HID lights produce light by creating an arc within a glass bulb that ignites gases and metallic salts to create a plasma ignition, in turn creating intense light output.

HID lights are very efficient, have good longevity, and like halogen lamps produce large amounts of heat.

For applications requiring the most powerful light output possible, HID systems are at the top of the list.

The following are some basic performance specs for a typical 50 watt HID bulb.

LEDs represent the newest generation of boat lighting technology and provide an excellent alternative to halogen and metal halide lamps.

LEDs also produce light much differently than halogen or HID bulbs.

LEDs consist of thin layers of semi conducting material coated with materials such as phosphorus which is affixed to a metal base and fed current through two contacts.

When electrical current is passed through an LED, a process called electroluminescence takes place where in electrons pass through the semiconducting material and as they do they eventually release some energy in the form of photons, or visible light.

This process is very efficient, produces low amounts of heat as compared to the amount of light produced, and works natively with direct current rather than alternating current.


Although LEDs do produce far less heat than incandescent or HID lamps, the LED chip itself is more sensitive to neonskyltar high heat levels, and it is possible for too much heat buildup to damage the LED and shorten its operating life if not dealt with.

Because of this most manufacturers design LED fixtures with built in heat sinks, represented by finned housing designs which work to efficiently dissipate heat and maintain maximum performance.

This heat management issue and heat management solution is why most LED fixtures look so different from standard lamps and is the leading source of trouble with LEDs.

But these days most manufacturers of quality LEDs have produced designs which effectively reduce the issue to a minor one.

The following are some basic specs for an LED equivalent to 50 watt halogen lamps.

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