What exactly is an LED?
An LED is a solid-state, semiconductor device that has been specially designed to emit light. In fact, "LED" is an acronym meaning "Light Emitting Diode." At the heart of the LED is a tiny diode that generates light when a small electric current is applied.
What are the advantages of LEDs versus incandescent lights?
Unlike traditional, incandescent lights that use bulbs, LED lamps do not use delicate wire filaments that stretch, weaken and eventually fail.
- LED lamps last longer because they withstand road vibration and shock much more effectively than bulbs.
- The life expectancy of an LED is 100,000 hours or six times that of an average incandescent bulb.
- Besides the longevity, LED lamps consume significantly less power than incandescent lights. The amp draw of an LED can be as low as 1/10th that of an incandescent light. The lower amp draw means more power for other critical electrical needs.
- LED units are also growing in popularity because of greater emphasis on safety issues.
When a vehicle’s brake lights are applied, LEDs respond instantaneously and provide a brighter, more focused illumination. Incandescent lights take about a quarter of a second to get to 90% full brightness.
A study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that LED lamps respond on an average 2/10th of a second faster than standard incandescent lamps. Using test results at 65 mph, LEDs improved reaction time and decreased braking distance by 16 feet.