Project: Vehicle Lighting: Improving Lamp Performance and Reducing Glare

Reference: S270J/VD

Last update: 03/12/2003 14:57:39


The project objectives are to determine:

* the lamp, vehicle, environmental and human physiological factors which contribute to the driver vision and the perception of glare from road users;
* what the limits are for these factors and whether they are being regulated appropriately and/or exceeded;
* how headlamp aim, intensity and beam pattern might be adjusted to maximise driver vision without adversely affecting the problem of glare for other road users; and,
* the benefits new lighting technologies may have.


Many road users found glare from vehicle headlamps to be a significant problem to visibility, especially during night driving.

The factors that contributed to the perception of glare have been attributed to many different factors of vehicle design and condition such as headlamp design, headlamp position, cleanliness, condition of the viewers eyes, etc.

Recent lighting developments have tended to increase the light output of headlamps which has been combined with complex designs of vehicle headlamps that enhance the visual and aesthetic appearance of vehicles. These factors may have exacerbated the problems of glare.


ICE Ergonomics
Holywell Building, Holywell Way, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3UZ
+44 (0)1509 283300

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £183,750.00

Actual start date: 21 December 1995

Actual completion date: 30 June 2001


Vehicle Lighting: Headlamp Glare and Driver Vision
Author: ICE Ergonomics Ltd
Publication date: 05/06/2001
Source: ICE Ergonomics (Loughborough Univ)

Summary of results

  1. The project has found that driver complaints of glare are justified and generally take the form of discomfort glare. This phenomenon does not affect the driver's visual ability, but can contribute to fatigue and stress that could influence driver behaviour. Headlamps also cause disability glare, and this does have an effect on visual ability. In the presence of disability glare it is significantly harder to detect critical objects on the road.