Polycarbonate driving light lenses – a clear choice

Wed, Jul 10, 2019

Regardless of the type of light source, all driving lights need a lens. The lens has two main roles – to form part of the enclosed body of the unit and to allow as much light as possible to pass through it to illuminate the road ahead.

In times past, spotlight lenses were made of glass, but although glass has good optical qualities, it is heavy and fragile. On or off-road, glass lenses are susceptible to breakage from stones and debris, so many modern driving spot lights are made with polycarbonate lenses.

Lightforce driving lights have lenses made from polycarbonate thermoplastic, which is also used to make aircraft windows and bulletproof screens, among many other applications.

Thermoplastics are a group of materials that are resistant to extreme temperatures. Lightforce uses polycarbonate, which has an impact strength 250 times that of glass, and 30 times more than acrylic. It is also highly resistant to chemicals such as acids and petroleum products.

Some cheaper forms of polycarbonate can be damaged by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light, so Lightforce uses a UV-protected material to prevent yellowing with age. This material also has excellent light transmission characteristics, allowing around 90% of light to pass through it.

The polycarbonate's resistance to impacts is due to its flexibility, which does mean it can be scratched more easily than glass. For this reason, it is important never to clean it with abrasive materials: a soft cloth and warm soapy water are best.

To protect against scratching the spotlight lens, Lightforce lights come with replaceable filters. The filters are made from the same durable material as the lenses and are easy and affordable to replace. Lightforce offers a range of clear and coloured filters that protect the main lens and also enhance your driving experience.

Clear filters can alter the beam pattern of a spot beam light, allowing a spot, wide, or combination beam pattern. Amber and yellow filters enhance vision in dusty, hazy and foggy conditions, while crystal blue increases clarity and yields a more natural white light, which leads to less eye strain. For more information, please see our Lightforce Modular Filter System Chart.

Lightforce Driving Light Filter