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Old 13th May 2021, 13:20   #1
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Default Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

I was out driving through the city at night the other day and was waiting at a junction when I noticed a first-gen Innova and a Maruti Baleno hatchback in front of me. While the halogen tail-lights of the Innova were fine, the LED lights of the Baleno were just too bright for my eyes. Even the lights of the Swift are too bright.

Just like we have driver's complaining about the brightness of LED headlights of newer cars, I have an issue with the LED tail-lights of newer cars. These lights are just way too bright.

Take a look at the lights of the Innova...
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...vs the bright lights of the Baleno. What makes the Baleno's lights worse is the fact that they get these circular brake lights on the top of the tail-light cluster that are blinding:
Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright-baleno-lights.jpg

BHPian esoticoreventon shared this picture of the Swift's bright tail-lights:
Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright-swift-tail-light.jpg

BHPian blackwasp felt that the tail-lights of the Ertiga are also too bright:
Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright-ertiga-tail.jpg
Image Source

There are other BHPians complaining about the brightness of the tail-lamps of Maruti cars - Related Thread.

While halogen lamps produce a yellow light, LEDs produce white light, which makes them brighter. Continuous exposure to these lights while driving can cause damage to your eyes. Besides, the sudden blinding effect caused by super bright LED brake lights can result in a crash.

Even then, more and more manufacturers are using LED lights in their cars as they are energy efficient and last longer. Another reason LED tail-lights are becoming a trend among manufacturers is because they are bright, and the brighter the tail-lights, the higher the chances of the car getting noticed by the driver behind. This lessens the chances of a rear-end collision. But should tail-lights really be so bright?

It's not just the Baleno, the LED tail lights of some other cars as well are too bright. Here are the ones on the W221 S-Class facelift:
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Last edited by Aditya : 13th May 2021 at 13:21.
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Old 13th May 2021, 13:23   #2
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th May 2021, 13:51   #3
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

Absolutely agree with this! I wish we had better lit roads everywhere.

Especially at night, this is a huge issue in stop and go traffic when the everyone needs generous use of brakes, especially in the automatics nowadays. I got irritated many times, but calm myself down thinking of objects I may miss in my line of vision due to this and start paying more attention to the periphery. I have stopped looking at the lamps, be it headlights or tail lights of most cars at night these days. If it feels too bright, I simply look away to avoid the few seconds of blindness-like feeling that follows.

However, as per my experience, this does help in highways by being more visible and alerting me earlier than a normal halogen setup, irrespective of the time of the day. Those fractions of seconds can be critical in many cases.

So yes, although I am not happy with the lights in city, I am learning to make peace with them. After all, its easier to change one's own habit than an entire industry putting bright LEDs everywhere.

Last edited by Researcher : 13th May 2021 at 13:55.
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Old 13th May 2021, 14:27   #4
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

I recall from the 90s era that Daewoo Matiz (one of my friends had) had a very bright reversing light, enough to light up an entire alley and was to my notice one of the brightest of its time. Now while putting myself behind the wheel, I can see where the problem lies, this is a practical problem with many modern cars with LEDs at the back. ​

This is the reason I have been contemplating getting a visor fit glare blocker screen like this one below. However all review on Amazon seem to be very poor hence did not proceed. Also not sure if this is legal as it blocks the visible light transmission to certain extent.

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Old 13th May 2021, 14:35   #5
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
BHPian blackwasp felt that the tail-lights of the Ertiga are also too bright:
Are you sure? I for one always felt the Taillamps of new Ertiga are inadequate even by the looks of it that appear like 3 distinct dots that don't really glow up the entire cluster.

I remember this incident posted by Leoshashi few months back where he is actually referring to how badly designed the tail lamp cluster really is:

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I believe that brightness from the LEDs is not the only factor that affects the driver who is tailing. It has a lot to do with the design of the cluster itself and how it either aids with uniform illumination or completely ruins the whole purpose of having LEDs.

Then, don't forget the cluster cover and its design too. Even a simple halogen brake lamp bulb inside a reflector with a heavily jazzy cluster cover in Red is going to give you a headache, especially when you are tailing a vehicle and it is raining and the red color disturbs you from those tiny droplets on the windscreen.
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Old 13th May 2021, 14:42   #6
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

At the same time Maruti’s LED headlights as well! The Baleno, Vitara Brezza (facelift which got dual projectors LEDs in each unit!) are absolutely blinding if they drive in high-beam, which most do!

Many people also prefer aftermarket LED taillights, especially for the Creta and Innova Crysta, the lights are so bright and so many that it’s like a light-show going on! Also not to forget these aftermarket taillights have no sort of reflectors in them at all, which is a big safety hazard.

Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright-0c8fd58290a0438c90858f9e46a71348.jpeg

Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright-5f46c96e3410475abe8de8f52cec2a35.jpeg

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 13th May 2021 at 14:48.
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Old 13th May 2021, 14:51   #7
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

Quote:
Originally Posted by Researcher View Post
If it feels too bright, I simply look away to avoid the few seconds of blindness-like feeling that follows.

However, as per my experience, this does help in highways by being more visible and alerting me earlier than a normal halogen setup, irrespective of the time of the day. Those fractions of seconds can be critical in many cases.
The LED lights sting the eyes. Over time, they cause fatigue and tire you out.

I feel the yester-years' halogens did the job perfectly, to alert the traffic while braking. In a well-designed tail light(which has not faded), you can't miss a brake light. LEDs feel like an overkill for sure.

The one and only advantage of LED tail lights would be reduced chances of failure. With multiple LEDs present in the housing, tail light works even if one LED fails. Compare it to a halogen where it goes blind when the bulb fuses. Power rating wise, there's very little difference in case of a tail light which I have ignored the power saving (and of course, the significant cost difference!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Are you sure? I for one always felt the Taillamps of new Ertiga are inadequate even by the looks of it that appear like 3 distinct dots that don't really glow up the entire cluster.
+1.

The tail-light on the new Ertiga is not a good design and is very easy to miss, even during night! Too disproportionate to the size of car and look rather dim/smoked out when they're lit.

Quote:
Then, don't forget the cluster cover and its design too. Even a simple halogen brake lamp bulb inside a reflector with a heavily jazzy cluster cover in Red is going to give you a headache, especially when you are tailing a vehicle and it is raining and the red color disturbs you from those tiny droplets on the windscreen.
Again +1.

The rear fog lamps on the Safari/Zest/WagonR/Indica were very bright and ensured very good visibility. But they never hurt the eyes even on a rainy day.

Last edited by ashis89 : 13th May 2021 at 15:01.
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Old 13th May 2021, 14:53   #8
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
should tail-lights really be so bright?
Tail lights should do their job of warning drivers behind of a vehicle being ahead of them, and warning the driver behind if the vehicle brakes. Lights are meant to do a job and not irritate. That's why stock halogen bulbs on most cars' headlights are 55/60W.

The only car of mine that had LED tail lights was the 2005 Toyota Corolla facelift, and that had LEDs putting out just the right lumens without causing discomfort to the driver behind. I've actually tailgated numerous facelift Corollas and 2008-13 Altis and never felt the pain. I have also seen the tail lights on the 2007 Accord and the 2007-10 Camry and found their lumens within acceptable limits. Also, aftermarket spoilers that had LED strips built in - they were never as bright as the equivalent OE. I had an aftermarket spoiler with a low lumens LED striplight on my 2003 Maruti Versa - not irritating at all to the driver behind.

To me, it looks like selection of LEDs gone wrong, and from what I know of Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and Honda, a lot of thought goes into their design. They shouldn't have got this wrong.

On a different note, the most irritating lights I've experienced this far are the headlamps of the Honda Activa 5G and the DRL of the TVS Scooty Pep+ and Zest.

Last edited by vigsom : 13th May 2021 at 14:55.
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Old 13th May 2021, 15:01   #9
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

Well there is another factor to be considered. In India we drive quite close to the vehicle ahead and we brake a lot more than countries like USA or Europe. The reason manufacturers switched to LED tail lamps is mainly because of the response time, the ability to flash the lamps in an emergency, and of course the sharp attention grabbing brightness. Aesthetics and design were just an added benefit. But I bet they never thought of the typical Indian context of bumper to bumper driving with brakes active most of the time, which of course makes it irritating. So like I have repeatedly advocated this fact, rather than blaming technology or design, its how we use it which causes the issue. Because if we have to blame technology, then we should expect our country to have specialised and Indian-ised versions of all cars with features modiied to suit our conditions.

I am on the other side in this. If my tail lights are too bright, then I hope that keeps people a good distance away from my car. And I hope it would make them respond better to any sudden braking that I do and not rear end my car while they are distracted looking at the phone or talking to someone beside.
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Old 13th May 2021, 15:19   #10
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Well there is another factor to be considered. In India we drive quite close to the vehicle ahead and we brake a lot more than countries like USA or Europe.
Not just that, we are in general inconsiderate of other road users. For example, in the motoring handbook in the UK it is written that one should apply parking brakes at a traffic signal and take the foot off the main brakes in order to reduce glare for the the driver behind. We do not have idea about these simple things in India that can make life easier for others
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Old 13th May 2021, 15:19   #11
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

I remember people talking about a possible ban (in my hometown Jammu) on Tata indica when it was launched due to it's tail lights. Well, as we know that never happened.

Nowadays bright tail lights which will put indica to shame are becoming more common and people are buying those cars and don't give a damn to the one who is following him in bumper to bumper traffic( especially in a sedan/hatch). I think Hector started this trend of excessive use of bright tail lights. Even my Tata indigo CS had an option of increasing the luminosity of tail lights to be used in foggy areas or on highways (if required) but why it's not available in every car? This feature should be made available in every car and drivers should be fined if they use this feature unnecessarily.
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Old 13th May 2021, 15:34   #12
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
one should apply parking brakes at a traffic signal and take the foot off the main brakes in order to reduce glare for the the driver behind. We do not have idea about these simple things in India that can make life easier for others
I am particular about this because the moment I see the IRVM and spot the faces of the driver and co-passenger behind my car brighten up, I know that it is due to my brake lights. This is the simple logic to follow without any rulebook to be honest, especially when you are driving in B2B traffic.

But we are a country where our drivers will turn on Hazard lights on high beams waiting for their spouse to pick up a box of ice cream from a grocery store on a busy road and there are pedestrians either covering their eyes with their hands or bending their head and walking while facing this one car to which the driver inside is totally oblivious.
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Old 13th May 2021, 15:59   #13
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

LED with proper projectors should be good IMHO. Without projectors the LED light gets scattered and is a pain for the eye.

The DRL of Baleno is particularly very bright. Is there some rule on the wattage or intensity of light bulbs. Even a 100/90 halogen doesn't irritate this much.

That said 2 wheeler headlights are also blinding specifically the Activa. TVS has implemented the DRL a bit differently. Though they are bright, the number of bulbs are lower and you can choose to look away.
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Old 14th May 2021, 08:26   #14
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

IMHO - LEDs in headlamps should pretty much be outlawed in their current specifications (white) in India till our road infrastructure improves significantly. Or till someone manages to make LED of optimum colour temperature.

On the other hand though, when it comes to tail lamps (tail, brake, reverse and turn) - I'm entirely in favour of LEDs.
  1. These are brighter but definitely not blinding.
  2. These are operational momentarily & don't have a continuous focus into the eyes of the driver behind (which happens in case of oncoming car driving with high beams usually).
  3. All tail lamps are about warning the traffic behind - and higher intensity is definitely useful.
  4. LEDs have significantly faster response times compared to halogens. So they light up much faster. This gives that vital few microseconds for processing and responding to the driver of the vehicle behind in case of emergency / panic situations.
I feel these pros sufficiently outweigh the cons of LEDs in tail lamps.

So for me - LED - Yes for tail lamps, No for headlamps.
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Old 14th May 2021, 08:45   #15
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Default Re: Complaint! The LED tail-lights of some Indian cars are way too bright

Maybe the time is ripe for adjustable brightness for all lights and not just the instrument cluster. Add in some sensors and make it self adjusting just like headlamps and wipers.

I love observing the styling of tail-lamps and it's one of the easy ways to identify a make/model but the sheer brightness of some of those and the amount of light shed spoils the fun. As it is, everything here in the US is lit beyond comprehension (cop cars, emergency vehicles etc) - the light bulb industry must be doing quite well.
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