Daytime Running Lights

What are Daytime Running Lights (DRL) ?

What are Daytime Running Lights?

Daytime Running Lights are the lights on the vehicle that remain ON while running during the daytime. Generally, Daytime Running-Lights are switched on automatically when the engine is switched on and are switched off immediately as the headlamps are turned on. Depending upon the manufacturer and the country’s legislature, the light that DRLs emit may be of white, yellow or amber color.

Originally, Scandinavian countries practiced using Daytime-Running Lights for safety purpose. Sweden, Norway, Denmark used DRLs where the visibility is very poor even in the daytime during the winter season. Since then, the car manufacturers widely use them all over the world. Now the use of DRLs is mandatory in most of the European countries, Russia and Canada.



Vehicle manufacturers could use several techniques to employ Daytime Running Lights on the vehicles. They are:

  1. Using a low beam headlamp
  2. As dim fog lamps
  3. Using high beam headlamps at reduced intensity

Previously incandescent lamps were used in DRLs which are now being replaced by LEDs.

DRLs on BMW
Daytime Running Lights on BMW (Courtesy- BMW)

Advantages of using Daytime Running Lights:

  1. Improved safety: Numerous studies show that with Daytime Running Lights, drivers can better recognize the vehicle even from far and thus chances of accidents reduce substantially.
  2. Better styling: DRLs have now become the most vital styling element of the modern automobiles. Use of DRLs allows the designers to render more aggressive look to the vehicle exteriors.

However, there are some claims that say that use of DRLs is harmful. This is because they increase the visual glare which ultimately increases the stress on the drivers. Others claim that DRLs destroy the perception of the distance of drivers and hence increase the risk of accidents.

DRLs find their way on almost all the luxury brand vehicles like Mercedes, BMW, Audi etc. and are also gaining popularity among the budget cars.

Watch Daytime Running Lights in action:

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