Upgrading to LED Bulbs: Things to Consider
The lighting assembly of your vehicle is there for two reasons: to provide you with the best possible visibility in low-light conditions and to jazz up your ride's style. It's difficult to choose which type of bulb will best complement your car's look, and there are many things you have to consider before making a decision. Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs are one of the most popular lighting accessories in the market today because the benefits it gives far outweigh those of traditional ones. LEDs have edged halogens out of the spotlight because they're generally more cost-efficient, provide better lighting, require less energy, and last longer than ordinary bulbs.What are the things to consider when choosing LED bulbs?
How much does a LED bulb cost?
For optimum results, the LED bulb's color should match the color of your headlight lens. This will amplify the beam's intensity and will prevent the lens from blocking most of the light. If you have clear lens, make sure to purchase the appropriate color for your brake and turn lights. Don't install a white LED bulb if you have red headlight lens, as the white light will only be filtered out and decrease your visibility.
If you want brighter light, choose a bulb with a larger number of LEDs. A high-power LED bulb distributes light differently, so it appears brighter than a standard filament bulb. You also have to decide if you'll go for a warm or a cool white, as these two differ in temperatures. Warm white temperature is around 2,500 Kelvin up to 4,000 Kelvin, while cool white is rated at 5,000K to 8,000K. Obviously, a warm white is more energy-efficient, but it produces less light than the cool one. If you want a fluorescent-like brightness, go for a cool white LED bulb.
Tail and brake lights have a standard one-inch diameter, but not all vehicle makes are the same. Before purchasing a bigger LED bulb, say a 1 5/8-inch 30-LED unit, measure your vehicle's light housing first. Take note of the housing's dimensions and other specifications before getting a new LED bulb.
Wide-angle LED bulbs can cover up to 100 degrees, while narrow angles can only reach a 15-degree range. Although wide angle bulbs can light up more area, they are generally dimmer than narrow angle ones. If you frequently go on long off-road drives, wide-angle LEDs are recommended. Narrow angles can suffice for city driving.
LED light bulbs cost double the traditional filament ones. Unlike halogens which cost only around $5 per bulb, LED lights are priced at $10 and above. For high-performance LEDs, prices can go up to $160 and above per bulb. Choosing to get a LED lighting upgrade for your vehicle is actually an investment and can give you more savings in the long run, as LED bulbs last longer than most lights.
In Sharper Light: LED Bulb Installation
After LED bulbs have taken the automotive industry by storm, more and more car owners are itching to give their vehicles an upgrade. LEDs not only improve a vehicle's look, but they are also more cost-efficient and require less energy to operate. It's time for you to get an upgrade if you're still using traditional halogen lights. You can actually do the upgrade and installation yourself once you've purchased the right LED bulbs that will best fit your car.
Here are the tools you need and the steps to follow in installing a LED bulb:Difficulty level: EasyTools that you'll need:
Step 1: Disconnect your car's battery first to prevent electric shock. Next, lift the hood and detach the headlight's wiring assembly from the compartment. This is usually located around the corners of the hood and on top of the wheel wells. Use a flashlight to locate it easily.
Step 2: Remove the electrical wiring connected to the old bulb. If you can't pull it out easily, try pushing it in and twisting it clockwise to detach it from the wiring harness
Step 3: Once the old bulb is out, make sure the socket is thoroughly clean before installing the new one. Wipe off dirt buildup with a soft rag. Insert the new bulb into the existing socket. Be careful not to scratch the bulb's surface or damage the glass while fitting it inside. Use a pair of gloves to prevent this from happening.
Step 4: Reconnect the electrical wiring to the new bulb and reattach the wiring assembly to the compartment. Make sure the bulbs are secured in proper position and fit snugly to prevent any looseness. Close the hood and reconnect the car's battery. Test the lights for proper operation.
Installation takes about 30 minutes for an average DIYer. Make sure the replacement LED bulb is compatible to your car's year, make, and model to avoid any installation problems.