How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary!

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Raisins78
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How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary!

Unread post by Raisins78 » May 11th, 2013, 2:23 pm

LED's are the lastest thing, and as such, there is alot of speculation, misdirection and other strategy's used to get you buy one brand over another. Im not saying T11, Roo's BAJA etc are the culprits, im saying this in general.

Much like when car audio took off, the old 8000w (peak or pmpo) speakers were seen.
We have all learned to disregard the peak power ratings, and just use rms power as a guide when purchasing speakers etc. This is very generalised, and there is alot more with a speaker than just rms power ratings etc, but you get my point.

LED's are doing the same thing. There is multiple ways they can "rate" an LED product, many of which over inflate the output or lifespans dramatically.
Ill briefly explain a few "tricks" the sellers use (mostly eBay sellers etc) and explain why some products are so much more expensive than similar looking products

Lumens. A measure of light output. This figure can be skewed depending on how far away the light was measured, how hot the test room was (ill explain later) using a multiplication technique where they measure one LED, up close, then multiply it by how ever many there are in the product. If you see a rating that claims " UPTO 800Lumens" this is more than likely what has happened, "Batch testing or Batch rating"
As far as I am aware, there is no Law regarding ratings of Lumens, so you are relying on the manufacturer or seller to be honest.... If you ever see a Lumen rating that says for example "800 Lumen @25deg C" please note this is not 25 degree's ambient, this is 25 degrees AT the LED it self. On a 25 degree day, an operating LED could be closer to 80 degree's or higher! The difference between Lumens at 25 deg and 80 Deg is massive, most would be half of the output or less, so now that 800 Lumen product is more like 350 Lumen. To have one of the current crop of high output LED running @ 25 deg, the room would have to be -25 or colder.

Lifespan. How long an LED lasts. 50,000 hours is a long time, but 90% of LED lights claiming that figure, wont even reach 1/10th of that time. Temperature is a big thing here too, as is how they are driven. the electronic behind the LED's can dramatically shorten the life by over driving. This can happen due to just poor quality and control, or the manufacturer trying to get extra light out of an LED set, at the cost of lifespan. The higher the temp, the shorter the life.

Quality. How much difference is one to another. Alot of LED manufacturers test the LED's before sending out to manufacturers of LED products.
The testing will check colour, brightness etc. They are all then grouped into "bin's" Depending on how picky the customer is on colour and brightness, depends on how many LED's need to be made to fill an order. If a manufacturer of light bars wants all the LED's to be almost identical in colour and output, the LED factory may have to make millions of LED's to fill the customer's order of say 1000 LED's. Cheaper LED products will be using a more varied product, not too worried about brightness per LED or colour variations. The factory will charge said customer regardless of how many they want, but on how many had to be made to fulfill the requirement. So the cheaper customer pays for say 5000 to fill his 1000 units order, the other guy pays for 5 million for the same 1000 unit order. You can see how this changes the cost to manufacture a light bar. You really do get what you pay for most of the time

Basically, until we have a set standard of ratings that we can use to compare products, we will always be shopping in the dark. And dont forget about the life span....Even I have seen some cheaper LED bars out perform some very expensive ones, but 6 months later, the cheap one has lost half of its output and is getting worse every hour its used. The expensive or reputable brand is exactly as it was the day it was bought.
The factory that made the LED's may have rated them for 50,000hours etc, but the manufacturer of the light bar has over driven, under cooled, packed too closely etc and they have degraded much faster than normal. The manufacturer of the light bar may not do this on purpose, but they are trying to compete with brighter competitors, but using cheaper LED's etc.

This really is the time to follow the "buyer beware" moto, and really think, compare, research and if you still are not 100% sure, or can afford the one you want.....Buy some HID's or something...When a 40 inch LED bar is around $100 or less in the future, then it wont be as big a deal if you get a dud brand will it?
Now a proud Jeep owner. Bye Bye Nissan! its been great, but ive discovered why people say "Its a jeep thing"

Mick.
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Re: Tigerz11 LED Light bar, any good?

Unread post by Mick. » May 13th, 2013, 8:17 am

That is an excellent post mate and 100% true. This is a perfect example why I only sell High end HID gear and wont go near cheap HIDs or in particular Light Bars at all. I have price lists that are constantly being sent to me from different suppliers in China that I don't use but enquired with when I was looking into them myself. An example as mentioned above is the bars like Tigerz11 sell etc I can get a 40 inch from a supplier for under $40 and the exact same version off the same company in 3 other price ranges going up to about $700 each or similar depending on the quality of the internals and testing again as mentioned above.

There's no way in hell I would put my name to a $40 light bar as again mentioned above there hit and miss more often then not a miss as they loose lumens from the day you turn them on. I also would not risk trying to sell $700 bars as people are would turn around and say ''but I can buy the same bar off Johnny down the road for $200'' not thinking theres a reason there cheap.

I priced a top of the range Light bar 600 watt with the best of everything though one of my suppliers and it was going to cost me $1400 before I added taxes, freight, customs and a custom loom so it was going to come close to $2000 so to sell them you would be looking at a $2800 or more to even justify bringing them in if you where to sell them on ebay by the time you add eBay fees and PayPal fees. So if I'm seeing similar things sell for $800 or less you have to wonder why.lol

Cheers Mick
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Mick.
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Mick. » May 14th, 2013, 5:24 pm

Most retailers of lights will give you their light measurements in Lumens nowadays. This is an ok measurement and can be used to some degree to judge the brightness of a light. But to do this, you need to understand some principles of photonics.

Lumens is the unit given to the luminous flux emitted by a light, in real terms this is the volume of light. For the purpose of this explanation, think of Lumens as a volume of water coming out of a hose.

Lux is the unit of illuminance emitted by a light, in real terms this is the intensity or pressure in which the light is emitted. For the purpose of the explanation, we'll think of Lux as the pressure in which the water is coming out of a hose.

OK, that is a rough definition for the sake of this post. But what does that mean and how does it relate?

So lets say we have a 6" lightbar with a luminous flux (volume of light) of 2,160 lumens. It is a double row lightbar with 12 3W LED globes, we also have a 10" lightbar of 3,600 lumens with 20 3W LED globes.
If we look at the lumens per 3W LED globe, we can find the following.
6" - 2,160L / 12 = 180L per globe
10" - 3,600L / 20 = 180L per globe

So we can see that although we have more light globes, we have the same volume of light per globe. Due to the larger number in the light housing, we have a larger total lumen count or luminous flux. So how does this relate to Lux, how bright will it be and how far will it light up.

As lumens in the volume of light using our scenario of water, if you have a volume per second of water coming from a small hose outlet (lens of the light), you would have a large pressure of water and the stream of water would go some distance. If you have the same volume per second of water coming out of a larger hose, there would be less pressure and the light would not go as far. From this and understanding that illuminance (Lux) is the pressure, we can see that although there was more lumens in the 10" lightbar, due to the larger size, the lux was unchanged and the light would not go further than the 6" lightbar. It would simply spill more light to a greater area, but not actually go further.

So this greater area, surely that is further? Well due to the individual LED globe's light overlapping each other, the light is fairly wasted as you cannot add light to make a stronger light (in these terms), it will simply light the area it can reach better (due to a variety of angles from each globe on one point).

So lets look at the following and going on from the 6" lightbar with 3W LED globes before and lets use a hypothetical 6" with 5W globes assuming a perfect 60L per watt can be achieved (as per the 3W, so 300L per globe).
6" (3W) - 2,160L / 12 = 180L per globe
6" (5W) - 3,600L / 12 = 300L per globe

This would indicate that due to a 60% increase in volume of light from the same size bar, the light would travel further. Just as more water per second would be coming from a same size hose.

Here is a picture of what I mean, Light A is the 5W LED 6" lightbar, B is the 3W LED 6" and C is the 3W LED 10" lightbar. As you can see, the 10" and the 5W 6" have the same lumens, but the 6" (5W) has gone further.

Image

One thing we need to keep in mind, is per watt of electrical power into a light globe, the output of lumens and lux can change because of the colour of the light, this is due to the frequency of the light. The higher the frequency (more wave lengths per second) the more energy required to generate that frequency (colour) and the less intense that light will be emitted.

SSSOOOOOOOO, how can I work out the Lux of a lightbar?

So how to use this in real terms, you can work out roughly(!) how illuminate (Lux) a lightbar will be by dividing the total lumens for the lightbar, by the number of lights in that lightbar. This is only good for comparison of products and due to the variation in testing, true reporting and spread angles, this could differ.

IMO, for distance, HID spot lights maybe a spread if you want a little more, and smaller lightbars for close up spread. Using smaller ones, you can change the angle of them ever so slightly, so the projection angle is greater having less overlap so less wasted light.

Big lightbars are a fad, they look cool, I have one, but 2 10" or 20" ones slightly angled away from each other will be more effective than a 20" or 40" respectively.

FYI! THIS IS A RULE OF THUMB, THIS IS NOT TRUE SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS AND OTHER FACTORS DO COME INTO PLAY, IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE, STUDY PHOTONICS.

This Info is from HeyHey on the patrol forum
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Mick.
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Mick. » May 14th, 2013, 5:27 pm

For those interested in LED light bars, but see all these different IP ratings and aren't sure what they mean, here's a good rundown.

IP Rated Enclosures

First Digit (intrusion protection)
0 No special protection
1 Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
2 Protection against fingers or other object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter.
3 Protection from entry by tools, wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
4 Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (eg fine tools/small etc).
5 Protected against dust that may harm equipment.
6 Totally dust tight.

Second Digit (moisture protection)
0 No protection.
1 Protection against condensation.
2 Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
3 Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
4 Protected against water spray from all directions.
5 Protection against low pressure water jets (all directions)
6 Protection against string water jets and waves.
7 Protected against temporary immersion.
8 Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure.

In Summary:
IP65 Enclosure - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against water projected from a nozzle.
IP66 Enclosure - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against heavy seas or powerful jets of water.
IP 67 Enclosures - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against immersion.
IP 68 Enclosures - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against complete, continuous submersion in water.

This info was actually pinched from this forum somewhere which I saved on my computer. lol
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Mick.
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Mick. » May 14th, 2013, 5:28 pm

I'm also going to do a detailed one on HID lighting, different qualities and different options very shortly.

Cheers Mick
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[size=150][color=red]All custom work and DIY kits available.[/color][/size]
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Raisins78
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Raisins78 » May 16th, 2013, 3:42 pm

Cheers Peter, hopefully helps people looking at investing in LED lights.
Now a proud Jeep owner. Bye Bye Nissan! its been great, but ive discovered why people say "Its a jeep thing"

Raisins78
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Raisins78 » May 16th, 2013, 3:50 pm

IP ratings chart.
Note the third number, generally not used unless a product is designed with impact in mind. I feel all LED lights for 4x4's should use the third number. This would be good to compare strength and impact resistance to birds, tree's, roo's rock etc
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Now a proud Jeep owner. Bye Bye Nissan! its been great, but ive discovered why people say "Its a jeep thing"

DavidSuzy
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by DavidSuzy » May 22nd, 2013, 10:29 pm

Awesome post, just convinced me on which brand to buy! Thanks Heaps.

vt80steve
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by vt80steve » June 9th, 2013, 11:30 am

I have also seen a number of different brand LED's used in different light bars. Do these brands make a difference? I have seen 3w Cree, 5w olsen and 3w epsitar. I've also noticed the same size bars can range in current draw, how does this effect the quality?

Mick.
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Mick. » June 9th, 2013, 2:09 pm

This info come from a website that sell all brands and this info is based on customer feedback.


The BIGGEST question: I see names such as CREE, Epistar, Ecosmart...which should I buy?

Good question and you certainly should be concerned with. The names you mentioned such as CREE, Epistar etc are the type of Chip / Driver that is used inside the LED bulb. The difference is simple…quality! They are ALL manufactured overseas (CREE, Epistar, Ecosmart etc). CREE is based in the USA, designed in the USA and set the standards for the HIGHEST Quality LED! CREE is by far the leading innovator of lighting-class LED’s…period! This is why their prices are much higher then other brands, but they do last much longer.

Below is a good way to help you decide based on public feedback:

CREE: 50,000 to 100,000 hour Life Expectancy – Highest Standards
Epistar: 50,000 to 75,000 hour Life Expectancy – High Standards
Nichia: 50,000 to 75,000 hour Life Expectancy – High Standards
Bridgelux: 30,000 to 40,000 hour Life Expectancy – Medium Standards
Edison: 30,000 to 40,000 hour Life Expectancy – Medium Standards
Ecosmart: 10,000 to 25,000 hour Life Expectancy – Low Standards
Generic: 250 to 5,000 hour Life Expectancy – Lowest Standards

As you can see there is a big variation between the basic and the top of the line Crees.

Cheers Mick
[size=150][color=blue]Micks HID Projector Retrofits[/color][/size]
[size=150][color=red]All custom work and DIY kits available.[/color][/size]
[size=150][color=blue]PM me or phone on 0403596123[/color][/size]

Scotty 73
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Scotty 73 » June 16th, 2013, 12:12 am

Cree chips are manufactured to different levels of quality, they are not all the same, most Chinese manufactures are now being band from stating that they use Cree chips as some of them are using the lowest quality bringing down the reputation of other manufactures products that are using the highest quality.
But you are right Cree is definitely one of the world leaders.

http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/ ... mpXMBL.pdf
You take the high road and I'll go off road.

Ryno82
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Ryno82 » January 5th, 2016, 3:20 pm

Hi guys,

Does anyone have any comments on the lights from 4wd Super Centre??? They are cheap, but i'm just not convinced on them. And i can't warrant splurging on the ARB Intensity

http://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/product ... light.html


Thanks
Ryan

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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Rogers Cruiser » January 5th, 2016, 11:57 pm

The stuff from 4x4 supercenter is the same cheap chinease stuff on ebay but with a bigger markup.

Get onto ebay and pay through paypal and you will get the same product with ususally better service.

The cheap chinease stuff isnt necessarily bad, I have a $90 22inch lightbar on my troopy that has lasted 3 years, and 20+ water crossings (inc. salt water). There are some horror stories, but you get the same stories with the ARB stuff.
'98-'06 - FJ-45 Ute fell over one day and didnt survive
'06-now - HJ-47 Troopy, restored and now daily driver.
'13-now - HJ-47 Ute, Farm fresh rust bucket, needs a restoration. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=152811

now - Off Road Box/Camper Trailer. viewtopic.php?f=134&t=153968&p=1792444#p1792444

Dont listen to me, Ive got an opinion on everything!

Rogers Cruiser
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Re: How are your LED Lights rated? Some traps for the Unwary

Unread post by Rogers Cruiser » January 5th, 2016, 11:58 pm

'98-'06 - FJ-45 Ute fell over one day and didnt survive
'06-now - HJ-47 Troopy, restored and now daily driver.
'13-now - HJ-47 Ute, Farm fresh rust bucket, needs a restoration. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=152811

now - Off Road Box/Camper Trailer. viewtopic.php?f=134&t=153968&p=1792444#p1792444

Dont listen to me, Ive got an opinion on everything!

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