Night vision headlights

Reader question:

I’m getting older and my vision doesn’t do so well at night. To top it all off, I live in a small town, so there aren’t a lot of roads that are lit well. I know there are a bunch of new kinds of headlights, like xenon lights and night vision by Cadillac, and I want to know if those actually do help with impaired night vision like they claim to.

Leonardo

Not in every case.

Like you said, your vision is failing, and a pair of headlights aren’t going to be your eyeglasses. They may help a little bit in improving vision at night, but the truth is that they are only an aid, and if the problem is depending on your eyesight, it would be a lot better to try to get corrective lenses or see if you can improve that in some way instead of relying only on new headlight technology. It may be the case that you should just give up driving at night unless absolutely necessary for your own safety.

Cadillac’s night vision doesn’t really live up to its name, after all. It helps you see a little further into the distance, but as for brightening up dark, solitary roads, it is no help at all. It’s funny to consider that, considering that its name is night vision and not distance vision, but that’s the way it is. It’s mostly just an advertising plea that doesn’t have much actual utility in the real world.

Xenon headlights, however, actually have something going for them. Their lights a more bright and white than regular ones, and thus do better at illuminating dark roads. However, to really know if they work for you, you should go to a car lot that has a vehicle with these kinds of headlights and take a test drive to see if it actually improves your own ability to see. If it doesn’t, seriously consider hitching a ride at night or staying at home. It’s not fun, but it’s safe.

Cheers,

Fashun Guadarrama.

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Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."