Best Headlight Bulbs: Light The Way With These Top Headlight Bulbs
Shining some light with a headlight upgrade using our handy guide
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PUBLISHED ON April 16, 2019
Anyone who drives a car would agree that the headlights are one of the most basic but crucial components. Whether you are driving at night, through rain or adverse weather, working headlights help the driver see better. They also can help other drivers see you. Having the best headlight bulbs will help to keep you and others safe on the road. Best of all, there are plenty of headlight bulbs to choose from, as you will read in our guide below.
- Best OverallPhilips D4R Xenon HID Headlight BulbSummarySummaryThese Xenon HID bulbs give a brighter beam for your low and high beams. The 360-degree design allows for the full range of light, making them one of the best headlight bulbs for night driving.ProsProsThe bulbs are waterproof and fit multiple vehicles. They have a longer lifespan with more light and use less power than other options.ConsConsIt takes a few seconds to reach maximum brightness. They do not fit some car models.
- Best ValuePhilips 9005 X-tremeVision Upgrade Headlight BulbSummarySummaryThese bulbs offer up to 100 percent more vision on the road compared to stock headlight bulbs, making them a great halogen replacement for standard bulbs.ProsProsThese bulbs offer 55 watts of light and are waterproof. Their lifespan is over 30,000 hours.ConsConsThe filter system might be out of date and won’t fit all car models. Some vehicles may require the decoder to be installed first.
- Honorable MentionJDM ASTAR Lumens LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion KitSummarySummaryThese LED headlight bulbs are long-lasting, giving up to 100 percent more light compared to stock headlights. These are high performance and are one of the best headlight bulb upgrades for your car.ProsProsThe unique design allows for heat dissipation for longer life. They can be used as either headlights or fog lights.ConsConsOnly fits H11, H8, and H9 style headlights. Offers the lowest lifespan of other available bulbs.
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Benefits of Headlight Bulbs
- Brighter light. Better headlight bulbs will improve your headlights by shining brighter and better than stock headlight bulbs. Your car comes equipped with the minimum required brightness level for headlight bulbs. These are sometimes the cheapest bulbs available, as car manufacturers are purchasing in bulk.
- Better visibility. By installing upgraded headlight bulbs, you increase your visibility for night and day driving for both your low and high beams.
- Modern look. Increasing your visibility and upgrading your lighting can take your car’s look to the next level. The bright white bulbs help your car stand out and look great.
Types of Headlight Bulbs
LED Headlight Bulbs
LED lights are a common choice for those who want to provide an intense light without using as much electricity. They are extremely popular among homeowners, but can also be used in your car’s headlights to help lower the amount of electricity drawn from your car. These are some of the brightest headlight bulbs you can install but are not so bright that they will be harmful to other drivers. Typically, LED headlight bulbs have a longer lifespan than other bulbs because of their ability to resist overheating and using less electricity.
Halogen Headlight Bulbs
Halogen headlight bulbs are lit by filaments made of halogen gas and tungsten. These elements heat up and glow to create light without causing any heat damage to your car. This is the most common type of headlight bulb on the road because they typically come stock on vehicles and are very cheap to make.
Xenon Headlight Bulbs
If you have ever passed a car that has bright white headlights, they are most likely Xenon HID headlight bulbs. HID, or high-intensity discharge, bulbs have gas inside them that charges and lights using electrodes. These bulbs typically produce a brighter light than halogen bulbs. They are also known to have a longer lifespan. However, they take longer to reach their full potential because the gas needs a few seconds to fully charge.
Philips is a leading company in many different household and automotive products. It started making carbon-filament lamps as far back as 1891 and is one of the most common and notorious companies for light bulbs today. Philips is a global company with its headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its most common headlight bulbs include the X-tremeVision Upgrade Headlight Bulb and the CrystalVision Ultra Headlight bulbs.
JDM ASTAR is well known for its high-quality LED headlights. The company is an online retailer specializing in the technology of automotive LED lighting. It offers a variety of different bulbs for cars, trucks, boats, and many other vehicles. JDM ASTAR was founded in southern California and has recently grown its online business. Some of its popular products include the 8th Gen LED Headlights and the Extremely Bright LED White Headlights.
Headlight Bulbs Pricing
- $20-$40: Like most products, higher-priced items usually are higher in quality. However, this does not mean that headlight bulbs in this price range are not good quality. Within this price range, consumers can expect to receive the two lamps by themselves with no extra tools. This price range is typical for most halogen-sourced headlights.
- $40-$60: This price range is more common for LED headlights. They are more expensive because of the brighter light they produce while using less energy and electricity. Most products in this price range include the bulbs and the plug.
- $60-$80: Xenon HID headlight bulbs are common in this range since they’re generally more expensive. They use a unique lighting technology that is more expensive to produce, but the value for the money is well worth it. These lights shine brighter and longer than other styles.
For a headlight bulb to be effective, it needs to be weatherproof. Although these bulbs are protected by your headlight covers, water, dirt, and dust can still sneak through to the bulb. Waterproof bulbs are essential to keeping the bulbs working correctly through adverse weather.
Different style bulbs use different technologies to produce light. For example, halogen bulbs use heated halogen gas to produce light. Xenon bulbs charge using electrodes and gas. Other bulbs use heated filaments. Each one uses different levels of electricity and energy, and some may be more powerful than others.
Most headlight bulbs come with a “plug-and-play” feature, which is simple to install. This means that there is a simple plug you connect to your car to make the headlights work. If the bulb does not come with this feature, other wiring and connection steps will be needed.
- Light Output (Watts): Every style of headlight bulb uses a different level of power. The higher the wattage rating, the brighter and stronger the light will be and the further that light will reach. If you are looking for a bulb that puts out strong light, make sure the watts are at a higher level.
- Energy Consumption: There is a big difference in energy consumption between different styles of headlight bulbs. Since halogen lights require heat to light, they consume the most energy. LED and Xenon HID lights use less energy from your car.
- Uses: While it is obvious that headlights are needed while driving in the dark, they are also necessary when driving in adverse weather. Headlights can be crucial in rain and fog. You want to make sure your headlights are prepared to withstand these elements for your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Best Headlight Bulbs Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Philips D4R Xenon HID Headlight Bulb
These headlight bulbs are some of the best bright headlight bulbs you can install in your car. The 35 watts of power give you plenty of light in dark or adverse weather conditions. They are ideal for night driving and are a great replacement option for your stock headlight bulbs.
The Philips D4R Xenon HID headlights are compliant with Department of Transportation guidelines, so you do not have to worry about blinding other drivers with lights that are too bright. Each of the bulbs contains a Certificate of Authenticity for your convenience.
These xenon bulbs fit many different cars and have a longer lifespan than the original OEM equipment. They are also waterproof and produce more light with less power consumption. However, they also take a few seconds to reach maximum brightness. In addition, this premium product also includes a premium price. There are similar bulbs that are less expensive.
Best Value: Philips X-tremeVision Upgrade Headlight Bulb
Philips is a very common brand for automotive lamps. It has many headlight options, but the X-tremeVision Headlight Bulbs are one of its top products. Even though they are one of the cheapest options available, they don’t sacrifice quality.
These headlight bulbs provide up to 100 percent more light on the road than standard stock headlights. The X-TremeVision Technology provides optimal light output and performance for a long lifespan and bright lighting. They use 55 watts of power and produce a whiter light than other OEM options, making them some of the more powerful bulbs on the market.
Since they are halogen bulbs, they will need to be used a few times to reach their full capacity of brightness. They are waterproof and fit multiple vehicles, but some vehicles may require the decoder to be installed first.
Honorable Mention: JDM ASTAR Lumens LED Headlight Bulb Conversion Kit
These JDM ASTAR headlight bulbs are great for use as headlights or fog lights. They put out 30 watts of power to illuminate the road and cut through rain and fog to make sure other drivers can see you. These provide up to 100 percent more light than a standard halogen bulb.
This LED headlight is made with 6063 aviation aluminum to assist in heat dissipation. This design helps lengthen the lifespan by preventing overheating. It also has a multidirectional flow to ensure light is being shed at a broader angle for increased visibility.
Without creating dark spots, these headlight bulbs create an even flow of light. They are easy to install and fit tightly into your headlights. It has a plug-and-play design for easy installation without extra or complicated wiring.
Please note that these headlight bulbs have a limited fit, so always check your manufacturer’s recommendations. These headlights do not last as long as other recommended headlight bulbs. Finally, this bulb’s lower wattage compared to other bulbs on this list may result in less light output.
- Not every headlight bulb will fit in every car. There are many different sizes and styles that are made to fit different models. Most of these companies provide a system for you to look up the type of headlight bulbs that are compatible with your car. Be sure you know the proper size and style appropriate for your car’s headlights.
- Always install in pairs. When installing new headlights, it is always important to install both at one time, even if you are only needing to replace one. This helps to ensure that the headlights have a similar lifespan. Uneven headlights can be dangerous for you and other drivers on the road.
- When installing your headlights on your own, make sure you are wearing gloves. Headlight bulbs can get very hot very fast and can easily burn your hands. Make sure your car is turned off, as well, so you do not hurt your eyes. Test the power to your headlights only when you have finished installing them.
- Even the brightest headlight bulbs will appear dull if your headlight covers are dirty or foggy. Keep them clean using a good car wash mitt to provide optimal performance.
Q: Are LED headlights better than halogen headlights?
A: While both halogen and LED headlights can produce strong lighting, LED headlights are known to use less energy than halogen ones. Consider LED headlights to be high-performance headlights. However, they are also known to be more expensive.
Q: Why do some headlight bulbs last longer than others, even if they give the same amount of watts?
A: The lifespan is dependant on how much energy the light needs to use to work. If a bulb needs less energy to burn bright, it will have a longer lifespan than one that uses more energy.
Our top pick for the best headlight bulbs is the Philips D4R Xenon HID Headlight Bulb. They will provide you with the brightest headlights possible without breaking the bank.
For a less expensive alternative, consider the JDM ASTAR Lumens LED Headlight Bulb Conversion Kit.