Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Laser Headlights

I despise the laser headlights. I can’t possibly be alone in this. Oncoming headlights at night are a problem so I bought those glasses that deflect the light. They work (not as well as the commercial said they would) but not for those @#!&%$ laser headlights. Why are car manufacturers using these? WHY? They must drive at night as well and see what they’re like.

1 Like

I am not sure about laser lights, but an ambulance moving in traffic had such bright brake lights at a light I could not see the car between us. No accident or anything, but much brighter than your average brake light.

1 Like

You’re probably the only one. Mostly because cars don’t use lasers for headlights yet.

I’m assuming you’re referring to LED or HID headlights. Manufacturers use them because. 1. They work very well, 2. They are reliable, 3. People want them.

My Mustang has HID’s, they work very well despite their relatively small size. Low beam illumination is great, but there’s a very sharp cutoff. High beams throw more light down the road. It’s a common misconception that these are brighter lights. They are not, the amount of lumens between LED/HID or old fashioned halogen lights is about the same by law. The color temperature is the most striking difference.

Sorry Kathy, there is no such thing as laser headlights.

They are low power headlamps that provide good illumination. You aren’t looking at laser light. Lasers illuminate a phosphorus compound that emits light. That light is reflected off the housing and that’s what you see. I’m sensitive to bright lights too. When confronted with bright headlights, I look to the right of my lane , steering on the lane line. This also allows me to look at the lane ahead to avoid slower traffic there. The approaching car passes quickly and I’m back to normal driving. Mostly I think the lights are high beams that the approaching driving didn’t dim as I approached.

Edit: actually there are laser headlights. BMW uses them. They aren’t available yet, but will be soon.

Kathy also did not like the dash lights on her last vehicle purchase . I suspect she has a vision problem or she just may be one of those people who have trouble adapting .

1 Like

At one time, all cars used headlights chosen from a small list of choices. Now we have a wide set of choices, but what seems to forgotten is that the choice not only affects the driver, but also the oncoming driver. It doesn’t really make sense to choose headlights that blind the oncoming driver.
As a physicist, I understand the statement that “they are no brighter” when outputs are measured. However, that does not mean that they can’t appear brighter. Your eye is not calibrated in lumens.
I find that 99 out of 100 cars are fine with me, but the driver with the ultra-blue light are blinding. My optometrist confirms that my complaint is typical, and agrees that these should be outlawed. Is it really a good idea to drive down a narrow, dark country road blinding the oncoming driver? If your sight is so poor that these are needed, maybe it is time to quit driving.


You may be right… on both. Perhaps I’m just grumpy. FWIW, I know they aren’t lasers that’s just how they appear to me.

Thank you for that explanation!

I despise the super bright headlights I see coming at me. They seem to be worst on Ford pickups and Ford and GM suvs. Not all roads have edge lines and how safe is it to blind the driver coming at you on a two lane road. And yes I am old and thus my eyes are not as adaptive as they used to be. Add to that all the cars and trucks with miss aimed auxiliary lights it is a genuine problem. I had a lifted pickup pull u[ behind me on a dark two lane road and filled the inside of my Camry with so much light that I had to stop because I could see nothing outside. He was not happy with me and was laying on his horn until he finally pulled around me.He did not stop or he would have found out I was not happy with him either.


You did not mention “pulling over”. I suspect most people would not be happy with you stopping in the travel lane unexpectedly.

1 Like

It sounds like you’re referring to HIDs, which are kinda on their way out anyway because LEDs are better.

A properly setup HID system shouldn’t be much of a bother to you because they’ll have a hard cutoff line at a level above which the light would hit oncoming drivers’ eyes directly. But there are lots of HID conversion kits out there that let you put an HID bulb into your regular halogen housing. That housing does not have the eyesight cutoff and the result is that everyone gets blinded. Those are illegal but I’ve never heard of a cop pulling someone over for them.


I live in a hilly area, and the entrance to my development is right at the peak of a hill. This means that even the systems with a hard cutoff will be aimed at me when they approach. The hard cutoff also means that it switches from OK to bad very quickly.
I am not a big fan of mandatory car inspections in this modern era of car reliability, but if we have them, they should find an illegal headlight system, or an improperly aimed system.


I also notice a number of folks who drive with their high beams on all the time, adding to the problem.

One thing you might want to check @KathyRoberts - your eyes. Cataracts and other eye problems can make bright headlights even worse.


I came here to post pretty much the exact same thing. These headlights are great when aimed properly on perfectly level ground. Add in any bumps on the road, or elevation changes, and other drivers get strobed. It’s a major complaint of mine.

One thing you might want to check @KathyRoberts - your eyes. Cataracts and other eye problems can make bright headlights even worse.

Agree 100% been there done that. No more problem’s after eye surgery to remove cataracts.


Some of those blue lights are not LED, Laser, or HID, they are just halogen headlights with a blue tint. Sylvania SilverStar is one of them, they claim 2x brightness and they do draw more power and put out more light, well above the legal limit. They don’t have the sharp cutoff either. If you look at the very fine print on the back of the package, it says “off road only”.

Edit: They have a very short life span too, about 100 hours compared t a typical and legal halogen of about 1000 hours.

Just FYI, SilverStar Ultra have blue tint, SilverStar do not.

Silverstars aren’t blue. They’re just not yellow. Unless the dweebus installing them puts a blue gel over them, which some inexplicably do. And the Silverstars are road-legal.

1 Like

Sylvania SilverStar bulb claim to be 35% brighter and draw 55/65 watts to comply with motor vehicle standards. The 55/65 watt limit is what gives HID and LED lamps the advantage.