Car LED lights: pros and cons

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Recently xenon lights were very popular among drivers. Now it is time of LED-lights. We want to describe all advantages of this type of lights.

There was no excitement for first fully LED-lights. And the first verdict was “too expensive for lights with less power”. That was a reaction on LED-lights of Audi R8 in 2008. Nowadays this type of lights is available even on lower class compact cars.

• LED-lights operation principle
• History of light emitting diode. First car LEDs
• Using LEDs for cars
• Car LED tuning
• Pros and cons
Car LED lights: pros and cons

LED-lights operation principle

The construction of LED-light resembles some kind of nest-doll: there are 3 single-crystal light emitting diodes, each of them has 2 simple LEDs and each of these diodes has a deflector. To create a single luminous flux output, deflected from all diodes light is gathered and transformed in one projection lens. And luminous screen is provided for headlight circle of illumination, which is vital. Light emitting diode generates illumination at the moment of current flow going through diode, which is made of silicon chip. Such principle interferes with light generation from thermal emission. Therefore, it doesn’t need much energy to produce more light.

If we compare different types of headlights, LED DRL consume just 15W, halogen lights need 5 times more energy – approximately 65W, and xenon consume 25W. But even though LED-lights are fancy, they haven’t won the recognition yet. But time will show.

Car LED lights: pros and cons

Also we want to mention that LED-lights are more durable than their halogen and xenon opponents – their working lifespan exceeds 100000 hours (halogen – 850 hours, xenon – 3000 hours). That’s why eminent manufacturers install LED headlights on their cars.

Some car manufacturers promote LED lamps, installing them instead of halogen ones. But it requires installation of deflectors, which direct deflection on a road or optical lens, depending on requirements. The deflectors are mostly made of plastic or metal. Plastic is more practical here due to its elasticity. Give it any geometric shape for reflection then cover with aluminum spattering. But to be more specific, deflectors are provisionally divided into 3 types: fluent, parabolic and ellipsoidal.

Fluent deflector can be divided into separate elements with specific focus reflecting range. Parabolic deflectors are used for classic lights, where level of illumination depends on deflector size.

Ellipsoidal deflector along with optical lens visually reduce headlight, but keeps its characteristics.

Car LED lights: pros and cons

History of light emitting diode. First car LEDs.

LED lamps were discovered in 1920-s. But development of LEDs began only in 1960-s. Many people remember those colorful lights in small plastic flasks.

These small bright sparks were retrieved from flasks in 1990-s by Japanese company “Hure”. Closer to new millennium highly respected Hewlett-Packard created the brightest LED in history. Due to this invention, they got into automobile industry. In 1990-s BMW Cabrio shined with LED brake-lights produced by “Hella” company. In 2004 Audi used white LEDs as fluorescent light.

Up to now this giant German manufacturer implements LED into all kinds of light for all its models.

Car LED lights: pros and cons

Using LEDs for cars

Outward car tuning often implicates installation of LED highlighting. Usually baseless tubes W5W are used for this.

Tail lamps

LED lamps can be installed close to main light. That’s why they can endure temperature up to 100 C. But the lamp is protected from possible overheating by mechanism, which is called current stabilizer.

Car LED lights: pros and cons


Rear lamps of modern cars are equipped with double- or single-contact stamp lamp P21W or P21/5W. But on Japanese and American cars similar W21/5W or W21W are installed. Number of LEDs can vary from 3 to 24. Light intensity depends on it.

Car LED lights: pros and cons

LEDs in turn signals

In car turn signals are usually used single-contact light emitting diodes P21W under white transparent glass automotive lamp.

Car LED lights: pros and cons

Car LED tuning

Car tuning becomes more bright and noticeable when light of LED-lamp comes out of interior. Installation of light emitting diode requires specific skills and knowledge.

Bottom side lighting

This is probably the most widespread type of car tuning. Car with such lighting looks really spectacular among other cars. Due to wide variety of color schemes you can pick un any lighting according to your taste. Besides, power costs are minimal, reliability is high and installation is quite simple.

Car LED lights: pros and cons

Logo highlighting

Logo lighted with LED looks unique. Even in day time the highlighting is visible and marks your car. It is very efficient and durable. Besides, its installation is not really complicated. You can also pick up any color of highlighting.

Car LED lights: pros and cons

Pros and Cons

One of the main advantages of light emitting diode is its long working life span (up to 50000 hours). Just imagine that you don’t turn them off at all. They will work constantly for 5 years! After that they’ll lose third of their brightness but they will still work. And the energy consumption reduces 10 times in comparison to light bulbs.

Another significant moment is that LED lamps are resistant to vibrations and they will not breakdown while using car or motorcycle. They have no elements such as filament of halogen lamp, which can deform or abrupt. And due to low energy consumption, LED lights gave a good account of themselves on vehicles, batteries of which work at the end of their tether.

Lamps based on LED, which are used in car lights, produce pure white light, which does not cause discomfort to human eyes. Well, there are people, who prefer yellow color of their car lights, that’s why there is offered the choice of nearly 70000 color tints. Ant with current technological development their variety will only increase.

All characteristics mentioned above open variety of options for car tuning fans and experts. Today highlighting of car or motorbike bottom site is safe. You don’t have to worry about it, because LED strip light is very firm and can’t be damaged by rocks or anything else occurring on a road. There are also waterproof LED strips, which can endure temperature from -45 to +70 °C and submergence up to 5 meters.

Car LED lights: pros and cons
What is more, LEDs provide you with safety. Brake lights and tail lamps activate instantly. Filament heater gains its power for 0.3 seconds, and light emitting diode gains it for 50 nanoseconds. At speed of more than 100 km/h this difference can win nearly 5 meters for you to maneuver or brake. And it plays important part in preventing car crash.

LED lights don’t heat to extreme temperatures and have no solution gas in them. So, they are completely environmentally-friendly and fireproof. Absence of ultraviolet and injection moulding saves plastic elements of many present-day car lights.

Of course, LED lights have some disadvantages. First and main disadvantage is the cost. The progress

forges ahead and their cost will lower.

Second disadvantage is sensitivity of LEDs to high temperatures. Though, it doesn’t concern isolated ones.

So, if you want, you can change the outward of your car for the better. This will give you an esthetic pleasure from looking at deep, bright and clear lighting.

Car LED lights: pros and cons

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