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What are DRL Lamp Functions and How Do They Work?

Hyundai Motorstudio Senayan Park 2022.06.23
What are DRL Lamp Functions and How Do They Work?

DRL, Daytime Running Light, is not a new component in the automotive industry. Since the 1990s, the majority of cars have been equipped with DRL lamps as a part of standard lighting.

Initially, the DRLs were not intended to help drivers see roads better, rather to see other cars better. This is different from other types of lamps that are intended to light the road.

DRL has been widely adopted as one of the safety features for today's cars. The existence of this lamp is very important because it can prevent potential accidents.

What is DRL?

DRL is safety lights to make the car easier for road users to see it. This lamp plays an important role in safety, especially in dark environments. When driving in tunnels, under bridges, or in the dark, DRL is more essential.

These lights are here to prevent the car from an accident. The DRL activates automatically as soon as the engine is started. Its existence is rarely known because it is covered by headlamp rays, but it becomes brighter when the headlamps are turned off.

DRL is actually manufactured for countries where the day time seems 'dim' all the time. That's why, DRL lights are mandatory for the Scandinavian region which includes Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and others.

When the winter comes, the Scandinavian region will remain dark during the day so the DRL is much needed. Given its function, America and the rest of the world adopted it, though the impact did not significantly reduce the number of accidents on cars.

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But another study showed the use of DRL on motorcycles had a positive impact on reducing the rate of motorcycle accidents. On the other hand, there are problems related to the DRL, which reduces the efficiency of the headlamps.

The debate is still ongoing, but the safety factor offered by the DRL cannot be ignored.

The Function of DRL

The main function of DRL is to increase the visibility of the car so it is easier for other users to recognize it. The brightness level of the DRL is lower so it is not recommended to use it as the main light. But at dusk or in light rain conditions where visibility is limited, DRL is definitely needed.

Turning on the DRL means notifying other drivers of the presence of a car. Especially when overtaking, the DRL beam provides a clear identification of the car's position. The DRL lights will continue to be active as long as the car engine is turned on.

The position of DRL provides high visibility and is useful in preventing potential accidents. Because they are not designed to light the way, DRL is generally made of LED lamps, not halogen lamps. LED lamps offer a longer lifespan, more efficient and brighter.

How Does DRL Work?

It is possible to say that DRL is a special light for the daylight that consumes lower power. The majority of current DRL lights are activated by a computer or sensor module, but there are also cars that provide a manual option.

In cars with DRL lights, the system will be made automatically. DRL is designed to be always active without driver intervention when the engine is started. But how DRL works will differ from car to car, even for the same manufacturer.

At the early development, the DRL system was combined with the headlights. Nowadays, the configuration of the DRL system is adapted to the needs of buyers. Some cars even give the option to turn on or off the DRL feature.

When the main light is turned on, the DRL will either turn on or off, depending on the setting. The placement of DRL is different for each car. Some car manufacturers place the DRL below or above the headlamp, or it can also be juxtaposed with the fog lamp.

Advantages of DLR

The main purpose of DLR is to strengthen the visibility of the car from pedestrians and cyclists or motorbikes. It is easier for road users to see the car, especially when the road conditions are unfavorable.

In the publication of the Australian motorcycle organization NRMA, the positive effect of DLR is to reduce serious accidents, especially at intersections or crossroads. In the same report, DRL contributes to prevent 25% of fatal daytime accidents and 28% of fatal pedestrian accidents.

Since the car becomes more visible, potential accidents can be avoided. In addition, the accident rate in Canada decreased by 5.7% thanks to DRL, the same goes for countries that have adopted DRL as a lighting standard.

Besides the safety factor, DRL lights are used by car manufacturers to enhance the appearance of the car through a unique design. With DRL, other drivers can see each other even if the visibility is very low.

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Especially for countries that don't get a lot of sunlight during the day, DRL is mandatory. Besides Scandinavian countries that have already utilized it, European and American have begun to adopt DRL lights.

As for Indonesia, not all cars are equipped with DRL. But considering its function, it is important for buyers to pick a car that is already equipped with DRL for safety.