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Fuel for Thought

LED vs Halogen

By Greg Huggins
Posted Jun 28th 2020 10:31AM

Technology keeps moving forward. If you have a truck with halogen headlamps and are considering replacing them with LED headlamps, they are much more “plug and play” than in the past. You have probably seen the flickering LED headlamps in some vehicles with aftermarket LEDs. This was generally a problem with conversion kits of the past. Nowadays, you can get LED headlamps with the built it circuitry to prevent flickering. They are just as easy to install in your truck as the original halogen bulbs, in fact, they seem to be a little easier to install. Thanks to the built in CANBUS along with additional wire, it is actually easier to connect LED headlamps to the truck. If you have ever replaced halogen bulbs in your truck, sometimes getting the bulb and the truck plug connected in the small area where the bulb is mounted can be a challenge. With the wire and connector on the LED, unlike the halogen bulb that does not have any wires, making the connection to the truck is much easier. 

LED headlamp prices have come down over the years as well. You can now get a pair of LED headlamps for less than the cost of a pair of the best halogen bulbs available. 

LED bulbs are a little different from halogen bulbs when you go to buy them. Both still need to be the same type, i.e. H11, H7, 9004, 9005, in order to fit your vehicle’s bulb socket, but when you are shopping for your LED bulbs, you will notice the color temperature and lumens. 

The more lumens the brighter they will be. 10,000 - 12,000 lumens seem to be normal for LED bulbs. One of the best halogen bulbs is only about 1,000 lumens, yes, you read that right, just 1/10 the brightness of LED bulbs. 

Color temperature is also an important factor. Halogen bulbs, some of the best and brightest come in at about 4100 on the color temperature scale. At 4100, you get bright light, but compared to higher color temps, they look more yellowish. Whereas LED bulbs can range from 5000 - 7000 on the color temperature scale. 6000 color temp is a very white light, but as you go higher in the color temps, 6500, 7000, etc., the light becomes more blue. 

If you are considering the change from halogen bulbs to LED bulbs, you will be happy with the brighter white light, increased brightness and longevity of the LEDs over the halogens. You might even save a few dollars over the cost of a new set of premium halogen bulbs.


See you down the road,

Greg