Let There Be Light! How To Improve Your Car’s Exterior Lighting

One thing that all modern cars have in common is that they have exterior lighting systems. They get used for lighting up the road ahead, and for signalling our intentions to other road users.

Taillights also ensure road users behind us can see us on the road when it’s dark. But there are times where our car’s exterior lights are pretty useless, or are not as bright as they once were.


Some of you are doubtless annoyed with your car’s poor lighting and are thinking about buying a new car. The good news is that you can improve your car’s lighting. You can usually do so to a better-than-standard specification.

Here is what you need to know.

Fit new headlight lenses

My last car was around 14 years old. When cars get to such an age, their headlight lenses get “cloudy,” degrading the performance of headlights.

The cloudiness often gets caused by ultraviolet light. All headlight lenses have a special coating on them to protect against ultraviolet light. But after time, this coating erodes from the surface of the headlight lens.

Some people buy headlight restoration kits to fix the problem. Most of them involve sanding down the lens surface with fine sandpaper, followed by polishing and waxing. Such kits are only a temporary fix, as the problem returns after a few months.

Paul from www.coopermini.co.uk says that a better solution is just to buy a brand new headlight lens (or pair of lenses if both get affected from ultraviolet light issues). New lenses will not only improve visibility at night, but they will transform the look of your car’s front end.

Fit brighter headlight bulbs

Car makers are not known for being extravagant in the parts they use. Headlight bulbs are often just “OK” and are nothing special. OE (original equipment) headlight bulbs offer a balance of reliability, quality and price.


Brighter headlight bulbs have superior reliability and are better-built. The only downside is that they cost more than OE bulbs. But if you want to see more of the road at night, ditch those candle bulbs and upgrade to brighter bulbs!

Fit LED taillight bulbs

Most cars have standard tail light bulbs. They are cheap to buy and easy to fit, and good quality ones can last for years. But do they help vehicles behind you see you in bad weather?

If yours don’t, you should consider an upgrade to LED taillight bulbs! LED is short for “light-emitting diode.” LED bulbs use less electricity than standard bulbs. They also don’t emit much heat and are long-lasting.

Some of you might be wondering about problems with electrical resistance. As LED bulbs use less electricity than conventional bulbs, some people think they won’t work well.

LED taillights work well with bulb checking systems. Your car won’t complain about them being “blown” because they are lower-voltage.

Keep your car clean

A clean car is always great to look at. But did you know that keeping your car clean can make it safer to drive on the road? Dirt can degrade the performance of exterior lights. Regular cleaning avoids that problem!

I hope you have enjoyed today’s handy guide. Thanks for reading it!

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.