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Interior Lighting Technologies


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    • By Counterman
      If there’s one thing that I know about myself it’s this: I can’t help but modify any vehicles I own. It’s not that I’m unhappy with the vehicles I buy. It’s just that in my eyes, there’s always room for improvement.
      Almost without fail, the first thing I’ll upgrade is lighting. In my opinion, halogen headlights shouldn’t still be around in 2022. Nighttime visibility is often overlooked, but it’s critical to occupant safety. The more your headlights can light up the road ahead, the more likely you’ll be able to see obstacles in your path.
      Goodbye HID, Hello LED!
      High-intensity discharge (HID) lighting, also known as xenon, was mostly seen in luxury vehicles, but it has started to trickle down into other makes and models over the years. HID bulbs are efficient, produce a high-quality light pattern and can be up to 300% brighter than traditional halogen bulbs.
      HID bulbs work by igniting an electrical discharge inside a gas chamber.
      There’s no filament inside an HID bulb, so they should last longer than a halogen bulb. But they’re not without a few downsides. They’re not cheap; they require ballasts to stabilize the electrical discharge; they can be difficult to diagnose if a bulb stops working; and they lose performance as they age, becoming dimmer
      over time.
      So, what’s the alternative? Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting has surged in popularity in the past few years, both in OE vehicles and the aftermarket. LEDs are an easy upgrade over halogen and HID lighting systems. They consist of two electrodes (an anode and a cathode). Light is produced when an electrical current passes through the semiconductive materials inside (silicon or selenium).
      LED Advantages
      LEDs are extremely energy-efficient, requiring significantly less energy than halogen or HID bulbs. The next major advantage would be the sheer variety that can be found in aftermarket LED lighting. Whether you’re looking for LEDs to install in place of halogen bulbs, complete headlight housings with integrated-LED beams or standalone LED housings for off-road visibility, the possibilities seem to be limitless!
      But in my eyes, their biggest advantage is in their service life. LEDs can offer an extremely long lifespan, so they won’t need to be replaced nearly as often. This can be especially beneficial in applications where the headlight bulbs are very difficult to reach. My 1998 Mercedes E320 was TERRIBLE to work on, especially when I needed to replace bulbs. And let’s face it: Engine bays aren’t getting any more spacious these days, and modern vehicles aren’t getting any easier to work on.
      LED Disadvantages
      If you’re looking at replacement LED bulbs, oftentimes they’re not exactly what I would call “compact.” In many cases, you’ll find big, bulky cooling fans built into the back side of the bulb, and these can be difficult to install inside of some headlight housings without interfering with the wiring or protective cap.
      The other downside would be their cost. The upfront costs tend to be more than the alternatives, but LEDs can offer a better return on that investment thanks to their superior service life.
      You also might find that the LEDs simply don’t seem to perform very well in your factory-equipped headlight housings. This is due to design. The reflector and lens inside the headlight assembly were designed to work with halogen bulbs, not an LED. This can increase the headlight glare to oncoming traffic, and reduce the overall lighting performance.
      This leads us to the final and maybe the most significant disadvantage on our list: their questionable legality. That’s right, it’s technically illegal to install HID or LED lighting inside your factory headlight housing.
      Are They Really Illegal?
      Here in the United States, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) are used to regulate the design, construction, performance and durability requirements for motor vehicles on our roads. These regulations specify that your main forward illumination (a.k.a. headlights) must remain as they were fitted from the factory.
      So, if your vehicle had halogen headlights when it was new, technically it’s illegal to upgrade to LED or HID. However, they can be used in any of the unregulated auxiliary lights including fog lights, side markers, brake lights and so on.
      There also is a chance that your local, county or state government may consider these modifications to be illegal. For instance, here in Ohio we are permitted no more than five front-facing lights, and no high-intensity beam may strike the roadway 75 feet from the vehicle. Off-road lighting bars may not be illuminated on public roads in Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina and Wyoming, just to name a few.
      Our advice would be this: Avoid making any changes to the factory headlights. If your customers install off-road lighting, they should only use it off-road. If they want to upgrade their interior bulbs with brighter, whiter LEDs, more power to them. As a counter professional, make sure you’re familiar with the local ordinances and regulations regarding LED lighting, and use your best judgment.
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    • By Counterman
      In our 2022 Distribution Preview in
      link hidden, please login to view, aftermarket leaders talk about some of the key issues affecting the industry, and discuss their plans, goals and expectations for the year ahead. This year, we added several fun “Lightning Round” questions that you won’t want to miss.
      Here’s our Q&A with Tina Hubbard, president of HDA Truck Pride.
      AMN/CM: What did your organization accomplish in 2021 that you are most proud of? 
      TH: We are most proud of assisting our membership in navigating and becoming stronger during the perfect storm of the past 18 months.  Negotiating additional supplier opportunities, educational advancements, increasing legislative awareness and a double-down on technological enhancements have been our focus areas. Through the challenges of 2021, we have seen our membership embrace new technologies and product-growth opportunities. Change often appears more difficult than it is really. We don’t always realize that change has become a constant in our lives. We are stronger and more adaptable than ever before.   
      AMN/CM: Does your organization currently participate in any programs to help combat the tech-shortage issue? If so, tell us about it.
      TH: One of our key initiatives is education. HDA Truck Pride has recently expanded that scope to include industry awareness, retention and recruitment. The commercial-vehicle industry has the opportunity to create a positive, professional image of our industry and all that it has to offer, including technicians. We work in collaboration with the ASE Education Foundation, WyoTech, TMC and other associations, but our approach to addressing the technician shortage is all-encompassing, [focusing on] awareness, education and retention. You’ll hear more about our very intense focus on this as the new year unfolds.
      AMN/CM: What do you feel is the greatest opportunity in the automotive aftermarket right now?  
      TH: Focused on the commercial-vehicle side of the aftermarket, the greatest opportunity facing our industry is enabling technologies. This includes, or perhaps assumes, that 2022 is the year that all suppliers will embrace the industry data standards. Members are eager to seek new avenues for business growth while driving efficiency, and adopting data standards is a great place to start!  Working as a cohesive network, 2022 is the just the beginning of endless opportunities for HDA Truck Pride to adopt these technologies and the growth opportunities they present for our members.
      AMN/CM: What was your first job?
      TH: Babysitting was my first “under-the-table” job. My first legitimate job was at McDonald’s, working the drive-thru, where I would frequently serenade the customers, along with working children’s birthday parties.
      AMN/CM: What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
      TH: Do what’s right, not what’s easy. 
      AMN/CM: What is your favorite food?
      TH: This is no secret – chocolate.
      AMN/CM: What’s the first thing you do when you get to work each day?
      TH: Say “good morning” to everyone.
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    • By Counterman
      AP Emissions Technologies (AP) has announced that Glenn Barco has joined the company as vice president of sales.
      Barco joins AP after serving in various sales executive roles at automotive aftermarket companies, including Cardone, Dorman and BBB Industries.  
      “Glenn is well-respected in our industry, and I am excited to be working with him again. He will be a great addition to our organization,” said AP Senior Vice President Jayme Farina.
      Throughout his career, Barco has led several national salesforce teams and oversaw explosive growth within the companies where he has been employed.
      “We are excited to have Glenn on the AP team; he is a great fit to our company culture,” added Vange Proimos, AP owner and CEO.   
      “I’m excited to be joining the AP team,” said Barco. “I’m looking forward to making an impact while serving both our team and our customer base.”
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    • By kajal
      Takes a look at the link hidden, please login to view- Bumper and Headlights, Reflectors, Splitters, Third Brake, Splitter stabilizers, and more.
      Shop Now!
       

    • DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

    • By OReilly Auto Parts
      Proper interior cleaning and detailing of your vehicle can make a night and day difference. Since your vehicle is one of the biggest ...
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