The Parkers guide to the best aftermarket daytime running lights

Daytime running lights, or DRLs, are a very useful addition. They increase your car's visibility during daylight hours. Parkers picks the best DRLs.

The best aftermarket daytime running lights

by Chris Williams |

There are still plenty of cars on UK roads that do not have daytime running lights. There is nothing illegal in that, but legislation dictates that all newly-launched cars from 2011 onwards need daytime running lights (DRLs).

If you have a car without DRLs, you might want to consider fitting them because they help make your car more visible. DRLs also add a stylish touch to cars, whether 10 or 40-years-old; there is a large range of DRL shapes and styles to suit your car.

How much to daytime running lights cost?

How long is a piece of string? The price of DRLs varies greatly in line with the variation in shape and style. It is entirely up to you how much you which to spend. But you can pick up a quality, functional set for about £25. However, do bear in mind that all DRLs will come with the additional cost of getting them professionally fitted if you don’t wish to do the job yourself.

Why get daytime running lights?

From a safety point of view, various bureaucratic departments have conducted studies that found DRLs make cars with them are more visible to other road users and pedestrians, thus reducing accidents and fatalities.

DRLs are LED lights that are better than halogen because they are still bright enough to be seen during the day but sap far less energy. Therefore, they have little impact on power usage and fuel economy, or battery drain if you have an EV.

Parkers' top daytime running lights:

Philips DayLight 9 LED Daytime Running Lights

Reliable, functional DRLs
Philips DayLight 9 LED Daytime Running Lights
Amazon

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These DRLs from Philips are a hardy and functional option. The nine LEDs sit in a tough aluminium housing and are protected by water and impact-resistant lenses. Installation is easy with these thanks to their clip-on brackets, and these lights are compatible with EVs, hybrids, and vehicles with start/stop systems.

Specifications
Dimensions 125 x 23.1 x 31 mm
Colour temperature 5700 K
LED lifetime 5000 hours
E approved Yes
Wattage 16W

Ring Automotive BRL0379 Cruise-lite Ice Daytime Styling Lamps

Best budget DRLs
Ring Automotive BRL0379 Cruise-lite Ice Daytime Styling Lamps

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Like the Philips DRLs above, these DRLs from Ring Automotive serve the functional purpose of improving vehicle visibility during the day but are a bit smaller and more subtle. There are eight LEDs to each light that give an ice white colour. They come with fixing brackets, self-adhesive strips, and fitting instructions.

Specifications
Dimensions 115 x 25 x 40 mm
Colour temperature Ice white
LED lifetime Not given
E approved Yes
Wattage 16W

Osram LEDriving LG Daytime Running Lights

Sleek looking DRLs
Osram LEDriving LG Daytime Running Lights

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This set from Osram offers more style with its set of DRLs. Tapering inwards and with a curved shape, they are quite striking but still function very well. Not only do they shine brightly, but they also give a long life of about 5,000 hours. These are also dimmable.

Specifications
Dimensions 167 x 32 x 42 mm
Colour temperature 6000 K
LED lifetime 5000 hours
E approved Yes
Wattage 15W

Simoni Racing Nook LED Daytime Running Lights

Stylish L-shape DRLs
Simoni Racing Nook LED Daytime Running Lights

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These DRLs do have u2018Racingu2019 in the name but they are road legal. Simoni Racing has provided stylish L-shaped DRLs at a great price. Each light has six LEDs and comes with fitting brackets.

Specifications
Dimensions 190 x 20 x 40 mm
Colour temperature 6000 K
LED lifetime Not given
E approved Yes
Wattage 19W

Ring Automotive BRL0397 Aurora Daytime Running Lights

Simple and bright
Ring Automotive BRL0397 Aurora Daytime Running Lights
Amazon

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The Aurora DRLs from Ring Automotive are big and bright. Each light has five large LEDs that stand out very clearly to other road users and to pedestrians. The lights come with fitting brackets and fitting instructions.

Specifications
Dimensions 145 x 55 x 57 mm
Colour temperature 6000 K
LED lifetime Not given
E approved Yes
Wattage 15W

Philips DayLightGuide Daytime Running Lights

Best modern look
Philips DayLightGuide Daytime Running Lights
Amazon

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Last but not least is this set from Philips featuring Luxeon LEDs. Luxeon LEDs are Philipsu2019 trade name for its high-power LEDs. This means that along with the dimmable nature of these DRLs, they can be used day and night. Unlike the others here, these lights donu2019t have individual LEDs but rather a pair of light strips. Like the Philips DRLs above, these lights are also in a tough aluminium housing and protected by water and impact-resistant lenses.

Specifications
Dimensions 165 x 23.1 x 34.7 mm
Colour temperature Up to 6000 K
LED lifetime 5000 hours
E approved Yes
Wattage 15W

What is ‘E approved’?

E approval is simply meeting the official testing standards set by the Economic Commission for Europe. Specifically, ECE 87 regarding daytime running lights. Buying DRLs from reputable brands such as Ring Automotive and Philips gives you peace of mind not only in regards to quality and longevity but also that they will adhere to regulations. Random products from unheard brands make no such promises.

Tips

The important thing with DRLs is to get them fitted professionally if you are not confident in doing it yourself. This way, they will be certain to turn on when you start the car and turn off when you turn off the engine or flick on your headlights (DRLs should not be used at night because they can dazzle traffic unless they are dimmable).

If you are a competent DIYer, you can fit DRLs yourself. It is a matter of mounting the lamps and connecting them to the car’s battery. It can be fiddly but watch Ring Automotive’s video guide below to give you a helping hand.

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