If your puny halogen lights keep burning out or don’t give you the brightness or clarity you need, it’s time to make the move to LED headlights. LED headlights provide unsurpassed brightness and clarity, but most vehicles aren’t built to handle the unique power needs of LEDs. To get the right type of power and avoid issues you’ll need a ballast – or do you? Let’s learn what a ballast is and if your LED headlights need one.
Ballast or No Ballast?
A ballast turns your battery’s power into the right kind of juice for LEDs. Most vehicles are engineered to deliver power to halogen lights, not LEDs. LEDs require less power than a traditional halogen light but requires it be delivered in a unique way. A ballast is an intermediate device you connect to both your LED headlights and vehicle for a seamless power delivery. Most LED headlight kits come with some type of conversion device like a ballast or driver. Not all LED headlights require a ballast specifically but almost all require some type of conversion device and a ballast is a great choice.
You don’t need to be an electrical genius to install a ballast. Most of the time it’s merely some extra connections under your hood. Any LED headlight kit that comes with a ballast will also come with instructions on how to install it.
Most vehicles happily take to LED headlights and ballast with no issue but not all vehicles can meet the unique power needs of LEDs with a ballast alone. If your new headlights are flickering or not bright enough you may need an extra piece of equipment like a secondary bypass or anti-flicker adapter to keep things operating smoothly.
You don’t require a ballast if you’re operating a newer vehicle with ‘plug and play’ style LED headlights. Unlike most vehicles, vehicles with pre-installed adapters can handle LED lights without a ballast. Plug and play models are more common with motorcycles.
Unless you have a brand-new vehicle that’s meant for LED headlights, you’ll need an extra piece of equipment like a ballast or driver to give your LED headlights the right type of power. Always follow your headlight’s installation directions and attach the ballast properly for instant LED light power. With a ballast and a little time, you’ll have your LEDS and shining brightly in no time.