The Truth About Your Sentra Headlights

With all the details involved in maintaining your car, perhaps the headlights may be the least of your concerns. However, they play an important role in many ways, and the right kind of headlight bulb can make a big difference. 

Reliable Sentra Headlights Help You Drive Safer

Whether you need a new pair of Sentra headlights for your car or not, consider these safety facts. According to a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, only around a third of the vehicles it rated had acceptable headlights. Another third was rated marginal, and the remaining third was rated poor. The study took into account how far down a dark road that the headlights illuminated. 

With the fact that Birmingham is the most populous city in the US, its roadways are probably often congested day and night. Therefore, highly illuminating headlights could help to decrease the chances of a vehicle crash. For example, reliable headlights can help drivers traveling up to 70 mph on straight roadways to spot an obstacle, another vehicle, bicyclist or pedestrian about 380 feet ahead, which would give them ample time to stop. In fact, of the 32,000 traffic fatalities that occurred in Alabama and across the US during 2016, nearly half of them took place at dusk, dawn or nighttime when there is lower visibility. 

Not All Sentra Headlights are Created Equal

When it comes to your Sentra’s headlights, you might be wondering which bulb you should choose. The three basic types are halogen, HID and LED, and they differ in price, safety and performance. Here are a few tips to help you understand the differences among them. 

• Halogen headlights are still the most popular headlights on today’s market, particularly because they come standard in most passenger cars and are easy to replace. Halogen bulbs are much like incandescent lights because they produce light via heated tungsten filaments. Some of the bad points of halogen bulbs are that they produce a large amount of wasted heat and can be easily damaged if you touch them with your bare hands. Another downside is that they produce a very small and limited pool of yellowish-color light. However, halogen bulbs typically last a long time, saving you money. In addition, if you need to replace your headlight bulbs, and you are unable to or don’t prefer to upgrade to LED or HID bulbs, halogen bulbs are now available in several higher-grade varieties that feature a greater light output and produce white light but be prepared to spend a bit more for them.

• LED or light emitting diode headlights are quickly catching up to halogen headlights in popularity because they are much brighter for night driving. In fact, these bright lights illuminate the roadway up to a range of 300 feet ahead and provide a wider pattern of light than halogen headlights, making them a top choice for brightness. Moreover, LEDs look whiter than daylight because of their color temperature, which is roughly 6,000 Kelvin, while halogen headlights have a yellowish color of 3,200 K and xenon headlights are about 4,500 K. They are extremely durable, resist vibrations and last thousands of hours longer than halogens, as well. This is because LEDs do not have a filament to break or burn out. They are also quite small and use less energy. As for the downside of LEDs, they are expensive, they generate heat, and they require more cooling to operate than halogen and HID bulbs. However, LED technology is expected to improve and perform better than HID lighting in the future. 

• HID or high intensity discharge headlights are often found in high-end cars or offered as a premium option in new vehicles. Also called xenon headlights, they produce a blue-white light and are 300 times brighter than halogens; however, they produce much less heat. Although HIDs need a good deal of power at the outset, they are very energy efficient and maintain a constant brightness. In fact, they are similar to high beams because they tend to blind other drivers. While they have been known to last 10 times longer than halogens, they are more expensive. If you drive a lot at night, HID lights will light up your way quite nicely.

Additional Facts about LEDs

You’ve no doubt seen many cars nowadays that feature attractive decorative light strips around or below each headlight. These lights are actually LEDs, and the car manufacturer that first introduced this design was Audi back in 2008. Known as an LED style headlight assembly, all its bulbs are LEDs except for the main headlight bulb. In fact, LED bulbs are just beginning to become available as headlight bulbs but are still not widespread. People mainly use LED lights as stylish daytime running lights and as front turn signal indicators, since they are not presently available in colors. 

Various Headlight Assemblies

In addition to your Sentra's headlight bulbs, there are various headlight assembly styles such as:

• Projector 

• LED

• U-bar

• Halo

• Euro

Projector 

Projector headlights create focused beams and superior illumination, making them a top choice for new cars and trucks. They are available for both sealed and composite beam applications.

LED 

If you want to spruce up your vehicle, there is a nice variety of LED headlights to fit your style. Some come with remote controlled systems to produce different colors, as well.

U-bar

There is also the innovative U-bar style headlight if you want a truly individualized, sporty look for the front of your vehicle. Also known as DRL bar headlights, they are available in smoke, black and chrome. While similar to Halo headlights, these are more modern looking.

Halo

For a more angular look, consider the aesthetically pleasing Halo headlights. First appearing on some European luxury cars, they offer distinctive light rings that surround the headlight within the headlight housing. Halo headlights are also referred to as Demon Eyes or Angel Eyes. 

Euro

You can also stand out from the crowd with Euro-style custom headlamps. Sleek and contemporary, this type of headlight features a cutting-edge design and excellent visibility. 

If you’re leery about nighttime driving because of poor visibility, it may not be because of any problems with your eyesight. Replace your headlights with new halogen, LED or HID bulbs, or get a completely new headlight assembly for your Sentra and be prepared to see the road again while feeling safer, too!