LED Lights vs HID's

pjc

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So what is the latest on LED lights instead of HID's?

* Any color spectrum available besides white/blue?
* More or less power than HID's?
* Better to geta big bar or individual cluster housings?
* Who makes your LED lights and what's do you like or dislike?

Thanks much.
 

07FJRog

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depending on how big you go on the LED bar, you can acummulate aprox 11-13 amps for say a 42-50" LED bar.

By Far Rigid Industries has the most rugged and best lighting pattern out.

they also have a new Amber colored one.

you can taylor your pattern easier with separate smaller bars,and there are diff patterns availble also, just like HID's.

they are on the pricey side, but then again so are, good quality HID's.

http://www.rigidindustries.com/category_s/64.htm


Call Rigid (phone...480.655.0100) and ask for Taylor and tell him Rog sent ya. he will give you the straight scoop on both lights (HID and LED).
 

JPhillips

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Talking to Bob Rinaldi at ACRO, he said that LED's are like software, 6 months after you buy them they are obsolete with new technology. Plus they get too hot and burn themselves out. I'm an HID guy, don't know much about LED. You can talk to the horse himself (562) 320-2276
 
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HIDs consume far less power than LEDs and have more controllable light output, IMHO.
 

Bajades

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So what is the latest on LED lights instead of HID's?

* Any color spectrum available besides white/blue?
* More or less power than HID's?
* Better to geta big bar or individual cluster housings?
* Who makes your LED lights and what's do you like or dislike?

Thanks much.
LED's have their strengths and weaknesses. Depending on your application they may or may not work best for you compared to an HID.

Currently the color spectrum available in LED off-road lights range from about 5000 Kelvin to 6500K. Off-road HID lights range in color temperature from 4300K to 6500 Kelvin. It is my opinion that color temperatures greater than about 5500 K impede your depth perception. The eye's greatest sensitivity to light is right around 5000K. Some even argue that this color temp is too high for the best depth perception.

Depending on the array, LED's can consume more or less power than an HID. HID's currently, however, produce more light per watt than LED's. HID efficiency is about 91 lumens per watt, most of the LED's used in the currently available off-road lights make 70-80 lumens per watt. Not only that, because high power LED's are not a point source, it is more difficult to culminate the light into an effective pattern and much of the light power is wasted. This is one of the biggest drawbacks to LED's currently. The lightbar style of LED lights currently only produce a round pattern. A round pattern is great for terrain such as sand dunes where you need a lot of light above and below the horizon line. When you come to the edge of a bowl you want to be able to see down into it. This type of round pattern is a handicap, however, for most vehicle use in the desert. LED lights typically don't have enough range to be used for speeds above 45 mph. They can if you sum enough of them together, but then you are wasting power and a HID spot light would be much more efficient and effective. Not only that, but if you place an LED light bar on the roof, the large round pattern will severely light up the hood of the vehicle. If you have a vehicle with a windshield this will be compounded. LED lights with a round pattern mounted low work very well for near field lighting where their smooth pattern is an advantage. This advantage becomes a disadvantage when it becomes dusty, however, as they light up all the dust particles in the air above the horizon line. In the dust you want a light pattern that has smooth, broad horizontal dispersion with a soft cutoff above the horizon line. LED lights work best for near field light coverage where their smooth pattern can be most effective. They work great in the dunes where speeds are lower and there is little dust in the air.

LED's can offer an advantage in packaging where they might fit where other lights won't or have a lower profile to minimize aero drag.

In an desert race car your best lighting is a combination of lights switched to accommodate the conditions. On the top light bar you want mainly pencil beams because this is the light you use to provide your high speed/clear air lighting. The amount of lighting you should have here is largely dependent on the top speed of the car. From a couple of HID's on a 1600 to six 50 watt HID spots on a Trophy Truck. These lights are a detriment in the dust so you want to be able to shut them off easily while racing. I have the four 50 watt spots on our Class 1 switched via a button on the steering wheel.

On the front of the car you want a combination of driving and fog lamps to create a nice smooth pattern of light that gets out both to the front and sides. This usually consists of a combination of cornering/fog lamps and driving lamps. LED's can work well here, but again they need to be easily switched off when the dust gets bad.

So, main LED strengths are packaging, durability, and smooth pattern. Disadvantages may include color temperature, true light efficiency, and limited patterns. A combination of LED and HID lights can work well, but LED lights alone usually won't be the best for a race car. This is based on hundreds of hours of testing every type of light source and pattern; in everything from motorcycles to Rhinos and Trophy Trucks.
 

Zambo

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Great post Alan. All, the Baja Designs LEDs we run on our racetruck are some solid units. I never worry about them getting thrashed, which is a huge advantage in a long tough race. What Alan says about the light pattern is spot on. They are not that good in the dust, and they don't project very far out at high speed, but they light up the area right in front of the truck very well.

I think of it like this....when you have four HIDs, they are powerful and put out a lot of light but the light is concentrated in one direction. The result is you get 'fingers' of light projecting out the front, and this leaves areas of shadows between the fingers, which gives a weird and disorienting presentation to the driver as these fingers bounce around in front of the car.

LEDs on the other hand are dozens of individual lights that fan out quicker and overlap, therefor this 'finger' effect is greatly reduced as the light fills in the area in front of the truck much better.

At the 1000 last year, we scrubbed the HID lightbar off the top of the truck when we hit a tree branch right at the start. All we had for the rest of the race was two HID fuegos down low (like fog lights) and four LEDs on the bumper. We were limited a little bit on the lakebed and other high speed areas, but were amazed at how much light we had available the rest of the time. Are LEDs the answer to everything? No, but as part of a well designed light package they are very cool.
 

Dezertpilot

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Some good info in this thread!!!
 

pjc

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Alan, thanks kindly for the excellent reply.

Two of your Fuego lights will definitely be on our cars, night and day. Adding the rest as I find deals and need them.
 

Ryan_P

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Alan, thanks kindly for the excellent reply.

Two of your Fuego lights will definitely be on our cars, night and day. Adding the rest as I find deals and need them.
Look at the new 6'' Prerunner light. We used it on our car at the MORE race, one of my favorites. It was a nice "filler" light, almost a mix between a cornering light and a driving pattern. It cut through dust better than the 8'' driving lights on the bumper, and the 6'' light was mounted up top, hanging below the light bar.

Kudos to Baja Designs, b!tchen new light!
 

RFS Motorsports

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We just ran Rigid Industries LED lights at the SNORE KC Highlites race last weekend for the first time. I was skeptical about running LED's because of all the mixed press they have received. Boy was I glad we tried them. We ran two 50" white light bars up top and two 20" amber light bars on the nerf bar. The results were incredible. The ambers are just awesome when you turn off the whites in the dust. You could see perfectly through the dust. I could see all the holes and whoops as we ran at 50 mph. When all the lights were on it was like driving during day time. You do not get the hot spots or the shadows behind the holes and whoops. It takes a little time to get use to them but once you are they are great. The lights are a lot easier on your eyes too. I am going to change one of the bars on top to amber also.

A lot of guys, including myself, have been very skeptical and listen to what others say. I think you guys should get out there and try these next generations LEDs for yourself. You would not go buy a car without test driving it first. Why would you not do the same thing with your lights. Get out and test these things and decide for yourself if they will work for you. I think people like Rigid should have a weekend where you could go out and demo the lights yourself. I know it would be complicated but it makes a lot of sense. You can come see mine at the Terrible's Primm 300 on the 12th if you want.
 

07FJRog

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We just ran Rigid Industries LED lights at the SNORE KC Highlites race last weekend for the first time. I was skeptical about running LED's because of all the mixed press they have received. Boy was I glad we tried them. We ran two 50" white light bars up top and two 20" amber light bars on the nerf bar. The results were incredible. The ambers are just awesome when you turn off the whites in the dust. You could see perfectly through the dust. I could see all the holes and whoops as we ran at 50 mph. When all the lights were on it was like driving during day time. You do not get the hot spots or the shadows behind the holes and whoops. It takes a little time to get use to them but once you are they are great. The lights are a lot easier on your eyes too. I am going to change one of the bars on top to amber also.

A lot of guys, including myself, have been very skeptical and listen to what others say. I think you guys should get out there and try these next generations LEDs for yourself. You would not go buy a car without test driving it first. Why would you not do the same thing with your lights. Get out and test these things and decide for yourself if they will work for you. I think people like Rigid should have a weekend where you could go out and demo the lights yourself. I know it would be complicated but it makes a lot of sense. You can come see mine at the Terrible's Primm 300 on the 12th if you want.
Yup, they do not believe until they try them.

the amber ones really do cut down the reflection of the dust.

Rog
 

racer951

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Whats the real deal on LED vs. HID in the dust?

Alan says dust performance is a drawback for LED's, yet Rigid is using it as a main selling point for their ambers. I noticed several cars at the SNORE night race running HID's with red or amber lenses; is it just a matter of amber being superior to white in the dust no matter the platform? What gives?
 

Bajades

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Whats the real deal on LED vs. HID in the dust?

Alan says dust performance is a drawback for LED's, yet Rigid is using it as a main selling point for their ambers. I noticed several cars at the SNORE night race running HID's with red or amber lenses; is it just a matter of amber being superior to white in the dust no matter the platform? What gives?

Yellow fog lights are primarily a marketing gimmick, made semi-plausible by a misunderstanding of Rayleigh scattering. The fact is that dust and fog particles are much too large to cause the strongly wavelength-dependent scattering that comes from air molecules (over very long distances). Amber and yellow filters do help by reducing the intensity of reflected light, but a similar effect can come from merely dimming the light.

You cannot make a beam penetrate better by putting a filter in front of it (which is what amber lights are). A filter merely removes some photons from the beam; the remaining photons continue onward in the same manner as if the filtered-out photons had remained.

The amount of glare from the airborne dust is affected by the relationship of angles between your line of sight and the angle of your car's lights. That's why you want a wide, flat beam from your fog/dust lights. What you want your dust lamp to do is light up the road in front of you without lighting up the fog/dust that's higher up, right in front of your eyes.

If the light dispersion is not controlled properly, HID or LED headlights will produce a wall of glare -- a whiteout -- from the light bouncing off particles of dust. You're being blinded by the glare of your own lights reflected off the dust in front of you. Especially bad in dust are pencil beams on the roof of the car. I see so many cars with all the light power concentrated on the light bar at the top of the car. These lights are detrimental in the dust and lower lights with properly controlled beams (fog/cornering beams and/or a wide driving beam) really help when there is dust in the air.

The most important factors in a good dust light (whether it is LED or HID) is a wide, soft pattern with a smooth cutoff above the horizon line. You also want to maximize the angle between the lights and your eye to reduce reflected light from dust. There fore, you want your dust lights as low as practical on the front of the car, putting them on the roof defeats the purpose.

This is why Soltek lights feature multiple patterns (even our LED light is available in four different patterns); the patterns need to be switched independently to adjust to the various conditions during an off-road race.
 

pciscott

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I do not have good experience with different brands as I have been with Hella for years, the problem they have is they are a large conservative German company that hit a home run with there original HID, but have been slow to improve on it. I can say I was intrigued by the LED light idea because of wind resistance as I loose 15 MPH of top speed on my truck with all the lights on it. I tried a set of Holder lights (now Rigid) and what impressed me was beam dispersion. HID lights are great for distance and you could not run a Trophy Truck without some, but the LED lights work like a good set of headlights on a stock vehicle. The Led lights up everything wide and softens the hotspots from the euro beam HID lights I run. I tried the amber at the Baja 500 and it seemed to work pretty good in the dust. I will note that Technology has progresses because I sent all of my original Holder lights (2 years old) to Rigid as they said there new LED's were 30% brighter and they did seem much brighter. I run two 10" LED lights on the front of my Prerunner and a 50" LED bar across the top and it is plenty of light to prerun with at speeds under 80 MPH. A note on this is I paid for the LED lights when I am sponsored by Hella. Hella is working on some new stuff and there new integrated ballast HID lights worked awesome on Trophy Truck #7 at the Baja 500, and I think LED's do not put the light out as far as HID lights, the plus is less hot spots and way better beam dispersion. I think a combination of both would be the perfect setup for any fast car, and the slower classes would be fine with LED lights and the wind resistance will not rob as much horsepower. Alan I have admired the adjustability of your lights and wish the Hella lights were as easy to adjust. I can remember a prerun trip a couple years back when I was prerunning with Pflueger and it took 30 minutes to get my Hellas dialed in and he had his lights adjusted in half that time. I do think that LED lights are worth taking a look at in my opinion. Also I had a little incident in Baja with a very large Porterhouse Steak and the two 10" Led lights survived while the hood, grill, and radiator were not so lucky. The LED lights are packaged tough.
 

partybarge_pilot

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Also I had a little incident in Baja with a very large Porterhouse Steak and the two 10" Led lights survived while the hood, grill, and radiator were not so lucky. The LED lights are packaged tough.
Lies, you know it was a rump roast..........
 

TaylorAnderson31

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I do not have good experience with different brands as I have been with Hella for years, the problem they have is they are a large conservative German company that hit a home run with there original HID, but have been slow to improve on it. I can say I was intrigued by the LED light idea because of wind resistance as I loose 15 MPH of top speed on my truck with all the lights on it. I tried a set of Holder lights (now Rigid) and what impressed me was beam dispersion. HID lights are great for distance and you could not run a Trophy Truck without some, but the LED lights work like a good set of headlights on a stock vehicle. The Led lights up everything wide and softens the hotspots from the euro beam HID lights I run. I tried the amber at the Baja 500 and it seemed to work pretty good in the dust. I will note that Technology has progresses because I sent all of my original Holder lights (2 years old) to Rigid as they said there new LED's were 30% brighter and they did seem much brighter. I run two 10" LED lights on the front of my Prerunner and a 50" LED bar across the top and it is plenty of light to prerun with at speeds under 80 MPH. A note on this is I paid for the LED lights when I am sponsored by Hella. Hella is working on some new stuff and there new integrated ballast HID lights worked awesome on Trophy Truck #7 at the Baja 500, and I think LED's do not put the light out as far as HID lights, the plus is less hot spots and way better beam dispersion. I think a combination of both would be the perfect setup for any fast car, and the slower classes would be fine with LED lights and the wind resistance will not rob as much horsepower. Alan I have admired the adjustability of your lights and wish the Hella lights were as easy to adjust. I can remember a prerun trip a couple years back when I was prerunning with Pflueger and it took 30 minutes to get my Hellas dialed in and he had his lights adjusted in half that time. I do think that LED lights are worth taking a look at in my opinion. Also I had a little incident in Baja with a very large Porterhouse Steak and the two 10" Led lights survived while the hood, grill, and radiator were not so lucky. The LED lights are packaged tough.
Thanks Scott,
LED's have changed dramatically within the last two years, as you saw with updates that we did to your E-Series lights. Since the purchase of Holder we have made many changes and there are many more to come along with some new offerings. Up to now the changes have been fairly minor, latest bin bulbs, minor circuit board changes, and so on. The recent release of the amber, different color temperatures of white led's, and newer more efficeint circuitry are the big changes coming. We are testing these now and have heard some very positive feedback from the teams that are using them.
Luckily there have been 2 night races in 2 weeks....chalking up 3 class wins and a 2nd place OA finish at the MDR 200...

Thanks again Scott,

Taylor
 

RFS Motorsports

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Yellow fog lights are primarily a marketing gimmick, made semi-plausible by a misunderstanding of Rayleigh scattering. The fact is that dust and fog particles are much too large to cause the strongly wavelength-dependent scattering that comes from air molecules (over very long distances). Amber and yellow filters do help by reducing the intensity of reflected light, but a similar effect can come from merely dimming the light.

You cannot make a beam penetrate better by putting a filter in front of it (which is what amber lights are). A filter merely removes some photons from the beam; the remaining photons continue onward in the same manner as if the filtered-out photons had remained.

The amount of glare from the airborne dust is affected by the relationship of angles between your line of sight and the angle of your car's lights. That's why you want a wide, flat beam from your fog/dust lights. What you want your dust lamp to do is light up the road in front of you without lighting up the fog/dust that's higher up, right in front of your eyes.

If the light dispersion is not controlled properly, HID or LED headlights will produce a wall of glare -- a whiteout -- from the light bouncing off particles of dust. You're being blinded by the glare of your own lights reflected off the dust in front of you. Especially bad in dust are pencil beams on the roof of the car. I see so many cars with all the light power concentrated on the light bar at the top of the car. These lights are detrimental in the dust and lower lights with properly controlled beams (fog/cornering beams and/or a wide driving beam) really help when there is dust in the air.

The most important factors in a good dust light (whether it is LED or HID) is a wide, soft pattern with a smooth cutoff above the horizon line. You also want to maximize the angle between the lights and your eye to reduce reflected light from dust. There fore, you want your dust lights as low as practical on the front of the car, putting them on the roof defeats the purpose.

This is why Soltek lights feature multiple patterns (even our LED light is available in four different patterns); the patterns need to be switched independently to adjust to the various conditions during an off-road race.
That must be coming from a person that is selling HID's or has not tried RIGID's LED's. Huge difference from the white HID's to the amber LED's. No comparison whatsoever. I believe with more advancement of the LED's, HID's will be something of the past!
 

TaylorAnderson31

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I think that there is a question being asked here, and some answers, and some real feedback from race teams who use both Hid and Led..

It sure seems interesting that when I click on your weblink that another lighting company pops up all over your car. Or was that the idea? why dont you just offer up your thoughts or experience about hid or led lighting, that what this thread is about.

jmo
 

Chase 2

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Are these yellow LED emitters or are they filtered? Many LEDs are color specific emitters and as such don't have the filters as discussed. Several years ago when LED flash lights first came out red and green emitters were the most powerful and the "white" LED emitters had not fully developed.

I have yet to use any color LED in the dust and I'll reserve my decision for later, there is still too much new product hype going on around here. I've yet to see actual numbers as far as wattage per emitter or lumins per emitter from some of these mfgrs, even after going to their web sites to look. Most of what I see in the print ads seems to be anecdotal and not hard data.
 
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