Headlight bulbs are indispensable to every car that is out on the public roads. It is impossible to drive a vehicle without functional headlight bulbs, as they don’t just light your way, but also let other drivers that you are also out in traffic.
When driving in dark areas, at a higher speed, not having functional headlight bulbs on your car can be extremely dangerous, both for you and other traffic participants.
An unlit car can get involved in disastrous car accidents, so never take your car out on the road if you have a malfunctioning or broken headlight bulbs.
In the following lines, you will learn everything you need to know about headlight bulbs, how they work, different types of headlight bulbs, and how to make the right choice.
Every car comes equipped with a set of headlight bulbs, but they may get broken or not deliver the amount of light you may want.
So, read the following information and make an informed decision when you’re looking to change or replace your car’s headlight bulbs.
Although it may not seem that important, choosing the right headlight bulbs can save you from a lot of trouble and increase visibility when you’re driving, especially at night.
LED VS Halogen Headlights
What is Headlight Bulbs and How Do They Work?
Headlight bulbs are the light bulbs found inside your car’s headlights. While these bulbs are rather small, the construction of the headlight will amplify the light they are producing, so that they are effective without draining your car of energy.
So, each time you start the engine of your car or, depending on the car model, turn on the lights, the headlight bulbs will turn on.
However, there are cases when these lights simply stop performing as desired. They start emitting a yellow or faded light beam that is not giving you the level of visibility you would like when you’re driving.
This is when you should seriously consider changing your headlight bulbs so that the car’s headlights are equipped with light bulbs capable of allowing you to drive in safe conditions.
The headlight bulbs work depending on their type and how they are made. Also, not all types of headlight bulbs may be suitable for your car.
In the lines that follow, we will talk about how each type of headlight bulb works and how to choose the right headlight bulb for your car.
First, we will start with halogen light bulbs, which are the traditional type of headlight bulb. They are the cheapest version when it comes to headlight bulbs and works pretty much like any other light bulb with filaments intended for home use.
In spite of being the oldest type of headlight bulb on the market, the halogen light bulb is still widely used and fits a broad range of car models. They turn on when electrical current heats up their internal filaments.
As the name suggests, the bulbs are filled with halogen, a gas that will allow them to light brighter by increasing their temperature. There are cases when these light bulbs are filled with xenon gas instead of halogen for a whiter light.
Then there are the Xenon or HID light bulbs. It is worth mentioning that they are different from the filament light bulbs filled with xenon gas.
HID comes from High-Intensity Discharge, and these light bulbs will not have any kind of filament inside. These lights work with the help of an electrical arch that forms between two electrodes.
The xenon gas tube found inside these lights will trigger a gas discharge that will make the lights shine brightly. They are slightly more expensive than traditional halogen light bulbs, but they fit in the same manner.
Finally, there are the LED headlight bulbs. Light Emitting Diode, which is the meaning of LED, is a light bulb that can offer an impressive number of hours of bright light.
They are the ones that last the longest, which makes them more and more preferred by car owners.
Only newer car models come equipped with this type of headlight bulbs. While it is possible to upgrade your traditional light bulbs with LEDs, your car may display warning signs on the dashboard that the car’s lights are not working.
This is due to their low energy consumption, which makes it hard for the car to see them running correctly.
Types of Headlight Bulbs For Automotive
As mentioned earlier, there are three main types of headlight bulbs that can be used on cars. Depending on your vehicle make and model, these lights can be part of the car’s original headlights set, or you may have to upgrade if you want brighter light or better light bulbs.
Here is some info about all types of headlight bulbs available on the market at the moment.
01. Filament or halogen headlight bulbs
This is the most common type of headlight bulbs found on cars. The majority of car makes and models have halogen or filament light bulbs inside their headlights.
These light bulbs are very affordable and can offer a decent amount of light. Also, they can fit any type of car, so you will have no issues if you opt for this particular type.
02. Xenon or HID headlight bulbs
Do not think that HID headlight bulbs are one and the same thing with xenon gas filament light bulbs. They are different types and work in a different manner.
Filament light bulbs filled with xenon gas work in the same manner as halogen light bulbs, only that they are brighter due to the presence of the xenon. HID headlight bulbs, on the other hand, have a xenon gas tube inside that fuels an electrical arch generated by two diodes.
03. LED headlight bulbs
These headlight bulbs are the newest type of light bulbs for car headlights on the market. So, they are available only on more modern or high-end car models.
However, it is possible, in some cases, to replace regular headlight bulbs with LED headlight bulbs. But you may have some trouble with your car recognizing the functionality of the LED bulbs if it was not equipped with the right kind of technology.
- The variety of headlight bulbs allows you to make the best choice in the case of your car. You just need to make sure that the selected headlight bulb is suitable for your car
- Your car needs proper headlight bulbs in order to give you an appropriate level of visibility, regardless of the time of day or night or weather. So, make sure to choose an adequate type of headlight bulb for your vehicle
- Even if your car is equipped with traditional headlight bulbs, it is possible to upgrade the light bulbs by selecting newer technology, like HID or LED headlight bulbs. However, be prepared for your car to give you some warnings. Of course, this is not always the case
- Halogen light bulbs can end up emitting a faded or yellowish light beam, which will provide a low level of visibility during nighttime
- LED headlight bulbs may not fit in the case of older car makes. You should check if these light bulbs fit your car if it’s older and was initially equipped with regular headlight bulbs. It is possible to upgrade, but it is not applicable all the time
WH Questions about Headlights
What headlight bulb type offers the brightest light?
The best answer to this question is the LED headlight bulbs. This particular type is the newest on the market and is known for providing bright white light without consuming too much energy.
Also, they are the most durable type of headlight bulbs available at the moment, which makes them preferred by many car owners. So, in spite of their reduced size, LED headlight bulbs are capable of providing very bright light.
Which type of headlight bulbs is most energy-effective?
Again, the answer is LED headlight bulbs. LEDs are highly effective when it comes to energy consumption, can offer countless hours of light, and are very resistant in time — because they consume so little energy, installing them on older cars can lead to the appearance of warnings on the car’s dashboard.
The car will announce to you that the lights are not working, as it detects a shallow level of energy being consumed by these particular headlight bulbs.
Why LED headlight bulbs are not suitable for all car makes?
This depends very much on the age of a car. Some cars will work well with an LED light bulb upgrade, while others will not be able to support this kind of technology. There are also cases in which warnings may appear, as mentioned earlier.
This is due to the fact that LED headlight bulbs are made to function in a more effective manner, with minimum consumption of resources.
Where can I find out if I can upgrade my car’s headlight bulbs?
You should definitely talk with a specialist if you want to upgrade your car’s headlight bulbs. You need to make sure that the upgrade is possible for your car model.
Also, check the local regulations concerning the type of upgrades you can make to your car, so you won’t have unpleasant surprises if you want to opt for light bulbs with a bluish light, for example.
There is no doubt that a car can’t function without proper headlight bulbs installed in the right place. The headlights of a car have a clear purpose, and the headlight bulbs will make sure that this purpose is achieved.
Cars were made to increase the comfort of our lives, but they should be used in conditions of maximum security.
This also means using the right types of headlight bulbs at all times. If you notice that the existent headlight bulbs are fading or do not deliver an adequate level of light, you should replace them right away.
If you want to replace your car’s headlight bulbs fast and without spending too much money, regular halogen or filament headlight bulbs are the adequate options.
They are still widely used and will fit almost any car make. Not to mention that they are very affordable.
In case you consider an upgrade, you should talk to a professional first. He should see if the desired update is possible and recommend the best types of headlight bulbs in your case.
Do not purchase a different type of headlight bulbs than the one that is already in your car before checking if they are suitable for your vehicle. Otherwise, you may end up not being able to use the bulbs you just purchased.
Electricity is one of the prime concerns for everyday needs. Lighting is the top need for different purposes. The invention of light starts from Edison to halogen to the latest LED technology.
Before buying any kind of view, you need to select the light on purpose. To have excellent performances and superior experience, you need to pick the type of lights based on requirements. We evaluate the LED vs. Halogen lights on these different parameters.
One of the critical differences between the LED lights and the Halogen lights is energy usage. Normally LED bulbs require 8 Watt whereas the halogen lights require 90 Watt. To have top billing you can trust LED over Halogens.
One of the critical aspects of LED is that the light has a very low carbon footprint compared to halogen lights. The LED lights are almost 100 percent recyclable.
Practically every material can be used for further production. Bio-friendly nature of the LED lights is essential in terms of energy security and environmental protection.
Another aspect is that electricity production is based on fossil fuel. That is why energy-efficient materials are vital for greenhouse emissions. That is why we can say the LED is more environment-friendly compared to the Halogen lights.
The lifecycle for LED lights is way higher than any lights. Almost 25 years an LED light can be used compared to the use of 2 to3 years of halogen lights. The LED lights use sophisticated semiconductor technology.
The techniques are also very environment-friendly well-researched technology. All the industry-leading companies are associated with this lighting technology.
Color temperature is a fundamental aspect of lighting. Color tone determines the brightness of the light. To have excellent quality lighting, the color temperature is a critical parameter. Usually LED light color temperature is almost 4000 compared to 2000 Halogen lights.
The heat emission is a very tricky parameter. Halogen lights emit as large as 80 to 90 percent of the energy consumed. If you require a room with a heated environment, then it is quite easier and fruitful to use different halogen lights compared to LED.
Other than heating, heating is also a matter of safety concerns. In headlight application sometimes if you accidentally touched the halogen lights then it may burn. That is why it is essential to have the right balance for the bulbs.
Based on the price, the halogen lights are less expensive than the LED lights. To have an excellent performance cycle life cycle cost of the light needs to be considered. Usually LED lights have a lifespan of 25000 hours compared to 2000 hours of halogen lights.
If we examine the view based on the lifecycle, then LED lights to cost only 10 percent of the halogen lights.
Based on these parameters, LED lights have more advantages than the Halogen lights. The recent study suggests that halogen lights have some benefits also in headlight applications.
To have a more broad beam, it is preferable in night driving as the LED lights produce a sharp beam. Let’s have a look at the construction of the two-lighting technology.
Halogen light technology is an ancient technology. This technology is based on inert gases. There are different inert gases like argon, nitrogen, and helium.
These gases are filled in a small quartz bulb. This gas reacts with tungsten to prolong the lifecycle of the tungsten.
This is the main difference between the old tungsten light from the halogen lights. That is why these halogen lights have more longevity than the traditional incandescent bulbs.
However, still, it produces much heat in energy conversion. Almost e4ight percent of lights energy are used in generating heat. That is why these bulbs are losing their grip in the market to LED lights.
Features of Halogen Lights
- The lifecycle for halogen lights is 2000 -3600 hours.
- The color temperature is 2500-3200 K
- Lighting intensity per wattage is 10-35 watt
- The light has more power than traditional lights
- It is suitable to use in the room which requires high temperature
- It is proper to use as headlights
- It is more ideal than ordinary incandescent bulbs.
- The light is inefficient compared to LED
- The light produces excessive heat which may cause burning when touched
- The light produces IR and UV which may cause damage to the fabric
- The product is less compact than the LED.
LED means a light-emitting diode. When electricity is placed against these semiconductors, then power is converted to light energy. Almost every LED lighting industry is maintaining these technologies.
The technology is a very efficient and high-quality energy-efficient energy that turns nearly 90 percent energy to lighting technology and 10 percent to heat energy. The phenomena are almost opposite to the halogen lights where only 20 percent is turned to lights.
One of the critical considerations for LED is the technology is an excellent energy-efficient technology. These highest order technologies driven LED lights are gaining momentum in different sectors of Engineering.
- Color temperature Up to 4000K
- Lifecycle is 25000 hours
- Lumens per wattage is up to 22 per watt
- The LED lights are more compact products
- The light produces a higher color temperature
- The efficiency is excellent compared to halogen lights
- The product provides the excellent environment-friendly experience
- The lifecycle cost is meager
- The product produces very minimum IR and UV
- The lights have a higher cost of manufacturing
- Lights are expensive than different lighting
- They provide a sharp beam which is sometimes tricky in headlight applications.
- The lights produce flicker in high-frequency settings.
Let’s have a comparison between LED and Halogen in a nutshell
Now we are gathering answers for some of the critical issues related to LED and Halogens
What does LED stand for?
LED stands for the light-emitting diode. The diode is a semiconductor junction that produces electricity for power applications. There are some different other semiconductor materials that can be used for generating light from heat.
Commonly silicon and gallium arsenide materials are widely used for these applications. The sharpness of the color intensity is one of the critical features of LEDs.
Which is safer – LED or Halogen?
Usually, Halogen lights emit a significant content of heating as a technology is not very compact and efficient compared to LED technology. Almost 80 percent of the total energy consumed by a halogen light is used for heating purposes. On the other hand, LED lights use less than 20 percent in heating.
That is why when emitting lights, Halogen produces a large number of heats. That is why it is comparably unsafe to LED for touching. The LED light is safer than the other views.
Which light is more environmentally friendly?
LED lights use less electricity compared to halogen lights. An LED bulb consumes 8 watts of electrical energy whereas Halogen lights consume 90-watt for the same amount of light output.
To have a smooth operation, the LED lights cause 10 percent of electricity use compared to the halogen lights. The lifecycle for LED is quite high. That is why a consumer needs a lack of replacement.
Moreover, LED lights can be recycled fully. The carbon footprint is shallow for LED lights compared to other Halogen lights. That is why we can clearly say that LED lighting is more suitable for the environment.
What is the difference between the floodlights and spotlights?
Spotlights are the lights that are used for specific locations; these lights are very narrow beam lights. Their light spreading technology is low compared to the floodlights. On the other hand, floodlights operate in larger areas.
To cover a broader range and greater expansion, floodlights are widely used. For floodlights conditions, we recommend the halogen lights where for spot locations, LED is more suitable.
When you take a closer look at most of the cars on the road today, they come with halogen headlights right from the manufacturer’s end.
Apart from this kind of headlights being economical in terms of production, they are also effective when it comes to delivering on expected services.
Over the years, there has been a bit of change in the headlights that come with vehicles. Now, vehicle manufacturers have started making use of LED headlights on their vehicles.
In this article, we will compare the Halogen headlights and LED headlights to see what differentiates these two types of headlights.
If you do the arithmetic, about 90 percent of vehicles you see on the road today go around with a halogen headlight. This type of headlight has been around for a very long time.
Impressively, it has gone through a series of developments and improvements before it gets to where it is today.
For instance, halogen light bulbs come with a luminous efficiency that is between 2 to 4 percent. What luminous efficiency does, is to compare the rate of power that is emitted as light to the rate of electrical power that the light draws.
In another word, the better the luminous efficiency of a light bulb, the brighter the light that is emitted. For instance, the luminous efficiency of LED bulbs is more advanced and has undergone a series of improvements, which makes them much brighter than halogen.
The level of luminous efficiency which LED possesses or carries is believed to be as high as 10 times better than that of halogens.
Although halogen bulbs are far behind of LED bulbs, they have their own amazing features. These features have been their path to redemption when it comes to competitiveness.
To make use of halogen bulbs, you do not have to invest in expensive electronics. With the simple wires that connect everything together, you are good to go.
Halogen bulbs come to life when a current flows through the filament. The current heats up the filament and begins to emit light when it becomes hot.
The only time your halogen bulb stops working is when the filament gets damaged. Apart from its simplicity in terms of operation and use, it is also very affordable.
It is very fair to say that, halogen bulbs get the job done for a fraction of the price of LED bulbs. In terms of performance, there are two brands of halogen bulbs that are known for their high or improved performance.
These brands are well known globally. These brands are Sylvania SilverStar Ultra and Philips X-treme Vision.
On average, halogen bulbs have a lifespan that is between 200 to 320 hours. Better still, halogen bulbs can be used for up to a year.
The way this type of headlight works or operates is totally different from that of its counterpart. As we discussed earlier, while halogens operate using a filament, LEDs on the other hand, function by allowing current to flow through a semi-conductor.
When current flows through a semi-conductor, it leads to the emission of photons which at the end emits light.
Apart from the level of efficiency LEDs attain, also, the heat they generate is not as much as that of halogen bulbs. In terms of lifespan, how long LED bulbs last is greatly dependent on the operating temperature of the bulb.
When the operating temperature of the LED bulbs is kept or maintained within a reasonable range, they can stay on for a very long time.
According to several manufacturers of this type of bulbs, they made it known that LED bulbs under a reasonable temperature can stay active for about twenty thousand hours (20,000).
If you plan to keep your LED bulb cool, you can make use of extra fans. Another option you can as well consider is making use of heat sinks. When this basic step is followed, the outcome is simply awesome.
What you get in return, is a larger light in terms of appearance. In this situation, the light is larger than the size of a halogen light bulb.
In most cases, the resulting larger light from LED bulbs makes it difficult in a situation where you attempt to fit it in headlight housings that are specifically designed for conventional halogen.
In terms of required voltage for operation, LED bulbs operate at a voltage that is lower than the one required by halogen bulbs.
For the proper functioning of LEDs in the car alongside the newly improved communication systems in the car, there is sometimes a need for extra electronics in the intended car.
In addition, to monitor and control the fans, the cooling system also has to make use of electronics. The need for electronics for the listed functions increases the cost for LED systems and as well makes it more complex.
In terms of performance, there are two brands of LED headlights that are known for their high or improved performance. These brands are well known globally. These brands are Opt7 LED Headlights and Kensun LED Headlight kit.
In terms of brightness, LEDs are brighter than Halogen. Also, the light from LED bulbs is whiter, which results in a longer lifespan.
As impressive as LEDs are, how expensive they are and the complex nature of operation are what make people prefer halogen headlights over LED when it comes to replacing these bulbs.
Understanding the trend and people’s impression of LEDs, the manufacturers of LED headlights have made replacement easier than it used to be in the past.
Now, considering how simple and easy replacement is, LEDs are now becoming a favorite amongst car owners.
For safety reasons, several authorities do not support the use of halogen bulbs with LED lamps. Although a lot of people have been able to get away with this, it is not considered an appropriate thing to do.
Finally, in terms of overall performance, LED is considered as a better option to halogen.
If you can afford LED headlights, you are guaranteed an improved lighting experience. One thing is certain, you will definitely get value for your investment.
In our extensive review of these lights, we can readily conclude that LED lights are more suitable in different conditions. However, there are some conditions where we can use halogen lights. Before comparing the views, you need to select the appropriate cause for the lights.
To have sufficient knowledge of these lights, you can go through the review to have a better understanding and excellent performance from the lights.
Environment-friendly conditions are nowadays a prime concern. LED lights are essential to install. LED lights will have a sufficient advantage over halogen lights in terms of environmental conditions. All the LED lights are recyclables. This is an excellent feature to reduce carbon footprint.
Moreover, these lights produce very low radiation in terms of infrared or ultraviolet. That is why LED is preferable for most of the conditions other than heating conditions.