The most common headlights even today are halogens and they sure are popular because of the fact that they are usable for reasonably long durations and their replacement costs are low. They are found on most consumer cars but there now are more advanced options to halogens. Halogens, also known as tungsten halogen, quartz-halogen or quartz iodine lamps produce a significant amount of heat, and even small deposits of skin moisture on the bulb during replacement can affect their performance. The principle is a combination of the halogen gas and the tungsten filament produces a halogen cycle chemical reaction which re-deposits evaporated tungsten vapours to the filament, increasing its life and maintaining the clarity of the envelope. To achieve this, a halogen lamp must be operated at a higher envelope temperature of 250° C/482° F than a standard vacuum incandescent lamp of similar power and operating life. This, in fact, produces light with higher luminous efficacy and colour temperature. The small size of halogen lamps permits their use in compact optical systems for projectors and illumination. The small glass envelope may be enclosed in a much larger outer glass bulb for a bigger package; the outer jacket will be at a much lower and safer temperature, and it also protects the hot bulb from harmful contamination and makes the bulb mechanically more similar to a conventional lamp that it might replace. They produce standard light and are available in various sizes, which in other words means, they can be mounted on almost all models.
LED headlights in comparison provide a large pattern of light on the road, whereas halogens offer a small pool of yellow light directly in front of the vehicle. LEDs are a premium option for new cars. Just make sure that your repair workshop is suitably competent to handle the replacements. LEDs or light-emitting diodes work on an altogether different principle than that of halogens. There’s no filament. They transfer current through a semiconductor. This movement of electrons through a semiconductor emits photons producing light, making them a lot more efficient than halogen bulbs. Comparatively, they also generate significantly less heat and offer better durability. Operating temperature of these lights if maintained within limits, they could even run indefinitely. We may safely claim 20,000+ hours of operating life. They require a lower voltage than halogens and give a brighter and whiter light. It’s also possible to alter the colour by changing the physical properties of the semiconductor.
Advantages of LEDs go beyond efficiency and cost. LED bulbs turn on at full brightness instantly and produce less heat compared to halogen bulbs. Frequency in switching on and off repeatedly does not shorten the lifespan. LEDs can be customized to emit specific wavelengths or colours of light offering better light quality with minimal infrared or ultraviolet light output. Unlike other lighting forms, LEDs do not burn out abruptly but instead become dimmer with age. LEDs produce great light using less power and giving longer life for perhaps a bigger price tag.
LED car headlight assemblies are already available in the aftermarket. There’s an increasing number of automotive aftermarket suppliers supplying user-friendly DIY upgrade kits at competitive prices. SEALIGHT is one leading name amongst these. Come the future and LEDs would become the standard and Halogens become history.