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After being blinded by the vehicle behind me, I am wondering what the practical limit is for headlight brightness. I guess it may be cool to have lights so bright that you can etch your name onto the surface of the moon. However, ultimately, headlights are a safety feature. So it does not matter how well the driver of a single vehicle can see if everyone else on the road is blinded to the point of endangering everyone.

I am sure aiming properly helps. And I have hopes that the cost of smart headlights that self dim sections of the panel of many LED bulbs when other vehicles are detected. But for now, what exactly is the safe limit.
 

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US DOT compliant headlight bulbs are 35w low and 55w high beams.
The HB1/9004 tungsten halogen bulbs are 700 and 1200 lumens
 

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I couldn't agree more. It also seems to me like more and more people seem to drive around with their high beams on, just to be obnoxious. Placement of headlights is also problematic. As ride heights increase, those of us with conventional height vehicles are blinded by super bright headlights that are it eye level, instead of bumper level.
 

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So I recently joined the obnoxiously bright headlight club after my Impala was rear-ended by a drunk driver, the insurance company called it a total loss and I replaced it with a 2013 Buick LaCrosse. I can tell a huge difference in the amount of light being put out but so far, no one's flashed their brights at me in anger. Unlike the Impala, the fog lights are more cosmetic than functional, although it may just be their light output is overpowered by the headlights they're supposed to supplement.
 
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