LED and Full LED headlights, similar but not the same

Now that LED headlights are becoming fashionable, it is time to really know what we are talking about, since the variety of products on the market is such that it is not difficult for them to give us a pig in a poke.

Every time a new technology arrives there is a certain fog effect. An effect that can lead some users to think that a product is within this new technology, but in reality it is not as much as it should be. This is what is happening, for example, with the new headlights and lighting systems for cars based on LED technology, in which systems entirely based on LED coexist with others that also have other older systems, such as halogen lighting. 

Since information is power and we do not want anyone to take your hair, we are going to analyze what each of these products consists of, as well as to know what their differences and similarities are, as well as to know what we should pay attention to not fall into the trap when looking for the best LED car bulbs (check this link for some purchase options) or when we plan to buy a new vehicle and want to equip it.

What is LED technology

As a first step, let’s see what LED technology consists of. Currently, this technology is present in practically everything that surrounds us, from your flat screen TV or Smart TV to the traffic lights on the streets or even your mobile. All these elements have LEDs on their screens or their casings.

These small light-transmitting elements, called diodes, have the advantage of extremely low energy consumption, while they can be manufactured in all kinds of sizes, depending on the specific needs of the use to which they are to be put. Therefore, in the case of vehicles, LEDs can be adapted to all lighting, from the interior to the headlights or the turn signal lights.

In the specific case of car headlights, the ones that interest us the most, these usually include a series of very high-power diodes, so that they can substitute with note the effect of halogen or xenon lights, which are usually used at night. time to light the road at night. The high intensity of these diodes allows for greater brightness on the road, without disturbing those coming from the front. And furthermore, these lights generate a cooler tone of light, closer to white or even blue than the conventional yellow of the usual lights, so that the light does not modify the image we see on the road.

Full LED and LED, not as equal as it seems

That said, it is time to see the main difference between Full LED technology and LED technology. Starting with the first, this technology is the one that uses LED elements solely and exclusively in vehicle lighting, so that both the position light and the light elements used to illuminate the road are made with LED technology.

However, in the case of models that are only LED, it is usual that this technology is not the only one, so that in the area of ​​the headlights we find other elements of older technology, such as halogen or xenon lights. Therefore, if someone tells us that they are selling us an LED product in which we find these technologies mixed, it is obvious that it is not as good as it should be. In fact, these LED systems have some drawbacks compared to Full LEDs, as we will see later.

How to distinguish an LED from a Full LED

Let’s start from the basis that distinguishing Full LED headlights or bulbs from ones that mix technologies is not entirely easy, due to the similarities between both technologies and also because of the marketing that they usually use when selling us this product. But there are some elements that can give us clues as to whether the lights are really pure LED or not.

Among these elements we have the color of lighting. As we have mentioned, a pure LED product tends to emit a whiter light, close to blue, while a mixed or non-pure product will generally tend more to generate halogen yellow light or the light of xenon headlights. It is also normal that the luminosity of the LED headlights is lower than that of the Full LEDs, due to the elements used in their manufacture.

Finally, it is also convenient to take a look at the bulb itself, since in some models you can visually see the elements that are foreign to a conventional or pure LED bulb. It is something that already requires a certain view and knowledge, but it is possible to do it.


As a final point, let’s see some of the drawbacks that a product that is not Full LED has compared to one that is. The first is the economic damage, given that they are “placing” us first-class salmon at the price of anchovies. But we also have the problem of durability, so simple LED lights will have to be changed before Full LED ones, which also affects our pocket.

On the other hand, these types of lights are not as efficient when it comes to lighting and can also cause problems with advanced technologies, such as the height adjustment systems of said light or those that have to do with the orientation of the lights, as in vehicles that have active lighting systems, which focus the same in the direction of the curve. So for all these reasons, it is advisable to be very careful and verify that we are really buying what we need so that our vehicle lights up at night.

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