An LED is a light-emitting semiconductor component part that gives off visible light, infrared radiation or ultraviolet radiation as soon as current flows through the diode. Here, the semi-conductor material used is critical for determining the wavelength. An LED consists mainly of an anode, cathode, semiconductor crystal, bond wire and housing. For most LEDs, the cathode also acts as the reflector. The bond wire connects the crystal to the diode. The solder joint forms one of the two electrical connections for the crystal. At the same time, it absorbs the dissipated heat that develops because the semiconductor crystal can convert only a portion of the electrical power into light.
LEDs are operated at a temperature-dependent so-called "operating point", which must be precisely specified or set.
Direct connection of an LED to a voltage source without a series resistor is not possible. Today, LEDs are used in many areas: whether in a smartphone display, LED television, domestic lighting or even modern OP equipment: the small light-emitting diodes are now a fixed part of everyday life.
This also particularly applies to the area of vehicle lighting: in addition to use in main headlamps, high beams and auxiliary lamps, daytime running lights and (combination) rear lights, LEDs are also used for side marker lights and signal lights, for example. This allows a broad application spectrum to be covered, which includes far more than just classic passenger car lighting as car drivers know it, but also numerous special applications such as truck, trailer, agriculture and emergency vehicles to name but a few.
Since the very start, HELLA has been one of the pioneers and innovation leaders when it comes to the development and production of LED vehicle lighting. You will encounter thousands of our LED products every day on the roads, whether in daytime running lights and the main headlamps of passenger cars, beacons of emergency vehicles or work lights of agricultural vehicles.
You have surely encountered passenger cars on the road where - generally only on one side - the dipped headlamp or tail light is not working. Perhaps this has also happened with your own vehicle.
With conventional vehicle lighting, the reason for such failures is often defective bulbs which then have to be replaced. Corresponding bulbs are available in accessories shops, for example the high quality bulbs from HELLA.
But can such failures happen with LEDs? The good news is: usually not. LEDs have a very long service life, which is often even longer than the life of the car. This is one of the most significant advantages of LEDs compared to conventional light sources such as halogen lamps. While these bulbs can fail over the course of a vehicle"s lifetime and must then be repurchased and replaced as described above, LEDs are maintenance-free. Together with the low energy consumption and the high energy efficiency, this results in considerable cost advantages for the LEDs over the medium term due to their long service life.
But how long do LEDs really last? Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question because a very large number of influence factors play a role, for example the quality of the utilized LEDs, the frequency with which they are switched on and off, the thermal management system used and many other factors. As a guideline, it can be said that an LED can certainly attain a service life of 30,000 hours and more - whereas conventional 12 V halogen bulbs usually fail after just 2,000 - 4,000 hours.
Naturally, even the best LEDs cannot avoid the effects of adverse environmental influences. As a result, even LEDs in headlamps can fail in extremely unfavorable circumstances. These cannot be replaced individually at present. Unfortunately, such scenarios require complete replacement of the headlamp. But at least with HELLA headlamps, this happens extremely rarely.
Yes, that is true - because in addition to the aforementioned long service life, high energy efficiency is one of the main advantages of LED technology. LEDs are like the top athletes of the light source world. Though they consume little energy, they achieve a high maximum output and are among the top performers.
Low power consumption saves energy and reduces costs. Even though LEDs are currently somewhat more expensive in terms of acquisition: in the mid-term, it is worth buying them for the lower operating costs alone. Furthermore, the low power consumption of LEDs has another side effect that should not be underestimated: they are particularly sparing on the energy resources of your vehicle - good for the service life of the battery, and not least for the environment due to reduced CO2 emissions.
Energy-efficient vehicle lighting is already an important topic and will continue to increase in importance. It is anticipated that the number of electric vehicles will increase considerably in the coming years. This means that careful use of the vehicle"s own energy resources will once again gain particular significance. As a result, the use of highly efficient LED technology is almost inevitable in this field in particular.
This probably has happened to almost everyone at some point: When changing a conventional bulb or halogen light source that was just recently used, you burn your fingers: The high heat development that is created when the light is on is to blame for this. It"s not just your fingers that suffer, but also the level of energy efficiency as dissipated heat that is not used always also equates to lost energy.
But how about LEDs? Do they also get hot? The answer is "yes and no" - with a strong tendency towards "no". LEDs also generate a certain degree of heat. However, this is far below the amount of heat generated by a comparable bulb. LEDs are thus highly energy-efficient. Unlike conventional bulbs, LEDs convert a large part of the supplied energy into light. One example: A 60-watt bulb has an illuminating power of approx. 600 lumen. In comparison, a current LED bulb with the same illuminating power only uses approx. 8 watt.
LED headlamps generate little UV and infrared light. This means, that unlike standard halogen headlamps, they do not heat up where the light is emitted. However, a LED headlamp can still generate heat in the housing. However, in this case it is due to the electronics used in the headlamp. An ideal light output would not be possible without the electronics.
To dissipate the heat generated by the electronics in a reliable fashion, good thermal management is very important - as for the HELLA headlamps. After all, optimal thermal management not only ensures the correct functioning of the headlamp, but also significantly extends the service life, often even longer than the life of the car.
You can therefore trust in the LED headlamps from HELLA with a clear conscience, since they offer you many advantages. But you will not be able to fry an egg on them!
LEDs can generally generate different light colors. However, the light color does not refer to a colored lighting such as red, green or blue LEDs, but the appearance of the light that is generated by white LEDs.
The light color, also referred to as color temperature, is generally specified in Kelvin. In principle, there are roughly three different color perception areas: warm white (less than 3,300 Kelvin color temperature), neutral white (3,300 - 5,000 Kelvin color temperature) and daylight white (more than 5,000 Kelvin color temperature).
LEDs cover the entire spectrum from warm white to daylight white. When it comes to vehicle lighting, the light color that is similar to daylight is mainly important, as it has been proven that this light color illuminates the road, objects and obstacles considerably better. In addition, light that is similar to daylight effectively reduces driver fatigue frequently encountered when driving in the dark, thus significantly increasing the safety in road traffic - not only for the driver himself, but also for other road users.
When the LEDs used for HELLA high-power LED headlamps are selected, they are already assessed based on the strictest quality standards regarding the light color and brightness. Both parameters must be within a strictly specified tolerance range. This is the only way that a consistently high and uniform light quality of all products with regard to brightness, light color and other factors can be ensured.
An individual"s perception of a color is subjective and different from person to person, regardless of the actual measurable Kelvin values. Color is thus a sensory impression and without any technical aids, humans are not able to determine the composition of the light. This is why it is virtually impossible to determine how other people perceive the color in comparison to us. Even for individual persons, their perception of color is subject to daily fluctuations.
The world can therefore appear to be much more varied in color than it does for others solely due to the individual"s personal perception!
We can provide a very specific answer to this question: LED technology is generally worthwhile for everyone - in particular for car drivers as well. The reason for this is the special advantages that the LED technology offers: durability, its maintenance-free properties, a high level of energy efficiency and a light color that is similar to daylight.
This is because LEDs will often last as long as the life of the car and are also mostly maintenance-free. Faulty lighting and inconvenient bulb replacements as well as purchasing replacement bulbs are thus a thing of the past for car drivers. Additional cost savings arise thanks to the high level of energy-efficiency, as the lower power consumption of LED headlamps also reduces fuel consumption. And the lower CO2 output also means that the environment profits!
Even though LED headlamps are currently somewhat more expensive in terms of acquisition: in the mid-term, this is offset by the advantages stated.
The light color that is similar to daylight of the LED headlamps provides for improved recognition of the street and objects, which is proven to be more comfortable for the eyes and can therefore prevent symptoms of fatigue in the dark this way - a true improvement in safety.
In addition to the hard facts mentioned, individual design aspects also speak in the favor of LED technology: LED headlamps and rear lamps contribute to distinctive vehicle optics. This already applies when turned off, but even more when the light is turned on. The unique LED light signature, together with the light color similar to daylight already mentioned above, result in an unmistakable appearance.
You definitely stand out in the crowd with LED vehicle lighting!