Which Color LEDs should I use?

GTR Lighting Red, White, Blue and Amber lights

LED Bulb replacements come in many styles, shapes and colors – it’s important to get the right ones!

When looking at replacing your stock automotive halogen/incandescent light bulbs with a new LED product it’s important to know the differences as to how the new light bulb will act in the housing you are going to place it in.

How LED Bulbs work behind a lens

This infographic shows how LED bulbs produce light through a red lens.

For best results the LED color should be the same as the lens color or if bulb is behind a clear lens, use the appropriate color for turn and brake light functions. As an example: a red lens will filter out all but the red portion of the light so if the light is all red, none or very little light will be blocked by the lens. The light from a White LED contains very little light in the red portion of the visible spectrum so most of the light would be filtered out by a red lens.

Brightness of LED Car Bulbs

Standard LED bulbs are generally not as bright as standard incandescent bulbs, they have many advantages over filament bulbs (longer life, faster on/off times, lower power consumption, more vivid colors) but brightness is not one of them. They are generally not as bright but some of them with large numbers of LEDs, will appear brighter than filament bulbs. As an exception, GTR Lighting TW6 LED car bulbs are as bright or brighter than most standard filament car bulbs. The light is distributed differently so they can appear brighter in some applications and not as bright in others, it depends on the size and shape of the bulb housing and reflector.

Most LED bulbs emit light like a flashlight, all out the end. Regular filament bulbs emit light from the end and all sides, so they will be better suited for some lighting applications than LED bulbs.

Infra Red Headlights?

Infra Red Light Bulbs

The Future of Halogen Bulbs

Today’s HIR (Halogen Infra-Red) incandescent light bulbs produces 75% of the light output of HID headlights at 25% of the cost. They are a single filament bulb with the same base and o-ring style as a 9005 or 9006 headlight bulb. These bulbs attain light levels 75% to 110% brighter than stock as a result of an engineering process by GE that deposits multiple, yet almost invisible, layers of semi-reflective coating on the surface of a specially shaped quartz bulb. This coating reflects a portion of the infrared energy emitted by the filament back onto the filament, causing it to glow brighter and emit more light from the uncoated forward portion of the bulb. Although the filament gets hotter, the glass does not.

These bulbs generate NO MORE heat than a regular halogen bulb, and they draw the same electrical current as the stock bulbs that they replace. These are a great option if you wish to upgrade your stock 9006 or 9005 halogen bulbs because they will be a near direct plug and play upgrade. The cross reference numbers are: 9005 bulb = 9011 HIR bulb; 9006 bulb = 9012

If you have access to a high quality HID system, that is still a better option, but if you want to upgrade on a budget, consider Halogen Infra Red light bulbs.