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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The problem with LED headlights

The+problem+with+LED+headlights
Jena Hollister

Everyone with a car understands the struggle of driving at night, especially in unfamiliar areas. Now add the stress of being blinded by ridiculously bright headlights. LED headlights are unsafe for other cars on the road, especially in dimly lit areas. 

Sonoma State is located near many farms and dark backroads. Many students understand the struggle of facing off with new cars with super bright headlights. This is a big concern for many, as well as myself, due to the fear of possibly crashing or being unable to see when driving, even if it’s just for a few seconds. Petaluma Hill Road is a familiar road for students to drive, but no street lights make it challenging at night, mainly because it’s a two-lane road with no barrier between the lanes. Newer cars are easy to spot on this popular road because you can see their blinding headlights. Car manufacturers should consider how bright LED headlights are and how dangerous they could be at high speeds with oncoming traffic. 

Clint Hopkins, a senior geography and environmental planning major, said that he used to think people were driving with their high beams on but later realized that “it seems like it’s just really bright headlights or headlights that shine brighter than older cars.” 

Hopkins also noted that the new LED headlights are on a different spectrum than the older ones and appear more blue than older yellow ones. According to the New York Times, the new LED headlights have a high-intensity discharge that can appear more blue in their output than older halogens that produce a warm yellow light. This can cause a severe discomfort reaction to oncoming drivers. 

Leah Grace Postice, a first-year Hutchins track three major, shares the universal experience of being completely blinded by extremely bright headlights driving at night. “The big trucks that have multiple lights on them are especially blinding. I had to put my sunglasses on in the dead of night,” said Postice and emphasized that Petaluma Hill Road can be terrifying due to the darkness, and then suddenly, all you can see is exceptionally bright lights coming at you from a distance. 

The new bright beams are causing concern for distracted driving and blinding others on the road. Alisa Munoz, a third-year psychology major, agreed that the new LED headlights are a major distraction while driving. Sometimes, it can feel like your own headlights aren’t enough to face off with the new ones. Munoz, who has an older car, also feels her headlights don’t stand a chance against the new, overly powerful ones and worries for her safety. 

Headlights should not be any brighter than they are now, and car companies should stop trying to make them more powerful. Companies should be more careful with making headlights so bright in case of blinding other drivers on the road. Although there are regulations restricting how high and bright headlights can be, manufactures shouldn’t try and make them ridiculously bright, as it seems to be doing more harm than good to others on the road. 

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About the Contributors
Jena Hollister, Staff Writer
Jena Hollister is a third year communication major at Sonoma State.
Albert Levine, Staff Writer
Albert Levine is a third year communication studies major at Sonoma State.
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