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LED Lighting - Bright Lights for Your Car

Updated on November 23, 2013

Car lighting options have come a long way since having only OEM incandescent lights. Nowadays, LED lights seem to be found everywhere, from flashlights to home lighting to car lighting design. It's no surprise the popularity of the LED car lights when compared to the stock incandescent lights that so many cars come with. What is it about LED lights for cars that make not only car manufacturers, but consumers, look into illuminating their driving experience with LED lights instead of the standard lights we all have gotten used to?

What are LED lights?

LED lights stand for light emitting diodes. You can see them in many places nowadays, from replacing fluorescent lights in savvy offices around the world to the small light that makes the camera flash go off on your phone.

An excellent example of LED headlights in action!
An excellent example of LED headlights in action! | Source

How Are LED Lights Better?

LED car light bulbs are an excellent choice in lighting. For one, they are safer. They produce a brighter light, which means that when used for your car, you will not only be more visible at night, but you will also be able to see more. Poor lighting conditions or deer running out in front of your car from your peripherals will be a little more manageable when your car is better lit for the situation. They also have the added perk of starting up fast, so you don't have to worry about too much down time.

LED lights are also far more efficient than regular lights, with an average life span of an of 50,000 hours. They use 200 lumens per watt while using only 2 to 17 watts of electricity. This adds up to a 70% energy savings and also causes your light to produce less heat than standard lights.

Along with the energy savings, LED lights are also environmentally. They are recyclable, produce no mercury or other chemicals light other lights do, and do not give off infrared or UV radiation. They also help in that they produce less light pollution. How, you may ask? LED lights are directional in how they give off light. Depending on how you filter and reflect the light, you can point light only where it's needed. The world can use a lot less light pollution - it gives us the chance to see the stars at night and also helps with animals that migrate by moonlight, so they don't get confused with so many city lights.

These diodes are also more durable than regular lights. They are not easy to break, particularly when dropped. They are also not affected by colder temperatures, making it easy to start up lights in the cold with little problems. All this, and they have a long life span, requiring little-to-no maintenance.

Finally, these lights provide a lot of lighting choices, making them aesthetically pleasing. You can choose from many different colors available. LED lights don't require paint or filters to make them the color that they are, meaning they won't chip over time. Being so small, they can be placed in an array of different patterns, so that you can place them in any color in varying patterns.

Which Car Lights Benefit from LED Lights?

There are many lights on your car that you can change for the better. Some lights, you may want to keep simple; while others, you can choose whatever color you would like for it!

For LED interior car lighting, try and keep the functional lights simple. For example, you'll need your best light forward if you want to see what you're doing in your cargo area. Your map and dome lights should be a functional white color, as well, to give you the best view. Other interior lights, however, can be played with in order to give your car some character and style!

Break lights have always got to be red, there's no doubt about that, and a car with LED lights are a great way to make sure you are seen even in bad conditions. LED tail lights are also best kept in white, as well as cars with LED headlights, as they are on the iffy side depending on what colors are legal in your state. To be on the safe side, white LED car headlights and LED car tail lights are best. If you want to avoid a ticket, check with your local DMV about the legality of colored LED car headlights.

One upgrade that is recommended to add a little bit of class and functionality to your car is puddle lights. These lights are on the underside of your car, and light up when you unlock and open your doors, illuminating the ground to see if there are any puddles you are about to step in. Getting a nice color puddle light will not interfere with driving and give you an added function if you do not already have such a lighting system in your car. They also add class and character to your car without being too flashy.

Is There A Bad Side to LED Lights?

With so many good things about LED lights, one has to wonder what can go wrong? Well, there are a number of things that might turn someone off to getting such lights for their cars. Price, for one, is a big turn off for most people as there is still not enough demand on the market to offer a lower price. However, they can pay for themselves with how much they save on energy and efficiency.

Another thing that might be considered part of the bad side is how much customization that can be done that would be legal. This isn't just one of those dumb state laws that we read about from time to time - using the correct colored lights in the correct locations is to ensure that you can see at your best and can be seen by other drivers! I can't reiterate enough to make sure that you check with your state about what colors are okay to use.


The color can also be a turn off, as many people complain that LEDs often emit a bluish tint. This, however, can be remedied with a high quality bulb, which will also help with other complaints like concern for the lights overheating, and a possible drop in efficiency after 1,000 hours of use.

One last concern is that they require a special set up in order to function, as they need special current regulators and installation of resistors in order to work properly. However, once you have everything set up, you will be saving money with energy savings and the durability of the product.

When it all comes down to it, LED car lights are useful and can give your car a nice look. Even big name brands like Audi and BMW are producing cars with LED headlights and tail lights as standard! With all the benefits these diodes have to feature, it's not wonder how they are rising in popularity!

Do You Plan on Using LED Lights on Your Car?

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