s795/1156 LED bulb installed into a rotator socket
Many older halogen lightbars use the s795 50w twist lock halogen bulbs. These bulbs were groundbreaking in yesteryear, but they are extremely inefficient by today’s standards. Most places no longer stock these, and those that do charge a high price for them. Some manufacturers eventually switched to the H1 halogen bulb.
Ever wondered if you could replace the the halogen bulbs with LED bulbs? The benefits could be a cheaper bulb, and less power consumption. This would be especially helpful if you’re using the lights for a display, and not actually using the light in service.
The 50-watt s795 bulbs put out 1,355 lumens. Ideally you’ll want to replace the bulb with a 795/1156 LED bulb that is similar in lumens. Also make sure the bulb has a single contact in the center of the base, and not dual contacts.
Above is an LED bulb next to the s795 halogen bulb. Below are (2) LED bulbs that you could use rated at 1,440 lumens and 7-watts.
I’m not saying that you should use these bulbs, just using them as a reference. A 50-watt 12-volt bulb draws 4.17 amps. A 7-watt 12-volt bulb only draws 0.58 amps. So you can see where the LED’s draw far less power. In fact on a simple (4) bulb lightbar, you’ll use 14.36 amps less using LED bulbs.
Other lightbars used the newer 55-watt H1 bulbs that put out about 1,410 lumens.
You can find a LED replacement for it as well. The LED bulbs below are rated at 1,600 lumens, and do not have a projector in the top of them.
A side-by-side comparison of the new bulbs in action will show you the difference. While the source in this case is a bit more diffuse, the light output is the same. If you have a meter, you will read a substantial drop in wattage used.
This is an older generation StreetHawk that uses 1156 Halogen 50W twist lock bulbs. The original bulb is on the left, the LED 1156 10W replacement is on the right.
You may notice that the LED bulb on the right doesn’t appear as bright as the halogen bulb on the left, even though they’re similar in lumens. If you scroll back up and look at the bulb in the rotator at the top of the page, you’ll notice that there is a projector at the top of the bulb. Some of the LED’s are in there. So some of the lumens are actually being project up instead out outward. The goal would be to get a bulb with more lumens, and/or avoid a bulb that has LED’s in a projector at the top of the bulb. Good idea, poor bulb design.