Last updated: August 20, 2021

Welcome to our LED headlight test 2021. In the following sections, we will give you all the important background information about LED headlights. In addition, we will answer frequently asked questions and go into detail about all the things you should know when buying a headlamp.

We would like to show you three different types of LED spotlights, those with a switch, those with a remote control and those with a motion detector. Each of the different types has advantages and disadvantages that we would like to show you so that you can make comparisons. This article is rounded off by three practical tips that you may need as the owner of an LED spotlight.

With the help of our test, we would like to support you on the way to your purchase decision and give you important tips.




The most important

  • Your LED spotlight can be operated with a switch, a remote control or a motion detector. For each of these applications, your LED spotlight needs electricity.
  • It is possible to have LED spotlights shine in transparent colour or in different bright colours. Marked lamps can also be dimmed.
  • LED spotlights can be used in many different areas, both indoors and outdoors. Examples are living rooms or vehicles.

The Best LED Headlights: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying LED headlights

What are LED headlights?

LED headlamps are headlamps that produce light with the help of light-emitting diodes. These light-emitting diodes can have different shapes, colours and sizes.

Depending on the wattage, LED headlights shine further and are therefore very bright or shorter. As a result, LED spotlights are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. With the help of LED spotlights, individual, small rooms or even a large garden can be illuminated.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of LED spotlights?

LED spotlights have many advantages over conventional incandescent lamps, which will sooner or later lead to incandescent lamps being replaced by LEDs or LED spotlights.

We would now like to show you the advantages and disadvantages of LED headlights:

Advantages
  • Long service life
  • High reliability, as not all lights fail at the same time
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Lower heat generation
  • Can be used almost anywhere due to the various designs
  • Various light colours
  • No loss of service life due to frequent switching on and off
  • Low UV radiation
Disadvantages
  • High costs
  • LED headlights can dazzle
  • Bead string effect: LED lights are irritating when lights are perceived as several individual lights
  • Large size of housings, as electronics and cooling have to be accommodated
  • Failed LEDs can only be replaced or exchanged as a complete package

How much do LED headlights cost?

The cheapest LED headlights cost around 7 euros, while the most expensive average products are available for around 290 euros.

The prices of LED headlights vary depending on size, design and colour.

Prices for LED headlights with switches start at 7 euros and end at around 290 euros.

LED headlights with remote control start at 14 euros and go up to 210 euros.

If you want an LED spotlight with motion detector, the prices start at around 17 euros. The most expensive LED spotlights with motion detector cost around 170 euros.

Type price
LED spotlight with switch approx. 7-290 euros
LED spotlight with remote control approx. 14-210 euros
LED spotlight with motion detector approx. 17-170 euros

Of course, you mustn't forget that in addition to the cost of the LED spotlights, you also have to pay for the electricity you need.

What alternatives are there to LED headlights?

When it comes to alternatives to LED headlights, we distinguish between two different lighting options:

  • Halogen lamps: Halogen lamps are incandescent lamps filled with halogen, thus improving the light output. Halogen lamps are cheaper to buy and are known to be easy to replace if they become defective.
  • Induction lighting: The life of induction lighting is roughly comparable to that of an LED luminaire. The small surface area of induction luminaires makes it possible to reduce glare and thus create a better lighting picture for the user. Due to the instantaneous luminous flux, induction lighting illuminates immediately after being switched on and does not require any "lead time".

LED-Scheinwerfer-1

As an alternative to LED headlights, you can also buy conventional halogen lamps.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Peter Maselkowski)

Decision: What types of LED headlamps are there and which one is right for you?

If you decide to buy an LED headlamp, there are three different types you can choose from:

  • LED spotlight with switch
  • LED spotlight with remote control
  • LED spotlight with motion detector

The three different types of LED headlights have the same basic idea, but differ in details, each of which has some advantages and disadvantages. These details of the different LED headlights will be explained in the next section.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of LED headlights with switches?

LED headlights with a switch need to be plugged in to use them, as they require a power supply. To make the LED light work, you have to turn it on and off with a switch.

The switches of an LED headlamp for switching on and off are usually attached as an intermediate part to the cable or in some cases directly to the headlamp. Such an on/off switch can, for example, be a slide switch or a button that can be pushed back and forth.

Advantages
  • Saves power because the LED headlight only lights up when it is switched on
  • Easy to operate
  • Can be easily mounted anywhere
Disadvantages
  • LED spotlight always has to be switched on manually
  • Power cable should remain unprocessed, so no change to the switch possible
  • LED spotlight needs power to light up

LED headlights with switches are mainly used as worklights. These can be used both in a business sense on tractors and for private purposes when working around the house.

What distinguishes LED headlights with remote control and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

LED spotlights with remote control also need to be made to work with a power cable. In contrast to the LED spotlight with switch, a remote control can be used with this LED spotlight to make the lamp work.

Modern LED spotlights with remote control can often be controlled with smartphones using an app. This depends on the product.

LED spotlights with remote control that are dimmable or can change colour can not only be switched on and off with the remote control or a smartphone, but also control the other functions.

Advantages
  • Saves electricity because the LED spotlight only lights up when it is switched on
  • Can be connected to a smartphone
  • Can be operated with a smartphone from anywhere
  • Multiple functions at once
Disadvantages
  • Smartphone needs battery to operate LED headlamp
  • Remote control must be used near LED headlamp
  • LED headlamp needs power to light

LED spotlights with remote control are often used in houses and flats. They are ideal for illuminating individual living spaces and creating a homely environment.

They are also often used in discotheques to illuminate party rooms in a colourful way - if possible - and can be controlled manually at any time.

What are the features of LED spotlights with motion detectors and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

LED spotlights with motion detectors switch on whenever something moves in the vicinity of the light source.

Like LED spotlights with a switch or remote control, LED spotlights with motion detectors are also powered by electricity. Therefore, when installing the light, you should make sure that it is mounted or placed near a power socket.

Advantages
  • Automatic operation
  • Practical when your hands are full with shopping
  • Suitable for video surveillance in combination with a camera
Disadvantages
  • Can also switch on when not needed (e.g. curtain moves when window is open and wind is blowing
  • Higher power consumption because it switches on and off independently
  • LED spotlight needs power to light up

LED floodlights can be very well combined with cameras to be used for video surveillance of individual living spaces or buildings. In addition to closed rooms, LED luminaires with motion detectors can also be used optimally for the outdoor areas of residential buildings. For this, however, they must be waterproof.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate LED spotlights

The following section is intended to show you which factors should be included in your purchase decision in order to be able to optimally compare and evaluate the different LED headlamps.

If you compare the following criteria, your purchase should be easier:

In the section below we explain the different factors in more detail.

Durability

The expected life of the light source is much longer than that of conventional light sources such as incandescent bulbs.

The maximum service life is 100,000 operating hours.

In the course of time, the intensity of the light decreases and thus also the efficiency of the LED spotlight. Basically, the durability of LED headlights depends on the temperature of the LED.

The average temperature of LED headlights is 74 degrees, which means that the light source can have an average service life of 30,000 operating hours.

To have a comparison to other light sources: The service life of xenon headlights is only about 10% of that of LED headlights and the service life of halogen headlights is only about 3% of the service life of LED lamps.

Bulbs average operating hours
LED headlights 30,000
Xenon headlights 3,000
Halogen headlights 900

Colour

A distinction is made between transparent and coloured LED headlights. The colour of transparent LED headlights is also called daylight white. If the light is emitted in a narrow band, the LED spotlight shines in the colours red, green or blue.

LED spotlights can shine in one colour or alternately in different colours. The different colours can be changed, for example, using a remote control or an app on a smartphone.

Area of suitability

LED spotlights can be used both for private purposes in the form of lighting in living spaces and for professional purposes in the form of work lights.

One area in which LED headlights have become established is the mobile sector. A distinction is made between full LED headlights and headlights with LED low beam. The latest cars are equipped with full LED headlights, which provide a very bright driving experience.

LED-Scheinwerfer-2

LED headlights are often used to illuminate musicians during concerts.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Banter Snaps)

Likewise, LED headlights can be attached to trailers or tractors to better illuminate the road. However, care must be taken to determine where the use of additional LED headlights is permitted in traffic and where not.

Designs

There are five different types of LEDs in LED headlamps. Depending on the area of suitability, the construction, service life and power of the respective LEDs change.

  • Wired light-emitting diodes: The number 1 among LEDs is used for control purposes. Users mainly find wired LEDs in LED spotlights and fluorescent tubes.
  • SuperFlux LEDs: These LEDs emit light over a wide area, which is why this type of LED is used for area lighting. Due to the optimal structure of SuperFlux LEDs, the service life of the light source is very long.
  • SMD LEDs: Surface Mounted Device LEDs can emit very intense light because the current density is insensitive. They are mainly used for LED fluorescent tubes as well as for car indicators, brake lights and daytime running lights.
  • High-power LEDs: The powerful high-power LEDs are used on metal-core PCBs.
  • Chip On Board LEDs: COB LEDs do not use reflectors, which means that the angle of radiation of the light emitted is large. As a result, this form of LED has a strong luminosity and can be used in many different areas.

Approval requirement

Apart from worklights, every headlight within the scope of the ECE must have an approval. This approval must be visibly marked on the headlamp. The many different light functions each have their own approval mark.

Worklights and vehicle headlights must also have approval for electromagnetic compatibility to ensure that headlights function without problems in the event of external interference and do not cause interference in the board network.

Facts worth knowing about LED headlights

What can I do if LED headlights flicker?

The flickering of LED headlights can have various causes. How the flickering of the LEDs can be remedied depends on the respective cause:

  • Voltage quality of the transformer: Transformers from the household mains are designed to produce an operating voltage of 12 volts. If the output voltage of the transformer fluctuates, the LED spotlight may flicker. In such cases, you have to change your old transformer, which you used for halogen lamps, to an LED transformer.
  • Flickering at the dimmer: To be able to dim the brightness of an LED lamp, LED spotlights must actually be able to dim the luminous intensity. If the lamp flickers on the dimmer, the first step is to check the packaging to see if it can actually dim. If the LED spotlight is dimmable but still flickers, you should replace it with a new LED dimmer.
  • Flickering when switched on: If an LED spotlight flickers when switched on, either the quality of the light source is poor or the LED spotlight has reached the end of its product life cycle.
  • LED lamp on motion detector flickers: Motion detectors with an electronic switch are often affected by flickering. The reason for this is that they require a certain minimum load to switch without leakage current. A low minimum load or the use of a switching relay can remedy the problems.

How can I clean LED headlights?

To clean your LED headlights, you can use the following home remedies:

  • Toothpaste: For LED fixtures that are made of plastic, you can use toothpaste. The granules in the toothpaste create a fine abrasive effect. With the help of a soft, damp cloth, you can clean your lamp in circular motions.
  • Lemon: For light dirt, you can rub your LED headlight with sliced lemons and then clean it with a damp cloth.

LED-Scheinwerfer-3

You can clean your LED headlights with a lemon to make them shine like the first day.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Frank Albrecht)
  • Car polish: Car polish has the same effect as toothpaste. It abrades the LED headlights to make them clear again.

How can I dim LED headlights?

Only those LED headlights that are labelled as dimmable lamps can also be dimmed. The minimum base load of the dimmer must be less than or equal to the power consumption of the lamp.

If you use a dimmer with a non-dimmable LED spotlight, there is a high chance that the lamp will flicker or even be destroyed.

Picture source: Cherokee4 / 123rf.com

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