Why Most of LED Headlight Bulbs On The Market are 6000K, Without a 5000K or 8000K Option?

Well, today when we are searching on eBay or Amazon for led car headlight bulbs, we will notice that a disproportionate number of bulbs come in only a 6000K color temperature, without a 5000K or 8000K option.

Why are 6000K LED bulbs so much more common than 5000K?

Actually, the market does play somewhat into it.

  • When it comes to automotive lighting, most people want colder color temperatures because it provides obvious difference on brightness, the slight tinge of blue in 6K bulbs looks awesome, where warmer color temps don’t offer that.

  • 6000k is the preferred OE color for a LED forward light source. Even if it’s close enough as few hundred Kelvin would be undetectable to the naked eye (5500-6200). I recall seeing a lighting engineer for Audi say that 5700k is the best color for human eye.

  • 6000K chips are easier to make and cheaper to make. it’s cost and power balance. Pretty much all white led’s are made the same way– they start with a blue led die, and use a red/green phosphor coating(the yellow stuff on any white led) that is activated by the blue light to create the rest of the wavelengths needed to for white light. to get different color temps, they vary the concentration of the coating. 3000k has more coating, 6000k has less. so it’s cheaper to make a 6000k then it is to make a 3000k. There is also a method to create white light using a blue and a yellow led, but I haven’t seen many chips use that method at all compared to the phosphor conversion method, I believe the costs outweigh the benefits.

My theory on why 8K and 10K versions aren’t popular is that nighttime visibility degrades substantially as you go bluer, and they scream “illegal lighting”. Maybe consumers have gotten more educated about these issues since aftermarket HIDs first hit the scene, and market demand just isn’t there for 8K and 10K bulbs.

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