#interiorlighting PHOENIX, AZ

What is LED Lighting?


Incandescent bulbs have dominated the automotive industry since the days of Henry Ford. Today there is a new player in town that is quickly forcing old faithful to the lighting scrap heap. LED lighting, short of Light Emitting Diode, has become the bulb of choice for vehicle manufacturers and car enthusiasts a like. An LED is a transistor, combined with a substrate, which emits light when electrical current is applied. The LED bulb has a number of advantages over traditional incandescent lighting which makes is attractive for automotive use:

  • Automotive LED’s are insensitive to the regular vibrations a car is exposed to.
  • Vehicle LED’s will last for the life of the vehicle (with the exception of LED Headlights)
  • Car & Truck LEDs have moisture-proof casings which allow them to be installed in harsh environments.
  • LED lighting is extremely compact.
  • LED’s light up quicker and more reliable than incandescent bulbs
  • LED lighting runs cool reducing the energy loss and dangers associated with emitting light in an automotive housing.
  • LEDs are available in a wide variety of colors and color temperatures providing you a host of options for customization.
  • LED Lights provide more light per watt reducing the power requirements on your vehicles electrical system and battery.

LED Lighting has become so popular for car and truck applications that there are now LED options for every conventional automotive lighting application. Headlights, taillights, turn signals, running lamps, car interior lighting, engine bay lighting, you name it, LEDs can handle it. LED’s have also created new applications for automotive lighting that previously didn’t exist. LED Lighting can be installed in applications and locations that were previously impossible with fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. The days of the fluorescent undercarriage lighting tubes that were subject to damage from weather and vibrations are over!

Chevrolet Corvette Paves the Way for Automotive LED’s

The firs use of LEDs in an automotive application was on the Chevrolet Corvette in 1983 which had an LED on the center high mount stop lamp. LEDs are perfect for a stop lamp because they light up instantaneously giving the driver behind more time to react to the light and avoid an accident when a car or truck makes an unexpected stop. 0.2 seconds faster make may seem insignificant, however, at 75 mph this translates to 21 feet of extra braking distance which could literally mean the difference between life and death.

LED’s have an RGB color spectrum which allows them to emit any color from the same LED unit. In order to display different colors, an LED unit is either setup with three different LEDs, one emitting blue, one emitting red, and one green light in one unit, or they can be built as one LED which is doped with three difference substances allowing for blue, green, or red when electrical current is applied. Through the use of resistors to control the current applied to the bulb, LEDs can emit any combination of colors.

The multicolor capabilities of LEDs make it possible for one strip of LEDs to perform multiple functions in an automotive application. They can blink amber for turn signals, light up white for backup lights, or red for braking. LEDs can also be timed to either light all bulbs simultaneously as a single unit or sequentially to create a lighting pattern such as a running turn signal.

Flexible Compactness

LEDs are small and compact which allows them to be made into small, flexible lighting strips which can be twisted and tweaked into locations that traditional incandescent lighting would never fit. Running lights are a perfect example of this. LEDs can be contoured to the shape and style of a vehicle’s body providing a unique, unmistakable look such as the LED “whiskers” that are characteristic of Audi headlights. LED strips can be used in interior applications such as foot well or dash compartment lighting. They can be used in exterior applications such as undercarriage lighting, puddle lights, or engine compartment lighting. They can be installed in such a way that they are hidden and invisible when not lit. LED’s are perfect for these applications because they don’t burn out, consume little energy, produce low heat, and are maintenance free.

LED Headlights are In

LED headlights are the hottest new trend in automotive lighting. They have become powerful enough, bright enough, and reliable enough to replace the traditional incandescent and HID headlamps that have dominated the automotive industry for generations. Modern LED design has combined advanced optical design with intricate cooling devices to make them the application of choice for car & truck enthusiasts. LED headlamps offer a wide spectrum of color temperatures without the unreliability traditionally found in HID and incandescent bulb kits.