Farm Horizons, Dec. 2015

‘Can you see me?’

By Jarrod Peterson

Technology is a wonderful thing, especially when it lights the way for you.

That’s exactly what light emitting diodes (LED) have been doing for local farmers over the past few years.

Farmers don’t like to waste time, and having their equipment work right every time helps them bring in the profits.

Efficiency, brightness, cost-effective, and low-maintenance, LED lights have brought farming out of the dark and into the light.

As Midwest Machinery’s Tom Borg explains, LED light has nearly replaced the old halogen lightbulb because of its efficiency, brightness, and longevity.

“The tractor will wear out before the light will,” said Borg, when talking about how long the average LED lightbulb will last. When it comes to efficiency, the LED light is head-and-shoulders above the regular old halogen bulb.

“On a 24-volt system, you’re only getting 1.2 amps on a meter draw,” said Borg.

Compare that to a halogen that averages four amps on a 50-watt bulb.

“The lower the amp, the better and less energy the bulb uses,” said Borg.

The longevity of the average LED bulb is 30,000 hours. A halogen bulb? Around 500 hours.

While the LED bulb is at a significant mark-up in price, anyone who purchases one will make up for it in the long run.

“You might pay a lot for it [bulb] up-front,” said Borg, “but how many times are you going to replace that bulb?”

The LED bulbs are versatile, too, just like any lightbulb should be.

“Guys use them for all kinds of things,” said Borg. “From putting them on tractors to using them on their pickups when they move snow, to having them on augers; they have a lot of uses.”

Another thing that makes the LED bulb so wonderful is that it shines white light, instead of yellow. White light helps people see things more clearly as opposed to the yellow light of a halogen bulb.

Another type of bulb that is popular is high intensity discharge (HID) lights.

“It burns a little hotter than an LED, and it draws a little more, too,” said Borg.

The lifespan of an HID light is around 20,000 hours, and a customer expects to save 35 kilowatts over the life of the bulb.

The color of HID light is a little more yellow than that of an LED.

But, as we know, technology is always changing, so something even better might come about in the next couple of years.

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