Sidelights Explained

This page identifies and explains everything you need to know about sidelights on your vehicle.

What Are Sidelights?

car sidelights

Almost all cars and vans on the road in the UK have sidelights built into the headlights of the vehicle. They are typically positioned in the top corners of the headlight and can be manually turned on when driving or parked.

What Are Sidelights For?

Sidelights, also known as “Parking Lights” serve as an alternative to your dipped beam headlights. Drivers typically turn their sidelights on when it is dark or cloudy and the natural lighting is low but not dark enough to put their dipped beams on.

They also serve another purpose.

Sidelights should always be on if you park on a road at night with a speed limit that is over 30mph.

Failing to do so will cost you a fine between £35 – £75 as you would be failing to comply with the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989.

Do Sidelights Affect The Battery?

Sidelights are a very low wattage compared to the usual car bulbs in your headlights.

So low in fact, there have been reports of batteries lasting from 32 – 50+ hours with just the sidelights on and being able to start the vehicle with no issues.

We would advise that if you are going to be constantly using your sidelights when the vehicle is not running then test your battery at least once a week.

While people say that it’s fine, you might end up damaging your battery in the long run.

What Type Of Sidelight Bulbs Are Available?

There are quite a number of sidelight bulbs available for your vehicle.

There are upgrade bulbs that are slightly brighter and better, designed for vision and style.

You can also improve your sidelight bulbs even further by upgrading them to LED.

An array of colours, longer lasting, brighter and CANBus technology built in – the LED Sidelight Bulbs available throughout our website are the perfect choice for your vehicle.

The LED bulbs available for your sidelights will come in different applications such as:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Bulb Fits My Sidelight?

You can find out what bulb fits your car using our car bulb finder. You can read more about how to find the right bulbs for your vehicle here: Car Bulb Guide

Can I Change My Sidelight Bulbs Myself?

If you’re confident in doing so then yes! There will be plenty of videos online showing you how to fit a bulb into the sidelight of your vehicle so have a search online to see what comes up.

My LED Sidelight Bulb Is Throwing Up CANBus Errors… How Do I Fix It?

We wrote a great piece on CANBus errors and how to fix them – give it a read and it will explain everything you need to know.

Related Information

  1. Overview
  2. Dipped Beam
  3. Main Beam
  4. Indicators
  5. Sidelights
  6. Parking Sensors


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Michael Graham
2 years ago

At first I wasn’t sure what sidelights are on a car but after using your car bulb finder I figured it out.

The sidelights on my car are a 501 bulb but are a pain to get to.

I want to upgrade to LED but wondering if it’s worth it if I can’t get to them.

James Russell
3 years ago

I fitted daylight running lights which has to be connected to sidelight wiring. Which means I have sidelight indicator sign showing all the time on dashboard when engine started, Can anyone tell me how to eradicate this problem? Peugeot boxer 2008 motorhome