Advantages and disadvantages of switching from halogen headlights to LED headlights
Halogen, xenon, laser and LED lighting systems are the four main types of bulbs available for use in cars. While halogen headlights have been the norm for American cars since the 1970s, some automakers are switching to LED headlights for their products. LED lighting offers manufacturers great flexibility in lighting design and greater reliability for electric or hybrid cars. Some car owners purchase aftermarket LED lights to replace halogen bulbs. Each type of headlight bulb has its pros and cons. If you’re considering replacing halogen bulbs with LED bulbs, be aware of the pros and cons. Here’s what you need to know. Benefits of LED headlights
LED headlights are becoming increasingly popular – and for good reason. They offer several advantages, as described below.
LED headlights are more energy efficient
One of the main reasons to switch from halogen to LED is the low power consumption required to run LEDs. LED headlights use only a fraction of the power needed to run standard halogen headlights. Less electrical stress on your system means less wear and tear on your battery and generator. If you accidentally turn on your headlights when the vehicle is not running, your top hid headlights may not draw enough electricity to kill your battery. On the other hand, your halogen lights will render your battery useless without a quick start if you accidentally leave your headlights on for too long.
LED headlights last longer
Halogen headlights are much cheaper than LED headlights, but they only last between 1,000 and 6,000 hours. LED lights can provide you with 25,000-30,000 hours of uninterrupted car lighting. The long lifespan of LED bulbs is a big plus for those who:
- Owning multiple vehicles
- Frequent long-distance driving
- Inability to maintain their own car
- Live remotely without a local auto parts store
Replacing headlight bulbs is a complicated process in some vehicles. If you are replacing a halogen bulb, experts warn you not to touch the bulb’s glass housing. Grease and other debris on your hands can transfer to the bulb glass. When this greasy or oily coating heats up, it can damage the halogen bulb and reduce the life of the bulb. LEDs are not sensitive to dirt on your hands. You don’t have to be tricky when changing LED headlight bulbs. This factor makes the hard work of changing light bulbs much easier.
Disadvantages of LED headlights
Despite their advantages, LED headlights are not without their problems. Here are some cons to keep in mind.
LEDs are not omnidirectional
Halogen bulbs are omnidirectional. This means they emit light from the front and sides of the bulb. They provide enough light for the road ahead and both sides of the road at the same time. LEDs emit light directly from each diode. The light from the LED array is much stronger than the light produced by standard halogen lamps, but this does not necessarily translate into better light when driving. Unless you aim the LED bulbs correctly, you’ll get headlights that don’t show you much. If you change the ride height with a different size tire or a new suspension, you will need to reorient the bulb. Otherwise, the lights will aim too high or too low for your safety and that of other drivers on the road. LED headlights aiming too high can blind other drivers, while LED headlights aiming too low don’t show enough of the highway ahead.
LED is not hot enough
Standard halogen headlight bulbs heat up to about 4,500 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat they generate works to melt snow, ice, and freezing rain from your headlight lenses. The advanced h11 led headlights radiate heat near the back of the furniture. Some models include a fan or braided heatsink to dissipate heat. However, the bulbs themselves generate very little heat when in operation. They are not designed to melt snow from your vehicle’s headlight lenses. When you regularly drive in snow or ice conditions, you will experience blurred headlight lens when driving with LED lights. Automakers have created several models to fix this problem, but fixes aren’t enough in many cases.
If you’re driving in cold, wet weather with LED headlights
Experts recommend turning on all of your car’s lights while driving. Stop frequently to check that your lenses are not covered in frost and snow. You should clear snow from your car when possible to prevent it from sliding down the hood and onto your headlights. All headlights should be recalibrated by a mechanic if you have trouble seeing the road.
Some LED headlights require new lenses or specialized housings to properly reflect the light down the road. Your mechanic can install these parts without affecting the sealing of the headlight assembly. You should also note that LED headlights are not allowed in some areas. Your local auto shop can tell you if LED lights are street legal in your area. At the Chehalis Collision Center, we recalibrate your headlights to give you better visibility. We also perform professional headlight replacement to give your vehicle a new look and a brighter view on whatever road you take.