LED Headlight Buying Guide
Light emitting diode headlights, or LED lights, are a technology used in car headlights and taillights to produce a brighter, more energy-efficient light than traditional vehicle lights. LEDs are available on cars for off road lights and driving lights and, though they have been available for many years, they were first used on cars in 2004.
LED headlights use about 75 percent less energy than traditional halogen lights, giving these lights a longer lifespan. These lights are rated for about 30,000 hours of life, compared to the 6,000 hours of life rated for halogen bulbs. They also remain cooler to the touch compared to halogen bulbs that heat up. There is, however, a degree of heat that collects at the bottom of the emitter (heat sink). There is a price to pay for this longer life: LED headlights will cost more at the outset, but will save money in the long run.
Why Choose LED Headlights?
There are two main reasons to convert to LED headlights. While many people convert for practical reasons, many others convert for stylish reasons, as LEDs have a much sharper, more modern appearance on a car.
The small semiconductor diodes in LED headlights can create light in any color, including ultraviolet and infrared, depending on the material that is used to make them and the current that is run through them. LEDs are much smaller and contain no filament; rather, they create light by moving electricity along the path of the semiconductor.
Many of the newer, higher end cars on the market use LED lighting as standard in their design. Those wishing for this technology can convert halogen bulbs to LED with a few simple steps.
One concern with LED is the heat built up in the emitter (heat-sink), as mentioned earlier, which creates a potential risk for adjacent assemblies and connectivity cables. At one point automakers avoided using LEDs for headlights for this very reason, opting to use the technology for turn signals, brake lamps, and daytime running lights, as these components pose less of an engineering challenge than headlights. However, the technology has evolved to make LED work well for headlights as well.
LED Lights for Cars
There are opportunities to convert other car lights to LED lights, in addition to the headlights. This may give a more uniform look to the car, as well as overall savings on energy consumption. The following is a complete list of lights on the exterior of a car that may be converted to LED technology.
The main lights of the car, the headlights are in the front and are used to guide the car at night or in less-than-optimal driving conditions. There are standard driving lights as well as brighter high beams.
Tail lights are located at the back of the car. These lights are used for turn and brake signals, and to serve as a warning for other vehicles behind to keep a safe distance away.
Fog lights assist drivers in foggy conditions by increasing the visibility of the road. These lights also can easily be seen by cars driving in the opposite direction, which ultimately may prevent car accidents.
Bumper lights are located near the headlights. They differ from headlights in that they are much bigger and brighter.
Placed on the top of the car, these dome-shaped lights are more commonly used by the police on their service vehicles.
Although halogen is the most commonly used type of light for headlights, and LEDs are gaining in popularity, there are other types of lights that share the space with LEDs on the market.
Xenon bulbs, like LEDs, are more often found on luxury vehicles, mainly because of the cost of production and installation. These bulbs burn xenon gas that is trapped inside the casing. These last twice as long as halogen bulbs, and there is less wasted heat energy. They are also an environmentally friendly choice over halogen. LEDs still have the advantage over xenon with respect to life span.
The drawback of xenon bulbs, other than the higher cost, is the intensity of the light that is produced. Xenon lights up as a bright blue light, which may be distracting for other drivers.
Xenon bulbs may also be referred to as high-intensity discharge or HID, lights.
Temperature Issues for LED Lights
Because LEDs are semiconductors, the performance of this type of light is dependent on its temperature. A diode, by its design, will produce more light at a lower temperature than it would at a higher temperature. In order to maintain the constant light output needed by headlights, the temperature of the LED headlamp needs to remain relatively stable.
The public commonly thinks of LEDs as being useful for control panels and other application that only need small amounts of light. These lights are considered to be low-heat devices. As noted, the heat produced does not radiate out through the bulb; instead, it settles in the emitter.
The lower temperatures do keep the lights burning brightly, even increasing beyond the regulated maximum. However, in the case of headlights, there must be some heat applied to thaw ice and snow from the front lenses because the LEDs simply do not produce enough heat to do this.
Converting to LED Headlights
When purchasing new LED headlights, ensure the lights are compatible with the model of the vehicle. These are standard fittings, but the socket fittings may differ from model to model. To convert halogen bulbs to LED technology, follow this simple three-step process:
1, Remove the lens cover and the headlights that will be replaced. Another way to access the headlights is under the hood, inside the headlight mount. Take note what is the size of you headlight bulb: H1,H3 or H4 etc..
2, Unplug the existing bulb by taking it out of the socket from either the front of the car or from under the hood, depending on how the vehicle is designed. Order new LED headlight conversion kit from OUR STORE.
3, Follow our given Product manual, plug the new LED bulb into the socket. Different vehicles may have different headlight dust-cover caps in some cases this may not fit due to the heatsink at the back of the light, may require modification to fit once our conversion kit is installed.
Something to consider before converting headlights to LED lights is how the car will look with the change of appearance, especially if different colors are used for the lights. Ensure the lights will make the car look stylish and will not conflict with the car's color scheme.
LED headlights were first introduced to the automotive industry in 2004, and were mainly found on luxury cars because they are more expensive than the traditional halogen bulbs. They were first used in tail lights, turn signals, and daytime running lights due to an issue with the emitter, rather than the bulb, heating up.
LED headlights are more common today. They are a popular choice due to their brighter lights and longer life, often lasting 5 times as many hours as halogen lights. Although they are more expensive, the longer lifespan more than justifies the price in the long run.
The procedure to convert halogen light bulbs to LED light bulbs is rather simple. It is a matter of first ensuring the proper LED light bulb is purchased for the model of car, taking out the old bulb, and replacing it with the new LED light bulb.
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