Reviews

Best H11 Bulbs: Give Your Vehicle Better Illumination

Upgrade your driving experience with H11 headlights.

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BY Hank O'Hop / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021

Remember padiddle? Sure, you do. You and your buddies would drive around keeping an eye out for cars with burned-out headlights, and the winner got, well, there really wasn’t much of a reward other than saying you won. Anyway, it’s not fun to be the target. Without even considering the lack of visibility and a potential ticket, knowing you’re the padiddle just isn’t cool. The good news is that burned-out headlights are an easy fix.

 

H11 bulbs are single-filament halogen bulbs with an L-shaped socket. They are some of the most common bulbs for headlights and fog lights. You need to verify with your owner’s manual to be sure they will work for your vehicle, however. Still, we can help you out. We highlight some of our favorite H11 bulbs on the market and set you up with a buyer’s guide, so you don’t have to worry about giving the local kids anything remotely fun to do.

Best Overall
Hella H11 2.0TB Twin Blister Kit
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Summary
Summary

Quality and performance are of utmost importance for daily drivers. The increased brightness and build quality make these a no-brainer.

Pros
Pros
  • OE build quality ensures reliability 
  • Improved visibility over stock 
  • Lights provide symmetrical lighting throughout lifespan
Cons
Cons
  • Price is a little high
  • Issues with quality control are relatively common
Best Overall
Hella H11 2.0TB Twin Blister Kit
Best Value
Philips H11 Standard Halogen Replacement Headlight Bulb
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Summary
Summary

A perfect solution for shoppers on a budget. Overall quality and performance make the price seem shockingly low.

Pros
Pros
  • Affordable pricing
  • Quality of components exceeds expectations of lights in this price range
  • Brighter than most H11 bulbs in the same price range
Cons
Cons
  • Relatively short lifespan
  • Not a major upgrade over stock
Best Value
Philips H11 Standard Halogen Replacement Headlight Bulb
Honorable Mention
Sylvania H11 SilverStar Ultra High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb
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Summary
Summary

Sylvania’s brightest, farthest-shining bulb. These are a must-have option for those who need the best combination of brightness and reliability.

Pros
Pros
  • Brighter than stock
  • High-quality design and build 
  • Lights produce crisp white light rated at 1345 lumens to increase visibility throughout entire beam pattern
Cons
Cons
  • Relatively high price
  • Brighter lights exist for cheaper
Honorable Mention
Sylvania H11 SilverStar Ultra High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb

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.

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Best H11 Bulb Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
Hella H11 2.0TB Twin Blister Kit

If you want to stick with halogen bulbs, Hella’s performance and quality are worth adding to your vehicle. When it comes to your daily driver, you want to make sure you’re using good parts. We’re not saying you need to buy the most expensive stuff possible, but you’d be wise to avoid the cheapest. These Hella bulbs land right down the middle, which is part of why we picked them as Best Overall. Hella also happens to know a thing or two about lighting. The H11 bulbs in this blister pack are set to provide 100 percent better performance than factory lighting. That’s achieved through improved visibility and lifespan. 


Hella also designed these bulbs to provide consistent lighting over time. These are a solid white light as well, meaning you don’t have to worry about any hue messing with your vision. You can argue that the price is a little high for a halogen bulb, but quality is a big part of the price. We also can’t ignore that many people feel that the bulbs are not any brighter than stock. However, photo comparisons around the web prove that they are, so we would link any performance issues to quality control rather than design. 

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Hella
  • Part Number: H11 2.0TB
  • Weight: 0.005 ounces

Pros:

  • OE build quality ensures reliability 
  • Improved visibility over stock 
  • Lights provide symmetrical lighting throughout lifespan

Cons:

  • Price is a little high
  • Issues with quality control are relatively common
Best Value
Philips H11 Standard Halogen Replacement Headlight Bulb

The balance of price and quality make this a perfect option on a budget. We get it. Sometimes budgets get tight. That in itself is frustrating. Throw in predatory brands that make it hard to know who you can trust and suddenly it feels like there’s no hope. Breathe. We’ve got your back. This option from Philips is likely just what you need. There’s a lot to like about this product, starting with performance. These are an excellent direct replacement for factory lights as they will shine just as good if not a touch better. They also offer a respectable lifespan of 800-plus hours, despite what the cost may lead you to believe. 


Speaking of price, these bulbs are about a fraction of the cost of many of your other options. It’s an ideal choice for anyone in a pinch. You can only expect your money to take you so far, though. In this case, these lights are just a simple replacement. While they are brighter than factory H11 bulbs, it’s not a big step up. Also, the lifespan is respectably long, but reviews indicate it’s relatively short compared to similarly priced bulbs.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Philips
  • Part Number: 12362B2
  • Weight: 2.11 ounces

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing
  • Quality of components exceeds expectations of lights in this price range
  • Brighter than most H11 bulbs in the same price range

Cons:

  • Relatively short lifespan
  • Not a major upgrade over stock
Best Premium
Sylvania H11 SilverStar Ultra High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb

Sylvania is a brand we’ve relied on in the past and will in the future because of the performance and quality. When it comes to high-performance halogen bulbs, Sylvania’s SilverStars are tough to beat. Sure, there are more prestigious entries, but the balance of pricing and performance makes them a go-to option for many. Sylvania labels its SilverStar Ultra series as its brightest, most "down the road" light. In the case of the H11 bulbs, these bulbs provide 1345 lumens instead of the average 1250 lumens factory bulbs bring to the table. Putting an exact number on the range is tricky as bulb housings and proper aim come into play. However, the increased brightness and crisp white light these bulbs produce increase clarity for the entire beam pattern, not just the "hot spot." 


We also have to tip our hat to the level of quality that Sylvania consistently brings to the table. You can count on these lights being built just as well as whatever you had from the factory. Many reviewers point out that you can get brighter LED lights producing around 10,000 lumens for less than you'll spend on these. While we have to agree that these lights are expensive as far as halogens go, we'd say your money is better spent here. We know from experience that Sylvania's SilverStar Ultras are plenty bright and last much longer than many cheap LED upgrades. That's due to the quality and reliability they bring to the table.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Sylvania
  • Part Number: H11SU.BP2
  • Weight: 2.54 ounces

Pros:

  • Brighter than stock
  • High-quality design and build 
  • Lights produce crisp white light rated at 1345 lumens to increase visibility throughout entire beam pattern

Cons:

  • Relatively high price
  • Brighter lights exist for cheaper
Best LED Conversion
Auxito H8/H9/H11 LED Light Bulbs

These bulbs don’t fit the mold of the average affordable LEDs because their quality construction backs respectable performance. It’s natural to want LED bulbs in place of halogen bulbs. Even if the brightness isn’t that great, the jump in lifespan is well worth the investment. Using LED lights can go one of two ways, though. Either you stick to the big-money names, or you take your chances with the more affordable stuff. In this case, it looks like we found a reasonably priced gem. Despite being less expensive than the premium options, these lights offer respectable performance. 


They are undoubtedly brighter than most halogen bulbs. They claim to have a lifespan of around 50,000 hours, and the full aluminum body, copper baseboard, and built-in cooling fan back that claim up. Of course, all of that for a  very low price makes it a hard entry to beat in our eyes. There are two things you need to know about these lights before you buy. First, they don’t quite live up to the claim of supplying 8,000 lumens. Reviewers have proven these lights produce only around 6,000. Also, some have reported receiving faulty units that failed within just a few months.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Auxito
  • Part Number: H11-HB-1908
  • Weight: 11.7 ounces

Pros:

  • Level of quality exceeds what pricing may lead you to believe 
  • More affordable than many LED conversions 
  • Exceptionally long lifespan 

Cons:

  • Not as bright as they claim
  • Quality control issues are common
Best Fog Lights
Alla Lighting H8 H9 H11 LED Switchback Fog Lights

These LED lights offer two color options and surprisingly good performance for the price. We have another LED option for you to consider. This time we suggest you use these as fog lights if your vehicle calls for H11 bulbs because you can set these up to shine either a white or yellow light. There are two things we love about being able to make the change on command. The white offers you improved visibility in inclement conditions, while the yellow serves more as a style update. Furthermore, these are well-built lights that are fairly affordable. 


They may not be the cheapest option, but the build quality certainly warrants the extra expense. These aren’t perfect, though. The complicated install and finicky performance leave many reviewers up in arms. Too many claims of the lights not staying in sync make it hard to ignore the issue. Still, even those who have these issues say they are above average when it comes to overall performance.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Alla Lighting
  • Part Number: Alla-H11-SLCSP-12WY
  • Weight: 7 ounces

Pros:

  • Very affordable for LED conversions 
  • Lights can produce two colors to match user’s preference 
  • Lights are far brighter than most LED conversions at similar price points

Cons:

  • Complicated setup
  • Lights tend to fall out of sync

How We Selected The Products 

Stick to what you know, right? There’s no better motto when it comes to buying aftermarket parts, especially when it comes to lights. A lot of brands pop up overnight, ready to sell you super flashy lights for an alarmingly good price. We know from experience that those lights really don’t live up to the quality of the products coming from established names. That’s why we made sure to pick from the brands we know — through personal use or through reputation — to be reliable.

Buying Guide/What to Look for 

There’s always a chance that we might miss the mark. Even if we know these to be solid offerings, that doesn’t mean they’re what you’re looking for. After all, you have different ideas of what’s good and what isn’t, and there’s no guarantee that your application even needs H11 bulbs. So, what do you do then? Check out this buying guide. We’ll talk about some key points you need to consider when looking for headlight bulbs. Keep in mind that a lot of these tips are universal, meaning you’ll be able to keep them in mind whenever you’re shopping for exterior lighting. We’ll even drop some tips to make sure you get the most out of your investment.

What To Consider When Buying H11 Bulbs

Not all H11 bulbs are the same. You know that, though. You just need to know what makes them different enough to justify those price gaps. There are a few types of bulbs out there, but first let’s consider some of the characteristics you need to keep an eye on.

Lumens

This is your primary concern aside from compatibility. Lumens essentially translates to brightness. It tells you how good of a job the bulb will do at illuminating the roadways. Budget-friendly halogen H11 bulbs should land you around 1250 lumens. As the price goes up, you can expect the lumens to increase. Obviously, more is better as a brighter light will provide much better visibility.

Kelvin

If you’re something of a science buff, you know that a kelvin is a unit used to measure temperature. In the case of bulbs, it describes the color temperature. The scale generally runs from 2000 to 10,000 K. Warmer colors run from 2000 to about 3000 K, while cool colors span from about 6000 to 10,000 K. Everything in between is known as neutral and is usually more desirable for use in cars because they offer better visibility. That’s because warm colors have more of a red tone while cool colors appear blue.

Lifespan

Another detail you really want to pay attention to is the lifespan. Manufacturers typically measure this in hours, which may seem depressingly low compared to years or even mileage. However, you need to think about the fact that you generally don’t keep the lights on all the time. You probably don’t drive as frequently at night. Still, more hours is always better because it means you won’t replace the bulbs as often.

Types of H11 Bulbs

Car bulbs are standardized. The number H11 is a descriptor that tells us a lot about the function of the bulb. It tells us the filament count, what parts of the car it can be used for, and even the fitment. It doesn’t necessarily tell us much about the type of light it is, though. There are three types of H11 bulbs.

Halogen

Unless you’re looking to use the power of the sun to illuminate roadways, halogens are your best bet. These bulbs work by heating up a filament inside of a chamber that features halogen gas. While they are technically the least bright of your three options, they can provide some impressive performance. The primary benefit is that they usually don’t shine bright enough to be a hazard to other drivers, and they also happen to be the most affordable.

LED Conversion

Moving to LEDs is a good move for folks looking to achieve better visibility. Considering many newer vehicles feature these types of bulbs, it makes sense to update older vehicles with them. Thankfully, conversion bulbs exist to make simple work of the swap. The issue with a lot of LED bulbs is that they’re much more expensive than traditional halogen bulbs. You can find many really cheap options out there. However, the quality and performance won’t be anywhere close to what well-built premium options bring to the table.

HID Bulbs

HID is an abbreviation for high-intensity discharge. This type of bulb uses an arc between diodes surrounded with xenon gas to emit light and is known for producing the best visibility while remaining very efficient. The issue is that the light is so bright that it can easily become a hazard to other drivers. Therefore, you need to make sure that you verify the HIDs are both road-legal and permitted for use in your area.

Expert tips

Changing light bulbs is easy. We know you are ready to take what you’ve learned here and go pick out the perfect set. But there are a few more things to keep in the back of your mind as you shop around.

Consider other drivers

Don’t reach for the most powerful headlight bulbs possible. We’ve all been on the business end of a car that’s practically shooting laser beams from the front end. It isn’t fun at all. It can actually be dangerous. If improving visibility is a concern, just take it up a notch or two and consider re-aiming your headlights to make sure they’re focused in the right spots.

Replace two at a time

If one bulb goes, the other isn’t long behind it. Save yourself the trouble and buy  and replace both bulbs at the same time. In the case of an H11 headlight bulb, you might consider buying four at a time. We say that because these are single-filament bulbs. That means two function as your low beams and two function as your high beams. 

Clean the housings

If you’re replacing the bulb because your visibility is bad, give the housing a once over. Headlight housings tend to glaze over, which will hurt the bulb’s performance. It’s worth seeing if you can clean the housing up with a headlight restoration kit before you go overboard with bulbs. Again, you should also consider aiming your headlights, especially if you made any changes to your vehicle’s ride height.

Other Considerations

  • Compatibility: Not every light bulb you come across is going to fit in your vehicle. There are many types out there, and you don't want to waste money buying something you cannot use. If you want a specific type of headlight that isn't compatible, you also have the option of investing in a conversion kit.
  • Legality: There are a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to vehicles in the United States. Buyers should make sure that the lights they are buying are street legal and not made for other non-headlight uses. The Department of Transportation is in charge of regulating what is and is not allowed for U.S. vehicles.
  • Energy Consumption: Nearly all the energy consumed by LED bulbs is used to produce light. This is different from halogens and HIDs, which both give off a lot of heat and can be considered wasteful. Energy-efficient lights are good for the environment and ultimately good for your wallet. 
  • Price: While the performance and look of your headlights are incredibly important, the most immediate factor is what you're going to pay. This involves the type of light bulb, with LEDs being more expensive and halogens being more affordable, and also the long-term effects of replacement and energy consumption.

FAQs About H11 Bulbs 

As much as we think we know, you might still have questions. That’s why we’ll finish up by answering some of the most common questions asked about H11 bulbs.

Q: Are H11 and 9005 bulbs the same?

Both are L-shaped, but they are not interchangeable. One should also note that 9005 bulbs are typically reserved for use as high beams, whereas an H11 can serve as either a high-beam or low-beam bulb. That does mean 9005’s are brighter than most H11 bulbs, but using them as a low beam isn’t exactly necessary.

Q: What bulbs are the same as H11?

H8, H9, H11, and H16 bulbs are often lumped into the same category because of their L shape and single filament, but they aren’t identical. There are variations in brightness along with fitment. Each features a unique socket and housing combination that prevents them from being used interchangeably without modification.

Q: Can I use H9 bulbs instead of H11 bulbs?

A lot of people want to use an H9 instead of an H11 because the bulb is brighter, and the configurations are seemingly identical. It can be done, just not without a quick massage. H9 bulbs just have a tab on the harness socket that prevents them from popping right in place. Cutting or grinding the tab away will allow for the H9 to plug right into the H11 socket. There are no differences between the two when it comes to housing fitment.

Q: What’s better, HID or LED bulbs?

There’s a lot of back and forth on which is better but LEDs are generally more favorable. While both are exceptionally bright, LED bulbs tend to be a little brighter than street-approved HID bulbs. LEDs also last a lot longer than HIDs. So even if they are typically more expensive up front, they pay for themselves over time.

Q: Will an LED conversion require modification?

No. LED conversions are almost always plug and play for late-model vehicles. The only exception being those that call for an additional component to be added to control flickering. Even then, the installation is pretty straightforward. That might not be the case, however, for older vehicles, which might require some modifications to accept LED lights.

About the Author

Hank O'Hop is a self-taught gearhead struggling with a lifelong love affair with classic automobiles. He may not have experience in a professional garage, but he's broken more than his fair share of parts to know how not to do things under the hood. He's driven to find what works and what doesn't. Writing serves as an opportunity to help others avoid the headaches he's bound to come across.

Why Trust Us

The Drive seeks to be the internet's premier destination for news, features, reviews and guides about modern automotive culture.

Founded as the /DRIVE YouTube channel before growing into a full-fledged online publication in 2015, The Drive brings you the best of what's new in the world of speed, from gear reviews to the latest industry coverage--all from a veteran team of writers and editors with many decades of combined hands-on experience. 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.