LED and HID are two completely varied methods of light production. LED lights are powered by LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology, which is a solid state technology. HID lights have inert gas inside a casing that is made of glass. LEDs emit light across a small part of the visible light spectrum and do not waste any energy by generating non-visible electromagnetic radiation or waste heat. HIDs emit plenty of heat and much of their emissions are in the UV as well as IR spectrum. Find out about some of the big differences between LED and HID stadium lights.
From the point of view of brightness, LEDs happen to be better. HID lights do well enough and some of these can achieve as much illumination as LEDs can offer. However, LEDs win in a regular comparison of vibrancy. From an objective view point, LEDs are the brightest. When compared to HID lights, LED illuminants can offer powerful illumination. An LED bulb of 30-watt can offer the same amount of illumination as a HID bulb of 100-watt. For LEDs, the average efficiency of light is 110 lumens for each watt. In comparison, a HID light can have efficiency of 70 to 100 lumens for every watt. The brightness of HID can reduce with continuous use.
On the color spectrum, a wider selection is offered by HIDs. One can get from 3,000K to 30,000K, and even more. LEDs happen to be more limited in colors, with the range between 3,000K and 10,000K. Irrespective of what is there, most buyers will pick a color in the range of 4,000K to 6,000K. These happen to be the colors that resemble daylight the best, and can offer the best outcome while driving at night. The CRI (Color Rendering Index) of LED illuminants is superior to that of HID illuminants. Color reflection is better with higher CRI.
HIDs, due to their very nature, have a brief period of warm up – as less as 5 seconds. You will not get optimal brightness during that period. On the other hand, LEDs have an ability to turn on immediately. Thus, you can proceed instantly to complete brightness from darkness. This is not a big problem as lights are activated conventionally even when the car is static.
HIDs can generate light in the IR (infra-red) spectrum along with light in the visible spectrum. It is useful for those living in colder weather, as it helps melt ice and snow that can block headlights otherwise. IR light is not emitted by LEDs. Makers have made attempts to replicate the feature by blowing hot air onto the lens of the headlight. This is not achieved by retrofits. However, it will not be an issue in case you live in a place with moderate weather conditions.
All said and done, HID lights have the more mature technology right now. These have been around for more than 20 years and are understood quite well. LEDs might be newer, but are surpassing HIDs in terms of technology and popularity.