LED, HID and Halogen have come a long way in the off-roading scene. From humble beginnings of Halogen lighting and decreasing globe wattages from 150 Watts to a mere 100 Watts or less, reflector design and wiring played an important part in performance of the light.
Today, LED and HID have lept forward, almost replacing Halogen due to its inefficiencies and heat created to maintain the same output as LED and HID lights.
Halogen is still a great source of light, less the electronics, a higher wattage and above average distances can be achieved and is a great entry level light for an avid 4WD enthusiast.
HID burst on to the 4WD scene many years ago and has crept through as a high performance light with great distance capabilities. Some would argue the start up time of the light and cost to purchase far outweigh the gains of HID than can be achieved by Halogen and LED. Yet some people who run off-road buggies, trucks or live in remote areas where they can run HID Lights on for more than 10 minutes on the highway without having to dip for oncoming traffic is a bonus. For a mere 35 Watt globe, distances in excess of 1.5km are not uncommon. The advancement in lens design and technology in globes increases your ability to see more.
LED has jumped ahead of the queue and made itself know to 4WD enthusiasts in a big way. LED offers lower power consumption compared with Halogen and HID, can achieve the same distance as other light sources and is a safe, constant light source for off-roaders. The life of an LED is longer than a globe and in that a hard knock to the Halogen or HID could see $$ for a replacement globe. LED is much more stable and efficient and allows you to run more important accessories such as fridges and UHFs.
So which one is better? Well it comes down to budget for you and what you are aiming for in lighting. Halogen is a budget light, offering a yellow light and good distances, but relies on high wattage, good wiring and gives off considerable heat and isn't the best when plunged into a creek and becomes filled with water. HID on the other hand, is more expensive, offers you unmatched distance off-road but still requires a HID Ballast (some lights come with an internal ballast) to give you your High Intensity Light. LED is a great off-road light, provides much needed light, good spread and spot combinations and a white crisp light, however can be a bit much on the eyes if you come across a shinny new road sign due to the glare back.
Overall a combination works well, a mixture of Halogen and an LED Light Bar or HID and LED mix to give you the best of distance and up close spread.
If your still not sold on which way to go, contact us and we can offer you some advice on the best lights based on your driving habits and future adventures.
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