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

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!”

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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How to Upgrade Backup Lights On Volkswagen Golf

How to: Install/Replace backup lights on Volkswagen Golf MK7 (2015+) USDM

This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of either replacing the backup light bulb or upgrade to an aftermarket LED bulb.

In this tutorial we are going to swap out our factory 921 halogen bulbs to our GX3020 CANBUS model.

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Recommended tools: Trim Remover / Pry Tool / Panel Remover Tool

Parts Used: GX3020 CANBUS LED (921 LED replacement bulb)

  1. Open the trunk hatch and there will be two covers.

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1a. Locate trim indentation, and using your pry tool, pull away the panel to expose lamp housing.

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2. Locate the backup light bulb socket. To remove socket, twist 1/4 turn counter-clockwise to unlock and carefully pull out the entire socket and bulb.

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2a. Use gloves to prevent direct contact to the glass surface of the bulb.  If the bulb hot, use a towel or heat resistant gloves to remove from the receptacle.

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Here is a side by side view to compare the stock bulb and the LED replacement.

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3. Install LED bulb onto the receptacle or socket and insert the entire unit back to the lamp housing.

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Always check the aftermarket parts dimensions and make sure the housing allows you to fit the replacement.  As you can see here, we were right on point in fitting the aftermarket LED replacement.

Test the bulb replacements before finalizing installation to ensure installation was done correctly. If there are no errors you can reverse the steps to put everything back together and begin troubleshooting.

Here is a photo showing a comparison to the incandescent bulb (left) versus the GX3020 (Right)

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What we found about this installation:

During the installation we have learned that the backup light circuit only has to be complete (like a fuse) for the error code to be prevented. We installed a CANBUS error free bulb and a NON CANBUS bulb and both were compatible with no error messages being triggered.

We replaced the bulb holder (socket), without any bulbs installed, and only then did we encounter a bulb out error.

Volkswagen Golf equipped with an Entertainment System.

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Volkswagen Golf’s without Entertainment System

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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.