We have heard this issue before, and we believe that we can speak for every automotive LED sellers that they have come across a similar situation. So, why is your LED bulb failing prematurely when it is supposed to last a lot longer than your factory halogen bulbs? There may be several factors that could cause your LED bulb to fail prematurely, but the number one (and most common) reason is usually due to heat.
When LED made its way into the automotive industry, there was not that many options available. The overall light output just did not make sense for the investment and not to mention, it lacks the innovations we have today. Now, LED has made its foot print in the automotive industry and is slowly climbing up the ladder to reach its peak in the automotive market. You may improve the light output of your vehicles application (like a backup light) at half the rate of power consumption with double the light output for less than what a traditional halogen or incandescent bulb would cost you. (Now, you can really start getting the light output that you need and/or desire and save money while you are doing it. Who doesn’t like to save money?)
Now that the brightness is up to par, heat generation is now the concern in the automotive industry for LED lighting. We have learned that having a balance between light output and rate of heat dissipation will provide a long lifespan with your LED replacement bulbs. Just like a computer part, LED has always had a threshold with heat. LED is definitely an upgrade for any automotive vehicle, but it is susceptible to failure at high temperatures so having some type of cooling mechanism is always recommended. We have also learned that there are other factors that play a role in the maintaining temperature of the LEDs. We know that drive power will increase light output but will also spike the heat generated from the diodes. Limited or small housing assemblies may also cause your bulb to heat up to a temperature higher than it can handle and cause the bulb to show symptoms of failure. For example, if you install a standard low light output LED bulb to side mirror application, it will definitely provide brighter results, but if the bulb is a high power LED with a high lumen rating, then it may not be the best idea. The fact that the housing is very limited, in space, it builds up the heat faster and does not allow any cooling. This, combined with the amount of heat generated, may cause your lamp to begin to fail prematurely.
Just like your car engine, your LED bulbs have a threshold. If you put a super charger, or turbo into your engine, it will work harder, and faster, but will also put wear on the internal parts of the car so it will cause the engine to not last as long as it was intended. You will then have to service the engine. Like your engine, LED also has a limit or threshold as to how much it can handle. As long as there is a balance between heat dissipation versus heat generated then you will have a long lasting LED bulb.
Next time you are in the market to replace a bulb on your car, you should always take into consideration how your housing is designed, light output (wattage will also determine heat generated), and the LED housing. (Does it have an aluminum body to radiate heat from the light emitting diodes?)
Here at JDM ASTAR, we do not believe in limits. Every day, we are learning new ways to redesigning our products, or integrate other parts like an aluminum boards to improve efficiency, and reliability. We believe in pushing the threshold of automotive LED. We are always trying to push our products to the limit and looking for new ways to remove the barrier that heat has created for everybody in the automotive LED lighting industry.
So, if you need to replace a factory, or a failed LED bulb, do not just aim for the brightest, but aim more for an option that will provide a balance between power, and reliability. . . . An option that only JDM ASTAR can deliver so that we may continue to light your way on the road. . . .
-JDM ASTAR Team