Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

Osram shines a light on lighting

As the nights slowly start to draw in, good quality lighting becomes even more essential, and with new technology bringing about new opportunities for both the garage and motorist, it’s important that the latest developments are embraced to keep vehicles safe and roadworthy.

Checking all vehicle lighting applications thoroughly is a fast and simple exercise and so should be applied to every vehicle going through the workshop for servicing, especially as faulty bulbs are one of the most common reasons for NCT or MOT failure.

Not only are faulty bulbs a potential danger for the driver, their passengers and other road users – particularly heading into winter with reduced light and more challenging road conditions – if a bulb is blown or not working properly, the vehicle becomes unroadworthy and customers could be falling foul of the law. With this in mind, OSRAM suggest best practice for maintaining and replacing bulbs.

Change in pairs
Garages and service centres should always look to change bulbs together, even if only one has blown, as it is not only a safer and more practicable option, but it presents a pro table opportunity to upsell. Most importantly, both headlights are subject to the same stresses, so they will both be deteriorating together. Replacing just one failed bulb can result in an unbalanced or unpredictable headlight beam that can cause serious hazards for the driver and other road users. A vehicle is designed so that it works best when both headlights are functioning equally. Only then will the driver get the full advantage of the combined headlight beam on the road ahead.

If it’s not bright, it’s not right
Periodic checking of all lights on a vehicle should also be encouraged, including headlights, stop, tail and reversing lights. Osram testing shows that a standard halogen bulb loses 30 per cent of its brightness after 500 hours of use, and therefore it makes sense to be proactive when it comes to checking that all lighting is functioning as it should be.

With data suggesting that the vehicle car parc is ageing as a result of more people opting to hold on to their vehicles rather than investing in a shiny new model, it is essential that lights are regularly checked and replaced.

2020 vision
For these older vehicles in particular, Osram recommends a lighting upgrade. In many cases there are ‘plug and play’ solutions that can effectively see vehicles upgraded to a better performing halogen or HID bulb, offering increased quality light output and longevity, or even to an LED bulb alternative which further lifts performance. It’s common knowledge and well accepted that a brighter and whiter light output more closely resembling daylight effectively reduces fatigue and assists vision on the road, keeping motorists and other members of the public safe.

For motorists living in more rural and regional areas, such as country lanes where roads are often unlit, upgraded lighting is even more beneficial. This means it is important that garages and workshops are proactive in these remote areas and offer motorists lighting upgrade options where possible. When offered a lighting upgrade and the associated safety bene ts are explained, customers are likely to go for the upgrade, according to Osram data.