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How do LED Headlights work?

This week we’re going to look at another industry-wide technology, this time one that is becoming more and more popular each year after having originated in motorsports supercars. In this week’s How’s This Work, we’ll be tackling the subject of LED Headlights. For a long time, halogen light bulbs were the norm, then High-intensity Discharge bulbs started to take over, and in the mid-2000s LED lights began to take over. Now, you can find them coming standard on a number of vehicles across the market.

[ LAST WEEK: How does a Rear Spoiler work? ]

In the more traditional halogen bulbs, light is emitted via a thin wire filament as a current passes through. LED lights on the other hand utilize a semiconductor to get their power. The semiconductor is made of a material that will release light photons as soon as it gets a charge. If you can’t already discern the advantage, we’ll tell you in the next section.

LED vs the Others

Let’s first start with the advantages LED headlights have over traditional halogen lights: longevity. One of the biggest issues with halogen headlamps is that the wire can and likely will eventually begin degrading until failing completely. Thus, you will have to get them replaced, and if you have your car for a long time possibly more than once. With LED lights, you should have to replace them ever, no matter how long your car lasts, with the obvious exception of physical damage.

What about High-Intensity Discharge headlights? HID lights are known for being brighter and having the same advantage we just mentioned, not needing to be replaced. But the advantage of LEDs over HIDs is that an LED lamp is much more efficient than an HID. Essentially, the same amount of light can be produced using less energy, meaning a vehicle equipped with LED headlights will likely be more efficient than an HID-equipped vehicle. If you’d like to know which of our vehicles are equipped with what, then feel free to give us a call!


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