Or, are you thinking of different ways to give your car or motorcycle a makeover?
By the end of this, you should be clear on the benefits of upgrading your headlights to LEDs.
LED headlights work completely differently to halogen and HID bulbs with their volatile gases.
LEDs are essentially a type of circuit board. An LED draws power from your headlight switch to the bulb.
On a molecular level, when an LED draws power, it triggers atoms and electrons to move back and forth. The energy created by this activity is what causes bright white light.
Traditional halogen headlight bulbs last for around 1000 hours and HID bulbs for 5000 hours. LED headlights, by contrast, are rated at 50,000 hours.
There are many different LED headlight kits on the market but not all LEDs are created equal. You need to find the most appropriate LED for your car.
There are several factors to consider when purchasing your LED headlight kit including:
- Beam pattern
Pure LED light is actually blue, but when you look at the LED chip itself, you’ll see that it’s yellow. That’s because there’s a yellow phosphor filter over the LED. The more phosphor you add, the warmer the light becomes.
The color you choose for your LED is largely dictated by the type of conditions you typically drive in. For inclement weather like snow or rain, you need a brighter, whiter light.
You can get LED headlights in a whole spectrum of colors. The brightest is bright white.
When selecting your LED light, look for a beam pattern that most closely matches the beam pattern from the filament of a halogen bulb.
The beam from a halogen bulb is more focused. A more focused beam pattern will produce less glare which is safer for oncoming drivers.
LED chips with a smaller space between them will produce a more focused light pattern, and a concentrated beam that won’t dazzle other drivers.
Every LED has a driver. This is the device that connects the wiring with the bulb.
If you have no driver, you have no power.
The driver also regulates the correct amount of power to the bulb.
Fan and Heat Sink
Excessive heat can destroy the electrics in your car. Although LEDs are cooler than HID and halogen bulbs, the brightest LED lights still generate some heat.
To draw away the heat, good quality LEDs incorporate a heat sink. Some also come with a fan.
When shopping for an LED, pay attention to the size of the heat sink and fan. If they’re too big, they won’t fit inside the headlight casing.
Balance is crucial for heat dissipation. If your heat sink is too small it won’t draw enough heat and it’ll burn out your bulb.
Cheaper LEDs may have neither a fan or a heat sink installed. You should think twice about going for the cheaper models.
Installing LED Headlights
You can’t really go wrong with LED headlights as installing them is much simpler than HID conversion kits.
LED headlights are pretty compact and all wiring fits inside the headlight housing. Just one LED fits in the headlight housing, and the wiring fits the power connector.
Avoid Blinding Other Drivers
It’s important to ensure that your LED headlights are aimed correctly so you get the best light for yourself without dazzling oncoming drivers.
For an LED light to work correctly in your car or truck, you need a specific design. Your LED must have the correct chip and proportions inside the headlight to avoid producing a glare that’s dangerous for other drivers.
Your LED light needs to be adjusted to the right spot so that it’s not pointing in people’s eyes.
Your light beam must also be focused. If your beam pattern is spread out, you won’t be able to adjust the aim of your beam. To ensure a more focused beam to need to purchase the right LED headlight kit for your vehicle’s make and model.
If you look at the beam from a halogen bulb, you’ll notice there’s a distinct cut-off line. This cut-off line is the top of the beam and is referred to as the hot spot. You want your LED lights to mimic this beam pattern as closely as possible.
The right LED bulb will give you flexibility and allow you to change the beam direction with ease.
Choosing the Right LED Light
There are two types of headlight housing: reflector and projector.
A reflector headlight housing points the light into the housing and is reflected outward on different pieces of chrome. This is what creates the beam pattern.
With the right light, the LED will create a fantastic beam pattern that looks great, creates ideal light for driving, and won’t dazzle other drivers. The wrong LED will be too bright for a reflective housing that’s designed for a halogen bulb.
A projector housing projects and refracts the light through a lens creating an intense beam of light. Some housings combine reflectors and projectors. Choosing the right lens will mean researching your particular make and model.
Shop our LED headlight kits here and let us know if you have any questions at all.