Over Wattage Headlight Bulbs

Low Beam Headlight PatternLast week's column on overdriving low beam headlights resulted in some interesting comments. Chief among them was the thought that this wasn't a problem because the driver had installed high wattage bulbs and now had more light to see with. Do you suppose that these drivers don't know this is a bad practice or just don't care about themselves and others who use the highway?

In general, low beam headlight bulbs use in the neighbourhood of 50 watts of electrical power. The lens assemblies, switches and wiring are designed with this in mind. If you purchase and install "off highway" higher wattage bulbs you are not doing yourself or others a favour.

Glare is the main worry when this has been done. The lenses will tend to scatter some of the extra light which bothers oncoming drivers. If it is foggy, snowing or raining, the light will backscatter from these conditions and interfere with the driver's ability to see as well.

The extra current demanded by these lamps will result in heat generation within the electrical components and the headlight lens assemblies. Premature wear, melting of plastic parts and the possibly an electrical fire could be the result.

Do you still think that this is an acceptable solution to the possibility of over-driving your low beam headlights?

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