Reviews

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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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON May 24, 2021

Headlights are a critical component on your vehicle, and when one fails the other is bound to go within a short period of time. Since you can't safely drive at night, in the rain, or in other adverse conditions without them, you need to find a dependable set of bulbs that will help you see the road clearly. You also need a product that won't blind oncoming drivers. There are many different types of headlight bulbs available for purchase both online and in stores. We feature some of the best options in the buying guide below.

Best Overall
Philips D4R Xenon HID Headlight Bulb
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Summary
Summary

These 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. 

Pros
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Designed to fit numerous vehicles
  • Long lifespan
  • Lower power consumption
Cons
Cons
  • Optimal brightness takes a few seconds
  • They’re only compatible with some vehicles
Best Overall
Philips D4R Xenon HID Headlight Bulb
Best Value
Philips X-tremeVision Upgrade Headlight Bulb
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Summary
Summary

These 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.

Pros
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • 55 watts of light
  • Last up to 30,000 hours
Cons
Cons
  • They don’t fit all vehicles
  • Some models may require a decoder
Best Value
Philips X-tremeVision Upgrade Headlight Bulb
Honorable Mention
Lasfit 9005 HB3 LED Headlight Bulbs High Beam
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Summary
Summary

These 25-watt high-beam bulbs have a 30,000-hour lifespan. They have a 6,000K bright white color temperature and are 2,500 lumen each.

Pros
Pros
  • They are 200-percent brighter than halogen bulbs
  • Compact and easy to install
  • Bright, clear illumination
Cons
Cons
  • They may cause a flicker or error code, so you may need a decoder
Honorable Mention
Lasfit 9005 HB3 LED Headlight Bulbs High Beam

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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Headlight Bulbs

  • They provide visibility. When you drive at night, you need a good set of bulbs that will properly light the road so you can see far and wide. They also make you more visible during the day and after dark.
  • They're bright. If you upgrade your stock headlight bulbs, you can opt for an option that is much brighter. Some OEM bulbs are halogen, which aren't as bright as LED bulbs.
  • They look good. When you swap out old headlight bulbs for modern bulbs, you can change the look of your vehicle, particularly if you choose a brand with a bright white color temperature.

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.

Top Brands

Philips

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.

Sylvania

Sylvania traces its roots to 1901 in Middleton, Mass. Initially, it renewed burned-out light bulbs. In 1993, OSRAM SYLVANIA was created. The company produces a wide range of lighting products, from LED lamps and tubes to ballasts, halogen lights, and incandescent lights. We recommend the Sylvania H11 XtraVision Halogen Headlight Bulb.

JDM ASTAR

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 JDM ASTAR Super Bright 3030-15SMD White LED Fog Light Bulbs.

Headlight Bulbs Pricing

  • $20 to $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 to $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 to $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.

Key Features

Weatherproofing

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.

Lighting Mechanism

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.

Installation Features

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.

Other Considerations

  • 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 2021

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
Lasfit 9005 HB3 LED Headlight Bulbs High Beam

The Lasfit 9005 HB3 LED Headlight Bulbs have a 30,000-hour lifespan and are designed to be used as your vehicle's high beams. These 25-watt bulbs have a 6,000K bright white color temperature and are 2,500 lumen each. This model was upgraded from COB chips to Flip chips to reduce power consumption and provide extra lighting effects. They are 200 percent brighter than stock halogen bulbs.


The LED driver is built into these bulbs, which are compact and easy to install. Simply remove the old bulbs from the housing, put these new ones in place, and replace the dust cover. They feature an aluminum body, a cooling fan, and a 360-degree adjustable beam pattern, so you can choose the best angle for your needs. The light pattern resembles those produced by halogen bulbs, but it's brighter and clearer. These bulbs also have a temperature control system for durability. Users report that they are an excellent upgrade, nice and bright, and are a good value for the money.


There are not many downsides with this product. However, while these bulbs are compatible with most vehicles, you made need a decoder if you experience flickering or error codes.

Honorable Mention
Fahren H11/H9/H8 LED Headlight Bulbs

The Fahren H11/H9/H8 LED Headlight Bulbs are 300-percent brighter than halogen bulbs. They are 30 watts each with a 6,500K cool white color temperature and a total of 10,000 lumens. These bulbs are designed to last as long as 50,000 hours, have an IP 68 waterproof rating, and operate in temperatures from -113 degrees to over 300 degrees Fahrenheit.


The lights have a 360-degree adjustable beam pattern, so you can find the right angle for the best visibility. One of their best features is that they are easy to install and are CAN bus ready and compatible with most vehicles, so you shouldn't see an error code on your dashboard. They produce a focused beam pattern without any dark spots, and they won't blind oncoming drivers. The body is constructed of aviation aluminum, and they come with a 12,000 RPM turbofan, so they won't get too hot. Overall, they produce a nice, even spread of light and are close in size to factory bulbs, so installation is a cinch.

 

However, they may not have the lifespan that's promised or they may start to dim after a short period of use. Also, some users have had to swap the washer from the original bulb for a better fit.

Honorable Mention
SEALIGHT Scoparc S1 H11/H8/H9 LED Headlight Bulbs

These are LED headlight bulbs designed to ensure better visibility on the road. They prove to be up to two times brighter than halogen bulbs and produce white light for reaching a greater distance. With them, you'll see further and clearer during every ride.


The installation is quite simple. No tools are required, and you'll get the job done within a few moments. Once you get these mounted, you won't be replacing them any time soon. The Sealight headlight bulbs are super durable and offer continuous, reliable performance.


Furthermore, these bulbs don't have a fan and feature smart cooling for more protection. Another great thing is that the low beam bulb ensures safety for other drivers, so they won't get blinded by your lights. You'll also get to rest your eyes due to the lack of glare and dark spots on the road.


Still, if you're driving during the night frequently, you might want to check for some other options. These bulbs are not that powerful to provide ultra-bright light for commutes on dark country roads. Also, they might be a little cloudy. It's not a general issue, but some buyers noticed the foggy light output.

Honorable Mention
Sylvania H11 XtraVision Halogen Headlight Bulb

The Sylvania H11 XtraVision Halogen Headlight Bulbs are nice and bright and don't produce the bright blue beam that some oncoming drivers find irritating. They're bright without the glare and are street legal and DOT approved. These XtraVision bulbs feature a strong filament design and gas mixture that provides optimal performance. They are compatible with many makes and models and provide more clarity and down road visibility than Sylvania's basic halogen bulbs.  

Since Sylvania is an OEM light source supplier, you know you can trust its products, which instills confidence. They provide a warm light that is pleasing to the eyes, and they are easy to install. Simply unplug the connector, twist the old bulb, pull it out, and connect the new bulb.


However, some users have complained that they occasionally flicker when you first turn them on. They may also not last a long time. In addition, while they may be slightly brighter than stock bulbs, if you want significantly brighter headlights you may want to purchase an LED option.

Honorable Mention
SYLVANIA H7 SilverStar Ultra Halogen Headlight Bulb

These are one of the most reliable headlight bulbs on the market, and there are various reasons for this. The Sylvania H7 halogen headlight bulbs offer excellent performance and impressive light output. They ensure better visibility in different road situations and continuous operation for more safety in all weather conditions. With them, you'll enjoy a crisp view of the road ahead of you.


The bulbs offer white light for more clarity and a sleek design for easy installation. They mount in a breeze, and you'll be able to get the job done in a few moments. Once installed, these ensure you get a further look down the road and even improve your vehicle's appearance. Overall, the Sylvania halogen headlight bulbs are designed to keep you safe on the road and you'll find them highly beneficial.


Although these are very bright and efficient, keep in mind that they are not much brighter than regular stock bulbs. The product's description might be a little misleading in the matter. Another thing to keep in mind is that the bulbs have a short lifespan. Most buyers only used them for about a year before having to replace the bulbs, which is rather inconvenient.

Honorable Mention
BEAMTECH H13 LED Headlight Bulb

These Beamtech H13 LED headlight bulbs have 8000 lumens and a color temperature of 6500K. The light proves to be super white and quite powerful. It extends far on the road and ensures excellent visibility in all weather and road conditions.


Users love these bulbs because they are well-made and very durable. With the lifespan of more than 30,000 hours and the power output of 50 watts, they prove to be highly reliable as well as efficient. Additionally, the bulbs are IP65-rated and feature low heat output. That ensures continuous work and a longer lifespan. Overall, with these Beamtech headlight bulbs, you'll enjoy a clearer and brighter view for quite some time.


The main thing to keep in mind with this product is that it requires quite some effort for the proper installation. First, the provided instructions are not very helpful. For some extra information, you'll have to contact customer support. Second, the included wrench might be too loose and unsuitable for the job. Therefore, you'll probably have a couple of issues with mounting these bulbs on your own.

Tips

  • 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.

FAQs

Q: What are the best headlight bulbs to buy?

Fortunately, there are a variety of excellent headlight bulbs available, and we include several options in this buying guide.

Q: Which are better: HID or LED headlight bulbs?

HID bulbs are brighter than LED bulbs, but if they’re not properly installed they can produce a lot of glare towards oncoming traffic. Also, HID bulbs don’t last as long as LED bulbs, which cost less in the long run. Ultimately, it’s a personal preference.

Q: Are LED headlights better than halogen headlights?

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?

The lifespan is dependent 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.

Final Thoughts

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 Philips X-tremeVision Upgrade Headlight Bulb.