LED Headlamps Now in Round, Rectangular Versions; Kit Converts Markers to Brake Lights
March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature
Truck-Lite now offers LED headlamps with a horizontal diode array and in two familiar shapes: 7-inch round and 5-by-7-inch rectangular. And modular LED lamps are now available for aerodynamic headlights produced by truck builders.
LED headlamps are now available in 7-inch round and 5x7-inch rectangular versions. They emit bright, white light to help drivers see clearly and far ahead.
The company also has a kit that converts the three high-mounted rear marker lights on trailers and truck bodies into brake lights for safety and courtesy to following motorists.
Light-emitting diode lamps are many times brighter and whiter than traditional incandescent lights and stronger than halogens, said Brad Van Riper, Truck-Lite's senior vice president and chief technology officer. The round and rectangular versions have three-prong plugs that allow direct replacement of common commercial-truck lights.
Rather than placed throughout a lamp's surface, as in Truck-Lite's original 24- and 12-volt LED headlights, diodes in these lamps are located behind a horizontal bar. Their light output is carefully reflected forward and down, illuminating the road far ahead without blinding oncoming drivers, Van Riper said.
The lamps are sealed against moisture and dirt, and feature tough military-grade housings, haze- and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses, voltage-spike protection, and an "omni-volt" system that keeps light output constant when input voltage varies.
The LEDs weigh more and, at about $250 a pair, cost much more than traditional headlamps, but are somewhat lighter and about $100 lower in price than the original 24-volt LEDs engineered for the U.S. military and the 12-volt commercial version.
And aside from greater safety and less fatigue for drivers, their benefits of extreme long life should pay off the premium in a few years, Van Riper said.
The LED headlamps are a true Made in America product, he said. They were designed and tested by Truck-Lite engineers in Falconer, N.Y., and are made in its plants in New York and Pennsylvania.
Truck-Lite has also begun producing Advanced Aerodynamic LED Headlamps as plug-in replacements for other lamps used inside aero housings on certain truck models. The first set of high- and low-beam lights is designed for Freightliner's Cascadia model; others will follow, Van Riper said.Brake Light Kit
The marker-to-brake light conversion kit is called the Dual-Function Rear ID Pigtail Light kit. It makes the three center-mounted red LED marker lamps also function as brake lights.
The kit includes wiring and connectors that plug into Truck-Lite models 10, 33 and 35 series wiring harnesses. They connect existing stop/turn circuits with the three marker lamps. These grab the attention of drivers far behind the truck when the truck driver steps on his brake pedal.
Higher voltage applied to the marker lamps' LEDs are well within their capacity because they are engineered with a considerable safety margin, he said. Their lives are not shortened due to the slightly higher workload.
Truck-Lite engineers are readying another kit that also will cause the two red corner clearance lamps to function as turn signals. Van Riper said this will be available later this year.