At the time of their application, LED headlights were a major step forward in vehicle technology. Light-emitting diodes had been around since scientist Nick Holonyak Jr. invented them in 1962. However, it wasn’t until the 21st century when LED lighting came into the automotive world — first with the Lexus LS 600h in 2006, then the V10 Audi R8 in 2007. Today, heated LED headlights are coming around the bend.

Heated LED headlights: what are they?

On their own, LED headlights can be up to 275 percent brighter than their halogen counterparts, all while consuming 260 percent less energy.

Heated LED headlights incorporate the positives of LED lighting with the nicety of a deicing agent — heat.

On their own, LED headlights can be troublesome in the wintertime. Winter conditions can cause your headlights to fog or freeze up. Not only can it make seeing the road ahead tricky, but it can also delegitimize any active safety features you have that rely on headlights (like pedestrian detection, lane keep assist and even forward collision warning).

By adding a heated element to LED headlights, you’re combatting these concerns and optimizing vehicle safety from the outset.

Are there risks associated with heated LEDs?

If heated LED headlights were a perfect solution, every vehicle would have a set. Considering LEDs use less energy, this in turn means they produce less heat, so you can imagine the conundrum here. 

However, manufacturers must be very careful to ensure utmost safety. In the modern age, engineers look to something called optically clear, transparent heaters. These are made from hybrid materials that provide high levels of conductivity as well as plenty of visible light transparency.

Which vehicles have heated LED headlights?

Drivers on the hunt for a new car are likely to see heated side mirrors, especially if they live in a colder climate. From the VW Golf R to the Lincoln Continental, this feature is hardly few and far between. 

However, it’s trickier to find cars that have heated headlights. There are plenty of independent companies who make their own line. In October, United Pacific Industries expanded its line of heated LED headlights for commercial trucks. Maxxima recently came out with its own product, the MaxxHeat heated lighting system for automotives. J.W. Speaker and ChasmTek are a couple of other manufacturers tackling the heated headlight issue. 

For now, heated LED headlights are an aftermarket consumption for regular drivers, and a pretty normal treat for truckers.

Rachel Curry
"Hey! My name's Rachel Curry and I'm a full-time writer who loves telling the world's stories as much as hanging with my dogs (and that's saying a lot). A University of Delaware graduate, I've traveled extensively, living everywhere from Ireland to Thailand. Bylines include Matador Network and Delaware Today."

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