|
3
Don't be a Deer in the Headlights

The Cost of Looking "Cool" With Fake HIDs

Before LED headlights became all the rage on high-end cars, there were high-intensity discharge, or HID headlight bulbs. These high-output lights have a light bluish cast to them -- which some people find alluringly exotic, but others consider just annoying. To take advantage of the booming poseur performance parts market, creative aftermarket companies sell "HID look" headlight bulbs. They're regular halogen bulbs, just tinted blue to simulate the HID bluish glow. Problem is, that coloration actually blocks light from escaping the headlamp assembly. Accordingly, makers of these lights sell them with packaging that reads, "For off-road use only."

Now that you know when and when not to use the lights you have at your disposal, what do you do about those drivers who don't know? The "less-enlightened" ones, if you will?

And what about those drivers in vehicles with headlights at or near your eye level -- the ones that make your retinas feel as if they've caught fire? If such a car or SUV is approaching from the opposite direction, you can divert your gaze down and to the side, using the lane marker or painted median strip as a guide. If the person is behind you, use the nighttime reduced-glare setting on your rearview mirror [source: Stevens].

|