Cars and Trucks

Car Exterior LED Lighting

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Car exterior LED lighting can include LED headlights, cornering lights, taillights, and turn signals. You can purchase a car that comes with LED lighting or add it to your vehicle aftermarket.

What Is Car Exterior LED Lighting?

Car exterior LED lighting is lighting that uses a semiconductor to emit light instead of a light bulb. The semiconductor generates light when a current passes through it. There are many benefits to equipping your car with LED lighting. These include:

  • Lifespan – LED lights have a longer lifespan than conventional lighting. The typical LED light can produce 15,000 hours of light, while a halogen light only gives you 1,000 hours. LED lights cost more, but you don’t have to replace them as often as you do conventional lights.
  • Safety – LED headlights produce a longer and wider beam than conventional headlights, allowing you to see farther when it’s dark outside. They’re also less likely to blind other drivers because they don’t produce a glare like halogen lights or high-intensity lights.
  • Immediacy – Halogens and high-intensity lights can take time to reach full brightness, so other drivers might not immediately see them. However, LED lights brighten as soon as you activate them. For example, if you have LED brake lights, the driver behind you will see them as soon as you apply the brakes.
  • Energy Efficiency – LED lights produce more light than conventional lighting while consuming less energy. This lower consumption means that they don’t drain your car’s battery like halogen lights.

    Types of Car Exterior LED Lighting

    There are several types of exterior LED lighting that you can put on your car.

    LED Headlights

    LED headlights last longer than conventional lighting, produce a wider and longer beam of light, and don’t produce a glare. Many LED headlights are adaptive, meaning that they can adjust to curvy roads, corners, and traffic conditions, giving you more light when and where you need it. While halogen headlights tend to only come in white or yellow, LED headlights are available in a variety of colors.

    LED Taillights

    Like LED headlights, LED taillights produce more light while consuming less energy. They’re more visible to other drivers than conventional lights.

    LED Turn Signal Lights

    LED turn signal lights are more visible to other drivers when you engage your turn signal. They typically last for up to 50,000 hours.

    LED Fog Lights

    LED fog lights deliver a sharper beam of light than conventional headlights. They’re available in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can choose the ones that compliment your car’s headlights.

    LED Accessory Lights

    In addition to safety lights, you can add all sorts of LED accessory lights, such as underbody lights, light strips, and tubes. These come in a variety of colors and are an easy way to customize your vehicle.

    How To Choose Car Exterior LED Lighting

    When choosing LED lights for your car, there are several factors to consider, including:

    • Cost – Before you start shopping for exterior LED lighting, figure out how much you want to spend. If you plan on having a professional install your lights, be sure to factor in the cost of labor.
    • Make/Model – When you’re ready to start shopping for aftermarket exterior LED lighting, begin by finding out what’s available for your specific make, model, and model year car. Different vehicles have specific wiring systems, so lights are not one size fits all.
    • Design – While LED lights are available in various colors, many states require headlights to be white or yellow, while brake lights have to be red. Consult your state’s Department of Public Safety website or Department of Motor Vehicles website to see if your state has any restrictions. Some states also have restrictions on what type of underbody lights you can put on your car.
    • Your Driving Needs – If you frequently drive on curvy roads, curve-adaptive LED lights are a worthwhile investment. Consider adding LED fog lights if you live in an area where it’s often foggy.

      How To Replace/Install Car Exterior LED Lighting

      Disclaimer: The guidelines in this story are general and not meant to replace instructions for your specific vehicle. Please consult your owner’s manual or repair guide before attempting repairs.

      Once you’ve decided which LED lights you want to add to your car, you’ll need to install them.

      Remove the Bumper Cover

      To install LED headlights and fog lights, you’ll need to remove your car’s bumper cover. You can typically perform this task with a flathead screwdriver and socket wrench. You can consult your owner’s manual to see if you need additional tools. Once you remove the cover, you can access the anchor points for the headlight assembly. If you’re installing LED taillights, you can access the assembly through the trunk. You may have to remove a panel, depending on what kind of car you own.

      Unbolt the Assembly

      You might have to remove your car’s front grille section to access the front-end light assembly. Once you’ve removed any components that are in your way, you can unbolt the assembly. You should only need your flathead screwdriver and socket wrench for this task, but check your owner’s manual just to be sure. The same tools should work for unbolting the taillight assembly. When unbolting either assembly, you should slide it away from the vehicle as gently as possible because it’s attached to delicate electrical wiring.

      Disconnect the Wiring

      Make sure that the assembly is pulled out far enough to give you a clear view of the electrical wiring. Depending on your car, the wiring may disconnect simply by squeezing the edges of the connectors. If the connectors are held in place by locking clips, your owner’s manual will tell you how to remove them.

      Connect the New Exterior LED Lighting

      If you’re switching conventional lighting for LED lighting, you’ll notice that your new lights have extra wires. Your owner’s manual will indicate which connectors each wire should plug into. After you know which wires go where, remove an inch of insulation from each wire with a wire stripper. Then connect the “power” wires to the light circuit and the “ground” wires to whatever ground point is most convenient.

      Test the New LED Lighting

      When installing LED headlights, you’ll want to test them and make sure they’re aimed in the right direction before you bolt them back into place. After you’re sure that everything is working correctly, you can bolt them back into place and put the grille and bumper cover back on. If you’re installing taillights, you’ll want to test them too before securing them in place.

      Where To Buy Car Exterior LED Lighting

      SEALIGHT 9005/HB3 9006/HB4 LED 14000LM LED Bulbs Combo Package CSP Chips 6000K Cool White

      Alla Lighting 899 880 LED Fog Lights Bulbs Newest 3000lm Extreme Super Bright 12V 892 886 PG13 Replacement

      Alla Lighting
      amazon.com

      $22.99

      OPT7 Aura Aluminum Underglow LED Lighting Kit for Cars w/Wireless Remote, Exterior Neon Accent Underbody Strips, Multi-Color n Mode, Waterproof, Soundsync, Aluminum Casing, Door Assist, Smart LED, 4pc

      AUXITO White and Amber Dual Color Switchback 3157 3155 3457 4157 LED Bulbs with Projector 3030 Chipsets for Car Turn Signal Lights Parking Lights, (Pack of 2)

      XT AUTO 8pcs 12V Super Bright 30cm 15 LED Flexible Waterproof LED Strip light For Car Interior & Exterior Decoration DRL Day Running Light Or Boat Bus Garden

      LEDCARE Car Headlight Surface Strip Tube Light, RGB Multi Color 24 Inch Flexible Waterproof LED Daytime Running Light Strip Neon Turn Signal Lights Switchback Light (APP Control) 2-Pack

      LEDCARE
      amazon.com

      $22.88


      ALLA Lighting H8 H11 Switchback LED Fog Lights, DRL Bulbs 6000K Xenon White/3000K Amber Yellow Dual Color Upgrade H16, Xtreme Super Bright 5200 Lumens Replacement

      Alla Lighting
      amazon.com

      $29.99

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