It all started in Scandinavia. The suitable legal regulations have been in existence since 1977. Since then, one could not simply, e.g., in Volvo's, switch off the lights. It is understandable in the land of the midnight sun, where the winters are long and dark. In the meantime, (2007) there are already 17 European countries where driving with the lights on during the day is stipulated. A light intensity comparable to that of a 21-W electric lamp is necessary. It should provide a measurable improvement as far as perceiving other road users is concerned. It is calculated that the number of accident victims will show a distinct decrease, and as much as 50% less serious casualties.
The parking lights are completely inappropriate as daytime running lights and their use while driving is also forbidden in most countries. The name indicates the purpose of these lights. Daytime running lights emit indirect light in such a way that they are perceived as a surface. During daylight hours they are partly even more effective than dipped headlights, therefore they have a completely different effect. Due to their varying forms they are being used more and more as a form of brand recognition.
The circuit should make this clear. In this case, the parking lights, dipped headlights and daytime running lights are arranged from left to right. This circuit can be used for older vehicles which don't have light-beam controlling, through the CAN-bus. The remaining lights are also not shown. Thus the daytime driving lights are switched on without the rear- or other position lights. The daytime running lights are deactivated as soon as the dipped headlights are switched on. When using the turning indicators, the daytime running lights can be dimmed on that side while the indicators are flashing.
Research has shown that the power consumption of daytime running lights is considerably lower that that of dipped headlights. The increase in the fuel consumption amounts to between clearly less than 0.05- and up to 0.2 liters / 100 Kms, for which the LED-technology is largly responsible.
There is however, some doubt whether or not motorcycles, which always ride with their lights on, are more easily seen. This is rather more valid for cyclists. There are statistics concerning both cases. It also takes a little getting used to, driving around with your lights on when the sun is shining. However, one thing is certain, if we must have daytime running lights, then best of all with lamps specially made for this purpose, which can, by the way, be built in afterwards for €100 - €200 (+ labour). 08/07