If you have a card or you are a motorcycle rider, knowing about the amp draw of your LED headlight can save you a lot of headaches down the line.
Why, you ask? Well, imagine your headlight fuse blows – you’ll want to replace it with the right one, right?
And there’s more – especially for bikers out there! Some of you might be thinking about switching from one halogen headlight to two LED ones, without messing with the fuse. Knowing the power your LED uses becomes super handy in this case.
LED headlights don’t draw a lot of amps – generally, just a bit more than 2 amps for the low beam, although some bulbs might use more. You can figure out the amp draw by dividing the bulb’s wattage by the battery’s voltage, which is 12 volts in both cars and motorcycles.
This straightforward guide will walk you through the comparison of LEDs and halogens, how to convert watts to amps, and the maximum amperage your LED headlights can handle. And don’t worry, I’ll break it all down in layman’s terms!
LED vs Halogen: What Draws More Power?
When it comes to comparing the power consumption of LED and halogen headlights, it can be tricky. After all, LED headlights are a new market, and there’s no standard wattage for LED bulbs.
However, let’s simplify this comparison. Let’s consider the lowest wattage LED bulbs used in headlights, typically 25-watt bulbs. Each bulb draws slightly over 2 amps. But remember, a car has two headlights, so the total amp draw is around 4.16 amps.
Now, let’s look at halogen bulbs. Older halogen headlights usually use about 55 watts per bulb. The total power drawn by two such bulbs would be about 9.16 amps.
How to Convert Watts to Amps?
If you’ve ever been stumped trying to calculate how many amps an electrical device draws, here’s a quick formula: divide the device’s wattage by the voltage of the power source. With car and motorcycle batteries, your power source is a constant 12 volts.
For instance, if you have a 50-watt LED bulb, just divide 50 by 12. The answer? 4.16 amps.
Understanding the Maximum Amperage for LED Headlights
Knowing how many amps LED headlights can draw is important, but it’s also crucial to understand how much they can handle.
This is where fuses come in. A fuse will limit the current flowing through a circuit. Choosing a fuse that’s too low means your bulbs won’t work. However, choosing a fuse that’s too high can overload your LED bulbs, causing damage and potentially creating a fire hazard.
A good rule of thumb is to add 20% leeway to the amps drawn by your LED bulbs and select the closest fuse size above that. For instance, if you have 50-watt LED headlights with a total power draw of 4.16 amps, adding 20% leeway gives you about 5 amps. So, you would ideally opt for a 5 amp fuse.
Switching from halogen to LED headlights might not necessitate a fuse change, especially if your LEDs don’t have a high power draw. But it’s always wise to double-check what’s installed. If you’re shifting from high-powered halogens to low-powered LEDs, you might need to downgrade your fuse to prevent overloading your lights.
And remember, always stay on the right side of local laws when considering high-powered LED headlight kits. The responsibility for legal road use lies with you.
Whether you’re already an LED user or just contemplating the switch, knowing your headlights’ amp draw is never a bad thing. So, have you had any experience with LED headlights? What kind of fuse are you using? Do share your experiences!
Keywords: LED Headlights, Amp Draw, Convert Watts to Amps, LED vs Halogen, Fuse Size for LED Headlights