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What’s Headlight Angel Eyes

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Headlight angel eyes are also known as the halo rings, halo headlights or corona rings. It is a luminous ring installed or integrated into a vehicle’s headlight assembly. It Introduced by BMW car in 2000, but soon became a popular customization option to enhance any vehicle’s front end appearance. But it can not replace the headlights or any other lights. It is an auxiliary lights or decorative light, to be used as a DRL.

There have many different types of angel eyes on the market, utilizing different technologies to create the amazing light of rings.

CCFL halo rings

CCFL means Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light. It is the first generation of angel eyes halo rings widely used in car headlights. But ccfl halo rings need high voltage to maintain an electrical arc of light. So small CCFL inverters are required.

Long lifespan. Usually, it can work 60,000 hours. Think about it… 60k hours of driving 60mph would be a car with 3.6 Million Miles. Longer lifespan than your car.

Cheaper. This CCFL halo ring is much cheaper than you thought. In China car lighting market, the price only 3USD-5USD/pair.

Although the CCFL halo is widely used in automotive headlights, there still has some disadvantage that you must know.

Weakness. The output is very weak. It can be used in the daytime because you can saw it.

Not the full circle in sharp. There has a break on one side where the electrodes are attached for power. It makes the ccfl halo rings look not so beautiful.

Easy broken. Since they are glass, they can be very fragile. Many CCFLs are designed with diffusing protective covers on them, in order to decrease the chance of damage. But it still easy to broken in installation.

Multicolor Cool can not be made. White or warm white color are the most common color. For RGB or RGB chasing which controller with BT is impossible.

Much rare in China market. Because less and less client like it, there no factory or company in China still producing this halo rings. Even if possible, it must need high MOQ to produce.

LED lighting guide

Notches engraved into an acrylic ring, to diffuse light.

The most basic angel eyes are made up of a clear acrylic rod. The rod is heated so it becomes pliable and is shaped into a circle of the correct diameter for the application. Then, it is notched at even points along the ring.

Finally, two traditional 5mm LEDs are inserted at the ends, shining light into the ring and being directed outwards at every point there is a notch.

The overall effect is small lines of light in a circular pattern, depending on how many notches there are on the ring.

Multicolor color is available. These rings are available in a number of colors. Single color white, red, blue, green… White-amber double color switchback with turn signal light function. RGB color with Bluetooth controller or IR controller.

They are extremely durable and can work well for a very long time. And the cheapest price made it much popular in the retrofit market. About 5USD-6USD/pair for the single color halo rings only. 80mm and 95mm size are widely used with ROYALIN projector lens shrouds. In a general way, 80mm used with mini h1 2.5 inch projector lens shrouds and 95mm used with 3.0 inch projector lens shrouds.

However, there also have some disadvantages to these halo rings.

Due to the fact that only two LEDs inside, the rings are not as bright as SMD and COB halos with total lumen output is only around 10 lumens. But their brightness is enough to be DRL (daytime running lights) or for switchback function.

Additionally, the light can be uneven. The part of the ring closest to the LEDs is usually a bit brighter than the opposite side from the LEDs, as brightness is immediately lost as the light makes its way through the ring.

SMD LED Rings

Surface Mount Diode (SMD) is the next generation item in the led lighting market. It utilizes an advanced type of LED chip that can produce brilliant light output while only consuming a small amount of power. Many SMD led chips are mounted onto a 6 layer printed circuit board(PCB) which is much stable and not easy to break even if you bend it hard. This PCB can be mounted to a headlight housing using the pre-installed 3M adhesive tape.

Different sizes of halo rings installed different quality led chips. And the most commonly used are 3528 and 5050 led chips. 60mm-120mm for full circle and 131mm, 146mm for half circle halo rings are mostly used. Because many LEDs in PCB, it can be easily made with RGB and RGBW chasing mode. Single color and double color must be widely used too.

This SMD halo rings can work well without cover and creates an individual dot of light. Many enjoy this look, as it provides a unique appearance. However, those who want a more uniform, solid circle of light can add a diffusing cover, which is designed to fit over the SMD LED ring and diffuse the light, to make it appear more uniform.

Transparent cover, milk cover, and DTM style Acrylic cover. And milk cover is widely used. It is called cotton angel eyes in China Market. With this soft milk cover, the halo rings will much soft, smooth, and no dots outside.

Plasma halo rings (COB technology)

COB, or chip-on-board, is a manufacturing technology of LEDs where the LED chips are mounted directly to a PCB board. It is similar to SMD but not the same as SMD. Essentially, the whole board becomes the LED package. The design makes for optimal thermal management, high packing density, and overall high-performance light output. This new technology is not only brighter than previous LED Halo Rings but it also features very consistent light output and appears as one solid ring rather than a ring of individual LEDs.

This results in a very uniform and very bright light source. There is much less surface area to diffuse heat compared to the heatsinking of individual LEDs like on an SMD LED, so the heat should be diffused through a sturdy aluminum backing. Many cheaper rings use an aluminum-colored film on the back, not actual aluminum.

Levi Chou

Levi Chou

Hi, I’m Levi Zhou, the founder of royalincarparts.com, I’ve been engaged in auto parts aftermarket for decades, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge relating to car lighting retrofit from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.

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