Unlock 12 Types of Lights on a Car [PDF]

In this article, we shall cover the different types of Lights on a car. We have also provided a PDF download link of the same at the very end.

Lights on a Car

Introduction to Lights on a Car

The evolution of car lighting systems has been significant, with advancements made in tandem with improvements in vehicle technology. During the early 1880s, acetylene lamps were commonly used due to their flexible air flame. However, as vehicle speeds have increased significantly since then, visibility has become an increasingly important consideration in the development of car lighting systems.

Types Lights on a Car
Photo By FreePik

Drivers of the modern era have loads of options to pick from when it comes to headlights. In the decision-making process, aesthetics play an important role and unfortunately, there are no definitive criteria to decide which light is superior over the other as they all possess their unique drawbacks and advantages

Head Lights On a Car

Headlights must illuminate the highway sufficiently to allow safe driving at night. They are equipped with two types of beams one provides maximum illumination for night driving while the other deflects toward the ground

Head Lights on a car

Use high beams only when there is no vehicle in front of you as they can block the view of oncoming traffic. 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.

Video By CarExpert

Types of Headlights on a Car

There are three types of headlights on a car which are as follows

  • LED headlights
  • HID headlights
  • Halogen headlights

LED Highlights

LED 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.

LED Headlights for car
Photo By Texas Instruments

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 Headlights for car

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.

Halogen Headlights for car

Light is produced when the filaments are heated. They are easy to replace and inexpensive but have become outdated 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.

Parking Lights on a car
Photo By Propark Mobility

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

Driving lights include headlights, turn signals, fog lights, and taillights each of which serves a specific purpose to improve the safety and visibility of the driver on the road. It is essential to understand their functions to promote safety and reduce the risk of accidents

Driving Lights on a car
Photo By Hardkorr

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.

Turn Signal Lights on a car

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.

Blinker Lights on a car

Backup Lights On a Car

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

Reverse Lights on a car
Photo By GoMechanic

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 illuminate brake lights and attract the attention of the following driver and possibly avoid an accident.

Brake Lights on a car
Photo By Gempak

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.

Tail Lights on a car

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.

Fog Lights on a car

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 also have keyhole lights, map lights, radio dial lights, and clock lights. 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.

Interior Lights on a car
Photo By Amazon

Daytime Driving Lights On a Car

Cars today come standard with daytime running lights which automatically switch on when the car is switched on providing better visibility to other cars. If one wishes to disable this feature then it is possible

[DRL] Daytime Running Lights on a car
Photo By TOI

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 constant 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.

Warning Lights on a car
Photo By HowStuffWorks

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.


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

Signal lights are important when driving and can pass through turn signals. These are located on the headlights and taillights and should always be activated by the driver whenever they wish to change the direction of the vehicle like turning or parking

What are interior lights in a car?

The lights behind the illumination of the interior are called as interior lights of the vehicle it is not suggested to have them on during driving as it can affect the driver’s 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

Which Headlight Bulbs Should I Use In My Vehicle?

Video By O’Riley Auto Parts


In conclusion, These 12 types of lights present on a car either on the exterior or interior all serve a very specific purpose. From turn signals to headlights to taillights, they not only improve visibility but also better safety for the driver and other vehicles on the road. Having a better understanding of all these types can help drivers today make better decisions while driving. It is advised to always keep these lights in optimum working condition to ensure you aren’t falling short on safety and vehicle visibility.

Always remember to follow safe driving and under no circumstances drink and drive. 

More Resources

Print Friendly, PDF & Email