Daytime Running Light

  • 2006-03-08
  • SAE International

This SAE Standard provides test procedures, requirements, and guidelines for daytime running lamps that are mounted on the exterior of a vehicle. It is applicable to daytime running lamps that are combined with or use headlamps, parking lamps, turn signal lamps, fog lamps, or other lamps on the front of the vehicle, as well as to daytime running lamps that use dedicated lamps.


After many years of implementation of daytime running lamps, their safety benefits have been demonstrated. The application of DRLs in the United States, however, has not been consistent. For example, both reduced voltage and full voltage operation low beam headlamps are used to serve as DRL function at present time. The photometric performance of the two types of operation low beam headlamps is significantly different in some testing points of DRL function. The Task Force has determined that it is more important to make the light intensity values (candela) distribution for effective DRL function more consistent. Several major revisions are listed as follows:

a.Maximum Candela Values Allowed

Based on several study reports released from UMTRI as concerns from federal regulatory authorities regarding complains for glare, the new maximum candela values have been set for two cases. For the dedicated DRL, it is 1500 cd. This is harmonized with the current ECE requirement. For other lamps serving for DRL function, the maximum is kept at 3000 cd, however, it must be below the H-H line from H-V to left: to avoid glare.

b. Unified Photometry Table for Other Lamps Serving DRL Function

A new photometry table has been introduced in this version of J2807 in 6.2.2 as Table 2. This table is based on the bench mark studies of many existing DRLs and other lamps on the road. The photometry values have been derived with considerations of both the most effective DRL (reference to UMTRI reports) and adequate DRL when using other lamps. The new table provides the industry, in additional to consistence, more design freedom and flexibility. Table 1 has been kept in this version with only change for the maximum allowed candela value for the reasons stated in the above. The latest UMTRI report indicates that the (minimum) photometry values in the Table 1 is still most effective for DRL function. For those of the vehicle and lamp manufactures who apply dedicated DRLs on vehicle, Table 1 should be the standard to be used. The UMTRI report also indicates that other lamps serve as DRL functions provide some effectiveness for safety and conspicuity.

c. Masking Requirements

For the dedicated DRL with maximum candela value of 1500, no masking is needed in relating to the front turn signal lamps. For other lamps serving DRL function, the masking requirements are specified in 6.2.2.

The study and road practice show that DRL is serving for conspicuity and not for road illumination, therefore the DRL now is categorized as a signal and marking device. The photometry testing used for DRL is stated in 5.2. In addition, the Task Force decided to eliminate all light source requirements in this standard based on the reason that all light source requirements shall be integrated into one SAE standard (reference to J2560).

Standard Published Revision Status
J2087_201708 2017-08-17 Latest Revised
2016-06-03 Historical Revised
2015-09-02 Historical Revised
2014-12-02 Historical Revised
2011-10-10 Historical Revised
2011-01-11 Historical Revised
2006-03-08 Historical Revised
1997-07-01 Historical Revised
1991-08-31 Historical Issued
  • SAE J 2087
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