Last Updated on November 30, 2022 by Bernard Juchli
Why is one headlight dim and the other bright? The problem might be a result of several different things, including a foggy headlight lens, an outdated headlight bulb, or even an issue with the wiring. This can be a cause for concern for you especially when you are driving at night and passing through a very dark place.
Why is one headlight dim and the other bright?
Below could be the possible reasons why one headlight is dim and the other bright;
1. Wiring problem
Many different electrical components are responsible for lighting up the bulb in your headlight. In most cars, this component consists of a wire harness in addition to a fuse. These components provide the necessary electricity so that your headlights can function properly.
Problems with the wiring in your car can cause one headlight to be dim and the other bright, causing them to misfire or lead them to stop operating completely. Although problems with the wiring are uncommon, they do occur sometimes.
If you have recently tampered with your headlights or done any repairs on your own, this is another factor that might increase the likelihood of them occurring.
The specific type of issues you are having with the wiring will determine how you fix the headlight. It’s possible that the wiring has to be adjusted, that you need a new wire harness, that the fuse needs to be replaced, or that you require some other kind of electrical repair. Ensure your headlight problems are diagnosed by an expert technician, and they will collaborate with you to devise a strategy for repairing them.
2. Burnt bulb
A very common issue that can cause one headlight to be dim and the other bright is a burnt-out bulb. Fortunately, this also comes with the least complicated option, which is to just change the bulb. The light bulbs in your headlights, just like the lightbulbs in your house, will eventually burn out and need to be changed.
If you have a habit of leaving your headlights on during the day or if you often drive at night, the headlight bulbs in your car may need to be changed more frequently. Also, if you drive at night for services like Uber or delivery jobs, your light bulbs may burn out more often. Older cars that have never had their bulbs replaced are likewise a time bomb waiting to go off in terms of their headlights going out.
Meanwhile, how would you know when it’s time to replace the bulbs in your headlights? Here is what you should do: Stop your car in a safe location and turn on both of your headlights. After that, exit your vehicle and double-check that both of its headlights are shining brightly and operating properly. Bring your vehicle in for servicing to get the bulbs replaced as soon as you see either one of your headlights dimmer and the other bright.
3. Lens oxidation
Some motorists are mostly shocked when they realize that a dim headlight is not always a result of a burned-out bulb. In addition, the lenses themselves may be at fault.
Acrylic is a material that is often used in the production of headlight lenses, which are the plastic portions that cover the bulbs. It is well known that this substance undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
Your lenses are likely to get oxidized over time, which may result in a hazy, yellowed, or foggy look to the lenses. The cloudy appearance that oxidation gives lenses is that they do not let as much light pass through as clean lenses do. Even if you just replaced the bulbs in your headlights, they will have an aged appearance as a result of this.
A headlight repair service is a solution to this problem. Your technician can remove the oxidation from the lens of your headlights. This will help safeguard your headlights from such issues in the future.
Although this rarely affects one headlight, you should cross-examine both of your headlights to ensure the second headlight does not go dim and the other bright as time goes on.
4. Changing the Configuration
These days, drivers often have a selection of many illumination options from which to pick in their vehicles.
Take a minute to double-check your settings if you discover that your headlights are functioning improperly or one of them is dimmer and the other bright. The vast majority of modern headlights, unless specifically adjusted differently, can adjust themselves automatically.
As a result, a lot of motorists just “set it and forget it.” It’s possible that you won’t think to check the settings after your lighting has been adjusted by either an unintentional bump or another driver that operates your car.
Even while it may not be immediately apparent, there is a possibility that the headlights that are normally used on your vehicle are fog lights. In situations like these, making a straightforward adjustment to the settings of your headlights should get them back up and running, with both headlights appearing bright as usual.
LEDs vs. Incandescent Bulbs
Have you ever driven past someone with your headlights so bright that they could not see the road ahead of them? Even when the high beams are turned off, some LED headlights may give off an impression of being significantly brighter than conventional models.
As a result of this, if you are driving with conventional incandescent bulbs, you may start to have the impression that your headlights are not as bright when compared to other vehicles.
Meanwhile, LED headlights are so incredibly bright. Experts have stated that LED lights may give the impression of being brighter than incandescent bulbs while simultaneously not producing any more light. The color of the light emitted by conventional headlights is softer, warmer, and sometimes even yellowish. Nonetheless, the era of the too-bright headlight is (slowly) coming to an end.
On the other hand, light from LEDs tends to be crisp and white, with blue undertones. This color is more taxing on the eyes, and it creates a more striking contrast with the gloom of the night. Even though they provide the same amount of light, LED headlights may give the impression of being far brighter than incandescent bulbs.
The brightness of a headlight will be determined by a variety of other elements, such as the make and model of the vehicle, the headlight lenses, the design of the headlamp, and many more. Here are the pros and cons of LEDs:
- The positives. Some drivers choose LEDs because of their lower energy use and longer lifespan. Even in situations when they do not provide more light, some people feel that they may still improve drivers’ vision on the road, which is a potential benefit.
- The drawbacks: LED headlight critics argue that the lights create more problems than they solve since they produce a glare for other motorists, which increases the risk of collisions and causes eye strain.
It is the job of the headlights on your car to provide an even distribution of light so that you can see the road in front of you when you are driving.
Whatever the reason why one headlight is dim and the other bright, it’s important to get it checked so that both of your headlights light up.