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The Benefits of Switching to LED Reverse Bulbs

Rear accent, tail, and backup lights

We have seen the benefits of LED headlights, daytime running lights and taillamps, each providing a level of sharpness and clarity not found with other lighting options. Even interior lighting has improved dramatically wherever LED lights are used, bringing light to footwells and other deep recesses. One area needing improvement is with LED reverse bulbs lighting. Often not included during the manufacturing process, this option is a favorite of aftermarket enthusiasts who look for ways to improve their rides.

Benefits of LED Lighting

No matter where it is used, LED lighting has benefits that most other lighting sources cannot match. There are three main reasons for swapping out your OEM standard bulbs for LED reverse bulbs:

1. Enhanced rearward vision for the driver. As drivers, we’re accustomed to relying on reverse lights to illuminate our field of vision when backing up a vehicle. If we have a rearview camera, it serves as an important safety aid along with the rear and side mirrors. Yet, the amount of illumination may not be sufficient to see as wide and far as needed. Darkness, fog, rain and snow can obscure what’s happening behind a reversing vehicle, which is a potential hazard that could lead to an accident or a serious incident. Illumination improves with LED reverse lights, giving the driver improved vision and faster response time when danger awaits.

LED Reverse Bulb2. Improved visibility for following traffic and pedestrians. Just as reverse lights benefit the driver, anyone behind a reversing vehicle appreciates the extra illumination. Brighter lights, however, can make a significant difference for drivers and any pedestrians behind the vehicle, giving them more time to move out of the way.

3. Upgraded vehicle appearance overall. Besides the safety benefits, LED reverse lights simply look great. This is especially so if LED tail lamps are already installed — the brightness of both lights will give your vehicle a uniform look. These lights also use less energy than halogens and last longer.

Making the Upgrade

If you’re planning to make an upgrade to LED bulbs for your reverse lights, reference your owners manual for details on how to access the housing that holds the lights. It’s also wise to purchase new LED bulbs before beginning this project.

Usually, an enclosed compartment is inside the trunk or on the interior side of a liftgate. The compartment is flush with its surroundings, but will open by either removing snaps or using a flat-head screwdriver to separate it.

Once open, set the cover aside. Then, find the bulb and twist it, removing it from its housing. It will still be connected to a wire, but it will pop out of the socket with just a slight tug. Repeat this step with each bulb, then replace it with the new ones, working backward until each compartment is sealed shut.

Test the new lights by having someone slip behind the wheel, start your car, and put it in reverse. You’ll notice the difference immediately, and see its best work at night.

Check out all the lighting products available on NAPA online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on LED lighting, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Matthew C. Keegan View All

Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.

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