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Tail lights: A comparison among Euro, Fiber Optics, and LED

Updated on June 27, 2014

Car lighting has grown in technological advancements over the years and new features and technology are constantly being added to improve on safety, functionality, and style. People sometimes wonder about the functionality of LED and Fiber Optics tail lights and call into question about the use of those lights on vehicles. They wonder if it's all just for looks or if there's an actual safety feature behind them. These kinds of tail lights all have their pros and cons, but they obviously wouldn't be used on cars if there was a sliver of safety issue behind them.

Car lighting actually didn't advance much compared to everything else in the last century, but in 1970s, LEDs (light emitting diodes) were discovered that greatly increased brightness for better visibility. It was first introduced on a 2000 Cadillac Deville and the public was in awe at the sleekness of the beautiful LED lights and what a huge upgrade that was from the previous incandescent bulbs. However, Cadillac didn't take this opportunity to focus on the aesthetics of the tail lights, rather Cadillac wanted to showcase the functionality that was greatly improved by LED lights.

Euro Tail lights:

Euro tail lights are also known as the Altezza lights or the clear tail lights, named after the Toyota Altezza or the present day Lexus IS. It's a very popular style for older model cars and have become somewhat of a classic. They're actually quite in rage for people who want to replace their factory tail lights because most of them have boring, plastic lenses. Euro lights have chrome or black substrate and can be combined with a myriad of colors, like red, yellow or clear. You can even put them in smoked lenses with all sorts of combinations that make the car unique on the road. There are so many combinations and colors that you can practically ensure that you may have picked a combination that's solely your own.

Fiber Optic Tail Lights:

Fiber Optics are slowly making their way into the car world and are steadily growing in popularity amongst car owners. European cars like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes are starting to employ these in their vehicles, prompting the aftermarket craze to boom. Even the new Lexus IS has gorgeous fiber optic strips that rival the European car names. Once the aftermarket community becomes huge, it's guaranteed that you will see plenty of Fiber Optic tail lights on the road that maybe you would think of getting some for yourself.

LED Tail lights:

LED tail lights look absolutely beautiful and give an air of elegance to any vehicle it's installed on. They come to full intensity a whole 0.2 seconds faster than incandescent bulbs, and while it seems like 0.2 seconds isn't that much time, that gives the person behind you a whole 21 feet to react and stop to prevent a collision. 21 feet is enough distance to prevent an accident and possibly save lives, so LED bulbs are definitely a must have to install on your vehicle. When you directly compare LED with incandescent bulbs and the rate that it takes for them to light up, you can actually see the difference, which is actually pretty astounding. Sometimes, people just need that extra percentage of a second to react accordingly and stop an accident before it happens. It's better to have LED lights both as accident preventative measures and little beacons of light that people can marvel at and compliment.

Actually, what would be even better both in safety, functionality, and aesthetics, would be a combination of LED lights and fiber optic lights. Not only would it be much safer, but it would also look a lot better too! LED tail lights are very popular in aftermarket lighting, where there are tons of Audi, Mercedes, and BMW inspired automotive lighting that's available to consumers. Once something like that catches in popularity in the aftermarket crowd, it's pretty guaranteed that people will be snagging these products left and right so it's best to hop in before it starts getting hyped up.

This evolution of tail lights shows how much the automotive industry has grown in the entire century. Perhaps there would be a lot more lighting advancements in this lifetime that combine Euro, Fiber Optics, and LED tail lights into one huge and newly improved taillight invention that blows everything else out of the water. At the rate that technology is advancing, there would definitely be more improvements in the years to come that everyone can witness on the cars.


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