Banner – EFS4X4
ELECTRICS

HELLA SAFETY DAYLIGHTS

The importance of being seen.

While the daytime use of headlights is much better than no lights at all, this is not the ideal solution. Most new vehicles come with daytime LEDs as standard equipment, but there are easy-fit kits from Hella for older vehicles.


European vehicle research done back in the 1990s showed that failure to see another road user is a contributing factor in more than 50 percent of daytime accidents. In the case of daytime intersection accidents this figure increases to almost 80 percent.

That’s the main reason why motorcycles – sometimes very difficult to see - have had a compulsory headlights-on ADR requirement since 1992.

hella safety daylightsHowever, while the daytime use of headlights is much better than no lights at all this is not the ideal solution. Low-beam headlights are designed to illuminate the road ahead of the vehicle, without blinding oncoming drivers and so the beams are directed at a shallow downward angle.

Only ‘stray’ light from the low beams is visible in daylight conditions – typically around 200 candelas in the oncoming driver’s line of sight.

Another problem with using low-beam headlights is greater alternator demand, marginally increasing fuel consumption and wearing out the headlight globes.

hella safety daylightsYet another issue is that vehicle instrumentation, sound system and information displays invariably dim when the headlights are switched on, making it difficult to see what’s being displayed – particularly if the driver is wearing sunglasses.

Specifically-designed daytime running lights are small, but intensely bright and their beams are aligned more with high-beam height than low-beam, plus there’s considerable side visibility as well.

The legal minimum power for lights to qualify as daylight safety lights is 800 candelas – around four times the daytime luminosity of low-beam headlights.

Most new vehicles come with daytime LEDs as standard equipment, but there are now easy-fit kits from Hella for older vehicles.hella safety daylights

We checked out a pair of Hella’s LED Safety DayLights on our ute. We picked up a pair of flat, thin, surface-mount units and screwed them into place below the headlights.  Other kits include lights with housings, lights with angle-brackets attached, single-row and double-row types, recess-mount models and 83mm round units.

The lights come with waterproof lenses and attached wiring and all are multi-volt, so they can operate with voltages between 9V and 33V.

A normal-looking relay is supplied with each kit, but this ‘smart’ 3091 controller doesn’t need to be connected to the ignition circuit: only to the positive battery terminal and to the headlight circuit.

The controller monitors battery voltage, so it ‘knows’ when the engine starts and immediately illuminates the Safety Daylights. When the engine is turned off, or the headlights are illuminated, the controller turns off the Safety Daylights.

A different controller needs to be used with vehicles that have variable-output alternators, because battery voltage isn’t a reliable trigger. This 3090 controller has an inbuilt vibration sensor that ‘tells’ it when the engine starts and stops.

Fitting and wiring up the kit was a doddle. Check out Hella's video



« Go Back

Banner – EFS4X4