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The Lighting Basics: “Incandescent or LED?” Part 2: Issues

Updated: Sep 12, 2018

Last month, we discussed three benefits of both incandescent and LED lights. Today, we finish answering the question: “Incandescent or LED?” There is no perfect product, so here are three real issues you will encounter with each solution.

Incandescent Lights

1. Power-hungry. Incandescent lights draw a lot of power, limiting the number of things inside the truck that you can run. Newer trucks especially suffer from this because more is controlled by the truck board.

2. Short lifespan. By design, incandescent lights have more points of failure than LEDs. You have the filament breaking, the glass bulb shattering, the bulb socket corroding, and the extra heat diminishing electrical lifespan. All these factors add up to a shorter potential life of the unit.

3. Headlights seem dim. It is a well-known fact that if oncoming lights are brighter than your own headlights, you will not be able to see your lane for a brief period of time. This inconvenience is becoming a cemented experience because manufacturers are embracing brighter headlight options as the future.

LED Lights

1. Lens gets cold. Because LED lights have extreme power efficiency, they do not produce adequate heat on the lens in order to melt snow and ice under winter conditions. This is the biggest complaint for drivers in the Northern United States and especially up into Canada.

2. Expensive. Across the board, LEDs cost multiple times more than incandescent lights. If you are one to go overboard on your lighting system for shows, it will cost you a pretty penny.

3. Replacement. Nothing lasts forever. When an LED unit dies, the entire unit needs replaced. Finding a unit that matches your truck is difficult, not to mention finding a LED headlight bulb in a pinch. We suggest either stocking up on replacements when you upgrade or purchasing a standard pattern that is easy to find.

Next month, we will discuss reasons why replacement lights can difficult to find.

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