The working day of professional drivers does not end just because it has gotten dark. Probably every one of you has had the WOW experience, that pleasant feeling of getting into a vehicle and realizing that it has especially good headlamps. Truck drivers who drive into a poorly lit loading area and then use work lights to enhance their overview for manoeuvring enjoy exactly the same experience.
The safety factor for people and material is significantly increased, docking at the ramp runs more smoothly, money is actually saved on a daily basis and, when there is any doubt, even life can be protected.
Work lights, which can be installed or attached, greatly improve these working conditions, as scientific studies have shown.
Decisive factors for the quality of work
Light colour and the type of illumination are particularly crucial aspects when it comes to the quality of work. Swiss sleep researchers working together with scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Work Management and Organization have discovered that people react strongly to light. For example, the colour temperature of lighting has a considerable influence on responsiveness and performance.
Scientific experiments have also demonstrated that people get tired more quickly if lighting is too weak and colour temperatures are dull and yellowish. The body then perceives such light as twilight and switches to evening/night-time mode. Conversely, lighting similar to daylight helps people to stay awake longer in the evening and to work in a more concentrated way. This increases the productivity of night workers.
Light output, light distribution and colour temperature are all decisive factors for a high-quality reversing light. The human eye has the capacity to always orient itself to the brightest point of a surface. Our reflectors, which distribute the highly concentrated light of the LED chip evenly, ensure relaxed vision. Eyes then become tired later, which means that the driver can concentrate for a longer time.
Various lighting solutions
The most cost-effective light source solution - at least in terms of purchasing - is halogen headlamps. They are available with H3, HB3 and H9 bulbs. However, it is the LED work lights that are state-of-the-art and particularly economical and efficient in the long term.
The latest LED developments in the field of work lights are already so advanced that they even outperform xenon light. Furthermore, LEDs offer high colour temperatures of around 6,500 kelvins, thereby guaranteeing illumination levels almost matching daylight. Working under these kind of lighting conditions is gentle on your eyes and helps you stay on task for longer.
What to consider with reversing lights
But be careful: Not every work light can be used as a reversing light. Headlamps must meet certain criteria in order to comply as reversing lights with the ECE R23 homologation regulations. This includes, for example, compliance with predefined light distributions and light values. Furthermore, it should be noted that the number and mounting position of the reversing lights may vary depending on the vehicle. In our case, it is the ECE R48 that has to be observed as it applies to motor vehicles and their trailers.
When selecting reversing lamps, make sure that they are equipped with special cover lenses that can be used to spread the light beams widely in order to achieve the best possible visibility when reversing. This is the only way to ensure safe manoeuvring, also at night. Headlamps may only be mounted as reversing lights if they have an ECE R23 type approval number (e.g. R23-003902).
Reversing lights are one of the legally prescribed equipment features of trucks and trailers. They not only illuminate the road behind the vehicle but also indicate to other road users that the vehicle is reversing. They are not suitable for illuminating the working area. For this purpose special work lights are required. To this end, the combination of close-range headlamps with wide or extra-wide illumination and long-range work lights has proved particularly successful.
Statutory regulations at a glance
According to the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations, it is permitted to equip multitrack vehicles with work lights. The most important restrictions: With a few exceptions (e.g. during road construction and rubbish collection), work lights may not be used in the EU while a vehicle is being driven. As a basic principle, they must not dazzle other road users when in use.
Highlights of the reversing lights
The future is LED. This applies not only to headlamps but also just as much to reversing lights. In HELLA's Repulse Pro reversing light, three high-performance LEDs provide a full 870 lumens of light output. Its flexible mounting options and corrosion protection are features which are at least just as impressive. But if you start to need something a little more special, the Power Beam 1000 compact reversing light is a good choice. It has corrosion-resistant plastic housing making it ideal for the transport of dangerous goods, for which it is also ADR/GGVSEB certified. Its six high-power LEDs generate a light output of 1,000 lumens.
"Newcomers" who want to switch from halogen to LED technology are well advised to use the compact and universally applicable ECO18 LED reversing light with its powerful 1,350 lumens.