Fan vs. Fanless LED Headlights - Which one is better?

Car owners are continuously replacing their Halogen headlights with more efficient LED headlights. LED headlights are known to provide better lighting solution and also lasts over a longer period of time as compared to halogen headlights. The only disadvantage with LED headlights is the extreme heat. LED headlights components create a considerable amount of heat that needs to be dissipated in order to maintain optimal light output and to increase or maximize the headlights operating life. As a way to extend the brightness and LED headlights performance, LEDs within your car come equipped with either an active cooling mechanism or passive cooling mechanism.

Passive cooling which makes use of heat sinks is sufficient for normal LEDs. On the other hand, designers who make high brightness and power LEDs can also consider active cooling. However, forced air cooling comes with a higher level of complexity. In this post, we will see the relationship between heat and LED performance, passive and active cooling, the pros and cons of headlights equipped with fans, and the pros and cons of headlights without fans.

Heat and Performance. How is the LED affected?

The amount of heat generated by LED headlights can have a considerable impact on its performance and longevity. There are three important reasons to keep the LED headlights as cool as possible. These reasons are as follows.

1. The first important reasons are related to the radiant power of LED. The radiant power varies as a function of its junction temperature. As the ambient temperature increases, the junction temperature also increases. And when the junction temperature of the LED increases, the forward voltage as well as the lumen output of the LED decreases.

2. When the LED is operated with its maximum rated junction temperature, it can initiate a variety of different stress mechanisms which in turn will reduce the operating life or longevity of your vehicle's LED headlight.

3. When the LED headlight in your vehicle has a high junction temperature, it reduces your LED headlights color rendering index. The color rendering index (CRI) is a measure of how true the color of an LED headlight is when compared with industry standards.

In addition, when the heat within your vehicle is properly managed, it has several benefits. When the heat is effectively dissipated, it can reduce the total cost of the LED system by avoiding frequent replacement. It also allows the LEDs to operate at an optimal power level, which reduces the number of LEDs required within your vehicle to achieve industry-specified brightness.

Passive Cooling

The main advantage of the passive cooling mechanism lies in the low financial cost and better energy efficiency. This makes it an astute design choice for designers when it comes to heat management for LED headlights. It achieves high levels of heat dissipation by using a heat sink that maximizes the convection and radiation heat transfer modes. Passive cooling uses natural sources like wind to absorb or dissipate heat. This in return performs proper cooling of LED headlights and allows it to be maintained at optimal operating temperatures.

Active Cooling

On the other hand, the active cooling mechanism relies on external sources to provide heat dissipation or transfers. Inactive cooling method, the rate of fluid flow enhanced during convection. This increases the rate at which heat is dissipated or removed. It is a forced way to remove heat by using fans and to achieve high levels of optimal operating temperatures. However, the major disadvantages of using an active cooling mechanism are the higher operating costs of LED headlights.


led headlights

Fan LED Headlights – Its Pros and Cons

Fan LED headlights are the LEDs that come equipped with a fan and use an active cooling mechanism. Here, the external source is the fan which rotates and reduces the heat of LED headlights. Fans for LED headlights come in different sizes and models. There are some external fans that are large in size and thus find it difficult to be fitted within the headlight assembly. And there is some fans model, which is small and can be easily fitted within the assembly.

Pros of Fan Headlights

1. The external source, in this case, the fan which is installed within the assembly of headlights performs quick heat elimination from the LED.

2. If you select a slim fan for your vehicle's LED cooling, it does not require much space and fits in properly within the headlight assembly.

3. During the convection, the rate of fluid flow is increased which increases the rate at which heat is removed.

Cons of Fan Headlights

1. When using an external source like a fan for cooling, it can consume additional power and also increase the overall maintenance cost.

2. Fans can create a lot of noise within the assembly during their process to cool down the LED headlights.

3. In cases where the headlight assembly is not sealed properly, fans can attract a lot of dust and gather along, which in turn affects the performance of the headlights.

Fanless LED Headlights – Its Pros and Cons

Fanless LEDs are LED which uses a passive cooling mechanism and does not involve any external source for cooling the LED headlights. Fanless LED headlights come along with a heat sink which is essential for a high level of heat dissipation. OEDRO LED headlights are Fanless and the following are the pros and cons of it.


wrangler led headlights

Pros of Fanless LED Headlights

1. Fanless LED has a longer lifespan as compared to fan LED headlights. It is a cost-effective and better energy efficiency option as compared to a Fan LED headlight.

2. Fanless LED performs a noiseless operation as compared to Fan LED Headlights and provides a superior lighting performance.

3. It does not require any energy source to run and also does not attracts dust as compared to Fan LED.

Cons of Fanless LED Headlights

1. Fanless LED headlights that come along with heat sinks require continuous monitoring from time to time.

2. The cooling of the LED is not as fast as compared to the Fan LED headlights, because of its dependence on natural elements like the wind.

Which one is better for your vehicle?

Vehicles with LED headlights are becoming popular day by day. People with vintage and old cars are changing their halogen headlights with LED headlights for better and optimal lighting solutions. However, to make the selection between fans and Fanless LED's can sometimes be a tedious task if you don't know their individual pros and cons. And the wrong selection of products can turn out to be quite expensive for you. As discussed above, Fan LED headlights tend to be noisy and require extra power and energy to dissipate heat. Whereas, Fanless LED headlights, do not create any noise and also don't require any additional energy for their operations. In addition to the noise and energy, Fan LED attracts a lot of dust if they are not sealed and assembled properly. This is not the case with Fanless LED's.

Also, the maintenance and operating cost for Fan LED can be at a higher end. And they are known to reduce the lifespan of your vehicle's headlights because of the dust they collect. All these aspects when compared with Fanless LED's, makes OEDRO Fanless LED headlights a better option for you if you happen to own a Jeep Wrangler because of the low cost and better energy-efficient solution that we provide. Not only it is cost-effective, but at the same time, it increases the longevity of your vehicle's LED headlights. Making it a better option for your Wrangler lighting requirement.

For further ways to select LED headlights of good quality, please refer to our previous blog: How to tell high performance LED headlights.

wrangler led headlights

Wrapping Up

Deciding which accessories to choose for your vehicle can be a difficult job. It becomes even tougher if you don't have the necessary details alongside you to make the choice. Making an inappropriate choice will not only result in extra expenses but also it won't be suitable for the operation of your vehicle. OEDRO’s guide to the fan and fanless headlights provide you all the details necessary to understand the importance of heat on LED's performance and what you must do in order to achieve optimal lighting solution for your vehicle. Depending on the various factors when it comes to deciding on the Fan and Fanless version of headlights, Oedro headlights perfectly suits your Wrangler every need. It is a cost-effective solution that provides superior lighting solution and also increases the lifespan of your vehicle's headlights. The Oedro Fanless headlights are easy to install and comes with a two year warranty period. And if you have read our guide, then for sure you will make an informed and right decision for your vehicles lighting requirement.