Thinking about switching to a new and effective LED automotive lighting system may be the smartest decision when it comes to upgrading your vehicle. LED automotive lights instantly turn on, compared to the HID bulbs, which warm up to their highest brightness due to the gas and chemical reaction. Let’s develop a basic understanding for what to look for when selecting LED lights for your car’s automotive lighting by covering design, location of lights, color, brightness, components and finally price. 

Projector or Reflector

Design certainly plays a part in selecting LED lights for cars and trucks. The designs most common in the market are Reflector or Projector headlights.

Projector lights, such as Halo car lights, look like circles without the center filled in. The light, with a circular design, assures visibility on the road, which allows you to be clearly visible to oncoming traffic. Reflector headlights are the other type of design light that works with LED headlights. They allow the LED to reflect off the chrome surface. The unfortunate aspect of reflector bulbs is that they can have darker spots.

Unsure about the dimensions and design, it’s best to use a vehicle parts search feature or consult a headlights professional. They can ensure your LED Headlight or Conversion Kits match your vehicle. As far as design is concerned, the best option for LED lights for car headlights, Projector designs take the win.

Location

LED headlights come for both interior and exterior. Not standard issue, LED lights for the interior should complement the color of your vehicle. LED interior lights have a relatively long lifespan, sometimes more than 10,000 hours. There are different types of interior lighting. We have door lights, map lights, dome lights, and even interior accent lights. Interior accent light LED strips can be easily installed underneath the dashboard, footwell, beneath the seats, in the trunk and more. Exterior LED lighting or underbody lighting is an excellent choice for easy style points. Underground lighting has a multi-color RGB LED vehicle underglow kit that is easily controlled with bluetooth. If your truck has third brake lights, and they have gone out or you are in need of an upgrade, choose the LED option. These exterior lights are easy to install and last three times longer than their halogen equivalents.

Color & Brightness

Different colors react differently in different environments. On a clear night, it’s ideal to have a nice, bright white LED headlight. The LED headlights have gained a lot of ground on their HID counterparts. It has been proven in the last year that LED lights are now overtaking HID bulbs in Lumens (brightness). For safety during foggy conditions, it is not helpful to use more brightness. Using a warmer, yellow-orange color is essential for fog lights. The cooler, brighter colors are best served for the low- and high-beams. The general rule of thumb is that the brighter the LED, the cooler (whiter) the color will be presented. For tail lights, find LED lights that emit a red and white color. Red lights are for braking, white are for reversing, and amber colored lights are for signals and indicators on both the front and rear of the vehicle. For a bright, effective light, look for LED headlights that emit a brightness of 6000 lumens. We also have lights that are ultra-bright with 10,000 lumens.

Components

With LED automotive lights, the components are very simple, as there are no moving parts. There are two different types of LED headlights. One type of headlight is a single beam for low-beam and a single beam for high-beam. You will have to buy multiple single beam bulbs. The other type of headlight is a double beam LED headlight. This type of light has two light arrays on the same bulb for both low- and high-beam headlights.

There are a couple of varieties of wiring when it comes to single- and double-beam lights. Some varieties are very simple and require no relays or harnesses. These LED headlights just require plugging into the cars without extras. We call this plug and play. From the standpoint of installation, these are the easiest to implement. Other varieties have drivers built-in the LED but are more prone to failure. Whereas there are also lights that have wires fed through grommets and have extra wiring. Again, you want to opt for a plug and play installation with high-grade lights and materials.

Price

If the price is cheap, don’t buy it. If it’s on sale, ask yourself why? LED technology for automotive lighting systems is cutting edge. Around a similar cost to HID bulbs, LEDs for headlights cost a little more because they offer some clear advantages. Using less power, being able to plug and play, and having a brighter beam serves the purpose of safety and comfort.

We have covered a lot of ground talking about tips for selecting LEDs for automotive lighting systems. Here are the tips you should leave knowing.

  • For safety and efficiency, cheaper is not better for LEDs for automotive lighting systems. Buy a kit that is going to last you years of great illumination, safety, and personal comfort.
  • Opt for LED projector lights, if you are performing a plug and play installation on reflectors, make sure you are paying attention to the beam and installing correctly
  • Get some LED lights for your interior to add style points and more illumination
  • If you have a third brake light, look for an LED upgrade instead of halogen, this is for safety reasons as they are very bright and last three times longer than their halogen equivalents
  • Warmer colors are lower in brightness but your light should be a minimum of 6000 lumens
  • Do some research on your vehicle to determine if you need single- or double-beam headlights
  • Plug and play installation is the best route for anyone looking to do it themselves, but don’t forget to ask a professional or parts dealer before performing an install