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why LED?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by boatbuilder, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Apr 2, 2015 at 6:25 PM
    #1
    boatbuilder

    boatbuilder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A lot!
    I have read most of the topics regarding LED lighting and have a few thoughts. It seems to me that lighting on a vehicle has two basic functions. Up close and far away. So, looks like everything I have been able to find shows that LED's are outstanding at up close (i.e. off road). Now, many of us drive on roads in the country where, allbeit illegal we use big, long distance lights to see what's out there. For me? Deer, elk, moose and yes I hit a cougar earlier this year. So, what I have been able to find with regards to distance on LED's shows that they go out about 100-175' of usable lighting. So, at 60 mph you are traveling 88' per second. With a reaction time of .5-.75 seconds you have no time to actually stop before you hit whatever it is. I have halogen lights on the front of my truck that have effective lighting for close to a 1/2 mile. So, if saving yourself the wiring and a few amps what's the real draw to LED's? Is this just the new cool thing? I don't see useful. If it's out there let me know.
     
  2. Apr 2, 2015 at 6:32 PM
    #2
    moondeath

    moondeath The answer to divorce...... Tequila!

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    True high quality LEDS are offered by the car manufacturers. Aftermarket headlights aren't quite the same quality yet. They will be in the near future however.

    The benefits to LEDS are quality, longevity, cleaner light, brighter light.

    LEDs for home use are a no brainer. The amperage draw is miniscule compared to incandescent bulbs. True money savings.
     
  3. Apr 2, 2015 at 7:20 PM
    #3
    boatbuilder

    boatbuilder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Moondeath,

    Have you passed a vehicle with a 20" or so lightbar on the front? Blinding light but it only goes about 50-75'. I'm talking aftermarket lights, not headlights. I'll give you the longevity but even that has it's drawbacks. My Leer canopy has an LED stop light. One year and 2 weeks two of the LED's went out in it. $58 dollars please. NOT, they're still out.
     
  4. Apr 2, 2015 at 7:45 PM
    #4
    RCOTaco

    RCOTaco Long Time Lurker

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    Well there are some people who really reap the benefit of LED, but I don't know what that benefit is personally, though I'm sure there is one there. Then there are other people who like to fit in with the crowd because it's cool to have 40,000 lumens of light they never use mounted to the front of their pavement-pounding truck.

    If I were to add lights to my truck they would be 500s converted to 5000K HID mounted on hood hinge mounts. I need the light far off. Stock high beams with fogs on seems to work well for me up until the point that those would kick in. I just think that incandescent is easier on the eyes, especially when it's night and they are tuned into the darkness.
     
  5. Apr 2, 2015 at 7:55 PM
    #5
    Roneyj

    Roneyj Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget power consumption. A 10" double row LED bar draws a little more than half the amps of a pair of 55w halogens but has considerable more light out put. As far as distance goes there are a couple of LED light manufactures producing lights that are as effective at long range as HID. If not you wouldn't see Trophy Trucks running LEDs's. LED's are also more durable with an alot longer lift.
     
  6. Apr 2, 2015 at 8:18 PM
    #6
    nzbrock

    nzbrock Well-Known Member

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    With long range LED lighting, optics and reflectors are VERY important. Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers have not fully designed their lights for optimal efficiency or throw. Reflector size has a big impact on how much throw there is. Look at the LED light bars then look at your halogens, the reflector is much larger on the halogen.

    Try a light like this and then compare them:https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...y-duty-high-powered-led-work-light/2136/4866/
    Or this with 3 LEDs: https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...y-duty-high-powered-led-work-light/2026/4639/

    Lumens do not mean everything when it comes to throw.
     
  7. Apr 2, 2015 at 10:54 PM
    #7
    boatbuilder

    boatbuilder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    RCOTaco,

    I thought I was the only one who felt this way so I thought I would post the question. This is definitely NOT my first rodeo with back window melting lights as I have had them on every vehicle I've owned including a 1970 FJ40 and a 19994 Toyota truck. I do like to see in front of me and never want to be able to outdrive my spot lights.

    Roneyi,

    Power consumption is not an issue as far as I'm concerned. It is more a matter of convenience to me. If I don't have to use relays and additional fuses to save switches that aren't strong enough on their own I'm good with that. And I would have to admit that I don't have the same budget as the trophy truck drivers have so cost is somewhat a factor as well.

    nzbrock,

    It's not just HID and LED that benefit from deeper, more refined and higher quality reflectors, Every bulb will shoot further with them. There are a couple of LED's out there that seem to be better than others at total distance but again, the cost is prohibitive in my eyes. LED light bars are a joke. Like any other light you can't have them above or right in front of you to be effective. My FJ40 had two lights mounted similar to the brackets made to match the hood hinges. WORST place to mount a light! Looks cool as shit but all you get is reflected light back at you. NOT very effective at all. Low and wide with a ton of distance. I did see the two lights you mention. Both exactly what I am talking about. The problem that I didn't mention is that I have 4 - 4" light tubes in my Relentless bumpers.

    Thanks all for responding. A good conversation. I started my quest for lights by buying 2 KC pencil beams and two KC driving lights (vertical fluting only to spread the light a little bit) and designing an elaborate relay and fuse system on a carbon fiber plate mounted in the engine compartment by the fuse box and putting them in rubber housings. I may try the 27 watt LED's for back up lights.......we'll see. Good conversation!!!
     
  8. Apr 3, 2015 at 3:31 AM
    #8
    moondeath

    moondeath The answer to divorce...... Tequila!

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    Basically, if the leds went out theyre not very good quality. Leer doesnt make LEDs. They buy them from someone and go with whoever is giving them the best deal, not the best quality. Like I said, great quality leds will last. Most likely the electronic parts or the diode connections came loose.

    The BIGGEST benefit, this is what you asked, is the amperage draw and the life span of an LED. I'm an electrician by profession, and all we install now is LED lighting. Power usage is a mere fraction of incandescent and fluorescent lighting.

    When it comes to projecting light, it's gonna depend heavily on the reflector lense in the housing. Bulbs dont project a concentrated beam by themselves, that's what the reflector does. If you were to take your halogen bulb out of the housing and turned it on, it would just light up the surrounding area and not project a long beam. Same with LEDs or HIDs. It's all down by the reflector housing, or in the case of HIDs, a projector lense.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  9. Apr 3, 2015 at 4:11 AM
    #9
    nujerzidevil

    nujerzidevil Well-Known Member

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    This is true, had LED headlights and the stock bulbs are easier on the eyes, plus I think it's very hard to find a aftermarket bulb that is exactly the same size and light pattern output at the stock h4.. Resulting in scattered light.
     
  10. Apr 3, 2015 at 6:46 AM
    #10
    boatbuilder

    boatbuilder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A lot!
    Again, thanks guys!!!

    Moondeath,

    Ya, the Leer guy was shoveling pretty fast with the same excuses but still wanted (two weeks out of warranty) to make his $58 for a new one. I "might" try to take it apart someday.

    I get ya on the in house lighting. I think there is more in play with that decision. Power cost, length of time the bulbs last -vs- length of time you are going to stay in the place, etc. With a vehicle, except for the ease of replacement of each bulb the other benefits really aren't there.

    And, like I said not my first rodeo with regards to lighting on a vehicle. Just new to LED's in automotive lighting. I just find it interesting that there is that much disparity between light manufacturers. I doubt there is that much difference in quality. You can go from a 27w, 9 light "spot" (not really a spot) light at about $20 to a 25w single bulb Vision X cannon for $225. It seems like none of the bulbs are made in the US anyway so is there that much difference between them? Really? Being in composite manufacturing I can say with 20+ years of experience behind it that the Chinese fabrics are far superior to US fabrics and have been for years. I think I'll wait a bit to see what really shakes out of the LED market. There will be a manufacturer who will figure out that distance is pretty important. Either way, it has to be cheaper to produce one bulb instead of 9, one housing instead of 9.

    nujerzidevil,

    You're right about the light. I have had an oncoming vehicle with an LED lightbar on the grill. It was the most scattered, bright, annoying light I have EVER had coming at me. I have already gone through the research of H4's and replaced them three times getting what I wanted in a light. And yep, they are not all the same. Like has been noted here before, it's all about the reflector housing. Shape and depth. How you gather all the usable light and how you send it back out of the housing.

    Great conversation. I hope someone who actually sells this stuff is listening.
     
  11. Apr 3, 2015 at 7:04 AM
    #11
    moondeath

    moondeath The answer to divorce...... Tequila!

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    This is why I haven't bought LED headlight bulbs yet. Other than the LED headlights that come factory on some of the newer vehicles, the aftermarket doesn't have it yet. You either get really great low beams, but no high beams or the other way around. Also many of the aftermarket bulbs aren't street legal.

    A definite positive for LEDs however would be for turn signals or DTRL. They don't get hot, so they won't burn the lenses like filament bulbs were doing on the 05-11 front turn signals lenses.
     
  12. Apr 3, 2015 at 7:32 AM
    #12
    boatbuilder

    boatbuilder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Moondeath,

    Been researching that one too. Looking to upgrade to a brighter turn signal build front and rear, stop lights and back up lights all LED. It isn't as easy as just going to buy a bulb. The only one I seem to be getting close on is the back up light. Seems like the best ones would have a lens to project light backwards. If' you've replaced yours I would be interested in what you went to.
     
  13. Apr 3, 2015 at 7:39 AM
    #13
    moondeath

    moondeath The answer to divorce...... Tequila!

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    I haven't replaced my backups yet. The only ones I've done are the interior dome lights and the license plateam bulbs. There is a guy on here that sells the light kits for both.

    As for backup bulbs, heres some on Amazon. I can't speak for their quality though. I would just use those as an example and find something that seems to be made well.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=led+921&index=aps&hvadid=27865509354&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17136448802431885849&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=m&ref=pd_sl_9rw0mn8oj0_e
     
  14. Apr 3, 2015 at 8:58 AM
    #14
    nzbrock

    nzbrock Well-Known Member

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    Another thing that has not really been mentioned about LEDs is the size of the light emitter. Most halogens emit light from a single point on a glowing filament in 360*. An LED emits light from its entire surface forward. This may not seem like a big difference, but that emitter size has a huge effect on throw.

    A cree XM-L2 puts out 1000 lumens at 3A in an ideal world.
    A luminus sst-90 puts out 2700 lumens at 9A in an ideal world.
    However the sst-90 is much larger than the xm-l2. When focusing a light, the closer to a single original point, the better.
     
  15. Apr 3, 2015 at 9:17 AM
    #15
    boatbuilder

    boatbuilder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    nzbrock,

    Interesting info and dead on. Look at the visionX I think they call it a "Light Cannon." I can't figure out how they make it work. Based on what you say, that I agree with the light source still seems to come out forward and not back into the reflector which would make one think that it wouldn't work. So, what would happen if you turned the LED source around and aim it back at the reflector? i.e. turn the whole bulb around.
     
  16. Apr 3, 2015 at 9:24 AM
    #16
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    This is exactly how the lights in my Jeep are set up. Nice, focused light, with about 3 times the range of the OEM Halogen bulbs.
     
  17. Apr 3, 2015 at 9:27 AM
    #17
    boatbuilder

    boatbuilder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A lot!
    chris4x4,

    Ok, spill the beans. How? I think I'm starting a business for someone in the thread. lol
     
  18. Apr 3, 2015 at 9:33 AM
    #18
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    What do you mean "How"?
     
  19. Apr 3, 2015 at 9:45 AM
    #19
    boatbuilder

    boatbuilder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A lot!
    Did they come that way or were there modifications involved? Make and model of what you went with? I would love to have more light out front. I drive remote highways with "really hurt your vehicle" animals on them.
     
  20. Apr 3, 2015 at 9:54 AM
    #20
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    No modifications. Just remove the old lights, and install the new ones. This is the lights I installed:

    http://www.quadratec.com/showcases/...5vsgwNhmPiT6D2pmm6Qt-lmz3nTo2pS9lOhoCXi_w_wcB
     

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