LED Headlights 101 for the first time buyer

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Aftermarket LEDs can upgrade the headlamps and fog lamps of your vehicle.

Have you recently tried checking what your options are on a replacement LED headlight?  Did you notice the options that are available?  They are endless aren’t they?  We agree that this can pose a problem and may confuse most that are new to car lighting.

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Upgrading your headlights has never been easier with JDM ASTAR Automotive LED Lighting.

How do you know what to look for and what should you use for your car?  Well, we address the key factors too look for on a reliable replacement LED headlight bulb that performs correctly and does not distort visibility, create glare problems to oncoming traffic, is safe to use on the road, and does not crap out on you while you are driving.

In this article, we cover the key factors on what makes a quality replacement headlight.  From the light sources, to the cooling mechanism and the circuitry involved.  There are the obvious features that an LED replacement bulb should always have and then there are the 3 key factors we believe you should look for when shopping for a replacement LED headlight or any replacement LED bulb.

Welcome to LED headlights 101….

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Custom yellow or blue LED fog lights from our latest PX Series LED bulbs.

The LIGHT SOURCE Is Key!

This is where your light comes from and should never be overlooked.  The diodes used on your headlight should be extremely small.  So small, it should not be any larger than the original filament of the factory bulb you are replacing.  The filament is the small piece of metal inside the bulb which is also the light source that glows when power is running to the bulbs.  This pertains to headlamp lighting and any other lamp that utilizes a traditional halogen or incandescent bulb.  Smaller exterior types of lamps (turns, brakes, backup, interior map lights, etc) rarely have a negative impact on results when changing the light source position or adding more light sources.  Most smaller exterior lamp housings only need a bulb that shines in a 360° orientation to provide a bright running lamp.  Also, these type of reflector housings are not meant to project a beam but rather just show the light and concentrate it in a small reflector housing in order to improve noticeability at longer distances.  (The ability to see the light at a distance is referred to as ‘candela’ and you can find more details about this unit of measure on our blog article linked here https://jdmastarblog.com/2019/01/11/understanding-lumen-lux-and-candela)

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Light source replication and position is essential for an optimal beam pattern with aftermarket LED headlights.

Changing the physical size of the light source will always affect the beam pattern.  Within the first 10ft in front of the vehicle, the changes to the pattern are minimal but once you pull out of the driveway and spread your pattern 200ft in front of the car, the changes will become extremely obvious and you will notice loss of focus, and light concentration.

The positioning of the light is also just as important as the physical size of the light source.  The positioning will affect the beam angle or height.  The deeper the light source is in the housing, the higher or ‘straighter’ the beam will project and will focus it to a smaller area making it look brighter to the human eye.  The closer the light is to the lens, the more spread and wider lighting you will have and also reduces concentration thus making it appear dimmer than what it actually is.  (This is also how those handheld LED flashlights work.  The light source moves away or closer to the lens in order to change the focus of the beam when adjusting the lamp for more or less spread/focus)

If you noticed that your beam angle has changed completely, or the light pattern is choppy you are probably running a LED headlight that moved the light source (LED chips) to a different position and/or phyiscal size.

Light sources or LED chips that are branded by reputable sources such Samsung CSP chips, Lumileds (Phillips) ZES chips, or CREE XHP series chips are also more reliable compared to a generic type.  These branded manufacturers provide some of the best LED chips that offer high thermal resistance, high light efficacy, and the highest efficiency automotive LED technology has ever seen.

You should also( and always) consider an adjustable LED headlight over one that does not provide an adjustable collar as this is what works directly with the LED headlights light source and positioning.  Reasoning to this is because most aftermarket LED headlights are universal bulbs that work on any car that takes the same bulb size.  They are not specific to any particular vehicle make or model so having an adjustable headlight allows for peace of mind at achieving optimal results with your LED headlights beam pattern and angle regardless of the housing its being installed into.

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” LED headlight should only use two sides where a light source is mounted and they should both light up at the same time “

Lastly, the direction that the LED chips are facing is another important factor.  This only affects aftermarket LED headlight replacement bulbs.  Most LED headlights will offer more than 1 side where a light source is mounted.  For optimal results, the LED headlight should only use two sides where a light source is mounted and they should both light up at the same time.  The diodes should face from left to right as most reflectors work similarly in how light is distributed when comparing the right and left hand sides. The top and bottom portions of MOST lamp housing are always completely different.

Positioning the diodes to where they are facing left to right (or at 3 & 9 o’clock), provides symmetrical light disbursement which results in a wide beam pattern that is focused and similar to what your factory lamps project.  The intensity results, however, will blow you away!

LED technology has always had a heat threshold

Like most computer components, LED has always had a heat threshold.  Older technologies are built like tanks!  This is why your factory halogen or incandescent bulbs can run over 325° just after 1 hour of use and still work fine.  They are made of glass!  LEDs, however, tend to use a form of silicon such as the chemical element germanium which is the same material you see on a variety of types of LEDs. This material offers thermal properties similarly to the plastic wedge connectors on a traditional 3057K amber incandescent bulb which we all know runs extremely hot after only a few minutes.  The diodes (part that emits the light within the LED chip), however, cannot handle the same high operating temperatures.  This is why you will always find a metal body, a large heat sink, or a high velocity mechanical fan which are all designed for the same purpose.

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Ever noticed an LED city light that is flickering or an LED chip that is out? Most common reason this is occurs will usually source from extreme temperatures and the type of light source used on the lamp.

The purpose of these parts are to provide a form of cooling down the diodes or transferring thermal energy away from the diodes.  As the diodes are running, thermal energy that is emitted transfers to the metal surface of the LED headlight bulb and radiates through the shaft/collar and exits via the cooling mechanism.  If it’s a fan, the fan will extract more thermal energy and cool the bulb faster.  If it is a heat sink, a process referred to as ‘heat dissipation’ occurs and provides cooling but at a slower rate. Heat radiates through the body of the bulb and exits through the surface area provided on the heat sink.  When the heat sink is penetrated by air flow, it will provide even faster cooling for the diodes.

An advantage on our heat sink type headlights are that they use branded or ‘high-end’ light sources that perform very well in extreme temperatures. Best part is that there is no mechanical parts for cooling thus allowing you to take them on dirt roads without a concern of a fan failure.

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Thermal heat sinks require more surface area to radiate energy and tend to be fairly large in physical appearance.

An advantage for a fan style headlight is that fans are also available in various sizes and types.  Most fans use ball bearings to reduce friction and minimize heat generated by a rotating fan.  They cool down the bulbs at a much faster rate over any other cooling mechanism. Heat sinks do not utilize the same system and tend to be bulky, or large in physical size compared to the fan style options available so its definitely something to consider if you have your mind set on a fan less LED headlight.

Both a fan and a passive thermal heat sink are equally as advantageous and we do not consider one is superior over the other as this depends on the driver, and the car you are working with.

If you plan to expose your LED headlights to typical road conditions, and weather conditions are normal (maybe rain at the most) then a heat sink lamp will perform very well, or even a fan!  Of course, a heat sink will outlast the life of any mechanical fan so that would be the preferred investment to make.

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Bendable cooling fins allows an easier installation due to the heat sink being smaller and not as bulky.

If you plan to take your headlights off road, or reside in an area with a lot of dirt roads, a fan may not be the best idea.  Debris can cause any miniature fan to cease!  You have to understand that the fan will get wet and begin to collect dust.  This can then affect the RPM rate of the fan, may lead to friction on the fan bearings which results in even more heat or reduced cooling so a heat sink would be better in this situation.

Commercial semi-truck drivers that take long road trips tend to use their headlights for hours and hours at a time should consider a fast cooling mechanism.  A heat sink style lamp would most certainly be a good investment but being that the heat sink is limited on how much and how fast thermal energy will be removed, it may be better to have a faster cooling process so that the diodes remain low in operating temperatures and handle your longer than normal hours of usage in your night drives.

Costs are also lower with fan style headlights and heat sink style lamps tend to be higher in cost but with reasoning.  Being that a fan is one of the first methods discovered, to cool down an LED headlight, the costs are usually competitive whereas a heat sink style lamp is something new to the industry.  Heat sink type headlights are typically engineered with higher end or premium light sources (to handle higher operating temps) and this will certainly reflect on the total cost of the replacement headlight kit.

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“As the diodes are running, thermal energy that is emitted transfers to the metal surface of the LED headlight bulb and radiates through the shaft/collar and exits via the cooling mechanism “

Again, a fan or heat sink both have their pros and cons and what dictates which option is the best one for you is both YOU, the driver, and the car you’re building (or just upgrading).

The Brains of your LED Headlights

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Back when LED first hit the auto industry, the electronic circuitry involved in automotive LEDs was very minimal and/or limited.  You have to understand that 10-20 years ago, the technology was nowhere near its peak and due to this type of product being something new to the industry, your options were never there.  The knowledge we have about automotive LED chips today has allowed us to evolve this technology and make it to what it is today.

In the past, LED headlights had too much wiring going on and connections were not protected through a weather proof seal. You had to use your own automotive silicone grease and heat shrink to seal up exposed connections yourself.  All the tedious wires involved had to be tucked or cable tied somehow.  The drivers were not very efficient and would send too much power. This lead to a life expectancy that is nothing compared to what you find today.

The drivers are the brains of your LED lamps and are just as important as the light source and cooling mechanism.  The driver is what dictates how long you can use the LED chips before a problem arises.  A problem being a prematurely failure, overheating, flicker (like a fail safe feature from the driver to prevent a burn out to a diode) and sudden power spikes that lead to temperature increases.

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Our 8th Generation Headlights run a unique driver with temperature control features.

A drivers purposes is to well…..drive power and maintain it steady. A driver helps control power to the diodes.  They are the crowd controllers to a Disneyland ride line!

Without the driver, the diodes will simply receive whatever current is supplied by the car which we all know spikes up when you accelerate due to the alternator.  Voltages run at 12V when the engine is off, and idles up to 14V when the engine is turned over. Temperatures will be all over the place for the diodes which can lead to a problem for the whole LED bulb.

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“Without the driver, the diodes will simply receive whatever current is supplied by the car which we all know spikes up when you accelerate…”

Most commonly used LED chips, not limited to the automotive industry, cannot even handle more than 5V so can you imagine what the LED chips in your digital cameras, iPhone camera flashes or LED home lighting fixtures would be like today if drivers did not exist.  (Say good-bye to your iPhone X flashlight!)

If you are using any high powered LED replacement bulb, always ensure that there is a driver included with the LED bulb or at least has a driver built-in it.

Drivers that are away from the body of the bulb or not built-in work best as the heat generated by the diodes will not impact the efficiency of the driver and thus allow your LEDs a substantially longer operating times and an even longer life expectancy.

Another factor to consider are resistors.  And no, we do not mean the same resistors you run in a car to bypass a hyper-flashing turn signal as those are bit too hot to use in ANY LED circuit.  We are referring to an even smaller resistor.  Resistors that are present in various home appliances, computing machines in commercial warehouses, every electrical circuit in your car, and just about any complex computing circuit you’ve ever heard of.

The main purpose of a resistor is to limit the current in an electrical circuit.  In the automotive lighting industry, a resistor built-in to an LED lamp helps simulate a larger load (draw more power or wattage), or can also help limit current in order to reduce voltage.  With less voltage means less heat stress to a driver.

Less heat stress means longer operating times and of course a happy LED!

Small types of resistors should be used in ALL LED replacement bulbs whether it’s a headlight or a smaller type bulb for your interior lamps.  The resistors will limit the current to the driver which benefits the efficiency of the driver and allows it to maintain optimal performance.  With current being reduced to the driver, heat generated by the diodes is also minimized thus improving efficiency even more.

Our CAN bus festoon LEDs utilize a heat sink to maintain efficiency due to the higher draw of power.

Larger valued resistors are also used on ‘Error Free’ type LED bulbs.  Error free bulbs are replacement LED bulbs that offer the capability of remedying a lamp out code without needing to introduce extra parts to the car.  The same bulbs you see most advertise as ‘CAN bus’ type LED bulbs use those larger valued resistors.  These resistors range between 1W-8W in value which allow an LED replacement bulb to achieve a load that is up to 10W.  This is substantially higher compared to a standard ‘non-CAN bus LED bulb’ and offers a chance at bypassing a lamp out indicator without the need to install a decoder or wire an even larger resistor in an attempt to ‘trick-the-circuit’.

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“Small types of resistors should be used in ALL LED replacement bulbs whether it’s a headlight or a smaller type bulb for your interior lamps…”

What makes them a ‘CAN bus LED bulb’ is the fact that they draw more power which is achieved through the use of a built-in resistor.

Nothing more is added to a “CAN bus LED” and does not make it any different aside from having a large draw of power.

Other benefits can be tied to the driver as well such as a temperature control feature.   As the driver or diodes reach a high temperature, the driver will begin to limit the current to the diodes which results in a flicker and minor light intensity reduction.

You are probably wondering, “Wait, are you saying my lights are going to dim and flicker?!”

Well, if you have the night vision eyes of a carnivorous animal, then you will see how the driver affects the light but due to how the human eye works, it’s virtually impossible to see this.  Only way for the human eye to capture this is through the use of light measuring tools or a video camera with specific settings.

When you get a chance, try to hold up a smartphone video camera to the light emitted from any dim LED (that has a driver built-in), you will notice the flicker behavior on the video camera which is essentially the driver doing its job. Now hold up the camera to your incandescent map lights and see how the light has no flickering behavior.

Again, the impact to the light from the driver is impossible to see with the human eye.

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A video camera or light measuring tools will capture a flicker on an LED lamp and the human eye will never be able to see this due to how our eyes capture light.

EMC-jamming or RFI(Radio Frequency Interference) protection is another benefit that your LEDs should always have as it protects the vehicle circuit from any annoying static or feedback on your FM radio which is commonly generated by a driver or a motorized fan.  It’s normal for these components to generate some form of radio frequency as that is just how the technology works, but not common for the frequency to affect your FM radio when using an LED replacement bulb on your vehicle whether its a smaller exterior bulb or a headlight type. Always look for an LED product that is “FCC Certified” or offers some form of RFI protection.  Most of our core products will offer these benefits. More budget friendly options tend to lack these essential features.

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Most of our LED products use aluminum printed circuit boards for instant thermal radiation.

We Can Help You

Aftermarket LED headlight can come off as a bit of challenge with the various sources, and options available.  Do not struggle to try and research every option available. (Believe us, we have tried it!) and let us guide you and we will find you the best lighting solutions for your vehicle.

Whether it would to be finalize that build project car you are working on, needing better lighting for a work vehicle, or just want a slick mod on your car to restore and modernize the lighting for the added convenience of seeing better at night and having a safer driving experience at night…JDM ASTAR will always have YOU covered!

We have solutions for both YOU, THE DRIVER, and THE CAR!

So remember…

“LED JDM Astar light your way down the road!”

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“JDM Astar lighting up your world….one car at a time!”

Redesigned 4S LED Headlights

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2nd Generation 4S LED Headlights suitable for automotive headlamp and fog lighting applications

Remember back when LED headlights first hit the auto industry? The options were limited.  Designs had minor engineering flaws and color options were not there.  Most would simply go to HID as the market trend led most manufacturers to improve those type of lamps.  And through the magic of time, LED has been improved and here at JDM ASTAR…innovation is what we do!

We are excited to announce a new re-engineered design of our previous LED headlight model, the 4S headlights!

These were a huge hit on our online retail stores such as Amazon and was mainly due to the color options included.  Most aftermarket LED headlights will limit you to a single color temperature, with the exception of those extremely abnormal designs which have different colored diodes from those oddly named foreign vendors or brands you see saturating the market.

So what exactly allows the 4S headlights stand out from the competitors and some of our existing designs?

 

The Light Source

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4S LED headlights combine the best light sources LED technology has to offer into a single lamp!

Our redesigned 4S headlights are using a customized light source.  Rather than using traditional surface mount diodes, we are using a custom type chip that integrates both Lumileds Luxeon ZES and the very popular CSP (Chip Scale Package) chips.  They provide a xenon white light to modernize the look of your ride.  We can go into details on other  advantages of a customized diodes, however, they are more geared towards a manufacturer as the applications that these light sources can be used for are endless and not just limited to the auto industry.  To the consumer, these types of diodes provide stronger thermal resistance allowing the bulb to operate for longer as well as offer a substantially longer lifespan.  They can withstand temperatures as high as 180°F!  With 20W that are driven by an internal IC driver, the high-efficiency allows the 4S headlights to be a perfect replacement for your factory lighting on headlamps or even fog lamps.  Rated at 4,000 lumens per lamp, it is no question as to why this headlight holds its own as well as a place as one the brightest LED replacement lamps with high track rate.

 

The Exoskeleton 

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The 2nd Gen 4S headlights are carefully constructed from the light sources all the way down to the last screw.

Unlike other brands, its not all about aesthetics such as what you see with more entry-level headlights that have several parts welded into one or epoxied together to form an LED headlight replacement lamp.  The 4S also use a passive thermal heat sink which provides even more surface area than the previous generation thus increasing thermal radiation from the light source, through the body, and out of the heat sink!  Its like increasing how fast the diodes cool down in temperatures.

The 4S LED headlights are the next ‘cool thing’ to have on your ride.  All pun intended!

 

The Spectrum

Using white LED headlights will modernize any vehicle, but what do you do in hazardous driving conditions such as fog, rain or snow or how do you prepare your vehicle for the winter season?  Using a white light will definitely look bright but not at all when there is light bouncing off of fog or when light is reflecting from a wet road or even snow fall distorting visibility?  With the 4S headlights, you can tackle any road condition!  You can run your LEDs in a xenon white 6500K temperature during summer nights, and later apply a warmer temperature to the headlights so you can obtain improved visibility in poor weather conditions or winter season.

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Tackle most weather conditions such as heavy fog, snow, and rainfall with DIY color films that provide a gold, yellowish amber, and all the way up to a crystal blue 10,000K colored light.

You have to remember, warmer temperatures will ALWAYS penetrate darker environments, improve visibility in poor weather conditions and are easier on the human eye.  This is why most vehicles come this way from the manufacturer.  Most LED headlights today are only available in a white color, warm white, or a yellowish look.  But why limit yourself to just that one color?  Why not adjust your lamps to your driving conditions so you can take your ride on a road trip without a concern of a rain or fog causing a driving safety problem, or random deer’s that take a leap of faith in front of your vehicle.

With 4S LED headlights, it will include 5 color options so you can have white headlights and keep deer away, or throw them on the fog lights with yellow color films to compliment your LED headlights and combine both to obtain a warmer white temperature for those darker environments or poor weather conditions.  The headlights use a thermal-resistant film that acts as a filter which is applied over the glass quartz lens.  As light penetrates the filter, the color of the light will change to the desired color or film applied.  The headlights include 2 pairs of the following color options; 3,000K for a gold look, 4,300K for a vibrant yellow color, 6,500K for a luxurious xenon white look, and goes up to 8000K and 10,000K for those auto enthusiast that love modifying their rides for projects, off road use, and automotive trade shows.

 

The Verdict

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“Most aftermarket LED headlights will limit you to a single color temperature….not the 4S Headlights!”

Intensity, performance, and durability are all a given with any lighting solutions from JDM ASTAR.  If you plan on taking long road trips, drive in dark roads or are like us that love to modify and modernize cars then the redesigned 4S headlights are surely an investment worth making for yourself and for your vehicle!  Take care of your vehicle and your vehicle will take care of you on the road.

If you ever have any questions about using gold yellow or crystal white headlights or fog lights or simply need some guidance on a slick mod for your fog lights then give the guys at JDM ASTAR a call.

They will guide you in identifying your driving conditions and driving needs to determine if the 4S headlights are the perfect lighting solutions for your vehicle(s).

And remember….

“LED JDM Astar light your way down the road!”

-JDM ASTAR Team

 

Easiest, Best and Most Effective Lighting Upgrades for ANY car!

Car lighting is an essential requirement for driving your motor vehicle at night or for road-driving safety.

With how popular and advanced aftermarket LED has become today, who’s to know what lights you should be upgrading first?  If you have a burnt out incandescent bulb then of course that would be the first to go, but for those seeking brilliance and/or performance lighting, what lighting mods should you do first?

In this article, we discuss the most effective upgrades that will provide night and day difference and improve driving experience, safety, driving noticeability and visibility.  This revolves mainly around cost effective upgrades to the simplest installations that require minimal labor and provide a major difference from what was in there before.  There is no given order as to what should be done first, however, these would be the better ones to try out for first LED install before deciding on converting the entire vehicle over to LED.

 

Maps & Dome Lights

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JDM Astar patented T10 PX 3-SMD (US Patent D814,666) LED bulbs installed to the map and dome lights of a 2016 Honda Accord LX

This is the most cost effective upgrade.  Most vehicles come included with cab lighting and will usually feature 2 lamps that sit on the roof of the vehicles cab and typically by the driver and passenger sides.  Picture yourself holding a map and whatever lamp throws light to that map would be the map. Map lights commonly use a T10 wedge type bulb (ex. 194, 168, W5W, etc) or festoon bulbs (ex. 578, DE3175, etc) and typically run $8-$15 for a pair.  There are also 10pks available that will upgrade both maps and even have spare bulbs for other lamps in the interior that run the same sized bulb.  Most vehicles will use a 5W incandescent that is limited to an average of 50-70 lumens per bulb whereas interior T10 LED bulbs produces an average of 75lm-220lm.

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Side by side comparison between DE3175 5W incandescent versus 31mm 3020 6-SMD CAN bus LEDs on the map lights of a later model Toyota.

Dome lighting is very common on sedans, coupes, sport utility vehicles and trucks as well as other commercial vehicles.  Dome lighting provides light coverage for a majority of the cab or interior of the vehicle and usually have 1 lamp.  Like map lights, dome lights will use an average 5W incandescent bulb.  An aftermarket festoon LED can produce results as high as 200lm making it the only necessary lamp to turn on for your interior as well as the most cost effective upgrade that anybody can do.

 

Replacing an interior map or dome light is simple and anybody can do it.  Most vehicles do not require special tools and you can upgrade your interiors main lamps for as a low as $30!  Interior lamps are the most effective and affordable upgrades that can be made for any vehicle.

 

Backup Lamps

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2016 Honda Accord LX upgraded backup lamps with patented design 921 GX-3020 18-SMD CAN bus LED bulbs (US Patent D815,762)

Backup lights are essential for safety when in reverse and as important as safety, the brilliance and visibility is also important.  Most vehicle manufacturers will use a T20 (ex. 7443), T25, (ex. 3157) or a smaller T15 (ex. 921) wedge type bulb to provide light while reversing your vehicle.  Most backup lamps have an average wattage of 20W-27W giving you a luminosity that ranges from 150lm-400lm and usually have a dull warm white look.

With aftermarket LED, you can play with your brilliance.  On the market, most backup LEDs average from 500lm-1000lm!  Some unique options such as our patent 921 3020 18-SMD LEDs will even change the pattern and light disbursement providing advantages such as wider beam pattern, and/or further reach making reversing your car that much easier!

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Raw image of a side by side comparison between our patented 921 GX-3020 18-SMD LEDs versus the factory 921 15W incandescent lamp.

For safety, it is not question as to why every car should have an upgraded backup light LED installed.

 

Headlights

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When LED first made its way into the auto industry, the options were limited but as new and innovative designs were released, you now have options to play with and are capable of offering better results over other aftermarket options such as High Intensity Discharge bulb.

Most vehicles run either a single beam bulb or a dual beam bulb to provide lighting for low beams or high beams.  Brand new single halogen beam bulbs have an average of 50W-55W providing about 1000lm-1400lm where as a dual beam bulb runs at 55W/65W (Lows/Highs) providing a similar rating for the low beam filament and increasing the intensity as the high beam filament engages.

Keep in mind, older technologies such as halogen or incandescent burn the filament inside the bulb causing wear through time and usage resulting in loss of light.  Your headlights will not appear the same in light intensity after 1 year of driving the vehicle.  For aftermarket LED headlight, however, it’s an entirely different story!

Most of our LED headlights provide an average luminosity of 3000lm-4000lm that practically doubles if not triples the output of the factory lighting.  The best thing about using JDM ASTAR headlights is that there are options not just for the car but options for the driver.  There is a solution for both car and driver regardless of your budget so if you ever have any questions and not too sure what you would like to upgrade first, contact the go to guys of LED lighting.  Hit up JDM ASTAR and they can guide you to answer any questions about car lighting and help you find the best lighting solution for your car.

JDM Astar

Lighting up your world….one car at a time!

-JDM ASTAR Team

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Understanding Lumen, Lux, and Candela

You just got a new car and are eager to throw in some new LED headlights.  You find a source and see ‘4000 lumens per bulb’ and are probably scratching your head wondering, “What are lumens?”

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This is a question we see often and it’s definitely something to be looking at when planning on upgrading any lamps to an aftermarket LED bulb.

First, you must understand that there is more than 1 method to measure light and certain methods call for a specific scenario in order to understand how to measure the light to give you an idea of what type of lighting results you will see.

The most common methods at measuring light are Lumens, Lux and Candela.

What are Lumens?

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Lumens is total amount of light emitted by the light source.

Lumens is the preferred method to measure light for most manufacturers that produce aftermarket LED products as this is the simplest to calculate for most and easiest to understand for any professional mechanic or auto enthusiast that is new to the industry.

Lumens is the unit of measure of light which provides a total rating for light that is visible to the human eye or the total amount of light emitted by the source for short.  A flash light can produce an average of 1000-1500 lumens which gives you an idea of how much it will throw.  Most of our LED headlights produce an average of 4,000 lumens and go as low as 2,000 lumens or as high as 6,000 lumens depending on the design and what you need for your vehicle.  Smaller LEDs for interior produce an average of 50-220 lumens.  For aftermarket LEDs, lumens is the total amount of light being emitted by the diodes.

What is Lux?

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Photo credit by Instagram User @decams_grands_wj

Lux is short for luminous flux.  Lux is the total amount of light that hits a surface.  Let’s take your vehicles backup lights as an example.  You just installed an LED bulb that shines about 500lm per bulb.  If you take a flat piece of card board that is roughly 1 square meter then your readings will measure to 500 lux per bulb for light hitting the card board.  If you step back a few feet to where the light then hits 4 square meters or 4 pieces of card board then it will divide total lumen or 500 lux by 4 and give you a lux reading of 125 lux per bulb.  This essentially reduces light concentration among each square meter but covers a larger surface area.

As mentioned earlier, there are several factors that come into play when measuring lux and some cars are not fully stock especially those who love to mod there vehicles.  Sometimes you have 4in lift kits that changes height, or an aftermarket housing that focus the light differently to increase lux.  Other examples would be distance or angle of the light emitted.

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Lux is the total amount of light that hits a surface.

For this reason, most automotive lighting manufacturers prefer to provide a lumen rating but if you go to a local hardware store and want to pick up a flash light or a bulb for your living room, the lux ratings are usually displayed since the scenarios are very common for those type of applications regardless of how they are used.  For automotive, it’s a different game due to the factors that come into play such as the housing, bulb design, and/or light source.

Lux is good to understand so you will know how far out your backup lights shine or even your LED light bars but remember the distance from the surface and angle of the beam are the most common factors that will determine actual lux readings.

What is Candela?

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Candela is a professional term for candle power.  Candela is another unit of measure for light and not something automotive manufacturers prefer to use but definitely good to understand for anything related to lighting such as aftermarket automotive LEDs.  Candela is an obsolete unit of measure of light due to lumen ratings, however, for applications like law enforcement vehicles and/or aviation vessels are categories where this is used.  This would benefit other applications that need light noticeability or to be seen at a distance.

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High candela ratings are essential for lamps found in planes, helicopters, and emergency type vehicles.

Candela is the measurement to describe how bright the light source is.  You are probably thinking, “Is this not the same as lumens?”  There is definitely a difference between both. Lumens is total light emitted.  Candela is total light emitted that is visible at a distance to understand how bright the light source is capable of.   You can say candela is a way to describe brightness rather than how much light is emitted.  1 Candela is equivalent to light emitted by 1 candle.

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1 Candela is equivalent to light emitted by 1 candle.

A better way to understand candela is to take a laser pointer as an example.  The light from a laser will not be bright at all.  If you back up a 100 feet or so, you will still be able to see the light from the laser at a distance since all light emitted is concentrated to a single and small area.  Even at a distance, the concentration of light is still focused to a small area allowing you to see the laser.  The candle power, or candela will be very high, however, lumen and lux ratings will be low.

Next time you are in the market to upgrade your lamps to LED, don’t just scratch your head and research to figure this out.  Let us do the work for you!  We can guide you and help you find the best LED light source for your car to help improve drive safety, visibility, and brilliance.

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Photo credit by Instagram Sponsor @uptomyassinbrass.

And remember….

‘LED JDM ASTAR light your way on the road!”

-JDM ASTAR Team

 

Another successful event at SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV

Trade shows is one of the best places for popular brands to gain more exposure to the industry they are in.  We recently attended SEMA Show 2018 in Las Vegas, NV and as our second year, we could not help but express our appreciation to all of our fellow JDM supporters!

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Being our second year at SEMA Show, we certainly gained tons of exposure and met new faces from different parts of the world.  This year had a lot more show goers that are familiar with our brand and know how we are not just offering automotive lighting solutions but trying to change the game entirely!

We want to stop and fix the negative connotation about upgrading factory bulbs and show the world a lighting solution that will improve drive safety, vehicle appearance, and overall improve your driving experience.

At this year’s SEMA Show, we went ‘full pro’ with our booth.  We wanted to stand out this year from the competitor brands and wanted something more inviting to everybody.  We wanted something interactive to anybody interested in automotive lighting.  Our booth surpassed our expectations and we still are going to continue to improve.

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We also had a demo display where we would literally submerge various fanless LED headlight products to introduce new technology to the show goers.  Along with this demo, we also had an exclusive display to show our smaller LED replacement bulbs so that the show goers can test themselves or compare to a filament bulb that they use in their own vehicles

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One of the best highlights was running into a competitor brand, Headlight Revolution. We had the privilege of meeting Headlight Revolutions very own President, Chris Nelson, and VP of Sales Eric Nelson.  It was certainly an honor to meet with them.  We shared some very interesting information regarding the market trend in the automotive industry regarding LED lighting and have learned new things and how to approach the changes to come to car lighting.

 

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We shared a similar passion about changing the auto lighting industry and providing the world with a solution for car lighting.  Maybe one day, you can find our JDM products offered in the lineup of Headlight Revolutions.  Who knows?  Only time and the industry will tell.

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Aside from SEMA Show, we also went out to SEMA Ignited for the very first time.  Wow!  Was this show amazing!  We’ve been to many trade shows in Southern California and Las Vegas knows how to host an event!

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They had Nitro Circus, Drifting demonstrations, and the SEMA Cruise was the spark that started it all!  This show is a must for any auto enthusiast!

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This show was definitely a hit for our brand and we plan to attend SEMA 2019 and SEMA Ignited 2019!

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Most importantly, none of this would not have happened had it not been for the support from all of our brand supporters.  On behalf of our entire JDM Astar team….

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THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF THE WORLD’S PREMIER CHOICE IN AUTOMOTIVE LED LIGHTING!

-JDM Astar Team

Headlights that fit your budget….Welcome the G4 series headlights!

g4 2.jpgUpgrading to aftermarket LED lighting on your car can come off as a bit of a concern for some.  It can certainly look intimidating, at first, especially for those that may not have the experience or tools to work on their cars.

When automotive LED made its way into the industry, costs very high and as the market began to grow, competition went up and so many brands or sellers began to offer the actual value of the product they are selling and in order to continue offering such a competitive price, they must take short cuts on quality in order to meet the demand.

This exposed the LED market and eventually gave aftermarket LEDs a bad rep.  Nowadays, any time you see an inexpensive LED headlight option on Amazon, you are very cautious about buying yet alone installing them to your vehicle.

JDM Astar is here to help address that concern for those worried about short cuts on quality or risking a bulb failure that leads to hefty repairs on your cars.  Short cuts or low quality is just not part of what we do.  JDM Astar innovates and we WILL continue to innovate in order to create a foundation of what an aftermarket LED brand should represent.

With competition growing online, we have released a budget-friendly option that will provide quality, reliability, and give you the results you long for and need.  JDM has introduced the G4 headlights to their lineup of replacement headlights.

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The G4 series headlights sets the foundation for starter LED headlight kits. They offer aviation grade aluminum that increases density and allows more heat to radiate through the body of the bulb thus increasing how fast the diodes cool down.  Combined with a high velocity fan that clocks at 1200RPM, you will have an LED lamp that will sustain itself without any concern of overheating the diodes or damaging the driver’s circuit.  With a reduced load draw, compared to most low end headlights from foreign or unknown brands, you will achieve higher efficiency thus minimizing how much heat is generated by the diodes.

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Now of course, cooling mechanism is one of the factors that ensures your LEDs operate long but another factor is the light source.  The light source is key as we have come across many sources that claim to carry genuine diodes from branded manufacturers, but when you check the facts, you realize that they are falsely advertising what they use on there products. If don’t believe us, look up the cheapest LED headlight and check the light source manufactures lineup of diodes they offer. You’d be surprise what you will find with just a little bit of research!

A good example would be claiming your lamp is using CREE chips.  CREE is a manufacturer in the US and there costs for parts are not exactly competitive so this would reflect on the cost of the LED lamp you are buying and is typically combined with high grade components such as heat sinks, and Smart IC Drivers(whether external or internal).  Remember, if you hear a popular brand is being used as the light source with your LEDs, but costs are a bit too low, then be cautious and possibly steer away from that as you certainly do not want to experience the headache it may cause yet alone the risk of damaging your vehicles housing and/or wiring.

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The G4 headlights JDM Astar offers use customized type diodes and is exclusive from JDM Astar.  We are proud of this design and we call these diodes AEC chips which are a replication of what we use on our 8th Generation headlights, the Luxeon ZES chips.  Think of our AEC chips as a JDM brand version of ZES.  High quality, and value that fits the budget!  They offer high thermal resistance, low wattage consumption, and high load capacity all with a strong intensity rating of 4,000 lumens per lamp and lux readings averaging 4,150(@ 1 meter).

Next time you are on the market for your starter LED headlight kit, reach out to us!  We can guide you and find the perfect LED headlight that will surpass expectations all while saving you money so you can upgrade even more lights on your car!

JDM ASTAR….lighting up your world, one car at a time!

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