What is a LED?

LED is shorthand for Light Emitting Diode. LEDs are made of semiconductor materials that emit narrow-spectrum light when an electrical current is passed through. Some people refer to LEDs as Solid-State devices because of their solid semiconductor material.

Interested in upgrading to LEDs? Learn more about SYLVANIA Automotive's premium LED bulbs!

Features and Benefits of SYLVANIA Automotive LED Technology

Educational LED Videos

What Do I Need to Know When Buying LED Bulbs?

Did you know – Not all LEDs are high quality, bright, or long lasting.

Like most products, there are great LEDs and there are low-quality LEDs. It’s best to avoid manufacturers that use low-quality LEDs, or you could end up with bulbs that shift color, drop light output, or don’t last as long as expected.

OSRAM SYLVANIA is a trusted LED manufacturer and only uses the highest-quality LEDs. Our products are over-engineered to deliver consistent performance throughout their lifetime; they will not shift in color, or lose light output from the effects of heat or time

High Quality LEDs

Did you know – An LED bulb’s lifetime is dependent on its heat management system?

Heat is an LED’s worst enemy. When temperatures exceed an LED’s designed specifications, its lifetime can be shortened dramatically

LEDs do not radiate like other light sources. Some of the power LED bulbs consume is converted into heat and can build-up if not managed properly. Eliminating this heat requires a quality heat management system.

As the global leader in automotive lighting, OSRAM SYLVANIA applies its expertise to only design and engineer LED-based bulbs with proper heat-management systems.

Did you know – Controlling an LED’s current is important?

The electrical current that flows through an LED determines the amount of light that is emitted, as well as the temperature it will reach. For these reasons, it is important to control the current.

Many of OSRAM SYLVANIA’s LED replacement bulbs incorporate a constant-current driver, which maintains the current flow regardless of any voltage peaks or variations. This system guarantees the LEDs always emit the correct intensity of light, and protect the LED chip from any fluctuations of voltage in the vehicle.

Did you know – The color of LED replacement bulbs matters?

The color spectrum of an incandescent bulb is different than color spectrum of a white LED. This impacts the color LED you should purchase, but the easy general rule is that the bulb should match the color of the lens that covers the bulb.

Clear Lens: Depending on the application, either a white or an amber bulb can be used behind a clear lens.

Red Lens: Always choose a red LED bulb behind a red lens. If you place a white LED behind a red tail/brake lens, there will be too much orange/yellow and the light will appear pink/orange.

Amber Lens: Always choose an amber LED bulb behind an amber lens. If you place a white LED behind an amber lens, the light will appear greenish.

Did you know – LEDs may trigger outage detection systems in your vehicle?

Vehicles are required to have Outage Detection systems that warn drivers when a bulb has burned out. These systems work by monitoring the power consumed by the bulb. When the power drops below a preset threshold, the warning is triggered. The warning can be either a hyperflash (fast-blinking of the turn signal) and/or a warning light on the dashboard.

LED bulbs consume a fraction of the power of incandescent bulbs. This difference can be enough to trigger your car’s outage warning system. For example an incandescent 3157 bulb consumes 27W, in contrast our ZEVO 3157 LED replacement bulb that only consume about 1.5W. In many cases, LED bulbs use so little power they end up triggering an outage warning. One way to eliminate the warning is to install a SYLVANIA Load Resistor in parallel with the turn signal socket wires. The load resistor will consume enough power to mimic the power draw of an incandescent bulb, eliminating the warning.

The load equalizer must be connected between the turn and ground wires of the socket. Because its power consumption will be dissipated as heat, it is important to attach it to a flat metal surface so the heat can be safely dissipated.

Learn More About SYLVANIA Automotive's Load Equalizer!

LED low power consumption

Did you know – More LEDs on the bulb does not mean better performance?

A common misconception is that the more LED chips on a product, the brighter or better it’s going to be. That’s not the case. LED chips come in all shapes, sizes, intensities, and levels of quality. There are low-power, mid-power, high-power LEDs, etc.

When purchasing LED lighting products, be sure to not make your decision based on the number of LEDs on the bulb. Instead focus on the performance and quality of the chip, as well as the optical and thermal design of the product.