The ups and downs of split-level lighting

Citroen Cactus spit-level lamps

When Hyundai launched its new Kona crossover, it seemed I’d seen its unusual headlamp arrangement before. With the main headlight clusters carried low on the car’s face, the twin strips of LED daylight running lights above reminded me of raised eyebrows. And it struck me that a similar, vertically arranged set of lights has been applied to cars from Citroen, Jeep, Nissan and Lynk & Co over the past few years.

In the 60s and 70s, stacked lamps were common on the brash faces of American saloons, but today you’re more likely to see the layout on the front of a Fiat 500. For Car Design News I wrote a piece looking at the trend in stacked lamps, and where it might be headed.

Key quote
“Circular secondary lamps, lower than the main lamps and further inboard, are often used as a signifier of sportiness or fun”