Action Alert: Petition to Ban Blinding Headlights

Over the years, vehicle headlights have become brighter and are causing more glare. In the early days of the automobiles, carbon headlights were about 800 lumens (a measurement of brightness). The 1980s saw the invention of halogen headlights, which registered at 1200 lumens. In the past few years, LED headlights have become popular, rating at 1600 lumens and up. And then there are the High Intensity Discharge (HID) or Xenon headlights at 3000 lumens and higher. According to a 2019 article by Consumer Reports, “neither LED nor HID low-beam headlights consistently illuminate more of the road ahead than halogens do” unless positioned at an angle that causes glare to other drivers.

Glare is caused by the high-energy blue wavelength light entering the eye and scattering. LED headlights have a large spike of blue wavelength light that is reported to cause glare, eye pain and even emotional distress in some people. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), tasked with setting standards, has not updated its standards for these new products, though fifteen percent of the complaints they receive relate to overly bright headlights. There is concern that the glare from LED headlights may contribute to highway accidents, especially at night, though even LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are thought to be excessively bright.

To sign a petition banning LED headlights, visit Change.org: Ban Blinding Headlights and Save Lives.

For more information, visit Lightmare.org and Softlights.org. Visit TinyURL.com/wb25qdl to read the Consumer Reports article.