Lights, Camera, Action: Illuminating The Past With Classic Car Lighting Tech

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Classic carLighting technology has come a long way since the birth of the classic car. Early headlights were powered by candles, acetylene or electric battery, while later versions used gas-filled lamps. Nowadays, reliable LED lighting is the standard, but for automotive enthusiasts of classic vehicles, only an original design will do. Read on to discover how classic car lighting tech has been adapted to bring these classic pieces of motoring history back to life!

When Illumination Was First Required on Cars

The requirement for headlamps on vehicles driving at night was first established in the U.K. in 1878. Since then, different countries had different regulations for vehicle lighting, with some allowing the larger, older style of lights, while others demanded smaller, slimline designs. By the mid twentieth century, sealed beam headlights were fairly standard.

Beyond headlamps, side lamps and tail lamps – or ‘foglamps’ as they were sometimes known – were also required to signal to others on the road. At the time, these were powered either by candles or burning oil lamps, which were mounted on the outside of the car.

Pre-1939 Lighting Systems

Early lighting systems used different fuel sources such as carbide oil or electric storage batteries. The electric battery was the most common, and early cars such as the 1918 Great Eight Cadillac had four headlamps and two tail lights powered by this type of battery. Merkel used a single electric battery to power all their car lights when they were produced in 1910.

The standard lighting system for cars in the late 1930s was already using gas-filled lamps. However, some of the larger cars still used an electric battery for their headlights or a carbide lamp for their side lamps. Rolls-Royce, for example, fitted their cars with electric headlights and side lamps, which were powered by an accumulator battery under the hood.

Modernizing Classic Car Lighting

Headlamps and side lamps for classic cars are now being adapted for modern cars. This enables owners of these beloved pieces of motoring history to keep their old classics on the road. LED conversion kits offer improved functionality with brighter and more efficient lighting, while still preserving the appearance of the classic car.

Upgrading classic car lighting can also improve safety. Many of these conversions involve replacing the common halogen bulbs with LED bulbs. LEDs generate a crisp white light that is much brighter than a conventional halogen light, which means better visibility for the driver and other drivers around them. Some conversions also offer adjustable beams, allowing the driver to adjust their lights’ beams according to their needs.

Classic Car Lighting Tech: The Future

In the future, we may see even more developments when it comes to classic car lighting tech. Light-emitting diode (LED) headlights are currently transforming the automotive world, offering improved lighting technology that is not only brighter but also more efficient and sustainable than ever before. This advancement could be a great way to bring these classic cars back to life and into the 21st century with improved lighting technology.

Whether you’re looking to keep your classic car on the road or just want to enjoy the beauty and nostalgia of old school lighting tech, the possibilities are endless. Upgrading your lighting systems is a great way to ensure your classic car is as safe and reliable as it can be. So, be sure to look into upgrade options and discover how classic car lighting tech can bring your beloved motor back to life!