Puddle lights are lamps built into the lower part of a vehicle’s outside mirrors that illuminate the ground underneath the front door. They’re usually activated when the driver approaches the vehicle and unlocks it using a remote key fob.
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At least some vehicles have corresponding lights built into the lower edges of the front (and sometimes rear) doors so the same area is lit when the doors are open. This is particularly useful when someone is getting out of the car, as the open door itself would otherwise prevent this area from being illuminated due to blocking the light coming from underneath the mirror.
While the original idea was to light up the ground where a person would step right before getting into (or out of) the car — thereby warning them of puddles, ice or rough pavement — puddle lights have since taken on an additional purpose: style.
Puddle lights had been in use for at least a dozen years when, for 2015, a few manufacturers modified the lights’ lenses to incorporate the vehicle’s name, logo or other image. Land Rover, for example, did this. So did Buick, Lincoln and Mini, to name a few. This added a stylish, upscale touch that quickly became a status symbol of sorts — mostly because it does, indeed, look rather cool. Today, many vehicles offer puddle lights, and they’re even available as aftermarket add-on accessories.
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