Blinded by The Light


Ahhh, vacation.
One of the best things about this week off is that my eyes will get a break from my blinding drive to work. People will tell you that only “old people” are bothered by these new LED headlights, but I beg to differ.

I’m 57. I don’t consider that old.


Let’s talk about those headlights for a minute. This is such a huge pet peeve for me. I need to get this out of my system so I can quit giving it real estate in my mind.
I like to think I take pretty good care of myself. I don’t stare into the sun. I don’t try to read without adequate light. I have polarized lenses on my sunglasses and I even use a blue light filter on my phone screen. But when it comes to those headlights on my commute I feel helpless to help myself.
Not too long ago I complained on some social media post about the lights seeming brighter. People laughed it off and suggested it was cataracts. Nope. Not necessarily. Here’s what I have learned:
There are basically three choices when it comes to headlights: Halogen, HID ( high intensity discharge ) and LED. A study from AAA shows that around 80% of vehicles still have halogen headlights but many predict that number will continue to fall as manufacturers switch to more advanced lighting.
But is it “better lighting” ?
While the pro’s of LED and HID lamps include better performance and efficiency (using less electrical) the downside is that they don’t necessarily translate to improved visibility. And even more important is the fact that unless they are aimed properly, they create a dangerous glare for oncoming drivers. There’s little incentive for manufacturers to control the aim, so any regulation that governs how much light is produced is a moot point on this issue. And don’t even get me started on how many after-market installations are incorrect …
I want to believe they are more eco-friendly too, but then I see this (below) and I wonder.

There is research that shows longer, prolonged exposure to LED light, whether from computer/tv screens, tablets or phones can have a negative effect on retinal cell health. The idea that I spend hours each week staring into ridiculously bright glare is frustrating. What can I do ?

I tried to do the math on this but I’m not a numbers girl. Let’s just say that six months out of the year, I have at least one side of my commute in darkness. Multiply that by nearly thirty years and I think you’ll understand why I reason it is just too much.
People have been trying to convince me that I will miss my postal job when I retire. Some of it, maybe. THIS part of it (the commute), not one bit.
Thanks for listening to me vent. I’m really not crazy, right ? I’m open to hearing your thoughts on this.
Here is the only “Blinded by the Light” I can tolerate :

One Comment on “Blinded by The Light

  1. I was reading a thing on astigmatism (which I have) and this very thing, halos and flares and oncoming traffic in the dark. I don’t know much about cataracts but I do know that astigmatism does *not* agree with ANY type of lights with night driving. The best i can do is keep my windshield super duper clean and as dry as I can in the rain. Also in Michigan there is a type of light that was supposedly outlawed for a long time, not sure which, but i think that law went lax cause everyone does whatever they want here with their headlights now!

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