Best LED Headlights: Better Visibility Means Improved Safety
Improve visibility in the dark of night.
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BY Ray Prince / LAST UPDATED ON October 15, 2021
Having a solid pair of LED headlights can transform how you view the road. They beat traditional stock headlights, and even upgraded halogens, due to their higher lumen count, increased range, and a more even beam pattern. Many offer as high as 8,000 lumens per set with each lamp consuming less than 60 watts of power on a 50,000-hour-plus lifespan, the ultimate testament to efficiency. To learn more about the best LED headlights, including our top recommendations, features to look out for, and answers to your most frequently asked questions, check out our buying guide below.
Our best overall thanks to a very well-rounded feature set as it delivers powerful illumination, widespread illumination, and flexible beam angles.
- 50,000-hour LED lifespan
- Excellent thermal management
- Solid widespread illumination with flexible beam angles
- Higher than average cost
Excellent visibility, with a 6500K cool white color temperature. 360-degree adjustability makes it a real winner.
- No glare or white spots
- 360-degree adjustable locker ring for greater projection
- Three times brighter than halogen
- Not compatible with all makes and models
Beamtech LED Headlights offer a high-intensity 8,000 lumens per pair and 6500K color temperature, which offers better nighttime visibility.
- IP65 rating for dust and water ingress protection
- 30,000-hour LED bulb lifespan
- 6500K color temperature (daylight white) for excellent visibility
- Not compatible with certain makes and models
- Poorly written instructions
- 12-month warranty on the shorter side
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Best LED Headlight Reviews & Recommendations
How We Selected the Best LED Headlights
For this guide, we researched and evaluated numerous LED headlights, judging them on the number of lumens (light output), color temperature, LED-bulb lifespan, warranty length, and auxiliary features such as cooling mechanisms and bluish tint for style points. Our preference is for the LED headlights to carry at least 8,000 lumens with a 6000K color temperature, equal to daylight white, a hue we feel works best for nighttime visibility. A 6000K color temperature is also the most common color temperature for automotive lighting, applicable to virtually every lighting accessory imaginable including daytime running lights and backup lights.
Our product selections and rankings for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.
Buying Guide/What to Look for
Here are some of the more important criteria to consider when buying LED headlights.
The higher the lumen count, the higher the brightness intensity. The best LED headlights generally come in the 6,000- to 10,000-lumen range, with 6,000-6,400 classified as low intensity, 8,000 lumens classified as medium intensity, and 10,000 lumens classified as high intensity. Note, lumens correlates with our preferred 6000K color temperature to produce a daylight effect, so you will want to evaluate both lumens and color temperature when choosing LED headlights.
Our preference is to go with LED headlights with at least a 30,000-hour lifespan, although some can last as long as 50,000 working hours. They’re not in the same league with traditional halogen lights, which typically last 5,000 hours.
Given LED headlights’ high heat output, they may include built-in mechanisms to improve heat dissipation using heat sinks and fans. Fan cooling is considered an active cooling system as opposed to heat sinking, which offers thermal management from within.
Q: Are all LED headlights the same?
No, they can vary in terms of lumen count, headlight assembly design, and the size and style of reflectors. All of these play an important role in brightness level, maximum range, and power consumption. For our research, we prioritized 8,000-plus lumen and 6000K color temperature LED headlights.
Q: What are the benefits of LED headlights?
LED headlights offer more intense brightness and wider patterns than traditional halogen bulbs. They are also more efficient, whereas halogen lights convert most of their energy into heat. LED headlights also carry thermal management components using cooling fans or heat sinking to regular heat before releasing it into the atmosphere, extending the life of its bulbs. Deservedly, they are more expensive than HID and halogen lights.
Q: Is it worth upgrading to LED headlights?
We highly recommend switching from halogen to LED headlights due to energy efficiency, less work on your vehicle's battery, and all-around better performance with sharper and brighter illumination. LED headlight bulbs are also known to last more than 50,000 hours.
Q: Are blue headlights better than white?
No, a blue tint is best for near-field illumination. Pure white, 6000K color temperature headlights offer greater discernment between objects It is also much easier for the human eye to process. A 6000K day-white color temperature has long been considered the standard with automotive lighting applications due to the easy visibility it provides over cooler, bluer hues on the extreme end of the color temperature spectrum.
When it comes to choosing the LED headlights, our choice is the Hikari Ultra LED Headlight set. It is a reliable pair of LED headlights featuring Acme-X LED technology that offers wide and far illumination with flexible beam angles. They also do an excellent job with thermal management via heat sinking for better heat dissipation, extending the life of each bulb. We also appreciate each LED bulb's 50,000-hour-plus lifespan, which ensures it lasts practically an entire lifetime on the trails.