Safely navigating nighttime drives on outback or country roads or being able to drive through challenging conditions like heavy rain and fog will require more than your 4WD’s standard light array. Upgrading the driving lights on your 4WD is the most important step you can take to improve your vehicle’s safety.
Not all driving lights are created equal most car models today come with halogen lights as standard, and while they can be powerful, when compared to HID or LEDs, it’s clear there is a real winner when choosing which option to upgrade your vehicle.
Continue reading as we compare Halogen, HID, and LED lights and discover which variety shines brighter, lasts longer, and is the best option for your vehicle.
HALOGEN DRIVING LIGHTS
Having been around for over 100 years, most people are familiar with halogen lights. The makeup of a halogen bulb involves electricity passing through a filament, causing it to glow. The higher the temperature, the brighter the light.
A standard halogen bulb can produce anywhere from 3000 to 3500K (Kelvin of light); this might not mean a lot to you now but keep these figures in mind as you continue reading.
Widely used and inexpensive, they are easy to produce, but there is a trade-off regarding durability and energy efficiency in halogen lights. Halogen lights only produce light from 5% of the energy input into the bulb, losing 95% through heat. Moreover, the filaments used in halogen bulbs are quite susceptible to degradation and can be damaged through vibrations and extreme heat, some of the things that are unavoidable if you are off-roading.
Halogen bulbs have an expected lifespan of only 800 hours. Poorly constructed bulbs with insufficient cooling airflow and excess use on rough roads will all negatively affect a halogen bulb’s lifespan.
PROS: Inexpensive, Easily produced
CONS: Reduced durability, Low energy efficiency, Short lifespan
HID DRIVING LIGHTS
HID or High Intensity Discharge lights are similar to household fluorescent lights; they use a capsule of gas instead of a filament to create illumination. The light in an HID bulb is created by a charge between two closely spaced electrodes sealed in a glass tube. The main point of difference between Halogen and HID lights is their energy efficiency and luminosity.
HID driving lights are much more powerful than halogen lights and can create up to 3 times more light than a halogen bulb using the same amount of energy. HID lights can produce lumination of 4000K +.
Although they provide more light than a halogen bulb, HID lights require a few seconds to reach total power output. They have a much longer lifespan and can last 10 times longer than halogen lights.
HID lights produce a white/blue spectrum of light, and while they are more expensive than halogen lights, they are still affordable when factoring in their increased lifespan.
PROS: Energy efficient, Greater lifespan
CONS: Can take some time to warm up
LED DRIVING LIGHTS
We’ve gone and saved the best for last. LED lights or Light Emitting Diode lights are hands down the most energy efficient and durable lights on the market right now.
LED lights can last up to 50,000 hours. Like HID lights, LED lights are at least 3 times more efficient than halogen lights, and unlike halogen lights, they are waterproof and resistant to vibrations that can degrade a halogen bulb.
LED lights can create light that most closely replicates true daylight with a lumination of 5000-6000K. Due to how LED lights are created (using small diodes instead of a bulb), they can be made into various shapes and configurations (driving lights, light bars, etc.)
At Ultra Vision, we manufacture our LEDs from aluminium which acts as an excellent thermal conductor and features large cooling fins to ensure that the elements remain cool and last longer.
PROS: Durability, Energy efficient
CONS: High quality can come at a high cost.
When it comes to durability and energy efficiency, LED driving lights are lightyears ahead of the competition. Halogen lights are widely available, and the most commonly used in vehicles, but their poor energy efficiency and short lifespan do not make them ideal for upgrading your driving lights.
While a vast improvement compared to halogen lights in luminosity and efficiency, HID lights will not last as long as LED lights and suffer a lag between power up and total output.
LED driving lights operate with greater energy efficiency and outstrip all others regarding lifespan; it’s common for LED lights to last 50,000 hours. They are the best option for upgrading your vehicle’s driving lights to get value for money.
Ultra Vision LED driving lights are created for rugged off-road environments. Our LED lights and light bars are backed by a 3 or 5-year warranty and are proudly Australian-made. Check out our full range and discover why you should upgrade to us!