As consumers increasingly seek products that reflect their eco-conscious lifestyles, LED lights are getting more and more attention as alternatives to traditional lighting for the home and the outdoors. Now, LED headlamps are making a splash in a new form – as vehicle headlights. The following is a look at the benefits of LED headlamps in cars, as well as some of the reasons they are becoming the next-generation standard for car and motorcycle headlights.
A Brief History of LED Headlamps
LED lights have been around since the early 1900s, and they started becoming popular in the 1960s. LED headlamp technology, however, is relatively new. Research and design for LED headlamps for cars began in 2004. The first car models with built-in LED lights were sold in 2008, with the LEXUS LS and Audi R8.
Now, both car and motorcycle manufacturers and hobbyists have taken up the trend. Cadillac went full LED in its 2009 Escalade, and a year later, Toyota released a version of its popular Prius model with optional HID/LED hybrid systems. LED headlamps remain somewhat of a luxury for many car models, but they are becoming cheaper and more advanced by the day. Currently, Toyota’s 2012 Prius is slated to release with a full LED-equipped headlight system. Because LED technology continues to evolve, and because LEDs are already used in so many areas of technology, it’s not surprising that cars and motorcycles would also benefit from this more efficient light source.
More efficient LED Headlamps
First and foremost, LED lights are more efficient than traditional or HID headlamps. Because of their design, they use less energy and require fewer components. A hot trend right now with electronic car owners is the combined effect of an electric car and LED headlamps; the end result is even more miles per gallon saved than with a regular car. But even regular gas-powered cars require less battery power to keep their LEDs lit.
Besides energy efficiency, LED lights are also eco-friendly, as they require fewer chemicals in the manufacture process than traditional halogen or HID lights. Finally, LED headlamps give off a much cleaner and brighter light than other headlamp light sources – this is especially true for fog lighting and brights. LEDs last longer than traditional headlights too; thus, LED headlamps save not only energy and gas, but ultimately money.
Price vs. Style
The current drawback to LED headlamps is pricing. Purchasing a new car with LED lighting generally means you are already purchasing a luxury-class car. If you are looking for a cheaper route, you can always install an LED headlamp manually. Seek out your local LED light company for additional pricing and info.
There is an additional value to switching to LED that is not part of the efficiency factor: stylization. Funky lights and light styles are becoming the latest craze for car and motorcycle modifications. Fully customized motorcycles with various LED headlamps and back lights are becoming the standard in vehicle personalization. Car owners, as well, are becoming more interesting in do-it-yourself LED stylization.
Want to give your older car model a funky looking headlamp setup? Then start brainstorming. Not only do LEDs come in various colors that are street legal, but you can mix and match light styles and sizes with ease. Just make sure you have proper cooling up front – LEDs can run hotter than traditional lighting if overheated by weather or engine heat.
Just remember: Quality will outlast quantity. Cheaper might be better when purchasing a new car or upgrading your old clunker, but the quality and efficiency that LED lighting provides will outshine and outlast the money you saved up front by going with regular lighting options. Thus, consider purchasing LED headlamps next time you buy a new car or upgrade your current headlights.
There is a reason top-end car manufacturers are turning to LED for their lighting needs: LED is the future.