LED vs. HID Headlights

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The days of halogen bulb headlights are being left behind in the dark as vehicle manufacturers and drivers across the world develop a preference for HID bulbs, and more recently, LED bulbs.

It's widely accepted that HID and LED headlights are both far superior to halogen headlights, but LED lights have continued to out-perform even HID lights in recent years. Short for "light-emitting diode," LED lights have been used in our cell phones and laptops for decades now, their small size, minimal heat production, and low power consumption making them the perfect fit for modern technology.

HID headlights do fairly well on the roads, and *some* can even achieve near-LED levels of brightness. But overall, LEDs are objectively the brightest headlights on the market, and are unmatched in light output. Unlike HID lights, LEDs take no time to warm up and can instantly reach their maximum brightness. In many scenarios, this feature isn't necessarily of the utmost importance, as typically a driver can turn the lights on and afford to wait 5-10 seconds for them to warm up. But if you find yourself driving suddenly under a dark bridge or underpass, that's when LED lights swoop in and save the day.

LED headlights are also have a significantly tighter concentration than halogen or HID headlights. This means when driving with LED bulbs, the driver will have a strong and focused beam in the center, with strong, curved beams on the sides. For example, in 2013, Audi released an A8 that featured 25 individual LEDs in each headlight. This technology allowed them to create a clear and brightly lit road directly in front of the driver, while simultaneously casting a dimmer light for the perspective of oncoming traffic. This created a safer and more comfortable driving experience for both the Audi driver and for others sharing the road.

LEDs also boast an unmatched longevity in the headlight market. While halogen and HID bulbs often need replacing, many vehicle manufacturers promise that with proper care, the vehicle's original LED headlights will not only survive, but perform WELL, throughout the lifetime of your vehicle. (Fun fact: How long your HID headlights will last you is most closely correlated to how many times they are turned on, rather than how long they are left on each time.) So, even though LED headlights can cost more than HID or halogen bulbs upon first purchase, they are actually the most cost-effective decision in the long-run if you use your vehicle often. And according to Retrofit Source, LEDs' lack of drainage to your engine power can even reward you with fuel savings.

Perhaps not important to all drivers, it's still worth mentioning that LEDs are also the most stylish choice as far as headlights go. Thanks to their small size and flexibility, automakers are free to design LED lights to best compliment each car model's body, upping your car's aesthetic quality and appeal on the road.

LEDs are now the headlight of choice for high-end and luxury vehicles, and with the long list of both short-term and long-term advantages, we aren't surprised. LED headlights boast a much longer life span, more power and higher-quality light, lower maintenance with higher durability, higher safety ratings, the widest and longest visibility, look more impressive, and are more energy efficient.

If your vehicle doesn't already have LED headlights but you're interested in having them installed correctly and safely, we have a staff of professional technicians ready to offer you advice and exceptional service. Visit www.audipeoria.com/schedule-service-online.htm or call 309-243-7000.

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Audi Peoria
www.audipeoria.com
2322 Van Winkle Way
Peoria, Illinois 61615
309-243-7000