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Okay, so I'm a rookie and wiring LED lights

Swede has a TJ

New Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2021
Messages
18
Location
Colorado
Everything I've seen is how hot LEDs are. The LEDs I purchased for my super sweet homemade lightbar come with a clear plastic cover that directly contacts the fixture. I see two things.
1. A place for condensation to be captured.
2. If not moving fast enough to keep things cool. The plastic cell compromising the brightness of the light by melting or distorting due to heat.
Like I said. I'm a lighting rookie and over think everything.
 

Havasu

New Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Lake Havasu City, Az
Everything I've seen is how hot LEDs are. The LEDs I purchased for my super sweet homemade lightbar come with a clear plastic cover that directly contacts the fixture. I see two things.
1. A place for condensation to be captured.
2. If not moving fast enough to keep things cool. The plastic cell compromising the brightness of the light by melting or distorting due to heat.
Like I said. I'm a lighting rookie and over think everything.
If your led lights came with a cover then you should be fine. I know for desert racing LightForce & Rigid both offer various color plastic covers for their led lights. It’s my understanding the HID covers are a different plastic than the plastic covers used on the LED lights…
Here’s a link to LightForce covers for every light they offer including LED & HID


Hope this helps
 

Steel City 06

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
4,246
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
What really matters far more than the light output in lumens is the optics. You can produce all the light in the world, but if it is flooding the wrong places it can make things worse, not better.

Optics is usually the difference between your crappy Amazon off-brand lights and your high end US-made lights. Often the Amazon import specials actually do produce more light, but they have such terrible optics it just doesn't do anything positive.

The top-of-the-line brand for all things LED in my mind is Rigid Industries. They're hella (no pun intended) expensive but have great reliability, output, and most importantly very good optics. Rigid also owns Truck-Lite. Other brands like KC Hilites and a few others also have some good options.

Optics is also the big difference between lighting up the road safely and blinding oncoming drivers. In the US, most DOT-compliant lights have a strong cutoff for low beam and are actually also asymmetric, and have a lower cutoff on the left than the right. Cheaper non-compliant LED lights are often symmetric and have a poor cutoff, resulting in a LOT of glare.
 
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Steel City 06

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
4,246
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Legally in most states, all non DOT-compliant lights are supposed to be covered on-road. This includes my spotlights, which are halogen. I have once made the mistake of turning on the lights and melting the cover right onto the glass...

Most LEDs won't get hot enough to do that unless they are very high powered. Many LEDs struggle to get hot enough to melt the snow, let alone plastic.
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru Moderator
Staff Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
23,754
Location
Fleming Island Florida
Everything I've seen is how hot LEDs are. The LEDs I purchased for my super sweet homemade lightbar come with a clear plastic cover that directly contacts the fixture. I see two things.
1. A place for condensation to be captured.
2. If not moving fast enough to keep things cool. The plastic cell compromising the brightness of the light by melting or distorting due to heat.
Like I said. I'm a lighting rookie and over think everything.
LED lights don't typically get hot. In fact standard LED headlights don't get hot enough to melt snow or ice like conventional headlights do. Because of that there are special extra-cost LED headlights made with an aux heater inside to melt snow & ice away if you live in areas that get that cold.