Summary: Running lights on a trailer are essential for safety reasons. They ensure that the vehicle is visible even in low light conditions, preventing accidents and collisions. In this article, we will discuss the importance of running lights on a trailer, the different types of lights available, regulations surrounding their use, maintenance tips, and the benefits of LED lights.
1. Importance of Running Lights on a Trailer
When towing a trailer, it is crucial to have proper lighting throughout the journey. This is especially true when driving in unfavorable weather or low light conditions. Proper lighting ensures other drivers and pedestrians can see your vehicle, and you can see obstacles and the road ahead.
Running lights (also known as clearance lights) are located at the front and rear of a trailer and indicate its width and height. These lights illuminate the trailers’ corners, alerting motorists to its presence. Without adequately functioning lights, a vehicle with a trailer can be challenging to see, leading to accidents and collisions.
Moreover, some states have made it mandatory to have running lights on trailers, RVs, and commercial vehicles.
2. Types of Trailer Running Lights
There are different types of running lights available in the market, including incandescent, halogen, and LED. Incandescent lights are the most conventional type and are gradually being replaced by LEDs. These lights are affordable and provide sufficient brightness for visibility.
Halogen lights are brighter than incandescent but consume more power. They are also more fragile and less durable than other types, making them less suitable for trailers that are used roughly.
LED lights are the latest technology in running lights, and they are becoming increasingly popular in the market. LED lights are energy-efficient, durable, versatile, and bright. They consume less power, making them ideal for battery-powered trailers. Additionally, they last longer and have a fast on-off response time, making them safer on the road.
3. Regulations Surrounding Running Lights
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has outlined regulations governing the use of running lights on trailers. According to these regulations, all commercial motor vehicles must have adequate lighting systems installed and functioning before operating on highways.
These regulations require that trailers have two red rear reflectors, two red taillights, two yellow clearance lights on the front and back, and two red stoplights. The running lights should remain on at all times when the vehicle is operating on highways.
Moreover, most states require trailers and commercial vehicles to have registration decals or license plates illuminated at night for visibility.
4. Maintaining Trailer Running Lights
Maintenance is essential to keep trailer running lights functioning optimally. Here are some maintenance tips:
1. Clean the lenses regularly to ensure that they are not dirty or foggy, which can impact brightness.
2. Inspect the wires for any signs of wear and repair or replace them when necessary.
3. Replace burnt-out bulbs promptly to prevent further damage to the light fixture.
4. Regularly check the connections and connectors to ensure that they are secure and rust-free.
5. Benefits of LED Running Lights
LED running lights offer several benefits compared to traditional incandescent or halogen lights:
1. Energy-efficient: LED lights consume lesser energy than other types of running lights, making them ideal for battery-powered trailers.
2. Brightness: LED lights are brighter and provide better visibility in low light conditions.
3. Durable: LED lights are less fragile and last longer than incandescent or halogen lights, minimizing the need for repairs and replacements.
4. Fast Response Time: LED lights have a fast on-off response time, making them safer on the road as they alert other drivers quickly.
Running lights on a trailer are crucial for safety reasons and to comply with regulation. There are different types of running lights available in the market, including incandescent, halogen, and LED. Maintaining these lights is essential to keep them functioning optimally. LED lights are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency, brightness, durability, and quick response time. By investing in proper running lights, you can ensure safe towing and avoid accidents, collisions, and/or penalties for non-compliance.