AskDefine | Define blinker

Dictionary Definition

blinker

Noun

1 a light that flashes on and off; used as a signal or to send messages [syn: flasher]
2 a blinking light on a motor vehicle that indicates the direction in which the vehicle is about to turn [syn: turn signal, turn indicator, trafficator]
3 blind consisting of a leather eye-patch sewn to the side of the halter that prevents a horse from seeing something on either side [syn: winker, blinder] v : put blinders on (a horse)

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. Something that blinks, as the turn signal of an automobile.
  2. eye shields attached to a hood for horses, to prevent them from seeing backwards, and partially sideways.
  3. whatever obstructs sight or discernment: WikiQuote
  4. Eyelid.

Synonyms

Translations

blinder
eyelid

See also

Extensive Definition

The lighting system of a motor vehicle consists of lighting and signalling devices mounted or integrated to the front, sides and rear of the vehicle. The purpose of this system is to provide illumination for the driver to operate the vehicle safely after dark, to increase the visibility of the vehicle, and to display information about the vehicle's presence, position, size, direction of travel, and driver's intentions regarding direction and speed of travel.

Forward illumination

Forward illumination is provided by high- ("main", "full", "driving") and low- ("dip", "dipped", "passing") beam headlamps, which may be augmented by auxiliary fog lamps, driving lamps, and/or cornering lamps.

Headlamps

Dipped beam (low beam, passing beam, meeting beam)

Dipped-beam (also called low, passing, or meeting beam) headlamps provide a light distribution to give adequate forward and lateral illumination without blinding other road users with excessive glare. This beam is specified for use whenever other vehicles are present ahead. The international ECE Regulations for headlamps specify a beam with a sharp, asymmetric cutoff preventing significant amounts of light from being cast into the eyes of drivers of preceding or oncoming cars. Control of glare is less strict in the North American SAE beam standard contained in FMVSS / CMVSS 108 .

Main beam (high beam, driving beam, full beam)

Main-beam (also called high, driving, or full beam) headlamps provide an intense, centre-weighted distribution of light with no particular control of glare. Therefore, they are only suitable for use when alone on the road, as the glare they produce will dazzle other drivers. International ECE Regulations permit higher-intensity high-beam headlamps than are allowed under North American regulations

Auxiliary lamps

Driving lamps

"Driving lamp" is a term deriving from the early days of nighttime driving, when it was relatively rare to encounter an opposing vehicle. Only on those occasions when opposing drivers passed each other would the dipped or "passing" beam be used. The full beam was therefore known as the driving beam, and this terminology is still found in international ECE Regulations, which do not distinguish between a vehicle's primary (mandatory) and auxiliary (optional) upper/driving beam lamps. They are most notably fitted on rallying cars, and are occasionally fitted to production vehicles derived from or imitating such cars. They are common in countries with large stretches of unlit roads, or in regions such as the Nordic countries where the period of daylight is short during winter. Many countries regulate the installation and use of driving lamps. For example, in Russia each vehicle may have no more than three pairs of lights including the original-equipment items.

Fog lamps

Front fog lamps provide a wide, bar-shaped beam of light with a sharp cutoff at the top, and are generally aimed and mounted low. They may be either white or selective yellow. They are intended for use at low speed to increase the illumination directed towards the road surface and verges in conditions of poor visibility due to rain, fog, dust or snow. As such, they are often most effectively used in place of dipped-beam headlamps, reducing the glareback from fog or falling snow, although the legality varies by jurisdiction of using front fog lamps without low beam headlamps.
Use of the front fog lamps when visibility is not seriously reduced is often prohibited (for example in the United Kingdom), as they can cause increased glare to other drivers, particularly in wet pavement conditions, as well as harming the driver's own vision due to excessive foreground illumination.
The respective purposes of front fog lamps and driving lamps are often confused, due in part to the misconcepion that fog lamps are necessarily selective yellow, while any auxiliary lamp that makes white light is a driving lamp. Automakers and aftermarket parts and accessories suppliers frequently refer interchangeably to "fog lamps" and "driving lamps" (or "fog/driving lamps"). In most countries, weather conditions rarely necessitate the use of fog lamps, and there is no legal requirement for them, so their primary purpose is frequently cosmetic. They are often available as optional extras or only on higher trim levels of many cars. Studies have shown that in North America more people inappropriately use their fog lamps in dry weather than use them properly in poor weather.

Cornering lamps

On some models in North America and Japan, white cornering lamps provide extra lateral illumination in the direction of an intended turn or lane change. These are actuated in conjunction with the turn signals, though they burn steadily, and they may also be wired to illuminate when the vehicle is shifted into reverse gear. North American technical standards contain provisions for front cornering lamps as well as for rear cornering lamps. Cornering lamps have traditionally been prohibited under international ECE Regulations, though provisions have recently been made to allow them as long as they are only operable when the vehicle is travelling at less than 40 kilometres per hour (about 25 mph),
Some vehicles, for example the Citroen SM, have been designed with swivelling headlights which turn with the front wheels (coupled, in the SM's case, with a further set of lamps which do not swivel). At the time the SM was launched, these were illegal in the United States and had to be replaced with a second pair of fixed, forward-facing headlights.
Cars used in rallying and other motorsports, and in off-roading, often have extra driving lamps placed at a fixed angle to broaden the field of illumination.

Spot lights

Police cars, emergency vehicles, and those competing in road rallyes are sometimes equipped with an auxiliary lamp in a swivel-mounted housing attached to one or both a-pillars, directable by a handle protruding through the pillar into the vehicle. Until the mid-1940s, these spot lamps could be found as standard equipment on expensive cars. Until the mid-1960s, they were commonly offered by automakers as model-specific accessory items. More recently, customizers have installed them or dummy substitutes on their cars. Spot lamps are used to illuminate signs, house numbers, and people with more power than a flashlight. Spot lights can also be had in versions designed to mount through the vehicle's roof. In some countries, for example in Russia, spot lights are allowed on emergency vehicles only (police, paramedics, firefighters) or for off-road driving only.

Conspicuity devices

Retroreflectors

The most basic vehicle conspicuity devices are retroreflectors (also reflex reflectors or, archaically, cat's eyes - not to be confused with the reflective road markings), which despite emitting no light on their own, are regulated as automotive lighting devices. These devices reflect light from other vehicles' headlamps back towards the light source, that is, other vehicles' drivers. Thus, vehicles are conspicuous even when their electrically-powered lighting system is deactivated or disabled. Regulations worldwide require each vehicle to be equipped with rear-facing red retroreflectors. North American regulations also require amber front and red rear side-facing retroreflectors. Sweden, South Africa and other countries have at various times required white front-facing retroreflectors.

Front position lamps (parking lamps)

Nighttime standing-vehicle conspicuity to the front is provided by front position lamps, known as parking lamps or parking lights in North America, sidelights in UK English, and in other regions as position lamps, standing lamps, or city lights. Despite the UK term, these are not the same as sidemarker lights described below. The front position lamps may emit white or amber light in North America; elsewhere in the world they must emit white light only. The city light terminology for front position lamps comes from the now obsolete practice, formerly adhered to in cities like Moscow, London and Paris, of driving at night in built-up areas using these low-intensity lights rather than headlamps. It is now illegal in most countries to drive a vehicle with parking lamps illuminated, unless the headlamps are also illuminated. The UK briefly required Dim-Dip lights, described below, in an attempt to optimize the level of light used at night in built-up areas.
Since the late 1960s, front position lamps have been required to remain illuminated even when the headlamps are on, to maintain the visual signature of a dual-track vehicle to oncoming drivers in the event of headlamp burnout. Front position lamps worldwide produce between 4 and 125 candelas.
In Germany, the StVZO (Road Traffic Licensing Regulations) calls for a different function also known as parking lamps: With the vehicle's ignition switched off, the operator may activate a low-intensity light at the front (white or amber) and rear (red) on either the left or the right side of the car. This function is used when parking in narrow unlit streets to provide parked-vehicle conspicuity to approaching drivers. This function, which is optional under ECE and US regulations, is served passively and without power consumption in North America by the mandatory sidemarker retroreflectors.

Dim-Dip Lamps (UK Only)

UK regulations briefly required vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1987 to be equipped with a dim-dip device or special running lamps, except such vehicles as comply fully with ECE Regulation 48 regarding installation of lighting equipment. A dim-dip device operates the low beam headlamps (called "dipped beam" in the UK) at between 10% and 20% of normal low-beam intensity. The running lamps permitted as an alternative to dim-dip were required to emit at least 200 candelas straight ahead, and no more than 800 candelas in any direction. In practise, most vehicles were equipped with the dim-dip option rather than the running lamps.
The dim-dip systems were not intended for daytime use as DRLs. Rather, they operated if the engine was running and the driver switched on the parking lamps (called "sidelights" in the UK). Dim-dip was intended to provide a nighttime "town beam" with intensity between that of parking lamps (commonly used by British drivers in city traffic after dark) and dipped/low beams, because the former were considered insufficiently intense to provide improved conspicuity in conditions requiring it, while the latter were considered too glaring for safe use in built-up areas. The UK was the only country to use such dim-dip systems.
In 1988, the European Commission successfully prosecuted the UK government in the European Court of Justice, arguing that the UK requirement for dim-dip was illegal under EC directives prohibiting member states from enacting vehicle lighting requirements not contained in pan-European EC directives. As a result, the UK requirement for dim-dip was quashed. Nevertheless, dim-dip was (and is) still permitted, and while such systems are not presently as common as they once were, dim-dip functionality was fitted on many new cars well into the 1990s.

Rear position lamps (tail lamps)

Night time vehicle conspicuity to the rear is provided by rear position lamps (North American terms: taillamp, taillight, tail lamp, tail light; UK term rear light). These are required to produce only red light, and to be wired such that they are lit whenever the front position lamps are illuminated—including when the headlamps are on. Rear position lamps may be combined with the vehicle's brake lamps, or separate from them. In combined-function installations, the lamps produce brighter red light for the brake lamp function, and dimmer red light for the rear position lamp function. Regulations worldwide stipulate minimum intensity ratios between the bright (brake) and dim (tail) modes, so that a vehicle displaying rear position lamps will not be mistakenly interpreted as showing brake lamps, and vice versa.
Rear position lamps are permitted, required or forbidden to illuminate in combination with daytime running lamps, depending on the jurisdiction and the DRL implementation.

Rear registration plate lamp

The rear registration plate may be illuminated by a white lamp (which points at the plate); in some jurisdictions it is compulsory to have one of these and it must be illuminated whenever the normal marker lights must be.

Sidemarker lights

In North America, amber front and red rear sidemarker lamps and retro-reflectors are required. The law initially required lights or retroreflectors on vehicles made after 1 January 1968. This was amended to require lights and retroreflectors on vehicles made after 1 January 1970. These side-facing devices make the vehicle's presence, position and direction of travel clearly visible from oblique angles. The lights are wired so as to illuminate whenever the vehicles' parking and taillamps are on, including when the headlamps are being used. Front amber sidemarkers in North America may or may not be wired so as to flash in sync with the turn signals. Sidemarkers are permitted outside North America, but not required. If installed, they are required to be brighter and visible through a larger horizontal angle than US sidemarkers, they may not flash, and they must be amber at the front and rear unless the rear sidemarker is incorporated into the main rear lamp cluster, in which case it may be red or amber. Some Japanese, European, British and US-brand vehicles have sidemarkers in Europe and other countries where they are not required.
Japan's recent accession to internationalized ECE Regulations has caused automakers to change the rear sidemarker colour from red to amber on their models so equipped in the Japanese market.

Daytime running lamps

Some countries permit or require vehicles to be equipped with daytime running lamps (DRL). These may be functionally-dedicated lamps, or the function may be provided by e.g. the low beam or high beam headlamps, the front turn signals, or the front fog lamps, depending on local regulations. In ECE Regulations, a functionally-dedicated DRL must emit white light with an intensity of at least 400 candelas on axis and no more than 800 candelas in any direction. Most countries applying ECE Regulations permit low beam headlamps to be used as daytime running lamps. Canada, Sweden, Norway, Slovenia, Austria (abolished in 2008), Finland, Iceland, and Denmark require hardwired automatic DRL systems of varying specification depending on the specific country. DRLs are permitted in many countries where they are not required, but prohibited in other countries not requiring them.
In North America, daytime running lamps may produce up to 7,000 candelas, and can be implemented as high-beam headlamps running at less-than-rated voltage. This has provoked a large number of complaints about glare.

Rear fog lamps

(ECE Regulation 38, SAE J1319) In Europe and other countries adhering to ECE Regulation 48, vehicles must be equipped with one or two bright red "rear fog lamps" (or "fog taillamps"), which are switched on manually by the driver in conditions of poor visibility to enhance vehicle conspicuity from the rear. The allowable range of intensity for a rear fog lamp is 150 to 300 candelas, which is within the range of a U.S. brake lamp. For this reason, many European vehicles imported to the United States have their rear fog lamps wired as brake lamps, since their European-specification brake lamps may not be sufficiently intense to comply with U.S. regulations, and in North America rear fog lamps are not required equipment. However, they are permitted, and are found almost exclusively on European-brand vehicles in North America — Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes, MINI, Range Rover, Saab and Volvo provide functional rear fog lights on their North American models. The second generation Oldsmobile Aurora also had dual rear fog lights installed in the rear bumper as standard equipment.
Most jurisdictions permit rear fog lamps to be installed either singly or in pairs. If a single rear fog is fitted, most jurisdictions require it to be located at or to the driver's side of the vehicle's centreline — whichever side is the prevailing driver's side in the country in which the vehicle is registered. This is to maximise the sight line of following drivers to the rear fog lamp. If two rear fog lamps are fitted, they must be symmetrical with respect to the vehicle's centreline. Proponents of twin rear fog lamps say two lamps provide vehicle distance information not available from a single lamp. Proponents of the single rear fog lamp say dual rear fog lamps closely mimic the appearance of illuminated brake lamps (which are mandatorily installed in pairs), reducing the conspicuity of the brake lamps' message when the rear fogs are activated. To provide some safeguard against rear fog lamps' masking of brake lamps, ECE R48 requires a separation of at least 10 cm between the closest illuminated edges of any brake lamp and any rear fog lamp.

Emergency vehicle lights

Emergency vehicles such as fire engines, ambulances, police cars, snow-removal vehicles and tow trucks are usually equipped with intense warning lights of particular colours. These may be motorised rotating beacons, xenon strobes, or arrays of LEDs. The prescribed colours differ by jurisdiction; in most countries, blue and/or red special warning lamps are used on police, fire, and medical-emergency vehicles. In North America and some other jurisdictions, amber lights are for tow trucks, private security personnel, and other nonofficial special-service vehicles, while volunteer firefighters use red, blue, or green, depending on jurisdiction. Special warning lights are also sometimes mounted on slow vehicles such as excavators and tractors.

Taxi displays

Taxicabs are distinguished by special lights according to local regulations. They may have an illuminated "Taxi" sign, a light to signal that they are ready to take passengers, and an emergency panic light the driver can activate in the event of a robbery to alert passersby to call the police.

Signalling devices

Turn signals

Turn signals (properly directional indicators or directional signals, also "indicators," "directionals," "blinkers," or "flashers") are signal lights mounted near the left and right front and rear corners, and sometimes on the sides of vehicles, used to indicate to other drivers that the operator intends a lateral change of position (turn or lanechange). Electric turn signal lights were devised as early as 1907 (). In 1925, Edgar A. Walz, Jr. secured a patent for the first modern automobile turn signal. He marketed the device to all the major automobile manufacturers but none indicated an interest. Fourteen years later the patent expired; the modern turn signal was first generally offered by major automobile manufacturers in 1939. Today, turn signals are required on all vehicles that are driven on public roadways in most countries. Alternative systems of hand signals were used earlier, and they are still common for bicycles. Hand signals are also sometimes used when regular vehicle lights are malfunctioning.
Some cars from the 1920s to 1950s used retractable semaphores called trafficators rather than flashing lights. They were commonly mounted high up behind the front doors and swung out horizontally. However, they were fragile and could be easily broken off and also had a tendency to stick in the closed position.
As with all vehicle lighting and signalling devices, turn signal lights must comply with technical standards that stipulate minimum and maximum permissible intensity levels, minimum horizontal and vertical angles of visibility, and minimum illuminated surface area to ensure that they are visible at all relevant angles, do not dazzle those who view them, and are suitably conspicuous in conditions ranging from full darkness to full direct sunlight.

Side turn signals

In most countries outside North America, cars must be equipped with side-mounted turn signal repeaters to make the turn indication visible laterally rather than just to the front and rear of the vehicle. These are permitted, but not required in North America. As an alternative in North America, the front amber sidemarker lights may be wired to flash with the turn signals, but this also is not mandatory. Recently, some automakers have begun incorporating side turn signal devices into the sideview mirror housings, rather than mounting them on the vehicle's fenders. There is some evidence to suggest these mirror-mounted turn signals may be more effective than fender-mounted items.

Electrical connection & Switching

Turn signals are required to blink on and off, or "flash", at a steady rate of between 60 and 120 blinks per minute. International regulations require that all turn signals activated at the same time (i.e., all right signals or all left signals) flash in simultaneous phase with one another; North American regulations permit sidemarkers wired for side turn signal functionality to flash in opposite-phase. Worldwide regulations stipulate an audiovisual telltale when the turn signals are activated; this usually takes the form of one combined or separate left and right green indicator lights on the vehicle's instrument cluster, and a cyclical "tick-tock" noise generated electromechanically or electronically. It is also required that audio and/or visual warning be provided to the vehicle operator in the event of a turn signal's failure to light. This warning is usually provided by a much faster- or slower-than-normal flash rate, visible on the dashboard indicator, and audible via the faster tick-tock sound.
Turn signals are in almost every case activated by means of a horizontal lever protruding from the side of the steering column, though some vehicles have the lever mounted instead to the dashboard. In virtually all left-hand drive cars, the lever is on the left side of the column, and the driver moves the lever up to activate the right turn signal, or down to activate the left. In right-hand drive cars, the placement of the signal lever varies by maker and market. When the lever is located on the right side of the column, the lever is moved down to signal a right turn, up to signal a left. The direction in which the lever must be moved is intuitive, in that the lever must be pivoted to signal in the same direction as the steering wheel must be turned for the car to make either a left or a right turn. Virtually all vehicles have a self-cancelling feature that returns the lever to the neutral (no signal) position as the steering wheel approaches the straight-ahead position after a turn has been made.

Turn signal colour

Until the early 1960s, most front turn signals worldwide emitted white light and most rear turn signals emitted red. Amber front turn signals were voluntarily adopted by the auto industry in the USA for most vehicles beginning in the 1963 model year, though front turn signals were still permitted to emit white light until FMVSS 108 took effect for the 1968 model year, whereupon amber became the only permissible colour for front turn signals. Presently, almost all countries outside North America require that all front, side and rear turn signals produce amber light. In North America the rear signals may be amber or red. International proponents of amber rear signals say they are more easily discernible as turn signals, and US studies in the early 1990s demonstrated improvements in the speed and accuracy of following drivers' reaction to brake lamps when the turn signals were amber rather than red. US regulators and other proponents of red rear turn signals claim there is no proven lifesaving benefit to amber signals.
Recent styling trends have raised concerns that turn signals with colourless clear lenses may be less conspicuous in bright sunlight than those with amber lenses. The amber bulbs used in turn signals with colourless lenses are no longer made with cadmium glass, for cadmium is banned due to its toxicity by various regulations worldwide, including the European RoHS directive. Amber glass made without cadmium is very costly, so most amber bulbs are now made with clear glass dipped in an amber coating. These coatings are not yet as durable as the bulbs themselves; with prolonged heat-cool cycles, the coating may flake off the bulb glass, or its colour may fade. This causes the turn signal to emit white light rather than the required amber light. The international regulation on motor vehicle bulbs requires manufacturers to test bulbs for colour endurance. However, no test protocol or colour durability requirement is specified. Discussion is ongoing within the Groupe des Rapporteurs d'Éclairage, the UNECE working group on vehicular lighting regulation, to develop and implement a colour durability standard.

Sequential turn signals

Sequential turn signals are a feature on some past-model cars whereby multiple lights that produce the rear turn signal do not all flash on and off in phase. Rather, the horizontally-arrayed lamps are illuminated sequentially: the innermost lamp lights and remains illuminated, the next outermost lamp lights and remains illuminated, followed by the next outermost lamp and so on until the outermost lamp lights briefly, at which point all lamps extinguish together and, after a short pause, the cycle begins again. The visual effect is one of outward motion in the direction of the intended turn or lane change. This implementation has generally been found only on American cars that use combination red rear brake and turn signal lamps.
Sequential turn signals were factory fitted to Ford Thunderbirds built between 1965 and 1971, inclusive, to Mercury Cougars between 1967 and 1973, to Shelby Mustangs between 1968 and 1970, and to 1969 Imperials (built by Chrysler). No other production cars were so equipped, initially due to the cost and complexity of the system. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, which regulates automotive lighting, was amended to require that all turn signal lamps operate in synchronized phase, thus prohibiting sequential turn signals.
Two different systems were employed. The earlier, fitted to the 1965 through 1968 Ford-built cars, was electro-mechanical, featuring an electric motor driving, through reduction gearing, a set of three slow-turning cams. These cams would actuate switches to turn on the lights in sequence so long as the turn signal switch was set. This system was complicated and prone to failure, and therefore the units are non-functional in many surviving cars.
Later Ford cars and the 1969 Chrysler Imperial used a transistorized control module with no moving parts; this was much more reliable.
While U.S. Federal and Canadian motor vehicle safety standards prohibit sequential turn signals on vehicles built after 1 January 1970, Federal standards do not apply to vehicles in use, and so extension of this regulation to vehicles in use is left as a matter of choice for each state or province.

Hazard flashers

International regulations have since the 1960s required vehicles to be equipped with a control which, when activated, flashes the left and right directional signals, front and rear, all at the same time and in phase. This function is meant to be used to indicate a hazard such as a vehicle stopped in or alongside moving traffic, a disabled vehicle, an exceptionally slow-moving vehicle, or a vehicle participating in a funeral procession. Operation of the hazard flashers must be via a control independent of the turn signal control, and audiovisual telltale must be provided to the driver. In vehicles with a separate left and right green turn signal indicator on the dashboard, both left and right indicators may flash to provide visual indication of the hazard flashers' operation. In vehicles with a single green turn signal indicator on the dashboard, a separate red indicator light must be provided for hazard flasher indication.

Stop lamps (brake lamps)

Red steady-burning rear lights, brighter than the taillamps, are activated when the driver applies the vehicle's brakes. These are called brake lights or stop lamps. They are required to be fitted in multiples of two, symmetrically at the left and right edges of the rear of every vehicle. Outside North America, the range of acceptable intensity for a brake lamp containing one light source (e.g. bulb) is 60 to 185 candelas. In North America, the acceptable range for a single-bulb brake lamp is 80 to 300 candelas.

Centre High Mount Stop Lamp (CHMSL)

Car customizers such as the dekotora of Japan include such ornamental lamps as cold-cathode fluorescent tubes under the car.

Construction and technology

Light sources

Incandescent light bulbs

Traditionally, an incandescent tungsten light bulb has been the light source used in all of the various automotive signalling and marking lamps. Typically, bulbs of 21 to 27 watts, producing 280 to 570 lumens (22 to 45 Mean Spherical Candlepower) are used for brake, turn, reversing and rear fog lamps, while bulbs of 4 to 10 W, producing 40 to 130 lm (3 to 10 mscp) are used for tail lamps, parking lamps, sidemarker lamps and side turn signal repeaters.

Halogen

Tungsten-halogen light bulbs are a very common light source for headlamps and other forward illumination functions. Some recent-model vehicles use small halogen bulbs for exterior signalling and marking functions, as well.

"Xenon"

The devices popularly known as "Xenon headlamps" actually incorporate Metal halide light sources, and are known as high-intensity discharge, or HID lamps.

Neon tubes

Neon lamp tubes were introduced into widespread production for the CHMSL on the 1995 Ford Explorer, and notable later uses included the 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII, with a neon tube spanning the width of the trunk decklid, and the BMW Z8, which made extensive use of neon. Numerous concept cars have included neon lamp features, from such manufacturers as Volvo. Hella offered an aftermarket neon CHMSL in the late 1990s.
The linear packaging of the neon light source lends itself to the linear packaging favored for many CHMSL installations, and neon lights offer the same nearly-instant rise time benefit as LEDs. However, neon tubes require an expensive and relatively power-hungry ballast (power supply unit), and as a result, neon lights have not found significant long-term popularity as sources of light for automotive signaling.

Light emitting diodes (LED)

LEDs are being used with increasing frequency in automotive lamps. They offer very long service life, extreme vibration resistance, and can permit considerably shallower packaging compared to most bulb-type assemblies. LEDs also offer a significant safety performance benefit when employed in brake lights, for when power is applied they rise to full intensity approximately 200 milliseconds (0.2 seconds) faster than incandescent bulbs. This fast rise time not only improves the attentional conspicuity of the brake lamp, but also provides following drivers with increased time in which to react to the appearance of the brake lamps.
LEDs were first applied to automotive lighting in Centre High Mount Brake Lamps (CHMSL), beginning in the early 1990s. Adoption of LEDs for other signal functions on passenger cars has been slow, but is beginning to increase with demand for the technology and related styling updates. The 2007 Audi R8 supercar uses two strips of optically-focused high-intensity LEDs for its Daytime Running Lamps. Optional on the R8 in ECE markets is the world's first LED headlamp. The low and high beams along with the position (parking) lamp and front turn signal are all realized with LEDs. The Lexus LS 600h features LED low beam, position and sidemarker lamps in North America, and the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Platinum uses LEDs for the low and high beams, as well as for the position and sidemarker lamps.
The commercial vehicle industry has rapidly adopted LEDs for virtually all signaling and marking functions on trucks and buses, because in addition to the fast rise time and concomitant safety benefit, LEDs' extremely long service life reduces vehicle downtime. Almost all commercial vehicles use exterior lighting devices of standardised format and fitment, which has cost-reduced and sped the changeover.

Variable-intensity signal lamps

Internationalized ECE regulations explicitly permit vehicle signal lamps with intensity automatically increased during bright daylight hours when sunlight reduces the effectiveness of the brake lamps, and automatically decreased during hours of darkness when glare could be a concern. Both US and ECE regulations contain provisions for determining the minimum and maximum acceptable intensity for lamps that contain more than a single light source.
blinker in German: Fahrzeugbeleuchtung
blinker in Dutch: Richtingaanwijzer
blinker in Japanese: 方向指示器
blinker in Polish: Kierunkowskaz
blinker in Chinese: 转向灯

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Roman candle, aid to navigation, alarm, amber light, balefire, beacon, beacon fire, bell, bell buoy, blue peter, buoy, caution light, flare, fog bell, fog signal, fog whistle, foghorn, glance, go light, gong buoy, green light, heliograph, high sign, international alphabet flag, international numeral pennant, kick, leer, marker beacon, nod, nudge, parachute flare, pilot flag, poke, police whistle, quarantine flag, radio beacon, red flag, red light, rocket, sailing aid, semaphore, semaphore flag, semaphore telegraph, sign, signal, signal beacon, signal bell, signal fire, signal flag, signal gong, signal gun, signal lamp, signal light, signal mast, signal post, signal rocket, signal shot, signal siren, signal tower, spar buoy, stop light, the nod, the wink, touch, traffic light, traffic signal, watch fire, white flag, wigwag, wigwag flag, wink, yellow flag
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