What are Parking Lights used for in Cars?

2,651 Views Updated: 26 May 2018
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What are Parking Lights used for in Cars?

Almost everyone knows that cars have parking lights. However, what many people don’t know is why cars have parking lights even today.

You rarely use parking lights, and that makes us wonder as to what the real purpose of having these lights on cars is. After all, the use of parking lights in some countries like the US and the UK is in fact illegal.

So, let’s find out what parking lights and what is the major purpose that they serve in today’s cars. Take a look:

What Are Parking Lights?

The pair of lights found on the extreme sides of the headlamps is called the parking lights. Previously called as sidelights, the major purpose of these lights was to illuminate the shape of a vehicle when it is parked. However, that was in the mid-sixties, when roads were narrower than today and having these lights made sense. Today, the parking light seems like a redundant proposition to have, which most drivers can make do without having.

parking lights

(Image Courtesy: MBWorld)

When To Use Parking Lights?

Having established that parking lights don’t have the same utility they once had, the fact that people still use them might suggest that they aren’t as futile after all. Generally, people flash tier parking lights when they’ve parked their car in the corner of a road so that the traffic can know there is a car ahead. This can be extremely useful on roads without proper floodlighting. Apart from that, car owners can use parking lamps when parking tier car inside their garage. This way, they don’t have to illuminate the entire world using their headlamps. Needless to say, parking lamps save a lot of battery as well.

parking lights symbol

(Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

Parking Lamps vs. Running Lamps

In the US, where streets are efficiently lit up, having a parking lamp doesn’t make sense. In fact, using these lights without daytime running lamps in the US can cause you legal trouble as it is illegal to depend completely on parking lights, no matter what time of the day it is. However, rules in the UK are not as stringent. There, it is mandatory to switch your parking lamps when your vehicle is parked in a lay by where the speed limit is more than 30 mph. Running lights have almost replaced parking lights, but the truth is, car manufacturers haven’t taken away the parking lights till now. That brings us to the question of why.

parking light vs running light

(Image Courtesy: Toronto Star)

Why Do Parking Lamps Still Exist?

It never hurts to have more lights on your vehicle. It acts as an added security just in case, your headlamps malfunction. Apart from that, they can be useful in foggy conditions as well. However, the most popular belief for the existence of parking lamps in 2017 is that they make the car look beautiful. Take a look at the picture below for it:

car parking light

(Image Courtesy: AliExpress)

So, there you have it. If you found this article informative, let us know in the comments below.

(Featured Image Courtesy: philips Lightning)

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Posted by: Abraham Posts: (3) Opinions: (8) Points: 230 Rank: 683
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