How to make your car’s headlights turn on automatically on your own
Car headlights perform a very important function. They not only illuminate the road at night and in poor weather conditions, but also allow other road users to detect the vehicle when visibility is poor. Therefore, turning them on and off is an obligatory part of driving a car. Drivers often have a need to automate this process.
Automatic switching on dipped beam can be a very useful function for the driver
Switching on headlights with a light sensor
Many foreign-made cars are equipped with special devices that turn lights on and off without human intervention. Most often such gadgets are combined with a sunlight sensor in the car. If the controller realizes that it is dark outside, it turns the headlights on, and when arriving at a brighter part of the road, it turns them off.
This is a very useful feature for residents of some countries… But not for Russians. The rules of the road in Russia force drivers to turn on dipped beam (or daytime running lights) when driving at any time of day and in any visibility.
How to turn on passing lights, high beam headlights and parking lights
The lever for switching on the passing beam and main beam headlamps is usually found on the left-hand side of the steering wheel – it not only controls the car’s exterior lights but also switches on the direction indicators (“turn signals”). The dipped beam headlights are switched on by turning the switch at the end of the lever to the extreme position, which is also indicated by a corresponding symbol on the switch.
Well, the parking lights occupy an intermediate position between the extreme marks of the dipped beam headlights turned off and on. That is, having turned the switch once, you will switch on the parking lights, and after the second turn – the dipped beam headlights.
It is also quite simple with high beam. Depending on the brand of car it can be turned on as pulling the lever away from you or pulling on (when you turn on you will see a blue icon on the dashboard). At the same time, if you only want to flash the high beam, signaling other drivers with headlights, you only need to briefly push the lever to the opposite side of the switch. That is, if high beam is switched on by pulling, to signal headlights you just need to quickly pull the lever toward you and release it so that it returns to initial position.
In general, before you get behind the wheel, it is advisable to read the instruction manual of your car, which will answer almost all questions on any aspect of driving.
In view of the recent changes in the rules of the road in the territory of the Russian Federation, the driver is obliged to turn on the dipped headlights as when driving in the dark and light hours of the day. Otherwise, the traffic police officers have the right to fine the driver.
Although the amount of the fine is not the largest, the very fact that a car can be detained for violating traffic rules, after which the driver will be fined a certain amount for such an offense, for a number of reasons is unacceptable for most responsible motorists.
Naturally, in the current situation, many car owners have faced the fact that the human factor in practice turned out to be the main reason why a car without lights on is stopped and fined. In simple terms, it is not uncommon for drivers to simply forget to turn on their headlights.
To avoid such mistakes, the best option is to turn on the dipped beam when starting the engine, i.e. automatically. However, not all vehicles have such a function, which is implemented standard. In this article, we will consider how to modify the car, so that the headlights turned on simultaneously with the start .
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What device is relevant for our country?
Driving without lights threatens motorists with trouble in the form of fines. However, many people are not easy to accustom themselves to turn on the headlights every time before the start of the movement. And the lack of the habit of turning off the lights on arrival at the destination has many motorists a “gift” in the form of a dead battery.
It would be nice if the headlights would turn on when you start the engine and turn off after you shut it off, right? The fact is that any car can be equipped with such option.
There are two variants of devices for automatic switching of dipped beam:
A homemade device is assembled by the motorist himself. For this, it is necessary to make changes to the system of automobile electronics. However, the process of reconfiguring the car itself is not so simple. In order to create an automatic activation of dipped beam headlights, as well as for automatic activation of high beam headlights, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the device of the car.
Here is one of the options for equipping the car with the mentioned option.
It is also possible to solder the system according to a more transparent scheme:
Some craftsmen sell devices that help headlights to turn on and off independently, assembled by hand. However, no one, even the sellers can be responsible for the quality of such devices. Therefore, think several times before buying such a product.
There are several common manufacturers of devices for automatic switching of headlights:
Most of them are based on light sensors, which is not quite suitable for Russian motorists. However, some devices can be reconfigured at your discretion.
Installing such a device, as well as the accompanying installation of a light sensor – a simple matter. Each of them comes with a manual, which describes the installation process in detail.
Most often, the manufacturer is responsible for the quality and durability of their product, and sometimes vouch for its work through the official warranty.
Automatic switching of headlights after engine start
To organize such a scheme of work, you can go in two directions: to connect to the oil pressure sensor or to the handbrake.
Way 1: Connection to the oil pressure sensor
To make such connection you will need:
- Transistor (2 pieces);
- Microcircuit K561TP1.
All parts are placed in a small case from the relay, then the device should be connected to the oil pressure sensor. When the pressure in the engine lubrication system is normalized, i.e. when the motor is turned on, the sensor will open and the power from it will go to the capacitor. Eventually, voltage to the relay will be supplied through the transistors included in the headlight supply. When the engine is turned off, power from the sensor is applied to the desired lamp located on the dashboard. At this time, the capacitor that goes into the headlight control unit begins to discharge and the power supply to the relay stops.
In this case the headlights can also be controlled manually if you apply a parallel connection. In order to set the time of switching off and on of the headlights it is enough to pick up the resistance on the board. The higher this parameter will be, the more time the headlights will turn on and off.
True and this method is not to everyone’s liking, because this scheme is much more complicated (you need to pull wires and make 3-4 connections).
Method 2: Connecting to the handbrake
This method is much easier, as in this case it is enough just a little bit to modify the scheme of connection of headlights at ignition, which we talked about in the beginning. It is enough to add one more relay and a short wire (about 25 cm) to the regular contact of the handbrake button.
With this method, the headlights will turn off as soon as you pull the handbrake, and turn on when you release it.
If the device is broken after all
Brand-name devices rarely malfunction. Most often, their breakdowns are due to violations of the rules of operation. They can “fly” because of mechanical damage, moisture entering the electrical elements, improper installation or careless use.
It is impossible to tell at a glance what exactly can break in the sensor. However, you can take a closer look at its construction.
As a rule, a standard headlight switch consists of the following parts:
- control unit,
If the device stops working, you need to look for the cause in one of the parts of this circuit.
It is quite possible to install an automatic switch and a switch that will be responsible for the dipped light, with your own hands. But first you should decide which of the ways of implementing the scheme suits you more than others.
A total of 3 actual options are offered:
- switching on when the ignition is activated;
- auto-inclusion of optics after the start of the engine;
- The use of a special light sensor.
To implement each scheme of automation of dipped beam can be in the garage conditions. But if you do not have the necessary skills, doubt your abilities, or just want to get a guaranteed result, ask for help from the experts.
On many foreign-made cars, there is already a special device in the factory, which automatically turns on and off the optics of the car. They work in tandem with a light sensor.
The device reacts to changes in the light level. If the sensor detects darkness, the headlights are turned on. When the car is on a bright stretch of road, it is automatically turned off. In many countries, such a function is very useful and convenient. But it is not quite suitable for the Russian Federation.
It’s all about the requirements to constantly, day and night, drive with dipped beam or daytime running lights on. So in this situation, you have to adjust the work of the sensor.
Turning on and off the dipped beam should become a habit for drivers in the absence of an automation system. If you forget to turn the lights on before you start driving, you will be fined. If the automatic switch-off does not work or simply does not exist, the headlights on a parked car will drain the battery by morning.
Drivers who can’t accustom themselves to turning their lights on and off as needed, it’s best to use an automation tool. One of them is considered a special sensor.
Motorists can choose between making the device themselves or purchasing a branded device. Here you should definitely choose the second option. Devices that automatically turn on and off headlights are offered by the following well-known companies:
Most devices are based on a light sensor. And this, as you may remember, does not fit under the traffic rules in force in the Russian Federation. This is not a problem, as some devices are reconfigurable, allowing you to adapt for a slightly different operation.
There is no need to describe in detail the nuances of installing a device with a light sensor. Each manufacturer comes with their products with detailed instructions. They may differ from each other in the way of installation. But in reality, there is nothing complicated here.
Experienced drivers advise installing the light sensor not outward, but toward the interior in the area of the rearview mirror, where it usually stands on cars with factory sensors.
Among presented options installation of the sensor is considered the least practical and rational way to automate switching on and off the optics. Yes, in certain situations, the device greatly simplifies the management of the vehicle, since the driver does not have to be distracted by switches.
But at the same time, the light sensors do not always respond adequately to the road situation. Some parts of the road can make the controller go crazy, because the dimming is quickly replaced by a bright area, and this happens all the time. As a result, the headlights go on and off. It will hardly be pleasant for GIBDD officers. And the driver will feel serious discomfort from similar light-music.
Not a bad option of how to make the car automatic inclusion of dipped light, provides for the use of ignition. The idea is that the headlights will turn on after the ignition is started.
To implement the scheme, you first need to connect the lights to a power source. Since some devices are connected regardless of the position of the ignition switch, and others only after the ignition, it is necessary to choose the right source. The most preferred solution is considered a button to activate the heater.
Pros and cons of the mechanisms of activation of dipped beam headlights
As with any innovation, this option has its admirers and enemies. The attitude of motorists to such a device is due to its pros and cons.
The pluses include the fact that such a device greatly simplifies the process of driving a car. It contributes to the absence of distracted attention of the driver, freeing him from worrying about the light of the car.
However, this mechanism has disadvantages as well. Installation of a homemade device over time can lead to problems with car electronics. There is no quality guarantee for such devices.
If the device is also equipped with a light sensor to adjust the light intensity, it can “go crazy” on some roads. For example, on lanes with sparse lights and different light levels.
Lack of care about turning on and off the headlights may threaten the driver with fines for further operation of the car, not equipped with an automatic “helper”. Therefore, the best option for automatic switching on dipped headlights on the move – its own habit.
A simple scheme for automatically turn on – off dipped headlights, when driving in the daytime.
It is already written a lot about this. Given the scheme on the microprocessors and not only, complex and simple. But, it was somehow not the same … First of all, with headlights included lights. The system of lighting was being reworked (changes were made), which was undesirable. Wires were being pulled somewhere. The reliability of microcircuits was questionable. And I didn’t want to stand on the night road and “mess around” with the wiring. But the generator obviously could not cope with the increased load. The generator obviously could not cope with the increased load, especially during the day, in traffic jams, at low speed, with turned on heater, “turn signal”, parking lights. Well, and a couple of times I forgot to turn off the headlights when leaving in the daytime. With all the grave consequences that ensued.
So, what was needed? Automatic switching on and off of headlights during the daytime when ignition is turned on without switching on parking lights. At night, everything should work from the regular light switch – headlights. Minimum connections. No more than one or two regular relays. Minimum of work.
Where do you get the power to turn on the relays? I had a good idea to turn on headlights from oil pressure sensor (sensor goes out – headlights on). Pulling the wire, 3-4 connections – not an option. We switch on ignition. Power is going to the heater switch (switch block, on the far right). Identify this wire with the help of the control lamp. When you turn off the ignition itself goes out. Okay, it fits. Take out the light switch – headlights.(switch block, outermost left) It is powered all the time, even with the ignition off. Determine the wire to turn on the lights. In my case it is a green, double wire. Pull it out of the block. Assemble the circuit, on just one! regular, 5-terminal relay Vaz 2108 (five contact starter). Connection is simple: the circuit is installed in the gap circuit A – A, the switch – headlights. To do this, determine the wire on the strip switch, (control lamp) which is fed voltage after pressing the button on the headlights. In my case – it is a double green. Take out this contact terminal from the block, and in its place insert the same regular terminal (Mom) from the circuit. Point A. Connect the terminal from the block to the other point A (terminal connection). The 2nd wire (with a diode) goes to the heater fan, or from another power source that turns on, with the ignition on. To put it simply, you turn the ignition on and the headlights come on. When you turn the ignition off, the headlights go out. Just a reminder: only the headlights come on, the parking lights are still controlled by the switch. Diode – current flows only in one direction. It is to prevent the ignition from turning on the headlights. The relay is necessary to make the headlights turn on in the normal mode with the key. (e.g. with the ignition off). If the headlights have been switched on with the switch key, they will not turn off by themselves when the ignition is turned off!
Here is a picture of the circuit. All the terminals on the relay from Vaz 2108 (starter relay five pin) are marked on the schematic and the relay itself R 1. On the diode, too, there is a designation of how to install it.
Unfortunately, at the moment of assembling I didn’t have such relay, so I used something similar.
The circuit worked flawlessly: When the headlights are turned on with the normal switch, relay R1 automatically turns on the control to it. With the switch disconnected, when the ignition is turned on, the headlights come on, when they are turned off, they go out. This is what was required. Power to the headlights is fed through the closed contacts of relay R1 from the heater power. Diode may be necessary, (at me, when you turn on the parking lights turned on the ignition without the key to exclude this diode was put. I put D226, I’m not sure if I picked it up correctly, it just happened to be on hand, it works fine. I was very pleased with the way it worked for a couple of days. No headaches: lights on, off? No problem from the traffic police, too: in the rules – “daytime driving with dipped beam or running lights on”. It does not say anything about clearance lights, so they may not be on. Of course, you could just install running lights. But how do you prove to the traffic policeman on the road that these are running lights, and not something else? That they are certified and approved for use? And, there, everything is simple – the headlights, they are headlights.
It was a little bit annoying that the headlights turned on immediately when you turn the ignition on. And, it means: that they are already on when you turn on the starter and the engine warms up, which is “not good. The idea came to disable the system, at this time with the handbrake. I added one more relay R2 and wire 25 cm from regular contact of the handbrake button.
Now, the lights go out when the handbrake is pulled, and go on when the handbrake is released.
Both relays are perfectly “hidden” behind regular switches, there is enough space.
Minimum of money, 20 minutes of work and a lot of enjoyment from the quality of performance.
I would like to wish the manufacturers of the VAZ to install this circuit as standard. Those who have read this to the end, I highly recommend it – you will drive without a care!
P.S. Well, and of course the scheme for those who wish to do something similar, but can not solder, understand circuits, or just lazy …
As you can see, no relays, diodes, etc.. Simple: you disconnect the wire which goes to the headlights from the light switch and connect it (by wire) to the heater’s power wire. Now the headlights will always turn on and off automatically, only when you turn the ignition on – off. Try it, the last circuit does not cost you anything and is done in three minutes. You can layout these 3 circuits however you like…