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Thread: Are LED Driving lights now being pushed too hard with shorter lifespans?

  1. #1

    Default Are LED Driving lights now being pushed too hard with shorter lifespans?

    As an example Lightforce 215 8 inch lamp, 108W 7500 RAW lumens / 5000 effective at 5000 kelvins. Just a few years later(now) the same sized physical driving lamps
    from LF are now 140W 7300 effective lumens with what looks like less heatsinking/more compactness. Some other brands have higher lumen numbers still like 8500 effective.


    I do a lot of hours a year driving (possibly up to 16hrs a week) & I wan't more light in the same compact simply form, but my priority is longevity- I wan't many years out of these. Can anyone say if there is much difference if any in lifespan between the two?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are LED Driving lights now being pushed too hard with shorter lifespans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saul M View Post
    As an example Lightforce 215 8 inch lamp, 108W 7500 RAW lumens / 5000 effective at 5000 kelvins.
    Is that what Lightfarce is saying? "5000 Kelvins"? Because that's not how you convey the color temperature of a light source. I'm pretty sure they didn't say it quite that way, but I wouldn't be too surprised. The design of the 215 reminds me of one of those cheap Hazard Fraught "showerhead" LED flashlights. Lots emitters scattered in mini reflector pockets is not a recipe for a long-throwing, effective auxiliary high beam.

    lamps from LF are now 140W 7300 effective lumens with what looks like less heatsinking/more compactness. Some other brands have higher lumen numbers still like 8500 effective.
    8500 effective lumens? The grain of salt you take that with should supply iodide (unless you have an allergy to it).

    I do a lot of hours a year driving (possibly up to 16hrs a week) & I wan't more light in the same compact simply form, but my priority is longevity- I wan't many years out of these.
    All things being equal, for any given lamp design, a larger lamp will outperform a smaller lamp.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Are LED Driving lights now being pushed too hard with shorter lifespans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saul M View Post
    As an example Lightforce
    ...a company known for hyping their products with claims not based in reality...

    108W 7500 RAW lumens / 5000 effective at 5000 kelvins
    It slices! It dices! It deep-cleans carpets! It has seventy million billion "raw lumens" at sixty million zillion "kelvins"! And it comes with snap-on filter plates in eight different, brilliant colors! Blue for snow! Red for the apocalypse! Green clovers! Purple horse shoes!

    Just a few years later(now) the same sized physical driving lamps from LF are now 140W 7300 effective lumens
    Right, and the next time they tell the fish story, the one that got away was totally (stretching arms wide) this big, you guys, I swear!

    Some other brands have higher lumen numbers still like 8500 effective.
    Your error is in believing these bogus claims as if they're real.

    I do a lot of hours a year driving (possibly up to 16hrs a week) & I wan't more light in the same compact simply form, but my priority is longevity
    16 hours a week of driving on dark, empty roads without any other traffic? Assuming that's the case, that's 832 hours a year, which actually isn't a whole lot in context of "driving lamp" light source lifespans.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Are LED Driving lights now being pushed too hard with shorter lifespans?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    ...a company known for hyping their products with claims not based in reality...
    Can you give more details on this?

    Is there a product you would recommend? I want a compact LED lamp with a long life.

    Moderator Edit
    Removed flaming remarks

    --Alaric D
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 08-02-2018 at 10:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are LED Driving lights now being pushed too hard with shorter lifespans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saul M View Post
    Can you give more details on this?
    Lightforce, among others, greatly inflate the output figures, often based on extrapolating from manufacturer data of the LEDs themselves, and while they attempt to then bring the numbers down a bit (using, again, very theoretical figures based on an assumption of optical losses within the assembly) to show their "effective lumens", they still way overinflate those numbers. Furthermore, lamps such as that 215, use multiple emitters, each with their own very tiny reflector. Those mini-reflectors do not result in a well-focused beam for the individual emitters; the output will be more of a "somewhat concentrated flood" than a real spot or wide driving beam.

    The problems with Lightforce's products aren't limited to just the design of this particular lamp. They sell a wide variety of colored lenses advertised as being able to change the fundamental characteristics of their lamps to turn them from one kind to another. They offer a yellow lens to turn an auxiliary high beam into a fog lamp-- and while all things being equal, yellow is a better color for use in fog than plain white, the distinguishing characteristic of a fog lamp is the beam pattern itself. A yellow auxiliary high beam is still an auxiliary high beam. They sell blue covers for use in snow (which is very pretty, I'm sure) but blue light is the worst for us to see by and just generates harmful glare and makes it harder to focus on objects due to the short wavelength. They sell a lighter blue lens to "increase clarity", again-- blue light focuses in front of the retina, reducing clarity. Their dark amber lenses remove too much green light, severely reducing the output of the lamp.

    They make weird claims about even halogen bulbs, stating "Our 12V halogen type bulbs incorporate xenon gas, enabling them to burn between 10-20% brighter and whiter than conventional halogen bulbs. This means that at 12V they are rated at 2000 hours run time.". Several things are wrong with that-- white light is white, so between any two white light sources, they are both *white*; however, people often construe the light that has a stronger blue component than the yellow component (that is, white light tending towards blue vs white light tending towards yellow) as being "whiter". And whether the bulb burns "brighter", that doesn't mean anything about the run time. (Indeed, the filament that burns hotter than needed to maintain an effective halogen cycle is the filament that burns shorter. Any miniature bulb with a rated lifespan of 2000 hours (and is that B3 or Tc? That's an important distinction) will most likely be an underperformer, particularly if that's their Tc rating.

    Lightforce is not the only purveyor of hype-- PIAA comes in with claims of "55W=85W" on some of their bulbs, as if a) bulb output is described in Watts, and b) the laws of physics can be changed-- 55W is always 55W, 85W is always 85W. IPF makes a bulb they call the "Fat Boy", a halogen bulb with an incredibly deep blue tint and an envelope that greatly shortens filament life because it interferes with the halogen cycle (the redepositing of the bits of filament that fly off when the bulb is used).

    Is there a product you would recommend? I want a compact LED lamp with a long life.
    You have, it seems, room for at least a 215mm (~8") lamp; I can see no reason why you couldn't use a JW Speaker 7" form factor high/low headlamp, (pick one suitable for your traffic directionality, such as RHT for North America or, say, Germany; or LHT for the UK or Australia-- car position on the road, not driver position in the car, is the determining factor). These would represent an excellent choice, with their heated lenses and "Dual Burn". Just mount them in PAR56 buckets, do some wiring (somewhat complicated due to high/low functions, but auxiliary low beams can be extremely useful), and drive on.

    You could instead get this JW Speaker 7" round auxiliary high beam; traffic directionality would be a non-issue.

    Either one of these choices will be smaller than the 215mm you considered "compact".

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are LED Driving lights now being pushed too hard with shorter lifespans?

    I have opened this thread back up because this thread can have value for people genuinely wanting to learn, or perhaps having a similar situation.
    Let's not have any name-calling here.

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