Cars and trucks have hundreds if not thousands of parts, all being important to make it rung good and be visible. Among the many that people commonly pay very little attention to are the side marker lights.
Side marker lights are additional lights added to a vehicle to improve its visibility. Unlike the headlights, they work as additional illumination to help the distinctness of your car. In recent decades, they have become a piece of standard equipment in almost any vehicle. If you happen to be driving a car that does not have them fitted from the factory, you can have them retrofitted as an aftermarket upgrade.
Surprisingly, the side marker lights are not as old as the cars. They were invented in the ’60s and quickly became a requirement for all vehicles by the end of the decade, 1969, to be exact. This requirement covered any vehicle longer than 80 inches.
In short – to be seen. Side marker lights are mounted all around the car and provide additional lighting to be more visible to other cars when the visibility is poor. They do not offer any kind of illumination to the road like the headlights, they act as a beacon, letting other people know you are there.
The design of the side marker lights is very simple. Since their only function is to make your car more visible and not forward a light beam to the road, they consist of casings and light bulbs. The design is not a unified one that all models share. Some have them as part of the headlights, while others are mounted somewhere on the bumpers. Whichever the case, the casing is made of plastic that holds the bulbs. Depending on the model and the production year, the bulb can either be an old-school carbon filament od LED.
Side marker lights can be mounted on various parts of the vehicle, depending on the make and model. In most cases, they are mounted on the four corners. Some models have two more on the side, usually on the front and rear fenders.
As mentioned previously, the main benefit of having side marker lights on your vehicle is visibility. Fully working marker lights will help your vehicle be more visible in situations where visibility is not ideal. To aid in that, almost all marker lights are red or amber, and some custom aftermarket may have a different color.
There is only one warning when it comes to side marker lights – replace them if they go out. Similar to headlights or turn signals, they serve a purpose, and that is to mark your car. In poor visibility, if your front side marker is not working, other vehicles will not be able to see you.