Why are my LED  headlights dimmer than halogen lights?

Upgrading to LED headlights is a popular choice among car owners due to their increased energy efficiency and longer lifespan in comparison to halogen lights. While LED headlights are known to provide brighter lighting than halogens, proper selection and installation are crucial in order to achieve optimal results. Incorrectly selecting the power and color temperature of LED bulbs, as well as mismatches in light fixtures and reflector cups can limit the brightness and even harm other drivers.

Let’s look at the three of the causes of a dim led light and their solutions;

Purchase a lower quality LED bulb.

The power of Led lights bulb available on the market ranges between 15W and 70W, and it’s possible that your LED lights bulb are dimmer after upgrade, maybe the power is too small. After upgrading from halogen to LED, why do you feel that the lights are still not bright enough? In the vast majority of cases, the more power, the brighter the light. However, we should also take into account the light efficiency of the lamp beads, which is the key to really affect the brightness. Luminous efficiency simply refers to the efficiency of the light beads, each watt of electricity to send more lighter. To use an analogy: like doing business, some people 100 dollars of capital earned back 20 dollars; some people 100 dollars of capital, go home to see 200 dollars, which is the business to make money on the luminous efficiency. In fact, high-power LED bulb efficiency in the laboratory, has broken through 100lm / W (lumens / watt). But taking into account the scale of production and the stability of civilian demand, until now, 100lm / W has become the mainstream of the market.

For example: you go to buy a light, see the business labeled power 20W, brightness 6000lm, that is basically bullshit. Except for a little math: 20W of power times 100lm/W luminous efficiency, which is almost 2000lm, the brightness is likely to be false label. Not to mention that some businesses in the power of the above will also be false, the actual power is not as large as advertised. The actual power is not as great as advertised. I came across this kind of thing when I bought my own projector. So, choose the light priority to consider the big brand better, at least the data is true, do not see it data is not necessarily outstanding, really more important than anything else, I think so.

Choosing the Incorrect Color Temperature of LED light bulb

In addition to power and light efficiency, choosing the right color temperature of led lights bulb is also an important factor for the visual brightness. If you feel that the replacement of the LED is more dimmer, also you maybe choose incorrect  color temperature. Color temperature is simply the warm and cold tones of light, low color temperature is warm light, yellow; high color temperature is cold light, blue. A study shows that: when the haze concentration is low, different color temperature LED light illumination transmittance comparison is this: 3000K color temperature LED is greater than 5000K, also greater than 5300K.In simply words: low color temperature lights in light haze or rain and fog days inside is better penetration. But to the high concentration of haze, we are about the same, shining through is a white blur. At the same time there is another study says: low color temperature light in the haze weather has a better color rendering index, which helps the lighting effect is significantly improved.

In summary, yellow light bulb is more effective in low visibility conditions, such as haze or fog, because it increases visibility while also serving as a warning signal for other drivers. Due to the low color temperature, Halogen lights Bulb perform well in such conditions, rather than any inherent advantages or higher brightness of halogen lights. When replacing halogen lights with LED lights bulb, it’s important to think about choosing a lower color temperature, so achieve the same visibility benefits.

On the market, there are various types of LED light bulbs, of which have a color temperature of 6000K, this is similar to natural light on cloudy days, we often referred to as “off-white light.” On the other hand, Halogen lamps, typically have a color temperature of around 2700K. When we purchasing LED lights bulb, it is critical to consider your specific needs and preferences, and a 5000K LED bulb is a good option. Personally, I prefer 4200K or 4300K color temperatures because higher color temperatures, such as 6000K, maybe too bright and cause eye strain, particularly on rainy days when light is reflected more.

Mismatched LED light reflector cup.

Many halogen headlight assemblies include an internal reflect cup, which reflects the light emitted by the bulb, so resulting in improved illumination for the front of the vehicle. If the new LED bulbs seem dimmer, it could be due to mismatched LED light reflector cup, such as the shape and specifications of the reflector cups not being compatible.

Research shows that, many factors such as reflective surface focal length, aspect ratio, LED emission position, and rotation angle of reflective LED lamps, all have an impact on the overall efficiency of the lighting system. This applies not only to LED lights, but also to halogen lights. Essentially, new LED light bulb may not match with the design of the original halogen reflector cups. If the LED lights are slightly longer or shorter, or not positioned at the original focal point, the light passing through the reflector cup will be reflected, dispersed, unfocused, or not visible clearly. In such cases, it is highly recommended to consider self-lens LED lights, as they are designed to gather the light, to improve light dispersion. If the original halogen lamps are directly replaced with LED lights in original cup, it can cause glare and affect visibility for other drivers on the road. It not only causes inconvenience but also poses a danger especially at night. You shouldn’t feel self-satisfied or anything, the most bothersome thing at night is the high beam, you should agree with me.

What is the more recommended approach?

So, what is the more recommended approach? Is there a way to save time and effort when upgrading your lights?

First of all, it is recommended to check if the manufacturer provides an upgrade program. For example, some Honda Fit and Civic models have different headlight assemblies. The low beam is halogen, with the high beam is LED lights bulb. This upgrade is convenient and straightforward, you can simply buy a factory assembly, “click” on a good, all right? Of course, the downside is that price maybe not cheap. If not, also you can only change it in the original assembly. In this case, it is more recommended to find a professional manufacturer to modify. It’s a good idea to consult with them first, to see if they have any recommended programs or successful cases. If you are considering changing the car, you can look at it. Some models can change a light bulb directly, while some models it is not possible, but also need to cut it open to redo, which is more complex. If you don’t have the experience, you may not be able to do it, and it can pose a safety risk. This practice is not recommended. Run over to some auto service stores, you said to upgrade, but also outsource to professional tuning stores to do.

Bottom Line

Therefore, upgrading from halogen to LED lights will definitely improve brightness, but there is also the possibility of some mismatches. So, before upgrading, it’s important to do some more research or to directly consult with a professional light factory to see actual cases. This way, you will be more reassured, and the effect will be better. Generally speaking, it will also be a little cheaper. By addressing above  three issues, upgrading to LED lights will result in a brighter and more energy-efficient lighting system than your original halogen lights.

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