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

 

Innovating Heat Sink Cooling with 6S Series Headlights

We are at it again with yet another innovative design for aftermarket LED headlamp bulbs.  JDM ASTAR has introduced another heat sink type headlight to join others like our 4S and 8th Generation Headlights.

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The 6S headlights use a redesigned heat sink that offers improved and larger surface area for heat dissipation.  Rather than using standard aluminum, the 6S are built with the same aviation grade 6063 aluminum that are found on a variety of our existing LEDs today such as our 8th Generation Headlights or smaller bulbs like 3030 14-SMD Series LED bulbs.  This means that there will be a substantial increase in how much heat is radiated from the light source, through the aluminum body, and exhaust through the heat sink in order make cooling even faster.

So what is all the hype about with this new cooling fin heat sink that reminds us all of chopper ready to take off?

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Well, it’s not the traditional bulky unit that earlier designs offer.  We have been there before and have seen many cases where a fan or heat sink is a bit too wide to fit, or there is not enough depth to provide fitment for the cooling mechanism thus creating an even bigger problem.  Aside from the labor involved, you will also have to ship something back and we all know how much of a drag this can be.  When we buy stuff off Amazon, it better be right!

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The 6S headlights offer a bendable/mold-able heat sink.  The cooling fins use 6063 aluminum and are designed to be adjusted to cater to the clearance on your vehicles housing or area as well as allow fitment if the LED lamp.  The cooling fins will get extend to get air flow to improve radiation of heat.  This means the diodes will be able operate for a longer period of time, as well as provide thousands and thousands of hours of operating life.  So, if the 8th Gens were simply too big to fit, no worries, the 6S headlights still got you covered!

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Aside from cooling, the 6S Headlights also offer high thermal resistant diodes that are also found on our existing designs.  The lamp uses a total of 8 CSP (Chip Scale Package) surface mount diodes with 4 on each side.  For those dual headlamp bulbs, they will use 16 CSP diodes with 8 being dedicated to the low beam function and 8 for the high beams.  With CSP diodes as the light source, you can expect things to be lit!  That is an understatement.  Combined with an internal smart driven IC module, the 6S Headlights provide a whomping 4000 lumens per bulb competing with that of our 8th Gens!

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But wait…there is still more!

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Ability to adjust an aftermarket LED headlight today is almost a certain need with how headlamp housings are being manufactured on vehicle housings today especially with aftermarket!  Some include projectors and others are reflectors.  The 6S headlights, once again, have got you covered!  By loosening the set screw that is by the collar of the LED lamp, it will allow you to free up the bulb and clock the direction of the light sources.  Focus, light concentration, and beam pattern will all be able to adjust through rotation of the bulb.  Once you hit that ‘sweet spot’, mark your LEDs and repeat the same steps with the opposite side and voila!  You will have a beam pattern that is the same, if not similar, to the factory halogen headlamp bulbs.  If you are not sure which way to direct the diodes, check out our blog article titled “Which way should the chips face on your LED headlights?” There you will get all details needed on the suggested bulb orientation.

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So if you ever dealt with the headache of fitting the bulky fan or a large heat sink of your new aftermarket LEDs, consider the 6S headlights so you can bend that heat sink around and allow the bulb to easily adapt and avoid any modifications to the housing.

 

With the many fan style LED headlights cluttering up marketplaces like Amazon, eBay(and now Wish!), it is surprise if the 6S headlights sit right up next to the 8th Gens as one of the leading designs in aftermarket LED lighting auto industry!

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Stop by JDMASTAR.COM and pick up your 6S headlights today and remember….

 

“LED JDM Astar light your way!”

Our Experience at Our First Car Show Autocon 2017

JDM ASTAR was founded in Southern California and when we first started we were selling from home and marketing our brand.  Since then, JDM ASTAR has become the next runner up in the LED auto lighting industry.  With the support of car enthusiasts, loyal customers, and fans worldwide, we were able to expand and grow our company and now we have been finally able to attend our first official auto event.  We decided that our first official event will be Automotive Connection Show 2017 in downtown at the city of Angels.

JDM ASTAR went out to Autocon 2017 on March 26th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  The drive was very close and the venue was as expected.  A bit small for us but we were still excited just being a part of this event as it was our first ever event that we attend as a company.  Here is a before photo of our booth.

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Here’s another shot of what a lot of event goers kept requesting us to do.  We just had to turn them to show everybody but could not keep them on for too long or Autocon officials would have given us the boot.

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We met a few vendors and even managed to see TJ Hunt!  TJ Hunt is a major influencer in the auto industry and is a runner up as one of the top Youtubers in the auto industry so heads up EricTheCarGuy, or Scotty Kilmer because there is a new kid in town.  He uploads vlog videos and tons of project videos where he works on modding “Selena” as well as other performance vehicles like his Subaru BRZ and Nissan GTR as well as other projects that he works on that involve his crew.

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When we learned about TJ Hunt and his crew attending the event we were more excited than what we were able to handle.  It was like seeing a celebrity.  Unfortunately, we were not able to meet and greet TJ Hunt but knowing that we were able to be a part of an event where he was a special guest is a privilege.  Here is photo of his 350z modeling at Autocon 2017.  The wrap on the vehicle is done perfectly by Premium Auto Styling.  Might just give them call to see what kind of mayhem they can do with our Jeep Wrangler.  The job they did on the 350z is flawless!

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We could not have attended this event if it was not for you guys.  Through the support that you guys provide, we were able to finally attend this event so we are very grateful and we look forward to meeting more new faces and maybe meet new vendors that will join our brand in innovating LED car lighting.

Again guys, it is because of your support that JDM ASTAR has grown to what it is today and we will continue doing our part in providing better and safer lighting for the world.

We thank you for your support.  We value each and every one of you that have allowed us to come this far so thank you very much for everything you guys have done for us and for continuing to be supporters of our brand.

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With your loyalty, JDM ASTAR will continue to light your way down the road so come join us and be a part of the revolution to help us change the world in how people use car lighting.

LED Lighting, you have been doing it wrong!

How are my headlights supposed to be oriented inside the housing?  What type of bulb should we use for a fog light on my car?  What is better, a fan or a heat sink?  These are all questions for which we have not seen a single source provide answers for and that is what we are doing for you today.  We want to provide you with some tips when upgrading your vehicles factory lamps to high performance LED lighting.

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One of the most common questions we hear every day is how your LED headlights should be positioned.  Well, this can be different for some cars, and even if the model and maker is the same, it does not necessarily mean that the body is all the same.  First, you should understand how your LED bulbs will insert into your housing to determine what the final result will be, once installed.  JDM ASTAR offers adjustable LED replacement lamps that will allow you to correct the orientation.  The position of the diodes (LED chips) should always be in a side to side orientation, meaning, you should have one set facing at 3 o’clock, and the other set facing at 9 o’clock.  This will allow a nice and even 360 light distribution throughout the housing creating an even beam of light as well as evenly fill up the housing.  We cannot stress enough how poor your headlights will appear if you have the incorrect orientation, not to mention the glare may cause to other drivers. The last thing you want to do is create a hazard when operating your car.  Be very careful as there are many brands and vendors that will advise that the bulbs are designed to be this way, but, we have tested several types of housings, and style of lamps and have learned that the proper orientation for LED lighting is to face the diodes side to side unless you integrate a 3rd side that will provide an additional side of lighting to cover a high beam application.

For dual headlight setups, that provide low and high beams off one bulb, will use the same orientation side to side orientation but there will also be some type of shield or cover which should always be sitting below the diodes after you orient the bulb side to side.  If the shield sits above the diodes then flip it around now!  The shield or cover helps prevent light from shining down to ensure it does not reflect at a higher angle so the cover should always be sitting below the diodes.  For those unique LED designs that have a 3rd side with diodes mounted, there will be an off set chip that sits closer to the fan or heat sink.  It sits closer or deeper in the lamp housing to provide a higher light beam angle.  The 3rd side will usually cover the high beam application which should always face downward. To summarize, LED designs with chips on two sides of the bulb should face left and right.  LED designs with 3 sides should have the high beam side facing downward and the other two will face diagonally upward to where one chip sits at around 2 o’clock and the other 10 o’clock.

JDM ASTAR offers an option that allows an adjustment to the orientation in case your vehicle is one of those unique models that simply has the chuck lined up a certain way to where any type of LED replacement headlight will have bad orientation.

 

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Another question we have been hearing a lot lately is what type of lamp is appropriate for your application.  Well, of course, you should always consider heat as the number one factor as this is the most common reason why an LED fails prematurely.  But what type of lamp should you be going for?  A good tip is to simply check the wattage of the LED replacement.  Here is a table to keep it simple and to show you what type of lamp you should be looking for when replacing a factory halogen bulb on your car.  The table will give you a range of what you should be looking for to ensure that you buy the right LED bulb type for the appropriate application.  We cannot tell you how many times we have seen a 9005 fog light type LED bulb being used in place of a low beam or high beam application.  So next time you are in the market to replace a bulb that has gone out, just check the wattage.

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To get the best results out of your LED light replacements to is to replicate the same or similar light distribution of the factory bulb.  Most vehicles on the market have housings that are designed to distribute light from a bulb that emits light in a 360 degree orientation.  This will provide optimal results both in how well the light fills the housing as well as project the light.  There are some factors on the LED bulb that will help provide optimal results, but the ice breaker is where and how the light is emitted.  Factory HID lamps are the only exception due to the design of the housing being different.  Factory HID lamps can get away with using an LED replacement that does not offer 360 lighting, however, if the factory bulb is an incandescent, or halogen, then you definitely should be looking for an option that will provide lighting from more than one side.  Next time you decide to upgrade the factory bulb to LED, call JDM ASTAR where you will not only get the appropriate LED replacement, but you will have a team of professionals that will provide friendly advice on how to get the most out of your LED replacements, and do it right the first time, and every time. . . .

 

-JDM ASTAR Team