Do LEDs outperform the traditional spotlight?
For decades 4wd enthusiasts have been mounting the biggest and brightest spotlights they can find on the front of their 4wd’s, the question is with the introduction and advancement of LED lights are the days of the traditional Spotty numbered?
LED lights are now illuminating the way, coming in a wide variety of shapes, colours, beam widths and sizes to suit any need, budget and ego. Whilst logic would dictate that we buy after market lights for our cars to be able to see better in the bush or darken roads, the 4wd magazine hype will have us feeling inadequate if our 4wd does not front up with the latest bling on our rigs.
The difference between halogen headlights and LED lights is like day and night.
Now there are two ways to measure Lumens, potential and actual. The potential Lumens is often a figure direct from the globe, or diode manufacturer, and is always the highest number – think perfect conditions. Unfortunately in the real world things like lens design and manufacturing inefficiencies mean we rarely see anywhere close to the boasted figures.
Lumens, and light output in general work exactly the same.
The colour of the emitted LED lights is also as important as the light’s output. The colour temperature is rated in Degrees Kelvin. 4000K-5500K is equivalent of sunlight, which is the most visible to the human eye.
The abundance of traditional halogens headlights and their ease of production still make them inexpensive, but comes with a trade-off for fuel efficiency, battery strain and durability as halogens only produce light from around 5% of the electrical input to the globe, with the other 95% shed as heat up to 400 degrees Celsius hot enough to cook your dinner.
While LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights have been around for many years, and has really started to get a strangle hold in our homes, it is now transitioning in a big way into the motor vehicle industry.