Shine Always, Shine Everywhere: How To Choose LED Car Lights

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We will have to make a small, but a little sad introduction. Fortunately or unfortunately, the traffic police looks at any alterations of lighting devices like a military commissar at a conscript. And if your car has halogen headlights, you can’t put xenon in them in any way – you can run into deprivation and even cancellation of the vehicle registration. With LED car lights, the situation is a little simpler: now there are simply no specific requirements that could regulate the use of such car lights in headlights. On the one hand, this is not bad – you can get by with a fine of 500 rubles, but on the other hand, there are no developed standards that allow you to pass ECE certification. Therefore, any non-factory LED car lights automatically become prohibited for use on public roads. So the choice is yours: either it’s good to see at night, but get fines, or to see worse, but not anger the traffic police inspectors. If there is enough courage for the first scenario, then let’s talk a little about what LED car lights are, why they are better than halogen ones, and how to choose the best led lights cars. The latter is especially important because safety must be paramount.

Why Car LED Lights?

The advantages of LED car lights over halogen car lights are enough. It’s easier to say the better halogen ones – they are cheaper. But on other points they are well behind the LED ones. 

First, the life of a halogen lamp is much lower. Like it or not, a halogen is still an ordinary incandescent lamp, even if pumped with a mixture of nitrogen, argon and some kind of halogen. And over time, the filament of the lamp burns out. Yes, the technology provides for a slight restoration of the filament: the detached tungsten atoms combine with halogens, halogen molecules are formed, which decay near the filament. The tungsten atoms are partially returned to the filament. This is the so-called halogen cycle. However, its first task is to keep the tungsten atoms from settling on the flask, making it less transparent over time. But the restoration of the thread is a pleasant process, but not very predictable and effective. Brownian motion, you know – it intervenes and makes this recovery chaotic and not very predictable. There is nothing left for the tungsten filament,

The second disadvantage of a halogen lamp is the power consumption. The most common halogen headlight is 55 watts. And there are two headlights, so the power consumption will already be 110 watts. And the consumption of two LED car lights can meet 10 watts. The generator, of course, will be very happy about this. Yes, wiring too. 

By the way, about the generator. Halogen car lights are very sensitive to power surges. Especially to its overestimation. All halogens are designed for one ideal voltage in the on-board network – 13.2 volts. For such a conditional voltage, the lamp life is voiced. Unfortunately, there is nothing ideal in this world, and there can be noticeable jumps in the flight network. Or the voltage can be stable, but not 13.2 V. If it is lower, there will be nothing to worry about – just the car lights will shine worse (much worse). But if it is overestimated, then the service life of the halogen lamp drops catastrophically quickly. For example, at a voltage of 13.9 V, the lamp will burn out almost twice as fast. It’s fine if it can be quickly replaced, but we know that sometimes it’s not so easy. Either the bumper needs to be removed, then the arm must be broken in four places. Well, money, again.

Another advantage of LED car lights is the brightness and color temperature. Their brightness can be twice as high as that of halogen ones, at temperatures reaching 6,000 K – this is absolutely daylight without yellowness. 

Voltage, temperature and accuracy

The most common mistake with the choice of halogens is an attempt to insert a more powerful lamp into the headlight. Like, it will shine better. It will not shine much better, but it will add problems. You can burn the wiring and melt the headlight itself (not only the connector, but even the plastic). The choice of LED headlights is noticeably more difficult. But if you approach this issue responsibly, the result will be very pleasing.

Let’s start with a simple one – with a geometry lesson. And some optics.

Probably, many people remember how many complaints there were about the first Chinese LEDs. And the main complaint is a very strange beam of light that illuminated the landing glide paths of aircraft at airports, gopher burrows on the side of the road, a bear in the bushes and everything else is interesting, but not the road. Actually, there was often no beam as such – there was a blurry spot of light. Sometimes even bright and white, but not illuminating the road. Why did it happen? Because any headlight is designed in such a way as to correctly focus the light flux – to create the correct light distribution. You probably remember how “right-handed” cars blind, in which the light distribution is designed for left-hand traffic? The fact is that the headlights shine asymmetrically: more on the side of the road, less on the oncoming lane. True, there are still American cars, which, according to their standard, had exactly symmetrical light for a long time, but this is already in the past. So: in order for the beam to form correctly, the position of the light source in the headlight is very important. For a halogen lamp – the position of the thread, for an LED lamp – the LED itself. 

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