As the premier aftermarket truck lighting industry experts, one of the most common questions we hear here at RECON is are LED lights energy efficient? It’s no secret that LED lighting parts for trucks and SUVs tend to be more expensive than their traditional halogen counterparts and many drivers want to know if the investment makes sense economically. So, are LED bulbs the most energy-efficient option on the market available to vehicle owners or is there a better route to take if you’re looking to extend the lifespan of your lights? We’re here to provide you with all the info you need to know to make the best decision for your truck or SUV lighting.
If you’re looking for the very best LED bulbs for trucks, shop RECON and GET LIT today. We have everything you need to upgrade your ride, from major installations such as projector headlights and LED taillights, all the way down to the smallest details like LED light resistors, replacement bulbs, and so much more. What’s even better is that when you join the RECON family of customers, you’ll gain access to exclusive perks and benefits such as free technical support and assistance, online installation guides, and a limited warranty on virtually all parts.
Keep reading to learn about LED lights, including answers to the question of are LED bulbs energy efficient?
What are LED Lights?
“LED” is an acronym that stands for “light-emitting diode.” These lights do not contain many of the chemicals that are present in traditional halogen bulbs, do not emit UV rays, and the bulbs are entirely recyclable. The bulbs function by passing an electrical current through a microchip, which in turn lights up the tiny diodes that are present in the bulbs. This is how LEDs emit light–a light that is up to 90% as energy-efficient compared to other types of bulbs, and much brighter and whiter than lightbulbs of years past.
There are no filaments present in LED lights as there are in halogen or incandescent bulbs. The bulbs do not get hot, which means they don’t burn out or pose many risk factors to users. Additionally, LED lights are more impact resistant when compared to traditional lightbulbs, making them a more popular choice among consumers.
LED lights are much newer to the market compared to halogen bulbs and are increasing in popularity for a variety of uses. Common uses of LED lightbulbs include street lights, interior and exterior home lighting, industrial and commercial uses, and of course, automotive lighting.
Today, you’re likely to see LED lights on many different elements of automotive lighting. From exterior installations such as LED 3rd brake lights, truck bed lights, projector headlights, and more, to interior lighting options like LED dome lights, ambient interior lighting, and dashboard designs.
Are LED Bulbs Energy-Efficient?
Everyone wants to know, are LED bulbs the most energy-efficient automotive lighting option available today? The answer is yes! This is a major selling point when it comes to LED lightbulbs and it makes them the go-to choice for many when it comes to truck and SUV lighting. In fact, many government agencies including the United States Department of Energy continuously study and release data relating to the lights.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, calls LED lights “one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies.” The agency estimates that by the year 2027, widespread use of LED lighting will save American consumers more than $30 million on electric and energy bills. This is because LED bulbs use much less energy compared to halogen or incandescent installations and last up to 25 times longer.
What does this mean for truck and SUV drivers who are looking to make the switch to LED lights? It turns out that it’s great news. Since LED bulbs only use approximately 15%-25% as much power as other types of lighting, this means that they’ll put far less strain on your vehicle’s battery. The result is not just automotive lighting that lasts much longer than it did in years past, but also a vehicle battery that lasts longer as well. Over the years, this can add up to quite a bit of money in savings.
LED vs. Regular Light Bulbs: Features, Benefits, and Savings
If you’re still using regular halogen or incandescent bulbs in your truck or SUV, you may not think that making the switch to LED lights is worth the start-up costs. However, the reality is that while LED lights and installations may cost more in the beginning with initial purchase and setup, as time progresses you’re bound to save a good amount of money as a result of their energy-efficient properties. Additionally, you’ll likely reap the many other benefits of LED lights compared to regular lightbulbs and will enjoy the appearance of your new lights much more.
The Function & Appearance of LED Lights
First, what many drivers notice is that LED light bulbs offer superior function compared to regular bulbs. With halogen lights, you may notice that your beam of light isn’t very focused. Instead, it appears scattered, hazy, and low-powered. You may not be able to see as far in the distance as you would like, or your peripheral vision may become limited at night or in poor weather. Over time, the light may appear more and more dull and fuzzy, simply not offering the performance you expect from your vehicle’s lighting.
However, with LED lights, your world will change. Instead of a dull yellow light, you’ll notice that your beam is crisp, white, and clear. It’s much brighter and stronger than what a traditional bulb provides. Additionally, you’ll be able to see further into the distance as the light is stronger and more powerful. It’s simply a higher quality light.
The Longevity of LED Lights
Another thing you’ll notice about your new LED lights is that they last much longer than your old bulbs. Not only do they have a normal lifespan that is up to 25 times longer than halogen bulbs, but since LEDs are more impact resistant they are also less likely to die as the result of damage. If you take your truck or SUV off-roading or through treacherous driving conditions frequently, this is good news.
With a longer lifespan and improved durability, you’ll be replacing your lightbulbs much less frequently than you did with traditional lights. That means fewer trips to the hardware store, no more powering on your vehicle to realize a light is out, and ultimately, cost savings over the years.
Are LED Bulbs More Expensive?
Another common question that often follows “are LED lights energy efficient?” is whether or not they cost more money than regular lights. The answer is often yes, up front they do cost more money. If you’re making the switch from OEM factory-installed halogen lights on your truck or SUV over to the new and improved LED bulbs, you will likely have to purchase a conversion kit so that your vehicle can accommodate the newer type of bulb.
Additionally, LED lightbulbs themselves often cost more. This is because structurally, LED lights are more complex compared to regular bulbs. The technology they use is more advanced and uses more expensive materials than regular bulbs. The manufacturing process is also more time-consuming and costly, which results in a higher price tag for consumers.
However, due to the fact that LED lights last so much longer and are so much better quality compared to halogen bulbs, it’s often well worth it in the end to make the investment. While it may cost more money now, you’re likely to save a lot over the years.
Do LED Lights Vary in Quality?
Just like virtually all other products available for purchase, LED lights do come in varying qualities. There are countless manufacturers and brands that produce these lights, all with different characteristics, quality, appearance, and more. But one thing everyone seems to agree on is that no matter what LED light you buy, the chances are that it will be of higher quality than a traditional halogen bulb.
If you’re looking for ways to identify poor-quality LED bulbs, keep these facts in mind. First, high-quality bulbs of the same color temperature will all look uniform in appearance when they’re illuminated and you shouldn’t be able to tell which bulb is made by which manufacturer. Lower quality LED bulbs may have discrepancies in appearance and color. Additionally, poor quality LED bulbs are more likely to use plastic (opposed to metal) heat sinks.
Shop RECON for All Truck & SUV LED Lighting Needs
RECON is the premier manufacturer for aftermarket truck and SUV lighting needs, and we have you covered when it comes to all things LED-related. Are LED lights energy efficient? Yes. Are they an excellent choice of lighting for your vehicle? Yes. Will RECON help you find the very best products every time? Also yes.
Shop by MAKE and MODEL vehicle, as well as manufacturing YEAR, part and installation type, and so much more. When you want the very best in LED bulbs and truck parts, shop RECON and GET LIT!