GTR Carbide Series
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GTR Lighting Carbide Series Bulbs
When GTR Lighting arrived on the scene with the Carbide 1.0 we were blown away. Not only was this small LED brighter than anything we’d seen before, but in most applications, it doesn’t need resistors. That’s a big step forward for the aftermarket lighting community. Well, the Carbide 2.0 is here now and it’s just as big of a leap forward. Take a deep dive into what makes the new Carbide Series 2.0 so special.
Brightest Turn Signal Bulbs Ever
We’ve heard a lot of companies claim to have the brightest LED signal bulbs but none of them came close to those from GTR Lighting when the Carbide 1.0 was released. It’s still available in the T10 style because of that impressive performance. In fact, it’s so bright that GTR Lighting themselves make sure to let customers know that just because it does fit in some interior applications doesn’t mean it won’t be blindingly bright for you and your passengers inside of your vehicle. It’s built to light up the environment around your vehicle, not inside of it. The Carbide 2.0 took everything good about 1.0 and built on it to produce an even brighter bulb with more applications and a longer lifespan. For example, the original Carbide 1.0 produced 750 lumens. Again, that’s super bright but the 2.0 produces 1,200 lumens. That’s a similar if not higher rate than many factory halogen headlight bulbs. We’re not saying that they’re headlight bulbs, they’re not designed for that application, but in terms of raw lighting output, they’re similar. That alone makes them worth considering if brightness is a metric you’re after.
Heat Can’t Stop These Bulbs From Shining Brightly
When comparing LED bulbs it’s important to consider the entire package. Most cheapo bulbs are similar to an NHRA drag car with no brakes and no parachute. They’re actually pretty powerful but that’s because the manufacturer only spent energy on getting a bright bulb that would make customers fork over their hard-earned money. The manufacturer doesn’t care how long the bulb lasts so almost no thought is put into how well the LED will perform over hours, days, weeks, and months of use. That explains why all those cheap LED bulbs burn out quickly and require replacement so often. Carbide 1.0 bulbs were super bright and yet they could stand up to abuse because GTR Lighting considered that managing the power was just as important as creating it. With the 2.0, the Carbide Series uses multiple technologies to keep these bulbs cool and in good condition long after others have replaced their cheap LED bulbs multiple times. First, you’ll notice the slightly larger overall size of the Carbide 2.0. That provides more surface area to extract heat from the LED itself. You’ll also notice the vents and heat sink fins at the top of each bulb that further cool the bulb so that it can burn brightly. Finally, something you won’t see is an internally wired thermistor that’s constantly checking the overall temperature of the bulb to ensure no damage occurs. This smart piece of tech actually has the power to cut the circuit should things get too hot. Once things cool back down it will complete the circuit and allow the bulb to function just as it did before. It’s a very smart and simple solution to a complex and convoluted problem that GTR Lighting has branded as the Intelligent Temperature Control System or ITCS.
Voltage, Circuitry, and Canbus Compatibility
Many who install aftermarket LED bulbs get a flickering or hyper flashing light. That’s because their vehicle is using PWM or pulse width modulation. This type of voltage is never constant and so LEDs often flicker or flash when they encounter it. To combat that, many have installed resistors to keep the spikes away. Really though that’s not nearly as clean and simple as a fix could be. Thanks to an internal Constant Current Driver those spikes and valleys are no issue for the Carbide 2.0. This driver is always monitoring and smoothing out the voltage coming from your vehicle’s electrical system and feeding a constant current that’s easy for the LED to use to the chip itself. It’s so good at doing its job that these bulbs are completely Canbus compatible too. There are very few applications out there that would still require the Carbide 2.0 to use a resistor to achieve constant lighting. Finally, the Carbide 2.0 is a polarity-specific type of bulb so if you install it and nothing happens just flip it around and it’ll light up. If it still doesn’t light up give it a couple of minutes and try again. Most likely it just got a bit warm from being installed backward and needs a few minutes for the thermistor to cool off before it’ll work just fine again. Aren’t you glad that GTR Lighting thought to include such a cool little piece of technology in the Carbide 2.0? We are too!