Aside from home and commercial lighting, LED lights are taking over the automobile world. From once being exclusive to top-of-the-line car models, LED headlights can now be found as a standard option in base-model and mid-variant vehicles, replacing halogen bulbs which are dimmer and less energy efficient. With LEDs headlights, you get brighter lighting that uses much less power.
Although LED technology has been around for decades, it’s only been in recent years that LEDs have become more accessible to car owners. If you’re planning to swap out your old headlight bulbs with LEDs, here are a few things you should know before making the shift.
Reduced Power Draw
Like all LED light bulbs, LED headlights are remarkably energy efficient. This may not be a major concern for some consumers, as their cars are designed to run just fine with stock headlight bulbs. But reducing your power draw will still help extend the life of your car battery by months. This is especially beneficial for electric vehicles, which can get an additional 6 miles in range by switching to LED headlight bulbs.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of using LED headlight bulbs is their long lifespan. LEDs can last for a very long time, vastly outperforming halogen or xenon (HID) bulbs. This means you no longer have to worry about your headlights losing their brightness after a few years. This will also help you bring down your maintenance costs since you’ll be replacing your headlights less often.
More Light Bulbs May Be Needed
Although LED headlights give off a better-looking and brighter light, this ultimately depends on the LED bulbs you get. While LED bulbs are indeed bright, their small size may require you to buy more bulbs to get the same lighting output of a stock halogen lamp.
No Reflector Support
Unlike Halogen headlights, LED headlights don’t have reflectors that help amplify and direct the light to bounce it forward. So, it’s important to choose LED headlights with a reflector system that ensures your headlight beams are directed where you need it on the road.
LEDs Need Additional Equipment
Unlike standard xenon or halogen bulbs that can be used on a plug-and-play basis (meaning you can unscrew the old bulb and replace it with a new one), LEDs require additional components such as a relay or heat sink under the hood. And if the LED installation requires splicing wires, you may end up losing your automobile warranty. Either way, it pays to consult a mechanic or shop specializing in electrical systems should you decide to switch to LED lighting.
Are LED bulbs the perfect headlights for your needs? Considering the savings you get from reduced power draw and fewer instances of replacements, LED headlights are pretty much a win-win package for anyone. Just be sure to consult the services of an auto shop or mechanic to safely switch to LEDs.