Dipped Beam VS High Beam: Everything You Need To Know

When it comes to ensuring safe driving, one of the most critical aspects is proper illumination of the road ahead.


Headlights play a pivotal role in this, but not all headlights are created equal. Two common types of headlights you’ll find on vehicles are dipped beam and high beam headlights, each designed for specific purposes.


In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the nuances of dipped beam vs. high beam headlights to provide you with everything you need to know to navigate the roads safely.

What Are Dipped Beam Headlights ?

what are dipped beam headlight

Dipped beam headlights, also known as low beam headlights, are a type of vehicle headlight that produces a relatively low-intensity, downward-focused beam of light. These headlights are designed to illuminate the road directly in front of the vehicle without blinding oncoming drivers or those ahead of the vehicle. Dipped beam headlights are typically used in conditions where there is sufficient ambient lighting or when driving in urban areas with streetlights.

In the United States and Canada, these headlights are commonly referred to as ‘low beam’ headlights.

How Dipped Headlights Work?

Dipped beam headlights utilize a combination of reflectors and lenses within the headlight assembly. The reflector gathers and directs the light emitted by the bulb, while the lens shapes and focuses this light into a specific beam pattern. The resulting beam is angled slightly downward to illuminate the road ahead without causing glare for oncoming drivers.

When Should I Use Dipped Headlight?

The probability of overlooking objects on or near the road significantly increases in low-light or low-visibility conditions compared to daylight. Headlights play a critical role by enhancing your road vision and increasing your visibility to others. For most countries, the dipped beam headlight must be on:

  • Between Sunset And Sunrise (half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise)
  • In urban areas with streetlights
  • The surroundings are relatively dark, and the road lacks street lighting
  • In weather conditions when visibility is seriously reduced
  • Overtaking another vehicles
  • Within 150 meters of the oncoming vehicle

What Are Full Beam Headlights ?

Full beam headlights, often referred to as high beams, are a crucial component of a vehicle’s lighting system. Unlike low beam headlights designed for regular nighttime driving, full beams emit a significantly brighter and broader beam of light.


This increased brightness improves long-range visibility, making them ideal for use in rural or poorly lit areas with minimal traffic.

How Full Beam Headlights Work?

high beam headlight working

High beam headlights work by using a specialized, brighter bulb and a reflector/lens system. When activated, a strong electrical current flows through the bulb, causing it to emit an intense, forward-reaching beam of light. The reflector and lens help shape and focus this light into a broad and powerful beam pattern, significantly improving long-range visibility for the driver, especially in dark or poorly lit conditions.

When Should I Use High Beam?

High beam is the high intensity, bright, symmetrical setting on the headlights of a car. Knowing when to use this setting is important to give you a sufficient view of the road ahead without causing visibility and safety issues for other road users.

You should use full beams every legal chance you get, but there are many times you have to dip your headlights.


  • In poorly lit rural roads, the high and low beams need to be used alternately
  • When overtaking at night, alternate between high and low beams to signal the vehicles ahead

Comparison of Dipped Beam and High Beam

  Dipped Beam High Beam
Beam Pattern Narrow, angled downward to reduce glare for others Broad and intense, forward-reaching beam
Intensity Less intense, suitable for regular nighttime use Much brighter, ideal for dark and open roads
Usage Everyday driving, city, moderate traffic Rural, remote areas, minimal traffic, open roads
Visibility Range Short to medium range Long-range, enhanced visibility for distance
Angle of Illumination Slightly angled downward Straight ahead and wide coverage

Dipped Beam VS High Beam Emitted Through Projector

The dipped beam from the projector headlight typically features a sharp horizontal cutoff line with a slightly greater emphasis on the right side of the road. This design is intended to provide focused illumination ahead while reducing glare for oncoming drivers.


The high beam includes a central spotlight, enhancing a driver’s visibility over longer distances.

Dipped Beam VS High Emitted Through Reflector

If you have reflector-type headlight in your car, you may see that the graph depicts a reflector-type beam pattern with a symmetrical left-side light component positioned just below the cutoff line, preventing glare for oncoming drivers.


The high beam will provide a broader illumination, expanding the drivers’ field of vision.

Best LED Bulb For Dipped Beam Headlight

Safe nighttime driving relies on good low beam headlights. If you’re thinking about switching from a dim halogen bulb to a new LED one, make sure to pick a high-quality LED bulb with the right beam pattern.


Here is our most recommended LED headlight bulb which will have a high performance on dipped beam.

NAOEVO NR LED Headlight Bulb 55W 6600LM

If you are looking for super bright LED headlight bulb to upgrade your dipped beam. NAOEVO NR LED headlight bulbs should be your best choice.

Equipped with high-intensity flip chip, the NR LED bulbs are able to provide an ultra-high brightness of 60W 10800LM, which is about 4 – 5 times brighter than halogen.

Furthermore, NR LED bulbs closely replicate the halogen filament’s lighting position, resulting in a flawless light beam with a distinct cutoff line, ensuring no glare for others.

What distinguishes NR LED headlight bulbs is their unique rocket, symbolizing strength, power, and explosion. Allow NR Mr. Rocket’s might to illuminate your path, setting them apart from the competition.

The Lighting Performance of NR

low beam of nr

Best LED Car Bulb For High Beam Headlight

High beams provide intense, long-range illumination for better visibility on dark roads, helping drivers see farther ahead and detect potential hazards. To select an LED headlight bulb to replace a halogen bulb, consider factors like brightness, lifespan, and heat dissipation.


Here’s our top pick of LED car lights, thoughtfully designed to elevate your high beam performance.

NAOEVO NL LED Headlight Bulb 90W 10800LM

NAOEVO NL LED headlight bulbs are designed to revolutionize your full beam experience.

These bulbs are equipped with six large flip chips, an engineering feat that maximizes energy-to-light conversion, resulting in an impressive output of 180W and 21,600LM per set.

When you activate the high beam, you’ll notice a precision-focused spotlight in the center, accompanied by wide, uniform illumination on both sides, a testament to NAOEVO’s cutting-edge optics technology that eliminates glare.

With a dual copper heat pipe system effectively dissipating 30W of heat each, these bulbs boast a remarkable lifespan of over 50,000 hours.

Not only do they perform exceptionally, but they also make a visual statement with their stylish bull design and eye-catching Bullring packaging, all offered at the most competitive wholesale price.

The Lighting Performance of NL


How Far Should Dipped Headlights Shine?

The low beam illumination distance is approximately 30-40 meters. According to experiments, when driving at a speed of 55 km/h at night, braking immediately upon detection results in a stopping distance of exactly 30 meters.

How To Turn on Dipped Headlights?

  1. Locate the headlight control switch, typically located on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel.
  2. Turn the switch to the position marked “Dipped” or “Low Beam.” This setting is usually indicated by a symbol resembling a lowercase “d” or “L” with horizontal lines.
  3. Check your vehicle’s instrument panel to confirm that the dipped headlights are illuminated. You may also see a symbol representing headlights.
  4. Ensure that the headlights are properly aligned and providing adequate illumination ahead of your vehicle.
  5. Adjust the headlight switch as needed to control the brightness of the dipped headlights, depending on road and weather conditions.


In conclusion, understanding the differences between dipped beams and high beams is crucial for safe and effective nighttime driving. Dipped beams offer focused illumination for well-lit areas and prevent glare for others, while high beams provide long-range visibility for dark, unlit roads.


Knowing when and how to use each setting ensures not only your safety but also that of fellow drivers. Stay informed, drive responsibly, and prioritize road safety.

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