Freightliner Trucks announced in January 2013 the availability of high - performance LED headlamps custom engineered for the Cascadia by Truck – Lite Co. LLC. I was asked to try them and give some feedback on their lighting ability.

I was told these lights would be a simple “plug and play” switch out. Therefore, while my trailer was being unloaded at the dock, I decided to take on this quick and easy project. All was going smooth during my modification as I took off all the retaining nuts from the original headlights. Everything seemed to unplug easily and this seemed to be quite an easy transition. It wasn’t long before the new headlamps were ready to be bolted into the front fenders. As I began to reach for the old retaining nuts, I realized they changed the size to fit the new stud on the rear of the new headlamps. My heart sank as I thought I was going to have to reinstall the old ones until I could get the proper size retaining nuts. I closed the hood carefully in order for the headlight not to fall out onto the pavement. I walked over to the box which held the new headlights and picked it up. Underneath the cardboard was a small plastic bag which held the correct size hardware for the new lights to be installed.

I was anxious for the sun to set that evening to see the results from the new LED lighting. These lights have been serving our military since 2007. They were developed for the military for the purpose of increased durability, visibility and safety to the heavy duty platform. This was my opportunity to see how they worked in civilian duty.

The lights seemed to illuminate the darkness in a whole new array than a traditional headlamp. The lines on the road were clear and crisp. Even the signs appeared brighter and easy to read and yet with less glare. When I parked my truck for the evening, I decided to leave the lights on in order to do a small experiment. I took my personal vehicle and drove it towards the Cascadia to see how the increased forward illumination played on the eyes of oncoming traffic. The light from the new headlights appear to cascade downward protecting the view of oncoming traffic. Many of the new headlights manufactured today seem to “blind” oncoming traffic due to their brightness. However, these new LED headlights from Truck-Lite Co. gave increased visibility to the driver without blinding oncoming traffic. I’m sure there are additional benefits to LED headlamps, such as: reduced amperage draw and a longer lighting system life than incandescent bulbs.

Comments (8)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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I recently changed employers and was assigned into a 2012 Cascadia that has the L.E.D. Headlights on it, and I freakin' love them! The trip from Ohio to Houston was so much better with these lights.
Only downside I'm having so far is I cannot figure out how to re-aim them; I looked in the area that the halogens adjusting bolt is, I peeked in there and did see something, but cannot reach it. Any pointers?

October 02, 2013 18:26:11 PM

A week or two ago , I called my Freightliner dealers' Parts Department here in Columbus Oh. The gentleman on the other end of the line had no idea what I was asking for. He kept asking if it was a specific L.E.D. bulb, as if it were for a Classic, or FLD. Once I explained it was an entire assembly for the 2011 Cascadia I drive, he had to say he had never heard of it. I guess Henry kept me ahead of even my dealer !

March 26, 2013 4:15:32 AM

As someone who is somewhat sesitive to bright lights I sure look forward to more of this technology becoming more commonly used.

March 07, 2013 19:46:52 PM

I have changed my cab marker lights and tail lights to LED and they are much more visible than the original equipment incandescent lights. I hadn't hear about LED headlights for trucks, I'll be sure to check into those next. Thanks for the information Henry.

March 03, 2013 20:12:26 PM

I definitely look forward to using them.

March 03, 2013 18:42:54 PM

The only problem with LED. is no heat, that could be a bit of a problem come a good snow storm. Probably not as much of a problem with the Cascadia light design, but older trucks definitely would be an issue.

March 03, 2013 18:28:27 PM

I'm very intrigued by these new l.e.d. Headlight assemblies. I carry a couple flashlights with this technology and would love to experience it in the 2011 Cascadia I currently drive, but I'm terrified to ask what they would set me back !

March 02, 2013 21:07:06 PM

Very good article Henry. I think more emphasis should be placed on driving in poor visibility and at night. A driver's ability to react during these conditions is limited by how soon he/she can see an oncoming hazard. In my last truck, I switched out for higher temperature (K or Kelvin) bulbs. After switching though, I noticed oncoming traffic flashing me as if I had my brights on more and more. Due to this I decided it better to switch back to standard bulbs and just polish out my slightly clouded lenses really good. If these seem to benefit you in your test performance, I want a set of these for my evolution too!

March 02, 2013 20:01:09 PM