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.