Hidden headlamps

Pop-up headlights, also called sleep eyes, when the lamps are recessed or concealed when they are turned off.


The first series-produced car with folding searchlights was unveiled in the 1935 Cord 810 / 812. With him headlights were used, which were manufactured by Stinson Aircraft and originally came in as a retractable aircraft landing lights used.

Provide limousines with pop-up headlights, was popular only in the U.S., where from 1968 to 1983 no aerodynamic glass covers in front of the headlights were permitted. Elsewhere typically sports cars were equipped with such lights. They made it possible to design the front so that it is aerodynamically as long as the headlights are not needed - but at the price so as inferior aerodynamics when the headlamps are turned on. This means that pop-up headlights in countries that require daytime running lights, aerodynamic not make sense.

In addition, there is the case of vehicles with pop-up headlights a problem with the high beam; as can be seen in normal operation during the day ( when the headlights are closed) give no headlamp flasher or must have a strong delay in purchase take before booting the headlights. Since this is highly impractical and could create difficulties in the approval in individual cases, we solved the problem, for example in the BMW 8 Series ( E31 ) with two pair of high beams. In addition to the main beam for the longer operating, which is located in the pop-up headlights, they placed a runner-up in the bar next to the turn signals. This second main beam is visible even when retracted folding headlights and serves to indicate a headlight flasher.

Since the criteria for pedestrian protection have become more stringent and innovative lighting techniques have allowed smaller designs of headlights, car manufacturers increasingly common normal vehicle -mounted headlights. In 2004 the production of the last two vehicles with pop-up headlights, the Corvette C5, and the De Tomaso Guarà set.


There are several basic principles by which pop-up headlights are implemented in automobiles:

  • Engulfed with rotation about the transverse axis: When turning on the headlights electric motors drive them out of the body. This solution is most frequently encountered, such as the Porsche 914 For a few models such as the Lamborghini Miura and Porsche 928, the pop-up headlights are visible even when switched off and then show up.
  • Engulfed with rotation about the longitudinal axis: This solution is to be found in the Opel GT, where the spotlight is not electric, but are extended by hand.
  • Hidden: On vehicles such as the Lincoln Continental, the headlights have been announced. Electric motors drive their covers under the bodywork.


In some countries it is prescribed, in addition still carry another pair of headlights on vehicles with pop-up headlights, otherwise the reaction time of 0.2-0.5 seconds would be when using the headlight flasher in an emergency too long.