A Comprehensive Guide to LED Daytime Running Lamps for Your Car

Noticed how all Volvos have their lights on even during the day? Well, now that technology is catching on in today’s modern vehicles. They say we need to protect human lives on the road as the traffic becomes crazy each day. What better way than to use the most efficient technology? LEDs are the perfect Daytime running lights we have seen in recent times.

What are LED Daytime Running Lights?

After going through years of research, LEDs have come to use low power in their bulbs through special wiring. They don’t flicker or cause error messages on the dashboard since they are designed to produce excellent visibility during the day as well as increase illumination at dusk and dawn.

Benefits of LEDs in Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)


Although daytime running lights have been around for a while now, we were yet to see the benefits that LEDs brought along. Now we can see it has paid off to use LEDs instead of Halogen or High-Intensity Discharge bulbs in DRLs. Why, you ask?

The power to run DRLs is drawn from the engine. LEDs use about 5watts to 20watts, unlike others which use upwards of 200w, so they are energy efficient. They do not increase the amount of fuel the car burns. As such, they limit the carbon emission by that particular car.

LEDs produce dazzling lights which provide great visibility in low light conditions. Mostly in winter, pedestrians need to see oncoming cars as the visibility is reduced to near zero in some countries. Not to mention, they prevent head-on collisions when traveling on two-lane roads. On the other hand, HIDs need some time to reach very bright intensities since they need to light up the xenon and then draw power from the car’s battery. 

For those with black cars, they are especially hard to see on a misty morning. All it takes is one second for you to bump into an oncoming car if their headlights are not on. Since LEDs use focused rays, the moment you have them on, you can see the way ahead on the road, and as such you have a safe driving experience.

The other main advantage is their lifetime. LEDs are deemed to last up to 3000 hours over Halogens which have 1000 hours of life and 2000 hours of HIDs.

Choosing LED Daytime Running Lights: Factors to Consider

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    Light Intensity: Because you are majorly purchasing the LED DRL for daytime use, the stronger the light intensity, the better it will be for increasing visibility. The number of lumens indicates how bright the particular light will be. If the LED says it produces 3000 lumens, you’ll have to know how many of the 3000 lumens does it actually use. This is because you’ll want LEDs where you can see and be seen.

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    Color: In daytime running lights colors may be somewhat of a limit to only cool white and warm colors. When choosing your LED DRL, it’s crucial to look at the temperature of the bulb since it dictates the color of the light. Warm white LEDs run from 2500 Kelvin to 4000 Kelvin while cool whites run from 5000 K to 8000 Kelvin.

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    Style: If you want to add some character to your car, you have the chance to choose from a variety of different bulbs which are installed in various patterns. This is because the sizes of the bulbs are in a series of small units.

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    Power of the Lights: The power and beam size are an important entity of the LED daytime running light you choose. In most countries, the regulations dictate a maximum of 800 lumens on any particular DRL. However, you have the chance to choose LEDs with lower intensities. Most drivers are advised to choose LEDs with 5W running with 600 lumens. At 200 lumens the LEDs are dim during the day, and at 800 they can be blinding to oncoming traffic. Make sure you consider the outside conditions of your area as you match the power and beam size of your LED DRL.

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    LED Lifespan: Check to see that the kit indicates the LEDs can last up to 3000 hours. Most manufacturers miscalculate on how long the LED daytime running lights will last, but they come close to the number indicated.

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    LED Quantity: LEDs offer just the right versatility for your car. When looking at the number of LEDs, it’s important to consider the viewing area. With a bar that has 28 LEDs, you can have a 360-degree viewing angle. Let’s just say, the number of LEDs should be in line with the viewing area you want.

Where should you install the LED Daytime Running Light 

LED daytime running lights are installed anywhere on the front of the car. There are four popular locations for LED daytime running lights.

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    Bumper grille

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    Mid-center grille

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    Center hood grille

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    Lower bumper

How do you Install the LED Daytime Running Lights?

LED daytime running lights are not exactly complicated when it comes to the installation process, but you should first know about the car’s electronic circuitry.

What you’ll need:

Standard or long nose pliers


Multimeter/ 12V tester

Power drill plus drill bits

Tape measure

Stiff wire like one bent from a coat hanger

The installation manual: it’s always important to read the mounting instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Mounting the LED Daytime Running Lights

Select the correct height of the LEDs based on your chosen location. For regular use, select at least 25 centimeters from the road and for parking purposes at least 35 centimeters.

Slip the wire into the bracket.

Drill and bolt the bracket into the selected location. Ensure that the bracket fits seamlessly with your car’s bumper or grille.

Now latch the LEDs into the bracket using the screwdriver

Now it’s time to wire up. The lamps connecting the LEDs have wires which you route to the source of power. In this case; near your car’s battery is the perfect control location.

Use the cable ties provided on the kit to secure the leads along the bumper

To tap the power supply, you can go directly to the batteries terminals and not on the ignition. This makes sense since the LEDs can get information whether the battery is running or not.

Tap the red wire on the ACC. The ACC is located on the fuse box. You can find it by using a tester meter on the empty places in the fuse box. First, connect the black wire to the negative then find the ACC spot by inserting the tester in the fuse box. Touch the different locations until one spot lights up. That is the ACC where you’ll connect the red wire.

With the black wire on the negative, insert the red wire in the ACC’s blade. Turn on the engine to see the LEDs at work. These daytime running lights should work when you fire up the engine and turn off when the engine is not running.


LED Daytime running lights last longer than standard bulbs. They are energy efficient and thus growing in popularity. They enable you to see much clearly as opposed to other forms of daytime lights. However, there are important considerations that you need to take before you go the LED way. Some rules and regulations dictate their usage, so you check with your country’s legalities first. But they are practical, much more sophisticated, and stylish for any car.


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