Why are headlights enabled with DRLs?

The Mazda 3 has the same lights and only enable the DRLs during the day. The CX-30 also turns on the headlights - making the DRLs impossible to see. I wonder why that is, and if there is a way to disable the headlights during the day ? The Mazda 3 without headlights on is a much nicer look !
 

sm1ke

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'18 CX-9 Signature
These instructions are for the CX-5, but you can see if they might work for the CX-30 as well.

 
I took a close look at the headlights and taillights in a dark garage where the headlights are fully ON. The first thing I noticed is that the front and rear lighting have a very similar (and cool) design - flutes along the outside of the taillight housing that connect to a ring open at the top. The idea is the light comes through the flutes to the ring (or visa versa). Looking closely you can see that the rings and flutes are lit independent of the headlights and taillights. This makes sense because an active headlight would not be able to light the rings consistently because it 'moves'. I'm back to my original premise that the front DRL's are lit and the front headlights are also lit during the day. It would look much nicer (like the Mazda3 below) if they didn't power-up the headlights during the day. Now if I could get to the right person at Mazda to explain why they wired it this way, and if there is a way to turn the headlights off during the day and leave the DRL's on like the Mazda3.

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I don’t own a Cx-30, but on the cx9 the headlight have to be off or on auto during the day for the DRL to be present on their own. They only turn on when you are driving ( not when vehicle is in park). So have someone else take a look when you are driving during daytime at those settings ( or have someone else drive the car while you take à look). It would be odd for the cx-30 to use a different logic (but nothing is impossible). If you park it and put the headlight to the ”on” position the both the drl and headlight turns on.
 
Well that’s a thought and well worth testing out. What you explain about the CX9 May also carry over to the CX30. I’ll have my wife drive it down the road and watch it come back. Thanks for the insight !
 

sm1ke

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'18 CX-9 Signature
Something to note regarding the CX-9 - on the base model trims, the headlights do not have LED "eyebrows", so the low beams at reduced brightness function as the DRLs. On the GT and higher trims, the headlights have LED "eyebrows", and the low beams only come on when you turn the headlight switch to "on". If the headlight switch is set to parking lights, only the "eyebrows" will be on. Thus, on higher trims, DRLs = LED eyebrows on, low beams off. On base trims, DRLs = low beams on, but at reduced brightness.


On the US CX-30 and the Mazda3, it appears that only the Premium trim level gets a feature called "Signature LED headlight and taillight illumination". Without having seen one in person or at a local dealership, I would assume that this Signature illumination is what you're after (DRL = eyebrows on, low beams off).

To get a more definitive answer, call a local Mazda dealer and ask them to verify.
 
Something to note regarding the CX-9 - on the base model trims, the headlights do not have LED "eyebrows", so the low beams at reduced brightness function as the DRLs. On the GT and higher trims, the headlights have LED "eyebrows", and the low beams only come on when you turn the headlight switch to "on". If the headlight switch is set to parking lights, only the "eyebrows" will be on. Thus, on higher trims, DRLs = LED eyebrows on, low beams off. On base trims, DRLs = low beams on, but at reduced brightness.


On the US CX-30 and the Mazda3, it appears that only the Premium trim level gets a feature called "Signature LED headlight and taillight illumination". Without having seen one in person or at a local dealership, I would assume that this Signature illumination is what you're after (DRL = eyebrows on, low beams off).

To get a more definitive answer, call a local Mazda dealer and ask them to verify.
I found this online -

Rear lights: Lit up rings around both lights on each side, not just the one (outer side).
Front lights: Ring lights up around the headlamps. Without signature lighting, it's just the bulb (LED) that is running.
 
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2017 BMW X1
My theory:

Mazda designed the LED rings with low output as a low-cost way of adding a luxury touch. On their own, the rings aren't bright enough to serve the purpose of DRLs. So they were designed from the start to merely accent the round headlight. Although the headlight washes out the ring a little, that was the compromise Mazda made.

Don't believe me? Do the hack on your CX-5 and park next to a German car with integrated LED DRLs. The German cars are way brighter, which requires a lot of extra thermal management. Notice how the American and other Japanese brands take the cheaper route but having LED DRLs separated from the headlights (see Edge or Compass) or faking it with projector lighting accents (see RAV4). Consistent with their design ethos, Mazda picked the road less traveled with their DRL design.
 
I don’t know. DRLs are required by law in Canada and my CX-9 only has the rings on during daytime. So i would think that they are bright enough for that purpose

I used to own a 2011 ford edge and the “DRL” were called accent lighting in the manual i believe. I thinks its the same on the newer version. You are correct that they were not designed to be the DRL, that function on the 2011 edge was achieved by the low beam running at lower voltage for halogen models or the yellow markers for HID models.

The german luxury brand have brighter LEDs, but they have to turn off when the turn signal is on, which I always found silly.

i still think the Cx-30 can run with the rings on only, but the OP will have to confirm.
 
You both make strong arguments. Since the Mazda3 has essentially the same DRL's but is wired to run just the rings during the day, it makes sense that the CX-30 could also run with just the rings. Mazda had to have a reason to not run just the rings with the CX-30. Maybe they had to cut some costs out - maybe you are right - the CX-30 rings may not be bright enough on their own.

Regardless - it's a sweet ride. Like mine - I am sure your CX-30 gets a lot of looks. The last Mazda I owned was 30 year ago - a Red RX-7 with a targa band on the roof, and a front air dam. It was also a great looking car. Its Wankel engine was about the size and shape of a big lunchbox. I had to get the rpms way up to get it to go.
 
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