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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been wanting to try this for a while now and finally decided to do it. I pulled the trigger on a pair of LED lamps I found on good 'ole eBay. They are rated at 12 watts and supposed to be equivalent to 75-watt halogen lamps. According to the specs in the vendors listing. I installed them in the H14 tractor as it will probably get some nighttime duty blowing snow. I installed one in the right side, [seen on the left in the fourth picture] first so I could have a side-by-side comparison. The third picture shows the yellowish tint of the incandescent lamps. The LED lamps are 100% for certain brighter than the Wagner incandescent lamps that were in it. The Wagner lamps are rated at 35 watts. The camera doesn't really capture the difference as well as seeing it in person. I also noticed that the LED lamps don't show as much discharge on the Amp gauge as the others did. This was with the motor not running, just drawing from the battery. The LED lamps rather obviously consume less "juice"
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Do LED lights get warm enough to keep snow from sticking to them?

A local trucking company had problems with LED taillights not generating enough heat to prevent snow from obscuring the light.
Unfortunately LED do not generate as much heat so snow and ice will build up on them. Positive side is they are much brighter and use a lot less energy than incandescent lamps. Down side is usually more expensive and less heat builds up on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not going to worry about the lights getting snowed over. If/when that happens, I will just stop and clean it off. Chances are I won't be doing a lot of nighttime snow removal anyway. It does happen occasionally, but I seem to do the majority of it during the daylight hours. I just wanted to try out some LED bulbs in a tractor and see how much difference they really make. Besides, all the cool kids are doing it, so why not try it?
 

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I have two that I did the same conversion with and like them a lot. The bright white light along with the increased distance the incandescent lamps don’t compare. Like mentioned a lot easier on the old starter/generators.
 

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Do LED lights get warm enough to keep snow from sticking to them?

A local trucking company had problems with LED taillights not generating enough heat to prevent snow from obscuring the light.
Interesting question - when I worked in auto parts I quizzed the Grote sales rep about the LED tail and signal lights on highway tactor and trailer applications in winter conditions as to whether they would ice up easier. His response was interesting as he said the company had done tests to see if that was actually the case. In some instances they found that the incandescent lamps iced up and the LED lamps did not and in others the LED's iced up and the incandescent lamps melted the snow off - depended on various factors such as ambient temperature (how close it was to the freezing mark), amount of salt / sand and snow on the road and being directed at the lamps by the speed of the trailer and passing vehicles, etc. One thing he did note was that in the tests the LED lights travelled over 200000 miles and they only had a few failures where one of the actual LED's inside a light would stop working so they definitely should last a long, long time unless they are physically damaged. He also said that the life expectancy rating (number of hours) that a particular lamp was rated for was not an indication that the LED lamp would not fail to light after that time had passed but rather that was the amount of time that would pass in usage before the lamp would no longer pass the minimum parameters for the brightness of the lamp and also the reflective capability of any reflectors built into the lens for when a beam of light hit it. This was due to the fact that over time the LED's brightness will actually decrease because of age / usage and that the lens where the reflector part was will be subject to abrasion from dirt and debris hitting the lens material as it is picked up by the wind (a type of light sandblasting if you will). Snow sticking to the lamps will probably not be a big of a factor for a garden tractor removing snow unless the snow is just at the right temperature and moisture content that it will stick to anything and everything. Again, it will depend on the ambient temperature - if the snow is cold then there will be very little heat generated by the lamp to make the snow melt and stick but if the snow is wet and sticky already then it will probably try to stick to the lamps since there will be very little heat to try and melt it so it drips off. The most noticeable situation in my opinion would be if the tractor either had been left or was being used outside and sleet was falling or had fallen as that would tend to leave a LED lamp very ice covered (the same as a hood as an example) and not likely to melt the ice coating off once the lamps was turned on. Depending on the lamps construction and actual maximum voltage rating (some are rated for 48 volts DC) there may be current limiting resistors used inside the housing so that the LED does not burn out that will create a bit of heat once they are turned on for a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yep, good old eBay. Just key in PAR36 LED lights and you will get a whole list of examples. Sometimes listed as landscape lights too. I would go with 9 watts or more. Prices are all over the place. Can buy in units of 1,2,4 etc. I bought a package of 2 and had free shipping. Didn't cost me much more than 2 new incandescent bulbs would at an auto parts store.
 
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