All of you here know what LED headlights are. And you probably also know that there's a ton of different options available. And if you're trying to decide what to put in your vehicle, you're probably wondering how to tell which is the best. In this article, we will go over the important characteristics of quality lighting, so you know how to choose the best LED headlights for your vehicle.
Here's the thing about automotive headlights. When a car manufacturer engineers your vehicle, they take special care to get the headlights to focus as much light as possible down-road and to spread it evenly where it is needed. The thing is, they are doing their testing with halogen bulbs in most cases. That's all great, but when you go to replace those bulbs with LED, there's a few inherent differences in bulbs that can undo all that engineering. For one, halogen bulbs shine light all the way around, whereas LED bulbs typically have only two LED chips, one on each side. That's ok as long as the chip is positioned correctly and turned right. The other thing there that is important is where the light is in relation to the reflector. The LED chip needs to be exactly the same distance from the reflector as the filament in the old bulb. The reason all this is important is that if you don't have a correctly focused bulb, you will be scattering light everywhere except where it should go. The result of this will be that you are blinding other drivers, and at no benefit to yourself. That's the issued with most LED bulb that say they have 30,000 lumens and such like. They may put that much light out, but it's not where you can use it. Our LED headlight bulbs are guaranteed to be engineered to send as much light as possible right where it needs to be, for your best possible driving experience. They also work great for the modern projector beam headlights.
This is something that anyone will want from their LED headlights. One of the main benefits of LED is that they last longer. The problem is, some of them don't. So how do you tell before you buy? It's not totally possible, but here's a few key things to look for. First off, look at the price. Quality LED chips are not exactly cheap, and any bulb set that's going for under about $70 is probably not going to last very long, simply because they haven't been manufactured to high quality standards. You can also look at reviews from other customers to see what their experience has been. Finally the warranty period is also a good indicator. Look for a bulb that has at least a 2 year warranty.
The main enemy to long LED headlight life is overheating. Putting out that much light from such a small chip gives off a lot of heat. Handling that is an important part of the bulb. There's a few main ways to combat this. Number one is heat sink fins that carry the heat away to dissipate it. This is probable the best way as there is no moving parts, and they can be bent to fit tight spaces. The second main way is to mount a little fan behind the bulb. This works, but you get a bit of noise from it, and also it's just another part to wear out, and when it wears out, your bulb will also soon wear out. Some manufacturers also put a solid heat dispenser behind the bulb. That works well, until you need to fit a bulb in a tight space and you can't bend that piece.
Another important thing is that they're easy to install correctly. The tricky thing with LED's is that since they only shine from both sides of the bulb, you have to get in installed correctly for them to have a great beam pattern. Our LED's are application specific, meaning they fit right in your factory housing and plug into your factory connector. And they are a two piece design, an adapter plate and the bulb, so it's a breeze to put in the adapter plate and then install the bulb, and turn it into the correct position.
Canbus compatibility is another thing that LED can be a challenge with. Your car is made to detect when you have a light out, by reading the voltage draw that the bulb uses. Since LED lights take a lot less current, many vehicles think that the bulb is out. Quality LED's will have a canbus module that keeps the warning light off your dash. 95% of the vehicles we install our T8 Headlight bulbs in, there is no problems because they are canbus compatible. Whenever there is an issue, it is usually easily fixed by a resistor that you put in as well to correct the voltage draw.
Finally, choosing the right LED bulb for you sometimes can be a bit tricky. Hopefully this article has helped you make the choice. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us here at LED Light Upgrade!