HID vs LED vs Halogen Comparison Shot

Halogen Spot Lights

Today’s halogen light technology has been around since around the 1960’s, making it the oldest among the 3 in terms of technological advancement. The main reason halogens are still offered for sale by some retailers is due to their cheap manufacturing costs, and mainly targeted at price conscious consumers. Halogen globes are similar to the factory globes fitted to your 4x4 in that they have a physical filament that glows to produce light. As current from the battery passes through this thin filament, it causes resistance, which produces heat which in turn creates light. Halogen 4x4 Lights are identifiable by the very 'yellow' light temperature omits. Halogen lights typically consume 55w to 100w per light, however much of its energy consumption is wasted in producing heat. Halogen bulbs have the lowest luminous efficiency (Lumens produced per 1 watt of nput power). The only advantage of incandecents as of today is its higher colour rendering index (CRI) when compared to LED or HID, however LEDs are closing the CRI gap at a rapid pace, and soem of todays cutting edge LED emitters have negligible difference in CRI score. 

  • PROS: Cheap to buy, High CRI (Colour rendering index) 
  • CONS: Emit yellow light, very inefficient, low light output, lack distance.

 

High Intensity Discharge (HID) Driving Lights.

Whilst HID driving lights have been around since the early 1990’s, they are far superior in light output and luminous efficiency when directly compared to halogens, and a slight higher luminous efficiency when compared to LED. In fact HID (also known as Xenon) produce 3 times the light output of halogens of equal wattage. Unlike halogen, HID lights produce a pulse of electrical charge brought about by its ballast. Since the globe have no filament, the life expectancy of a HID globe is usually around 3000+ hours. HID’s are easily identifiable by their white/blue/purple light output, and are commonly found in the factory headlights of leading German automotive manufacturers. The most common drawback of HID technology is that it requires 5 to 7 seconds to reach its full operating capacity when first switched on.

  • CONS: Takes a few seconds to reach full light output – Dark spots in light pattern – Very focused light
  • PROS: Excellent distance - White/blue (6000k) light temperature - efficient compared to halogen & LED

 

LED Light Bars and Spot Lights

Whilst LED isn’t a brand new concept in 4wd lighting, it certainly has become the bench mark. The small form factor of the LED brings with it excellent versatility in design. From LED light Bars to Spot lights, to DRLs of all shapes and sizes. Just like HID, LED also has no filament. Instead, light is produced by excited electrons inside the LED wafer chip. They draw very little power and are extremely resistant to vibrations. LED’s strength lie within its near instant light, daylight white light temperature and its ultra-low energy consumption. As can be seen in the comparison image, the light output is far brighter and superior to all of its counterparts. It is said that one would require 600 watts of halogen lights to produce the equivalent light volume of a 200 watt LED.  Typically LEDs are rated for 50,000 hours, which is x10 that of HID. Although HID still has the 1 up on LED driving light in terms of peak beam distance the LED driving lights produced today are acheiving outstanding lux distance performance. 

Last image on the right is the STEDI 160 WATT CREE SINGLE ROW LED LIGHT BAR

  • CONS: Distance not quite as good as its HID counterpart. 
  • PROS: Excellent light pattern – Instantly on – Low energy consumption – Excellent field of view illumination