Understanding The Difference Between Types Of Headlight Bulbs

Understanding The Difference Between Types Of Headlight Bulbs

Discovering the differences between halogen, xenon and LED bulbs can be difficult to comprehend at times so we’re hoping that this section will help you fully understand the types of headlight bulbs available.


Halogen Bulb Guide

Halogen Headlight Bulbs
  • Halogen bulbs are a mixture of inert gas with a small amount of halogen gas.
  • The addition of Xenon gas into the mix allows the filament to burn brighter to increase light output.
  • The addition of a blue coating to the bulb will turn the colour of the light to be more white. The downside to this is a small reduction in light intensity.
  • Bulbs with a higher wattage produce more light but have a shorter lifespan.
  • Their colour range spans from 2900k to 5900k making them quite diverse bulbs.
  • These types of upgrade bulbs usually range between 20% to 150% brighter than standard halogen bulbs.
  • High power bulbs usually last less than 1 year whereas long-life halogen bulbs can last up to 4 years.


Halogen tends to be a cheaper alternative but you might want to consider between price vs performance if you are looking for the best possible outcome.


The Drivers’ Trade-Off

There is a “light versus style” trade-off with halogen bulbs between achieving the lightest output and having a whiter coloured light. A blue coating will make a halogen bulb whiter, however, this will reduce the light output. This is what we call the Drivers’ Trade-Off. If you decide to have whiter lights, just keep in mind that you will be sacrificing the actual light output.

The Main Benefits Of Halogen Upgrade Bulbs

Aside from being a cheaper alternative to most LED headlight bulbs, the main benefit to choosing halogen is that there are no CANBus errors when you change the bulbs over. Not only are the bulbs perfect for an error-free experience but you will also have no bulb holder issues, fully road legal and are a completely low hassle option.


Headlight LED Bulbs Guide

  • A long-lasting lifespan of 2 – 12 years
  • Lower wattage means less strain on your battery
  • Generally consist of a crisp, clinical white colour output
  • Brightness ranges from 150% – 300% brighter than standard halogen bulbs
  • LED headlight bulbs are fast becoming the popular choice for car owners
  • CANBus technology is now becoming integrated into most LED car bulbs

The Baby Bulbs Of The Auto Industry

It’s definitely worth mentioning that LED bulbs are the youngest bulb types for vehicles.

Since the technology is still fairly new there may be issues with your CANBus system displaying errors. The technology is advancing at a fast pace and we predict that it will soon overtake HID kits in both performance and power.

Each new LED product that is released to the public seems to have an increase in performance, technology and compatibility.


Branded LED Bulbs Are Simply The Best

This is completely accurate. Many retailers sell cheap LED bulbs claiming to be incredibly bright however the position of the bulb can dangerously affect the beam pattern which can be hazardous to other road users.

If you’re shopping around for LED headlight bulbs then we highly suggest only buying branded names like OSRAM, AUXITO or Philips. Try to avoid retailers that claim high brightness levels yet appear to be from an untrustworthy supplier or manufacturer.

Some car owners become worried about upgrading from halogen to LED bulbs so we put together an LED Brightness guide a while back that might come in handy.

Big brand names within the market have been investing heavily into LED headlight bulbs and there are major improvements with every product. From fan-less LED headlight bulbs to incredibly bright LED bulbs for your car, the choices are becoming broader.
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