Wednesday, July 10, 2019

One of These Light Bars Is Not Like the Others


Light-emitting diodes or LEDs has become the wonderchild of automotive headlight technology. Praised for their more compact size and smaller power draw, they’ve made possible a lot of new lighting applications in today’s cars such as adaptive headlights, sequential signal lights, and auxiliary driving lamps.

The last one, commonly installed in SUVs and pickup trucks has drawn both praise and criticism. Praise because it’s invaluable (and an easy upgrade) for drivers who ply through dimly-lit roads, and criticism, because it can cause unwanted glare to other motorists. Sitting down with Masashi Otsuka, PIAA’s Overseas Manager, we find out that it’s not LED technology that’s at fault, but how it’s used.

Masashi-san points to us how Original Equipment or OE lighting fixtures never have front-facing LEDs. The reason for this, he says, is that while others put too much attention on lumens, or how much light is given off, it’s also important to focus on candela (candlepower), or how visibly intense the light is. With that, carmakers often use reflectors (including projectors) to better focus their light beam, adding more light to where it’s needed and cutting off where it’s not.


Unlike other sport lamps or light bars which use rows upon rows of front-facing LEDs, PIAA places their LEDs facing the reflector, just as you would find in an OE headlight or fog light. PIAA calls this Reflector Facing technology. With that, their sport lamps and light bars are able to give off a focused beam pattern, making it perfect for driving in fog or dimly-lit areas, without producing glare. Moreover, this setup provides more light per watt with less amperage draw.

It’s very clear that not all sport lamps and light bars are created equal. For automotive lighting solutions that’s brighter by design, it’s best to stick to a brand whose mission is to offer better visibility: PIAA. PIAA offers a wide variety of automotive lighting solutions from sport lamps, light bars, to LED and halogen bulbs, wipers and even horns.

For more information on where to purchase and install PIAA sport lamps and light bars, contact them directly through their official Facebook page.

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