Reader Question: Better Light at Night?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Peter asks: My wife’s 2006 Subaru Forester has very poor headlights on low beam.  They’re angled wrong, and the dealership says they can’t be adjusted. I’d like to install a couple of additional driving lights to give her more low beam vision – not high beam – but I don’t see any such products on the market.  Are there any, and if so, where can I order them?

My reply: The dealer is almost certainly correct in terms of adjusting the angle of the factory headlights; they are angled (set) according to federal law (sigh, I know…) and even if they could physically be adjusted, it is probably not legal for the dealer to adjust them beyond a certain Uncle-decreed range.

The accessory driving lights, on the other hand, are very doable – and legal – and the dealership or a local custom shop ought to be able to help you with this. There are numerous aftermarket options (see, for instance Summit or JEGS) and while the majority are generic, so long as they physically mount up and you like the looks, etc. – you should be all set.

You can probably (check local laws) have these wired separately – so they can be turned on and off independently of the main headlights but the key thing is finding a shop that deals with these systems and knows how to mount them so as to be (a) legal (b) give you the improved illumination you want and (c) not blind oncoming drivers!

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. I’m really tired of being blinded by whatever new god lights people are putting in their cars, worse when not angled down at all. And absolutely worst of all is some jacked up truck with multiple sets of god lights at the level of your head. Someday I’m going to take a ball bat to one of these gentleman’s toys.

  2. There’s an adtermarket company or the web, something like their description. They test 100 s of headlamps for every vehicle and give you the safest lights for your vehicle you can find. There’s YouTube videos they do. They realize some lights suck and not many supposedly compatible lights according to manufactures are the best light for your vehicle and needs.

    They show how aftermarket lights often don’t do a good job in your vehicle since the lens or now, multiple lenses don’t work well with just any bulb. I’ll be the first guy to back them up since I’ve seen hundreds of lights made for vehicles that don’t perform correctly.

    I see this constantly in the oil patch on new pickups the owners want a better light that ends up being a terrible match when put into use. Be careful what you wish for.


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