and so on until the outermost lamp lights briefly, at which point all lamps extinguish together and, after a short pause, the cycle begins again. The visual effect is one of outward motion in the direction of the intended turn or lane change. They were factory fitted to 1965–1971-model Ford Thunderbirds, to 1967–1973 Mercury Cougars, to Shelby Mustangs between 1967 and 1970, to 1969 Imperials, to the Japanese-market 1971–1972 Nissan Cedric and Nissan Bluebird, some Audi models and to Ford Mustangs since 2010.
Two different systems were employed. The earlier, fitted to the 1965 through 1968 Ford-built cars and the 1971–1972 Nissan Cedric, employed an electric motor driving, through reduction gearing, a set of three slow-turning cams. These cams would actuate switches to turn on the lights in sequence. Later Ford cars and the 1969 Imperial used a transistorised control module with no moving parts to wear, break, or go out of adjustment.
FMVSS 108 has been officially interpreted as requiring all light-sources in an active turn signal to illuminate simultaneously. Some vehicles, such as the 2010 and later Ford Mustang,  Other US vehicles with sequential turn signals comply by illuminating all elements of the turn signal, then sequentially turning them off.
Turn signal colour
Until the early 1960s, most front turn signals worldwide emitted white light and most rear turn signals emitted red. The auto industry in the USA voluntarily adopted amber front-turn signals for most vehicles beginning in the 1963 model year, though the advent of amber signals was accompanied by legal stumbles in some states and front turn signals were still legally permitted to emit white light until FMVSS 108 took effect for the 1968 model year, whereupon amber became the only permissible front turn-signal colour. Currently, most countries outside the United States and Canada require that all front, side and rear turn signals produce amber light.
In Brazil, Canada, Switzerland and the US, the rear signals may be amber or red. Additionally, red turn signals can also be found in countries with trade agreements with the US such as Mexico and South Korea, as well as in New Zealand. Proponents of red rear turn signals have claimed that they are less costly to manufacture, and automakers use turn signal colour as a styling element to differentiate vehicles of different model years. Proponents of amber rear turn signals say they are more easily discernible as turn signals. It has been recognised since the 1960s that amber turn signals are more quickly spotted than red ones. A 2008 US study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests vehicles with amber rear signals rather than red ones are up to 28% less likely to be involved in certain kinds of collisions, a followup 2009 NHTSA study determined there is a significant overall safety benefit to amber rather than red rear turn signals, US studies in the early 1990s demonstrated improvements in the speed and accuracy of following drivers' reactions to stop lamps when the turn signals were amber rather than red, and NHTSA determined in 2015 that amber rear turn signals can be provided at comparable cost to red ones.
There is some evidence that turn signals with colourless clear lenses and amber bulbs may be less conspicuous in bright sunlight than those with amber lenses and colourless bulbs.
The amber bulbs commonly used in turn signals with colourless lenses are no longer made with cadmium glass, since various regulations worldwide, including the European RoHS directive, banned cadmium because of its toxicity. Amber glass made without cadmium is relatively costly, so . With accumulated heat-cool cycles, some of these coatings may flake off the bulb glass, or the colour may fade. This causes the turn signal to emit white light rather than the required amber light.
The international regulation on motor vehicle bulbs requires manufacturers to test bulbs for colour endurance. However, no test protocol or colour durability requirement is specified. Discussion is ongoing within the Groupe des Rapporteurs d'Éclairage, the UNECE working group on vehicular lighting regulation, to develop and implement a colour durability standard.
Rather than using an amber bulb, some signal lamps contain an inner amber plastic enclosure between a colourless bulb and the colourless outer lens.
Rear position lamps (tail lamps)
Conspicuity for the rear of a vehicle is provided by rear position lamps (also called tail lamps or tail lights). These are required to produce only red light and to be wired such that they are lit whenever the front position lamps are lit, including when the headlamps are on. Rear position lamps may be combined with the vehicle's stop lamps or separate from them. In combined-function installations, the lamps produce brighter red light for the stop lamp function and dimmer red light for the rear position lamp function. Regulations worldwide stipulate minimum intensity ratios between the bright (stop) and dim (rear position) modes, so that a vehicle displaying rear position lamps will not be mistakenly interpreted as showing stop lamps, and vice versa.
Stop lamps (brake lights)
Red steady-burning rear lights, brighter than the rear position lamps, are activated when the driver applies the vehicle's brakes and warn vehicles behind to prepare to stop. These are formally called stop lamps in technical standards and regulations and in the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, though informally they are sometimes called "brake lights". They are required to be fitted in multiples of two, symmetrically at the left and right edges of the rear of every vehicle. International UN regulations No. 7 specify a range of acceptable intensity for a stop lamp of 60 to 185 candela. In North America where the UN regulations are not recognised, the acceptable range for a single-compartment stop lamp is 80 to 300 candela.
Centre high mount stop lamp (CHMSL)
In the United States and Canada since 1986, in Australia and New Zealand since 1990, and in Europe and other countries applying UN Regulation 48 since 1998, a central stop (brake) lamp mounted higher than the vehicle's left and right stop lamps and called a "centre high mount stop lamp (CHMSL)", is also required. The CHMSL is sometimes informally called the "centre brake lamp", the "third brake light", the "eye-level brake lamp", the "safety brake lamp", or the "high-level brake lamp". The CHMSL may use one or more filament bulbs or LEDs, or a strip of neon tube as its light source.
The CHMSL is intended to provide a warning to drivers whose view of the vehicle's left and right stop lamps is blocked by interceding vehicles. It also provides a redundant stop light signal in the event of a stop lamp malfunction. In North America where rear turn signals are permitted to emit red light, the CHMSL also helps to disambiguate brake lights from rear position lights and turn signal lights.
The CHMSL is generally required to illuminate steadily and not permitted to flash, though US regulators granted Mercedes-Benz a temporary, 24-month exemption in January 2006 to the steady-light requirement so as to evaluate whether a flashing CHMSL provides an emergency stop signal that effectively reduces the likelihood of a crash.
On passenger cars, the CHMSL may be placed above the back glass, affixed to the vehicle's interior just inside the back glass, or it may be integrated into the vehicle's deck lid or into a spoiler. Other specialised fitments are sometimes seen; the Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Freelander have the CHMSL on a stalk fixed to the spare wheel carrier. Trucks, vans and commercial vehicles sometimes have the CHMSL mounted to the trailing edge of the vehicle's roof. The CHMSL is required by regulations worldwide to be centred laterally on the vehicle, though UN Regulation 48 permits lateral offset of up to 15 cm if the vehicle's lateral centre is not coincident with a fixed body panel, but instead separates movable components such as doors. The Renault Master and Ford Transit van, for example, uses a laterally offset CHMSL for this reason. The height of the CHMSL is also regulated, in absolute terms and with respect to the mounting height of the vehicle's conventional left and right stop lamps. Depending on the left and right lamps' height, the lower edge of the CHMSL may be just above the left and right lamps' upper edge.
The 1952 Volkswagen Bus was equipped with only one stop lamp, mounted centrally and higher than the left and right rear lamps which did not produce a stop lamp function. The 1968–1971 Ford Thunderbird could be ordered with optional supplemental high-mounted stop and turn signal lights integrated into the left and right interior trim surrounding the backglass. The Oldsmobile Toronado from 1971 to 1978, and the Buick Riviera from 1974 to 1976 had similar dual high-mounted supplemental stop/turn lights as standard equipment; these were located on the outside of the vehicle below the bottom of the backglass. This type of configuration was not widely adopted at the time. Auto and lamp manufacturers in Germany experimented with dual high-mount supplemental stop lamps in the early 1980s, but this effort, too, failed to gain wide popular or regulatory support.
Effective with the 1986 model year, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Transport Canada mandated that all new passenger cars come equipped with a CHMSL. The requirement was extended to light trucks and vans for the 1994 model year. Early studies involving taxicabs and other fleet vehicles found that a third, high-level stop lamp reduced rear-end collisions by about 50%. Once the novelty effect wore off as most vehicles on the road came to be equipped with the central third stop lamp, the crash-avoidance benefit declined. However, the crash-avoidance benefit has not declined to zero, and a CHMSL is so inexpensive to incorporate into a vehicle that it is a cost-effective collision avoidance feature even at the long-term enduring crash-reduction benefit of 4.3%.
Emergency stop signal (ESS)
Emergency stop signal is a lighting function wherein the vehicle's stop (brake) lights and/or hazard flashers flash in phase at 3 to 5 Hz under heavy/urgent braking. The emergency stop signal is automatically activated if the vehicle speed is greater than 50 km/h (31 mph) and the emergency braking logic defined by regulation No. 13 (heavy vehicles), 13H (light vehicles), or 78 (motorcycles) is activated; the ESS may be displayed when a light vehicle's deceleration is greater than 6 m/s2 (20 ft/s2) or a heavy vehicle's deceleration is greater than 4 m/s2 (13 ft/s2), and the ESS must be discontinued once the vehicle's deceleration drops below 2.5 m/s2 (8.2 ft/s2).
In February 2019, Members of the European Parliament approved rules making emergency stop signal mandatory on new vehicles sold in the European Union.
Other methods of severe-braking indication have also been implemented; some Volvo models make the stop lamps brighter, and some BMWs have "Adaptive Brake Lights" that effectively increase the size of the stop lights under severe braking by illuminating the tail lamps at brighter-than-normal intensity. As long as the brighter-than-normal stop lamps are within the regulated maximum intensity for stop lamps in general, this kind of implementation does not require specific regulatory approval since the stop lamps are under all conditions operating in accord with the general regulations on stop lamps.
The idea behind such emergency-braking indicator systems is to catch following drivers' attention with special urgency. However, there remains considerable debate over whether the system offers a measurable increase in safety performance. To date, studies of vehicles in service have not shown significant improvement. The systems used by BMW, Volvo, and Mercedes differ not only in operational mode (growing vs. intensifying vs. flashing, respectively), but also in such parameters as deceleration threshold of activation. Data are being collected and analyzed in an effort to determine how such a system might be implemented to maximise a safety benefit, if such a benefit can be realised with visual emergency braking displays. An experimental study at the University of Toronto has tested stop lights which gradually and continuously grow in illuminated area with increasing braking.
One potential problem with flashing stop lamps in the United States (and Canada) is the regulations that permit flashing stop lamps to be used in lieu of separate rear turn signal and hazard warning lamps.
Rear fog lamps
In Europe and other countries adhering to UN Regulation 48, vehicles must be equipped with one or two bright red "rear fog lamps", which serve as high-intensity rear position lamps to be turned on by the driver in conditions of poor visibility to make the vehicle more visible from the rear. The allowable range of intensity for a rear fog lamp is 150 to 300 candela, which is within the range of a US stop lamp (brake light). Rear fog lamps are not required equipment in the US, but they are permitted, and are found almost exclusively on European-brand vehicles in North America. Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes, MINI, Land Rover, Porsche, Saab and Volvo provide functional rear fog lights on their North American models. Some vehicles from non-European brands which are adaptions of European-market offerings, such as the first generation Ford Transit Connect, come standard with rear fog lights, or vehicles with European market counterparts, such as the second generation Chrysler 300, have an option for them. The final generation Oldsmobile Aurora also had dual rear fog lights installed in the rear bumper as standard equipment.
Most jurisdictions permit rear fog lamps to be installed either singly or in pairs. If a single rear fog is fitted, most jurisdictions require it to be located at or to the driver's side of the vehicle's centreline—whichever side is the prevailing driver's side in the country in which the vehicle is registered. This is to maximise the sight line of following drivers to the rear fog lamp. In many cases, a single reversing lamp is mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle, positionally symmetrical with the rear fog. If two rear fog lamps are fitted, they must be symmetrical with respect to the vehicle's centreline.
Proponents of twin rear fog lamps say two lamps provide vehicle distance information not available from a single lamp. Proponents of the single rear fog lamp say dual rear fog lamps closely mimic the appearance of illuminated stop lamps (which are mandatorily installed in pairs), reducing the conspicuity of the stop lamps' message when the rear fogs are activated. To provide some safeguard against rear fog lamps being confused with stop lamps, UN Regulation 48 requires a separation of at least 10 cm between the closest illuminated edges of any stop lamp and any rear fog lamp.
Reversing (backup) lamps
To warn adjacent vehicle operators and pedestrians of a vehicle's rearward motion, and to provide illumination to the rear when backing up, each vehicle must be equipped with one or two rear-mounted, rear-facing reversing (or "backup") lamps. These are required to produce white light by US and international UN Regulations. However, some countries have at various times permitted amber reversing lights. In Australia and New Zealand, for example, vehicle manufacturers were faced with the task of localising American cars originally equipped with combination red brake/turn signal lamps and white reversing lights. Those countries' regulations permitted the amber rear turn signals to burn steadily as reversing lights, so automakers and importers were able to combine the (mandatorily amber) rear turn signal and (optionally amber) reversing light function, and so comply with the regulations without the need for additional lighting devices. Both countries now require white reversing lights, and the combination amber turn/reverse light is no longer permitted on new vehicles. The US state of Washington currently permits reversing lamps to emit white or amber light.
Rear registration plate lamp
The rear registration plate is illuminated either by a single or a pair of yellow or white lamp(s), affixed beneath the indentations of the trunk or bumper. It is designed to light the surface of the plate without creating light directly visible to the rear of the vehicle and must be illuminated whenever the position lamps are lit.
On large vehicles
Large vehicles such as trucks and buses are in many cases required to carry additional lighting devices beyond those required on passenger vehicles. The specific requirements vary according to the regulations in force where the vehicle is registered.
In the US and Canada vehicles over 80 inches (2.032 m) wide must be equipped with three amber front and three red rear identification lamps spaced 6–12 inches (15–30 cm) apart at the centre of the front and rear of the vehicle, as high as practicable. The front identification lamps are typically mounted atop the cab of vehicles. The purpose of these lamps is to alert other drivers to the presence of a wide (and usually, tall) vehicle.
End-outline marker lamps
UN Regulation 48 requires vehicles exceeding 2.10 meters in width to be equipped with left and right white front and red rear end-outline marker lamps, which serve a purpose comparable to that of the American clearance lamp, i.e. to indicate clearly the vehicle's overall width and height. The front clearance lamp may be amber in Australia and New Zealand.
Intermediate side marker lamps and reflectors
US and Canadian regulations require large vehicles to be equipped with amber side marker lights and reflectors mounted midway between the front and rear side markers. Australian Design Rule 45/01 provides for side marker lights on trucks and other large vehicles producing amber light to the front and red to the rear with no requirement to emit light to the side.
Rear overtake lights
Until about the 1970s in France, Spain, Morocco, and possibly other countries, many commercial vehicles and some Soviet road trains from "Sovtransavto" had a green light mounted on the rear offside. This could be operated by the driver to indicate that it was safe for the following vehicle to overtake.
Emergency warning devices
Hazard warning signal
The hazard warning signal (sometimes called the "hazard warning flashers", "hazard warning lights", "emergency lights", "4-way flashers", "hazards", or "flashers") is provided by flashing all of a vehicle's left and right turn signals simultaneously and in phase. Hazard warning signals first appeared as aftermarket accessories in the early 1950s; by the late 1960s, regulations around the world came to require all new vehicles to be so equipped. Operation of the hazard flashers must be from a control independent of the turn signal control, and an audiovisual tell-tale must be provided to the driver.
This function is meant to indicate a hazard such as a vehicle stopped in or near moving traffic, a disabled vehicle, a vehicle moving substantially slower than the flow of traffic such as a truck climbing a steep grade, or the presence of stopped or slow traffic ahead on a high speed road.
In vehicles with a separate left and right green turn signal tell-tale on the dashboard, both left and right indicators may flash to provide visual indication of the hazard flashers' operation. In vehicles with a single green turn signal tell-tale on the dashboard, a separate red tell-tale must be provided for hazard flasher indication. Because the hazard flasher function operates the vehicle's left and right turn signals, a left or a right turn signal function may not be provided while the hazard flashers are operating.
|Red rear side marker retroreflectors on Ford F-series trucks without (top) and with (bottom) direct illumination|
"Retroreflectors" (also called "reflex reflectors") produce no light of their own, but rather reflect incident light back towards its source, for example, another driver's headlight. They are regulated as automotive lighting devices, and specified to account for the separation between a vehicle's headlamps and its driver's eyes. Thus, vehicles are conspicuous even when their lights are off. Regulations worldwide require all vehicles and trailers to be equipped with rear-facing red retroreflectors; in countries where UN Regulation № 48 is applied, these must be triangular on trailers and non-triangular on vehicles other than trailers. Since 1968, US regulations also require side-facing retroreflectors, amber in front and red in the rear. Sweden, South Africa and other countries have at various times required white front-facing retroreflectors.
Variable-intensity signal lamps
International UN Regulations explicitly permit vehicle signal lamps with intensity automatically increased during bright daylight hours when sunlight reduces the effectiveness of the stop lamps, and automatically decreased during hours of darkness when glare could be a concern. Both US and UN regulations contain provisions for determining the minimum and maximum acceptable intensity for lamps that contain more than a single light source.
Multicolour auxiliary signals
Some jurisdictions, such as the US states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, permit vehicles to be equipped with auxiliary rear signal systems displaying green light when the accelerator is depressed, yellow light when the vehicle is coasting, and red light when the brake is depressed. Such systems have in the past been sold as aftermarket accessories, but are today seldom seen in traffic.
Research and development
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, among other bodies, has commissioned studies of vehicle signal systems and configurations in an effort to determine the most promising avenues and best practices for enhanced crash avoidance via optimised vehicle conspicuity and signal lighting systems.
Interior and convenience lights
Most cars have at least one "dome light" (or "courtesy light") located in or near the ceiling of the passenger compartment, to provide illumination by which to fasten seatbelts and enter or exit the car. These often have an option to switch on when the front (or any) passenger doors are opened. Many vehicles have expanded this feature, causing the overhead interior light to remain on after all doors are closed, allowing passengers to fasten seat belts with added illumination. The extended lighting cycle usually ends when the vehicle's ignition has begun, or a gradual reduction in light emitted after a couple of minutes if the car isn't started, called "theater" lighting. Interior lighting has been added on some vehicles at the bottom edge of the dashboard, which illuminates the floor for front passengers, or underneath the front seats at the rear, to illuminate the floor for rear seat passengers. This type of convenience lighting approach is also sometimes used to illuminate interior or exterior door handles, exterior step running boards, or electric window switches.
LED light sources appear increasingly as interior convenience lights in various locations, especially with finely focused lighting on console control surfaces and in cabin storage areas.
Map lights are aimed at specific passenger positions and allow for reading without glare distraction to the driver. Some vehicles have "approach lighting" (puddle lights) in the exterior mirrors or lower edges of the doors, as well as interior lighting activated via key fob. Many cars have lights in the trunk (or boot), the engine compartment, and the glovebox and other storage compartments. Modern pickup trucks usually have one or more white cargo lights which illuminate the bed of the truck, often controlled in conjunction with the interior dome lighting.
Most instruments and controls on a dashboard in modern vehicles are illuminated when the headlamps are turned on, and the intensity of light can be adjusted by the driver for comfort. Saab automobiles, for example, have an aircraft-style "night panel" function which shuts off all interior illumination save for the speedometer (unless attention is called to a critical situation on another gauge) to improve the driver's night vision.
On service vehicles
Emergency vehicle lights
Emergency vehicles such as fire engines, ambulances, police cars, snow-removal vehicles and tow trucks are usually equipped with intense warning lights of particular colours. These may be motorised rotating beacons, xenon strobes, or arrays of LEDs. The prescribed colours differ by jurisdiction; in most countries, blue and red special warning lamps are used on police, fire, and medical-emergency vehicles. In the United States and some other jurisdictions, amber lights are for tow trucks, private security personnel, construction vehicles, and other nonofficial special-service vehicles, while volunteer firefighters use red, blue, or green, depending on jurisdiction. In the US it is a violation of the DOT (Department of Transportation) Uniform Vehicle Code for any non-emergency vehicle (Police/Fire/Ambulance) to operate forward-facing red lights of any kind. Cars in the US only have red tail-lights, and no blue lights; a vehicle displaying a red (forward-facing) light (flashing or not) coming towards a driver, or from behind the driver (in rear view mirror) indicates that an official emergency vehicle is coming, requiring the driver to yield, pull off to the side of the road, or otherwise get out of its way. Some US states allow emergency vehicles to have blue lights that can be turned on to warn drivers of an emergency vehicle in action; blue and red lights can be combined, forward- and/or rear-facing, also. In the UK, doctors may use green warning lamps although these do not allow the user to claim any exemption from road traffic regulations compared to the blue lights used by statutory emergency services when responding to calls. Special warning lights, usually amber, are also sometimes mounted on slow or wide vehicles such as mobile cranes, excavators, tractors, and even mobility scooters in certain conditions.[vague]
Standard Taxicabs for street hire are distinguished by special lights affixed to the vehicle's roof with accordance to local regulations.
They may have an illuminated "Taxi" sign, a light to signal that they are ready to take passengers or off duty, or an emergency panic light the driver can activate in the event of a robbery to alert a passersby to call the police. The "Taxi" sign may also, depending on local regulations, be required to display a number identifying the vehicle.
The incandescent light bulb was long the light source used in all automotive lighting devices. They are still commonly used in turn signals to stop hyper-flashing of the turn signal flashers. Many types of bulbs have been used. Standardized type numbers are used by manufacturers to identify bulbs with the same specifications. Bases may be bayonet-type with one or two contacts, plastic or glass wedge, or dual wire loops or ferrules used on tubular "festoon" lamps. Screw-base lamps are never used in automobile applications due to their loosening under vibration. Signal lamps with internal or external coloured lenses use colourless bulbs; conversely, lamps with colourless lenses may use red or amber bulbs to provide light of the required colours for the various functions.
Typically, bulbs of 21 to 27 watts producing 280 to 570 lumens (22 to 45 mean spherical candlepower) are used for stop, turn, reversing and rear fog lamps, while bulbs of 4 to 10 W, producing 40 to 130 lm (3 to 10 mscp) are used for tail lamps, parking lamps, side marker lamps and side turn signal repeaters.
Tungsten-halogen lamps are a very common light source for headlamps and other forward illumination functions. Some recent[year needed] vehicles use small halogen bulbs for exterior signalling and marking functions, as well. The first halogen lamp approved for automotive use was the H1, which was introduced in Europe in 1962, 55 W producing 1500 lm.
Light-emitting diodes (LED)
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are increasingly used[year needed] in automotive lamps. They offer very long service life, extreme vibration resistance, and can permit considerably shallower packaging compared to most bulb-type assemblies. LEDs also offer a potential safety benefit when employed in stop lights, because when power is applied they rise to full intensity approximately 250 milliseconds (¼ second) faster than incandescent bulbs. This fast rise time theoretically provides following drivers more time to react to the stop light signal, but has not been shown to make cars with LED stop lamps less likely to be struck from behind.
LEDs were first applied to automotive lighting in centre high-mount stop lamps (CHMSL), beginning with the 1986 Chevrolet Corvette. Adoption of LEDs for other signal functions on passenger cars is gradually increasing with demand for the technology and related styling updates. The first car registered to drive on the road, with Full LED Tail lights was a Lightweight Concept Vehicle LCV2/3 [concepts-land-rover-lcv2/3]. A Concept car built in 1998 by Rover. At the time the only light function that was difficult to reproduce was the reverse light, as white LED's did not Exist. The reverse function was only achievable with the introduction of Blue LED's. By mixing Red, Green and Blue LED in a defined distributed pattern behind a Lens, White light was produced conforming to the legal requirements of a reverse light. In North America, the 2000 Cadillac Deville was the first passenger car with LED taillights. The 2002 Kia Opirus was an early adopter of LED front turn signals. The 2007 Audi R8 sports car uses two strips of optically focused high-intensity LEDs for its daytime running lamps. Optional on the R8 outside North America was the world's first LED headlamp, made by AL-Automotive Lighting. The low and high beams, along with the position (parking) lamp and front turn signal, are all realized with LEDs. The Lexus LS 600h features LED low beam, position and side marker lamps in North America, and the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Platinum uses LEDs for the low and high beams, as well as for the position and side marker lamps. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W222) has no non-LED lamps at all, not even in the most basic trim level.
LED lamps are used for flashing beacon lights on vehicles such as maintenance trucks. Previously, traditional light sources required the engine to continue running to ensure that the battery would not become depleted if the lights were to be used for more than a few hours. The energy-efficient nature of the LED allows the engine to be turned off but the light continue to flash.
LED lighting systems are sensitive to heat. Due to the negative influences of heat on the stability of photometric performance and the light transmitting components, the importance of thermal design, stability tests, usage of low-UV-type LED modules and UV-resistance tests of internal materials has increased dramatically. For this reason, LED signal lamps must remain compliant with the intensity requirements for the functions they produce after one minute and after thirty minutes of continuous operation. In addition, UN Regulation 112 contains a set of tests for LED modules, including color rendering, UV radiation, and temperature stability tests. According to UN Regulations 112 and 123, mechanical, electromechanical or other devices for headlamps must withstand endurance tests and function failure tests.
High intensity discharge (HID)
High-intensity discharge, or HID lamps, sometimes referred to as "xenon lamps" are modified metal halide lamps employing xenon fill gas. Traditional HID lamps such as those used for general lighting have a long warm-up time. Headlamps must provide light very shortly after they are turned on, and xenon gas serves to reduce start-up time.
Neon lamp tubes were introduced into series production for the centre high-mount stop lamp on the 1995 Ford Explorer. Notable later uses included the 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII with a neon tube spanning the width of the trunk decklid, and the BMW Z8, which made extensive use of neon.
The linear format of the neon light source lends itself to centre high-mount stop lamp installation, and neon lights offer the same nearly instant rise time as LEDs. However, neon tubes require a ballast.
In distributive light systems, the light from a single source is sent via optical fibres or light guides to wherever it is needed in the automobile. Light guides are commonly used to distributively light dashboard displays, and premium vehicles are beginning to use distributive systems for lighting such items as door locks, window controls, and cup holders. Distributive exterior lighting has also been explored, with high-intensity central light sources.
- Automotive lamp types
- Bicycle lighting (laws and recommendations can be similar to automotive specifications)
- Blackout light
- Hidden headlamps
- Lighting-up time
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Navigation light
- Twilight Sentinel
- World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations
- Gross, Jessica (12 July 2013). "Who Made That Turn Signal?". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Paul, John (23 March 2016). "Florence Lawrence: Automotive Inventor and the "World's First Movie Star"". Historic Vehicle Association. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- "Florence Lawrence - Lemelson-MIT Program". lemelson.mit.edu. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Burkard Woerdenweber; Jörg. Wallaschek; Peter Boyce (2010). Automotive Lighting and Human Vision. Springer. pp. 95–96. ISBN 978-3540366973.
- Wikisource. . United Nations Conference on Road Traffic. 1949 – via
- "U.N. Convention on Road Traffic (1968)" (PDF). Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "ISO 2575:2010, "Road vehicles – Symbols for controls, indicators and tell-tales"". ISO.org.
- "UN Regulation 112, "Motor vehicle headlamps emitting an asymmetrical passing beam or a driving beam or both and equipped with filament lamps"" (PDF). (313 KB)
- "UN Regulation 98, "Motor vehicle headlamps equipped with gas-discharge light sources"" (PDF). (843 KB)
- "FMVSS No. 108: Lamps and Reflective Devices" (PDF). (2.00 MB)
- Rumar, Kåre (2000). Relative merits of the U.S. and ECE high-beam maximum intensities and of two- and four-headlamp systems. UMTRI. hdl:2027.42/49438.
- "ISO 7000:2012-0639, "Long-range lamp"". ISO.org.
- General Motors (1965). Optics and Wheels. GM.
- "UN Regulation 113, "Motor vehicle headlamps emitting a symmetrical passing beam or a driving beam or both and equipped with filament lamps"" (PDF).
- "SAE Standard J581, "Auxiliary Upper Beam Lamps"". Sae.org. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "Reglamento General de Tránsito-Asunción, Artículo 186 (General Traffic Regulations-Asuncion, Article 186 — Spanish language)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2008.
- "SAE Standard J583, "Front Fog Lamps"". Sae.org. 8 September 2005. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "UNECE Regulation 19, Front Fog Lamps" (PDF).
- "Why Fog Lamps Are Starting to Disappear". The New York Times.
Sivak, M.; Flannagan, M.J.; Traube, E.C.; Hashimoto, H.; Kojima, S. (1997). "Fog Lamps: Frequency of Installation and Nature of Use" (paper, PDF). SAE 970657. Society of Automotive Engineers. Retrieved 14 August 2006. Cite journal requires
- "New South Wales Government – NSW legislation Road Rules 2008 Part 13 Lights and warning devices Clause 218–1". NSW Government (Australia). 14 December 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- "UN Regulation 48" (PDF).
- "SAE Standard J852, "Front Cornering Lamps for Use on Motor Vehicles"". Sae.org. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "SAE Standard J1373, "Rear Cornering Lamps for Use on Motor Vehicles Less than 9.1 m in Overall Length"". Sae.org. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "UN Regulation 119, "Cornering lamps for power-driven vehicles"" (PDF).
- "Sidelight definition". Ldoceonline.com. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "J2442: Harmonized Provisions for Installation of Exterior Lamps and Retro-Reflecting Devices on Road Vehicles Except Motorcycles". standards.sae.org. SAE International. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- "UN Regulation 53, " Installation of lighting and light-signalling devices for L3 vehicles"" (PDF). (494 KB)
- Infrastructure. "Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule 13/00 - Installation of Lighting and Light Signalling Devices on other than L-Group Vehicles) 2005". www.legislation.gov.au. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
- Commandeur, Jacques (2008). "R-2003-28: State of the art with respect to implementation of daytime running lights" (PDF). The Netherlands: SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- Reid, J.A. (1978). "LILAC—Low Intensity Large Area City light". International Technical Conference on Experimental Safety Vehicles: 675–80. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- "StVZO §51c Parkleuchten, Park-Warntafeln" (PDF). Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "European Commission Enterprise and Industry web page on DRLs".
- "European Commission - Press release - New cars equipped with daytime running lights as of today". europa.eu.
- EU to make DRLs mandatory from 2011
- "AL-Automotive Lighting DRL info". Archived from the original on 29 April 2009.
- "Login". www.drivingvisionnews.com.
- "E.U. Directive 2008/89/EC".
- "UN Regulation 87, "Daytime running lamps for power-driven vehicles"" (PDF).
- "NHTSA Docket 3319 for DRL Glare Complaints". DOT Docket Management System. US Department of Transportation. 9 January 1998. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- "NHTSA Docket 4124, Rulemaking to Reduce DRL Glare (aborted), with public complaints". DOT Docket Management System. US Department of Transportation. 7 August 1998. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- Gaynor, Mark. "UK Dim-Dip Running Lights Regulatory History". D. Stern. Retrieved 14 August 2006.
- "Memorandum submitted by the Institution of Public Lighting Engineers". Daniel Stern. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
- Kahane, Charles J. (July 1983). "An Evaluation of Side Marker Lamps For Cars, Trucks, and Buses". DOT HS 806 430. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- "Flashing Side marker Lamps". Daniel Stern Lighting. 12 December 2002. Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 14 August 2006.
- Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule 45/01 – Lighting and Light Signalling Devices not Covered by ECE Regulations) 2006, Government of Australia, 26 April 2006, para. 45.3.1, retrieved 15 February 2020
- Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule 45/01 – Lighting and Light Signalling Devices not Covered by ECE Regulations) 2006, Government of Australia, 26 April 2006, para. 45.3.3, retrieved 15 February 2020
- "Upgraded Mazda Axela on Sale in Japan" (Press release). Mazda. 22 November 2005. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
- UNECE 1958 agreement, addendum 120, regulation 121
- "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment". 4 December 2007.
- "SAE International". www.sae.org.
- "SAE International". www.sae.org.
- "How Turn Signals Work". HowStuffWorks. 15 May 2001. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
- U.S. Patent 912,831
- U.S. Patent 2,122,508
- Flannagan, M.J.; Reed, M.P. (2005). "Geometric Visibility of Mirror-Mounted Turn Signals". Ref 2005-01-0449. Society of Automotive Engineers. Archived from the original (paper, PDF) on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2006. Cite journal requires
- U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 101: Controls and displays
- "Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 101: Location and Identification of Controls and Displays".
- "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Controls and Displays". 23 September 2003.
- Ronald Cuomo (June 2003). "Talking Technical: Bus Directional/Signals Lights (PDF)" (PDF). The Leader – Department of Buses Newsletter. New York: New York City Transit Authority Department of Buses: 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2008.
- Glassman, Jacqueline (22 May 2003). "Letter of interpretation to Charles I. Sassoon, Panor Corp, of FMVSS Number 108 re Maxxima Lamp M40130R (sequential turn signals)". Isearch.nhtsa.gov. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- Jones, Erika Z. (3 November 1988). "Letter of interpretation to W.E. Baldwin, of K-R Industries re paragraph S4.5.11(e) of Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. l08". Isearch.nhtsa.gov. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "Ford Unveils the New Pony: The 2010 Mustang". nationalspeedinc.com. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- Corporation, Bonnier (1 April 1962). "Popular Science". Bonnier Corporation – via Google Books.
- Popular Mechanics magazine, August 1962, pp. 70, 182
- "New Amber Turn Signals Causing Unexpected Turmoil", The Reading Eagle, 23 March 1963, p. 65
- "Direction indicator lamps - NZTA Vehicle Portal". vehicleinspection.nzta.govt.nz.
- New Car Assessment Program, Request For Comments, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16 December 2015, retrieved 15 February 2020,
To avoid imposing an unreasonable cost to society, NHTSA's lighting regulation continues to allow for the lower cost rear signal (…) Such a configuration can be achieved using just two bulbs and a two color (red and white) lens.
- Turn Signals—Amber Or Red? Yes, It Matters, acarplace.com, 4 January 2018, retrieved 15 February 2020Turn signals — amber or red? Yes, it matters, A Car Place, by Daniel Stern, dated 4 January 2018, last accessed 15 February 2020
- New Car Assessment Program, Request For Comments, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16 December 2015, retrieved 15 February 2020,
the agency believes improved safety (measured as the reduction in the number of rear-end crashes that resulted in property damage or injury) can be achieved with amber rear turn signal lamps at a cost comparable to red rear turn signal lamp configurations. This is supported by the observation of vehicle manufacturers changing the rear turn signal lamp color for a vehicle model from one year to the next
Hitzemeyer, E.G.; Wilde, H.; Ellenburger, D (1977). "What Color Should Rear Turn Signals Be?" (paper). Society of Automotive Engineers. Cite journal requires
- Rockwell, T. H., Safford, R. R. (1969): An evaluation of rear-end signal system characteristics in night driving, pp. 12–13, 17, 33, 41–42
- Allen, Merrill J. (December 1964). "Misuse of red light on automobiles". American Journal of Optometry. 41 (12): 695–9. doi:10.1097/00006324-196412000-00001. PMID 14233725.
- Corporation, Bonnier (1 June 1961). "Popular Science". Bonnier Corporation – via Google Books.
- "The Influence of Rear Turn Signal Characteristics on Crash Risk" (PDF). (527 KB)
Allen, Kirk (2009). "The Effectiveness of Amber Rear Turn Signals for Reducing Rear Impacts" (PDF). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cite journal requires
- Taylor, G.W.; Ng, W.K. (1981). "Measurement of Effectiveness of Rear-Turn-Signal Systems in Reducing Vehicle Accidents From An Analysis of Actual Accident Data". Ref # 810192. Society of Automotive Engineers. Archived from the original (paper) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2006. Cite journal requires
- Traube, Juha Luoma Michael J. Flannagan Mic; Luoma, J.; Flannagan, M. F.; Sivak, M.; Aoki, M.; Traube, E. C. (January 1997). "Effects of Turn-Signal Colour on Reaction Times to Brake Signals". Ergonomics. UMTRI, Taylor & Francis. 40 (1): 62–68. doi:10.1080/001401397188378. S2CID 109337803.
- Van Iderstine, Richard (4 November 2004). "Washington Post Online". Vehicle Lighting. The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 August 2006.
- D'orleans, G. (1997). "World Harmonization and Procedures for Lighting and Signaling Products". Society of Automotive Engineers. Archived from the original (paper) on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2006. Cite journal requires
- Sivak, M.; Schoettle, B.; Flannagan, M. J.; Minoda, T (199). "Effectiveness of clear-lens turn signals in direct sunlight". UMTRI # 9892. UMTR. hdl:2027.42/57446. Cite journal requires
- "DIRECTIVE 2011/65/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment", Official Journal of the European Union, 1 July 2011
- UN Regulation 37, "Filament lamps of power-driven vehicles and their trailers"
- "GRE 52nd session, informal document #27" (PDF). (76.4 KB)
- "UN Regulation 7: Front and rear position lamps, stop lamps and end-outline marker lamps" (PDF).
- "Mot Test Brakes lights". 9 August 2011. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011.
- "J586: Stop Lamps for Use on Motor Vehicles Less than 2032 mm in Overall Width - SAE International". standards.sae.org.
- "New Zealand vehicle inspection requirements manual, sec. 4-14: Reversing Lamps". Ltsa.govt.nz. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- "Motor Vehicle Rules in India". 21 August 2011. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011.
- Burghoff, Wilhelm; et al. (1999). 100 Years of Hella : From a Lamp Workshop to Global Supplier to the Automobile Industry (1899–1999). Management Board of Hella KG Hueck & Co. ASIN B000JP6DB6.
- "NHTSA denial of petition for flashing CHMSL". Regulations.justia.com. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "NHTSA explication of requirement for stop lamps to burn steadily". Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- NHSTA (30 January 2006), "Mercedes-Benz, U.S.A. LLC; Grant of Application for a Temporary Exemption From Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 (71 FR 4961)", Federal Register, 71 (19), pp. 4961–4963
- Gaudean, George J (December 1996). Motor Vehicle Lighting. SAE International. ISBN 978-1-56091-753-3.
- "High Level or Supplemental Brake Lamps - AUTO BREVITY". automotivemileposts.com.
- "1968 Ford Thunderbird Optional Equipment". automotivemileposts.com.
- "'71 Cars: GM's Family Movers", Popular Mechanics, October 1970
- Kahane, Charles J.; Hertz, Ellen (March 1998). "NHTSA Technical Report Number DOT HS 808 696: The Long-Term Effectiveness of Center High Mounted Stop Lamps in Passenger Cars and Light Trucks". NHSTA. Retrieved 26 April 2006.
- "EU Legislation on Vehicle Safety". Vehicular Technology Society. 6 August 2019.
- "The All-New Volvo S80" (PDF). Volvo Cars of America. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 March 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2007.
- "Emergency Stop Signal explained | CarAdvice". CarAdvice.com.
- NHTSA analysis of flashing central 3rd stop light ideas, U.S. Federal Register, pp. 65510-65511
- "Dynamic stop lamp study" (PDF). (653 KB)
- "NHTSA response to MBUSA petition". Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989". Archived from the original on 3 May 2015.
- "J593: Backup Lamp (Reversing Lamp) - SAE International". standards.sae.org.
- "UN Regulation 23: Reversing Lamps" (PDF).
- "Preventing accidents with amber turn signals". www.acarplace.com.
- "RCW 46.37.100: Color of clearance lamps, side marker lamps, back-up lamps, and reflectors". Apps.leg.wa.gov. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "UN Regulation 4, "Illumination of rear registration plates of motor vehicles" (PDF).
- Berg, Tom. "Why Can't Those 3 Upper ID Lights Be Mounted Low?". Truckinginfo. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
- "Car Lights Flash Warning Signals", Popular Science, vol. 158 no. 2, p. 141, February 1951
- "SAE J910:Hazard Warning Signal Switch". Sae.org. 1 October 1988. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "SAE J1690:Flashers". Sae.org. 1 August 1996. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "Revised Code of Washington". Law. Washington State Legislature. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- "Oregon Vehicle Code, 2015" (PDF). Law. Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- State of Idaho. "Idaho Statutes". Law. State of Idaho. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. "Enhanced Rear Lighting And Signaling Systems: Literature Review and Analyses of Alternative System Concepts" (PDF). US Department of Transportation. Retrieved 9 September 2010.[dead link]
- Bullough, John; Nicholas P Skinner (December 2009). "Evaluation of Light-Emitting Diode Beacon Light Fixtures" (PDF). Lighting Research Center – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- "Dome Light | dc taxi". dfhv.dc.gov.
- Flannagan, Michael; Michael Sivak (1989). "An Improved Braking Indicator". SAE Technical Paper. SAE Technical Paper Series. 1. doi:10.4271/890189.
- Effectiveness of LED Stop Lamps for Reducing Rear-End Crashes: Analyses of State Crash Data
- "What are LED taillights?". Ask.cars.com. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
- "Kia Opirus press release". Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Bullough, J.D.; N.P. Skinner (2009). "Evaluation of Light-Emitting Diode Beacon Light Fixtures (Report to the New York State Department of Transportation)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2012. Cite journal requires
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Regulations 1–20 (Accessed 20.08.2012)
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Regulations 101–120 (Accessed 12.04.2015)
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Regulations 121–140 (Accessed 12.04.2015)
- "Vehicle Headlighting | The Long and Lighted Road: Lighting and Driving | Lighting Futures | Programs | LRC". www.lrc.rpi.edu.
- "BMW Z8 (2000 - 2003) used car review | Car review | RAC Drive". www.rac.co.uk. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "Designing Advanced Automotive Illumination Systems". Ptbmagazine.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "The Long and Lighted Road: Lighting and Driving | Lighting Futures | Programs | LRC". Lrc.rpi.edu. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- D. Jenkins; et al. (1996). "Low Beam Head Lamp Design Using Distributive Lighting System". SAE International. Cite journal requires
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Automobile lights.|