The Differences Between LED, CCFL, and Plasma Halos

Posted by Josh.B. on Jul 11th 2017

The world of aftermarket automotive lighting is quite a bit more complex than many people might imagine. There's much more to selecting a new set of lights than simply ordering a stock replacement, and due to the huge variety of lighting technology, there is an equally large variety of options. Halo headlights are some of the most sought-after in the world of aftermarket lighting, but what is it about them that makes them so special? To begin with, halo headlights like those found on FuriousLights.com are made with advanced technology that puts them into a league of their own. There are three primary halo varieties in terms of the lighting technology that powers them, and those are CCFL, LED, and Plasma.

The first and oldest variety, CCFL, stands for Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light. These lights are made with the same style of lighting technology found in standard overhead fluorescent lighting, so they produce a smooth appearance that is preferred by many. With CCFL lights, you won't be able to see individual diodes within the halo as you would with LED lights. CCFLs are typically cheaper than both LED and Plasma options, and there are more options for CCFLs simply because they have existed longer. While these lights aren't quite as bright as the other varieties, they produce up to 50,000 hours of active utility.

The next halo variety is LED, or Light Emitting Diode. These lights are also called SMD lights, but that is merely a more specific classification of LED. LED halos are exceptionally bright, and they are built with numerous individual lighting diodes within the ring. This provides the potential to place multiple colors within the ring for an effect that can't be matched by single-color CCFL rings. LEDs can also be remotely controlled, which is a unique feature amongst these options. Since these lights are newer and more durable, they are able to produce 60,000 hours of active use. These tend to be more expensive, but they offer more utility.

Plasma halos are the last option, and they are the newest as well. They don't have the ability to change color, but there are multiple individual color options. These lights provide the same smooth appearance of CCFLs, but they provide up to 100,000 hours of continuous use. Several of the halos on FuriousLights.com, such as the 2004-2014 Bentley Continental GT ORACLE Halo Kit, include options for all three varieties.