Why should I use LED lights on my tractors, sprayers harvesters or construction equipment?
This is a question farmers often ask. The answer is simple – that quality LED lights provide fantastic levels of illumination whilst emitting a light experience similar to daylight. And at the same time, only using half the battery power of traditional halogen lights.
When using LED lighting you will find superior visibility is one benefit. But having the ability to clearly see exactly what you are doing makes working conditions safer and all with far less eye strain or tiredness. Your long days planting or harvesting will become far more productive.
LED work lights draw almost half the current so make less demand on the machine alternator, switches and wiring circuit.
Manufacturers are starting to offer LED work lights as a factory fit option but this sometimes comes as a very expensive preference. So farmers are looking for alternative suppliers, which may be found in their local 4×4 dealers, agricultural dealers or possibly the internet.
However, the saying ‘you only get what you pay for’ is very true. Not all LED lights are the same and here are some tips to help you buy value for your money.
1. Most LED’s are produced in China and can be bought in a wide variety of qualities, performances, specification and price. Cheaply made lights are usually light in weight and will usually have poor beam control which produces a lot of bleached white light shining everywhere but none clearly
2. A well-designed light will generally be heavier in comparison due to the use of better components. They have an extended life expectancy due to the ability to maintain stable vibration and heat conditions for sensitive LED SMD, clarity of performance and clearer detail of what is ahead. So all of this comes from better components and design.
3. A well-designed light will include EMF protection, which is the prevention of electrical interference to radios/two-way radios. Ideally look for an EMC rating called CISPR25-CLASS4 or higher.
4. IP rating is a quality standard for how well protected the light is against dust or water getting inside. IP67 is fine but IP68 is perfect.
Jargon you should understand before purchasing LED lights:
Wattage: This is the size of the LED chip which produces the light and similar in purpose to a light bulb. Tractor work lights normally range from 27 through to 40 even 60 watts in size. At UTV Products the circuits are produced to maintain specific power consumption to ensure minimum disturbance of the original wiring.
Lumen: This is the measurement of light given out so at this stage lumens are the best indication of performance. Worth taking into account when making that important LED light purchase. However, there are two types of Lumen – ‘raw lumen’ and ‘effective lumen’. Raw is what the light should produce in theory but effective is what it produced in reality – and so the most important.
Lumen example: A normal 55-watt halogen work light emits 500-800 lumens. A 40-watt LED work light for a tractor or harvester emits around 3200-3600 lumens so about 5 times extra light and for half the power draw.
Lux: To complicate things even further Lux is a measurement of light at specific distance. Poor quality lights and lens with have high lumen output but fails to project suitable light at working distance. This is where valid lux readings can really differentiate the good and bad quality lights.
In addition to normal tractor white lights, there are some blue LED lights. These blue lights are proven to make spraying crops at night much easier by highlighting the spray pattern and show if any nozzles are blocked or performing badly. Another use for blue LED lights is for machinery working in poultry houses because the colour does not frighten and scatter poultry.
Following our 13 years’ experience specialising in LED lights for machinery, it is evident a small additional investment in quality well designed LED lights can bring a vast improvement and benefit to working in the dark. Whereas cheap poorly designed lights can bring absolute disappointment and frustration.