How much do you know about the reflectors in your headlights?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
When you think about aftermarket lighting, you think bulb. And while it seems to be that simple, replacement bulbs are actually fairly complicated. One thing often overlooked: the reflector, which directs any light emitted by the bulb through the lens. But, as with most aftermarket components, there are a variety of different reflectors out there. Take a look:


This is a parabolic reflector. It's highly reflective and can be found in a variety of head light bulbs on the market. They are, you might say, the original reflector. Light rays are projected in a parallel line to each other, which helps to create a very tight beam of light. And that means these reflectors aren't typically used when low-beam light patterns are required.



DE light technology reflectors mirror what common slide projectors do with light. The light beam is reflected to a focusing lens that projects it onto the road. Hella is responsible for this innovative approach to replacement bulbs. Unlike the parabolic reflector, they're great for low-beam and fog lamp use.


The last type of reflector uses FF (free-form/free-surface) light technology. High-performance computers optimize the position of the reflector surface in relation to the bulb's position, which produces a higher light output. The entire surface of the reflector is used, in combination with a pattern-free lens, to produce a light beam.



At Tire Rack, we offer a number of replacement bulbs in each of the three categories. To find one for your vehicle, simply search our inventory according to your vehicle.


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