Best LED Headlights: See Clearly At Night With These Top Picks
Increase visibility while driving at night with these top LED headlights
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON April 12, 2019
Most vehicles come stocked with halogen bulbs, but if you replace them with LED headlight brands, you will notice a huge difference in visibility at night. While switching to top-rated LED headlights may cost more, you won't regret the decision. Check out the best LED headlights on the market in our review below.
- Best OverallCougar Motor LED Headlight Bulbs All-in-One Conversion KitSummarySummaryThese cool white, 6,000K, rainproof, 60-watt bulbs last 50,000 hours and have an aluminum housing and TurboCool fans to prevent overheating. Plug-and-play installation takes just minutes.ProsProsThe beam of light is far, wide, clear, clean, and brilliantly white. The bulbs offer good visibility and don't blind oncoming drivers when properly aimed.ConsConsYou can hear the lights’ cooling fans, and they may not work on vehicles without projector lenses. Some complaint the lights stop working after a short period of use.
- Best ValueBEAMTECH 9005 LED Headlight BulbSummarySummaryThese 25-watt, 6,500K, waterproof, xenon white bulbs produce 8,000 lumens. They have a lifespan of 30,000 hours, plug-and-play installation, and no fan, high voltage, or circuit interference.ProsProsThe lights are very bright, completely silent, and provide a clean white LED color. There is also a cutoff line so you don't blind other drivers.ConsConsThey may not work very well in rain and may be dimmer than standard halogen lights. A separate decoder/anti-flicker may be required to prevent the lights from flickering.
- Honorable MentionSNGL Super Bright LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion KitSummarySummaryThese 55-watt bulbs are rain-resistant, emit 6,000K bright white light, and are 260 percent brighter than halogen bulbs. They feature adjustable-beam technology and last over 50,000 hours.ProsProsThe lights are bright, sturdy, and easy to install. The ability to adjust the light output pattern is a bonus, and the front and side outputs are wide and focused.ConsConsYou can hear the lights' cooling fans, which are bulky and large and may cause issues during installation. An intermittent flicker may develop a short time after installation.
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Benefits of LED Headlights
- 80 percent more efficient. The best LED headlights for trucks and cars will protect and preserve your vehicle's battery, which will make it last longer.
- Last five times longer than halogens. The best LED replacement headlight bulbs last 30,000 hours or more. In comparison, you would need to change five or more halogen bulbs for a single LED bulb.
- Cheaper over time. While the best LED headlights may cost more straight out of the box, you will save money in the long run because you won’t need to change the LEDs as often.
- Brighter than halogens. The best LED headlight conversion kit offers superior performance compared to halogen lights, which may have light beams that look foggy or contain dark spots.
- Illuminate the road better. When you drive at night, LED headlights enable you to see the road over greater distances than halogen bulbs. They also have anti-glare features.
- Easy to install. In general, it takes 20 minutes or less to install LED headlights on most cars, SUVs and trucks. (This excludes older models, which may take more time.)
Types of LED Headlights
All trucks, cars, and SUV headlights have high and low beams. A dual-beam bulb is a single bulb that performs both functions. With dual-beam headlights, there is only one bulb per headlight housing. For example, the best h13 LED headlight bulbs can be used on vehicles with dual beams.
A single-beam headlight bulb has one single function. One bulb creates one beam, either the high or low beam. If you want to replace both the high beam and low beam with LED bulbs, you will need two bulbs for single-beam headlights. The best h11 LED headlight bulbs are commonly used for the low beams. Due to wiring differences, single-beam and dual-beam headlights can’t be interchanged.
Auxbeam was founded in 2008 and is based in Fontana, California. It produces numerous products for drivers, including LED lights, racks, and carriers. One popular product is the Auxbeam LED Headlights Extremely Bright F-16 Series 9006 HB4 HB4U LED Headlight Bulbs.
The concept for OPT7 was started in a small garage in California in the late 1990s. By 2006, the CEO and founder decided to build affordable aftermarket lights. One popular product is the OPT7 FluxBeam H11 LED Headlight Kit w/Clear ARC-Lens Beam Bulbs.
Online retailer JDM ASTAR specializes in automotive LED technology for cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, boats, RVs, and lawn mowers. It is based in City of Industry, California. One of its top products is the JDM ASTAR G2 8000 Lumens Extremely Bright CSP Chips 9006 All-in-One LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit.
GENSSI products are designed in the United States, and its LED lighting is used by many BAJA 500/1000 racing teams. The lights are tested to withstand high-pressure washing, extreme vibrations, and are made to last as long as 50,000 hours. One top product is the GENSSI Elite LED Headlight Bulbs Kit 6000K Super White Conversion.
Lasfit Automotive LED Lighting
Lasfit was established in 2015 in Ontario, California. The company focuses solely on automotive LED lighting. Though relatively new, it aims to produce high-quality products at competitive prices. One popular product is the LASFIT 9005 HB3 LED Headlight Bulbs 6000K Cool White LED Conversion Kit 60w 7600lm COB LED Chips.
LED Headlight Pricing
- Under $50: LED lights in this price range may be bright or super bright but may have lower lumens and shorter lifespans than pricier brands. Still, there are many good-quality LED headlights available for under $50.
- $50-$100: These LED headlights typically have higher lumens and are capable of lighting up the road far and wide, but they will cost a little more.
- Over $100: These LED headlights are generally better in quality than less-expensive versions and can have up to 10,000 lumens and really long lifespans, but you will pay the most for these features.
A light's intensity and strength is measured in lumens. Lights with 6,000-6,400 lumens (small intensity) illuminate the road over 500 meters in a straight line and are adequate for most drivers. Lights with 8,000 lumens (medium intensity) illuminate the road 600-700 meters in a straight line. If used with bright and super bright colors, they create an intense light beam. Lights with 10,000 lumens (high intensity) brighten the road almost as much as daylight.
Most LED headlights last between 30,000 and 50,000 hours compared to halogen lights, which typically last 6,000 hours. Top-rated LED headlights that last 30,000 hours work for about three years, due to a cooling fan or chip in the assembly. Lights that promise 50,000 working hours typically last at least six years, but they may be harder to find.
- Compatibility: It's crucial that you check your owner's manual to determine which LED bulb plug types and models will fit correctly in your vehicle. You may need to replace the entire headlight or use a conversion kit to make the change. Don't purchase a product until you are certain it will be compatible with your car or truck.
- Colors: LED colors are measured in nanometers (nM), while white LEDs are measured in Kelvin. The higher the number, the cooler the color. Most headlights are bright colors and between 3,500 and 5,000 Kelvin. They let you see a good distance down the road and nicely illuminate the surrounding area. Super bright colors (above 5,000 Kelvin) are also known as Cool or Daylight White. They provide the widest and furthest views but may strain the eyes.
- Warranty: Most LED headlight brands have two-year warranties for their customers. This is reasonable considering that the best LED headlight bulbs last at least three years. Some manufacturers will even offer three-year warranties, demonstrating that they stand behind their products. Also, check to see if the company offers technical support.
Best LED Headlights Reviews & Recommendations 2019
These cool white, 6000k, rainproof, 60-watt bulbs feature CREE LED chips. They last 50,000 hours and have an aluminum housing and TurboCool fans to prevent overheating. Plug-and-play installation takes just minutes. They work properly with most computer systems, preventing errors. The manufacturer also includes a three-year warranty and lifetime support.
Installation is easy, and the ballasts are so small, making it simple to find a spot to hide them near the headlights. The bulbs have an even distribution of light from left to right, offer good visibility especially on the sides of the road, and don't blind oncoming drivers if they're properly aimed. They work so well, you may not even need to use the high beams.
One downside is the lights have large heatsinks and are bigger than stock halogen units, which may be problematic for some vehicles and require modification. Also, you can hear the cooling fans if you turn the engine off but keep the headlights on. In addition, the lights may not work well on vehicles without projector lenses.
Best Value: BEAMTECH 9005 LED Headlight Bulb
These 25-watt, 6,500K, xenon white bulbs produce 8,000 lumens and have CSP LED chips with waterproof driver and connectors (level IP65). They have a lifespan of 30,000 hours, less heat than halogen lamps or HID lights, and plug-and-play installation. There's no fan, high voltage, or circuit interference. The beam emits a narrow strip of light, similar to that of halogens (versus a circular light pattern).
Compared to LED lights with fans, this brand is completely silent. In addition, the light is evenly distributed, very bright, and provides a clean white LED color. The color is similar to factory HID headlights, but they are less expensive. There is also a cutoff line, so they shouldn’t blind other drivers.
One downside is they may not work very well in rainy conditions. That can also appear dimmer than standard halogen lights in normal or tricky driving conditions. In addition, you may need to purchase a separate decoder/anti-flicker for certain vehicles to prevent the lights from flickering.
Honorable Mention: SNGL Super Bright LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit
These lights are intended to replace the best 9006 LED bulbs for your low beams, high beams, and fog lights. The 55-watt bulbs are rain-resistant, emit 6,000K bright white light, and are 260 percent brighter than halogen bulbs. They feature adjustable-beam technology and can be used in both projectors and reflector beams. The lights use fans for cooling and last over 50,000 hours. The company offers a two-year warranty and lifetime support.
The lights are very sturdy, solid, and easy to install. Also, the ballasts are substantial. The ability to adjust the light output pattern is one of their greatest features, and the front and side outputs are wide and focused. They have a bright, crisp white hue with no hint of blue and don't blind oncoming drivers. The LED stem length is the same length as the OEM bulb, which helps improve the beam output.
One downside is that you can hear a hum from the lights' cooling fans, but you don't hear it when you're driving. The fan is also bulky and large, which may cause issues during installation. They can also develop an intermittent flicker a short time after installation.
- Installation is easy in most models; however, you may need professional assistance. In some vehicles, the area in the headlight housing may be small or there may be a dust cover in the way, which may prevent you from mounting the LEDs yourself.
- LED bulbs can get hot at the bottom and require cooling systems such as fans or heatsinks to prevent them from melting.
- When aligning your LED headlights, make sure they point slightly downwards and away from oncoming traffic so they don't blind other drivers.
- Some LED headlights get hotter than others, which means they are more likely to overheat, break, or fail completely. Make sure you avoid products that tend to run hotter than other headlights.
Q: Are LED headlights legal?
A: Every state has its own laws about LED headlights, but they are usually legal if they project a light beam that illuminates the road ahead between 50 and 100 meters. This allows you to see the street and surrounding areas without blinding or distracting other drivers with your lights.
Q: LED headlights are ideal for what types of driving conditions?
A: Compared to halogen bulbs, LED headlights are better-equipped to handle extreme weather conditions, i.e., very hot or very cold temperatures. They're also ideal in rainy and foggy weather as well as at night in dark areas.
Q: What’s the difference between LED headlights and HID headlights?
A: Both types are superior to halogen lights. HID lights tend to be brighter, but they can reflect light back at you in foggy conditions and blind other drivers. In addition, HID lights experience a delay before they turn on. The best LED headlights typically do not affect your vision and are less likely to blind other motorists as long as they are correctly aligned.
Q: How do I fix a flickering LED headlight?
A: Some LED headlights are not compatible with vehicles such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. To fix a flickering headlight, use an anti-flicker or warning canceler, a.k.a. a capacitor, between the plug of the LED bulb and the socket. Many of the best aftermarket LED headlights to include these capacitors in their products.
Q: How much power do LED headlights consume?
A: LED lights are relatively new technology, and they are incredibly energy efficient. Most models use between 30 and 60 watts.
Q: Do LED lenses turn yellow over time?
A: No. Most high-quality LED lenses are designed with a polycarbonate material that features an ultraviolet additive, which is not affected by sunlight. They also generally have a hard coat for extra protection.
Our top pick for the best LED headlights is the Cougar Motor LED Headlight Bulbs All-in-One Conversion Kit. They emit a bright, far, wide, and clean beam of light, and they don't blind oncoming drivers when properly positioned.
For a less expensive option, consider the BEAMTECH 9005 LED Headlight Bulb.