Sunday, October 7, 2007

3W LED vs Incandescent Tail Lights

There was a discussion on the EVDL a while back about the 3W LED tail light brightness as compared to the regular tail light. The led bulbs were purchased from Super Bright LEDs. The picture shows three different bulb arrangements each with the brake off then on.

1 - 3W led tail
2 - 3W led tail, led brake, 3rd
3 - 10W regular tail
4 - 10W regular tail, led brake, 3rd
5 - 5W regular tail
6 - 5W regular tail, 10W brake, 3rd

The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS-20D, EFS 17-85mm lens at the 85mm mark, manual mode with 1/6" at F32, ISO800, white balance on shade. The camera was about 50 feet from the tail light. It is difficult to see the real brightness difference between the lights. In the day light the 5W incandescent is not very noticeable. The 10W is better but the 3W led is very intense and quite noticeable. The leds also clearly come on quicker. The Gizmo has a smart blink unit which blinks the brake lights several times when the brake is applied. The leds are more obvious since they come on and shut off a few ms faster than the other lights. The "3rd" brake light is not what came standard on the Gizmo. The original led 3rd light was almost not noticeable in the day light since it had a narrow beam width and was aimed upward a little. Even when I re-aimed it it was not very noticeable. The current 3rd light is one for a pickup shell top.

If any one has any suggestions on how to take more accurate night pictures of such a small point of light let me know.


jeremy said...

1. Nice work
2. If you have a light meter i suggest taking readings of the different configs. You can even check the radial distribution graph given on most LED datasheets.

Is there a final consensus on efficiency?

Gizmo said...

I don't have a light meter but that would be a great way to make a better comparison. The pictures don't really show the higher intensity of the LED over the incandescent bulbs.

I really don't know what the efficiency is either. The LED is 3W but I don't know if that is what is drawn by the whole unit or what is used by the LED is self. The aluminum heat sink around the LED does get hot.


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