The Lighting Basics: Is it Brighter?

When purchasing a light, the question that always comes home to roost is: “Is this light brighter than what I have?” Sometimes the answer to that question is hard to determine because there are so many different variables that come into play when figuring out how much light is produced. Here are five details to observe the next time you purchase a light.


Is the light incandescent or LED?

In previous articles, I have discussed the benefits and issues of each. On average, LED products are brighter than incandescent options.

Is the LED a standard diode or a super diode?

A single super diode produces more light than a single standard diode. The standard diode count was becoming ridiculous, some companies offering 54 diodes in a light. Since the LED technology has advanced, super diodes are a great way to slim down the points of failure, provide more light, and keep the truck looking sharp.

How much power does the light draw? Traditionally, a higher wattage incandescent bulb will produce more light output. The same is true with LEDs, on average. When examining wattage in a light, it is best to look at lights in the same category. For example, comparing a 35 watt LED and a 55 watt halogen is not accurate.

Does the light have a reflector in it?

A reflector simply amplifies the light. While an LED is typically brighter than an incandescent, an incandescent with a reflector has the potential to produce as much or more than an LED without a reflector.

What kind of lens does it have?

What the lens is made of will have an impact on the light output over its lifespan. For example, a plastic lens will yellow and fade over time while a glass lens will not. The lens transparency matters as well. The more transparent the lens, the more light can be projected.


I hope these facts will help you in purchasing your next light. If this article raised more questions about what is brighter, we are more than happy to answer your questions.

Next month, I will answer some commonly asked questions about headlights. If you have any questions that you would like to see answered, contact me via our website.

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