LAST UPDATED: June 21, 2019
Best H11 Bulbs: Give Your Vehicle Better Illumination
Upgrade your driving experience with H11 headlights
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON June 21, 2019
There are few parts on a car that affect every aspect of your driving experience. Your headlights manage to hit them all, from style to safety to even the time of day you can operate. When a part is this important, then you definitely want to make sure you have the best product available. Here are several of the best H11 bulbs on the market.
They’re a bit fragile. While they do fit in almost any mount, some of the smaller ones carry a risk of damaging the H11s.
Why Trust Us
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.
Benefits of H11 Bulbs
- Life expectancy. With LED and HID lights, you get a much longer-lasting bulb than other technologies. This means you don't have to replace them nearly as often, saving you money.
- Performance. Factory headlights can be weak and inconsistent. H11 bulbs use advanced technology to maximize performance and enhance visibility.
- Versatility. Many vehicles use different types of bulbs for their high beams, low lights, and fog lights. Some H11 lights can be used in any of these capacities and come with installation kits.
- Aesthetics. Long gone are the days where headlamps are merely for night driving. Today's LED headlights can completely change the exterior look of your vehicle.
Types of H11 Bulbs
Halogen light bulbs have become a popular option ever since their creation in the 1960s. These H11 bulbs were a favorite choice because they were cheap to manufacture and could last more than 1,000 hours. This was an increase over older technology but has since been outdone by LED and HID technologies. Halogens also have to be handled carefully because they are fragile.
These types of H11 light bulbs are known for being the brightest. HID bulbs became popular due to their improvement over the original halogens. These lights use rare metal and gases to last more than 2,000 hours. The energy consumption is much lower than halogens, and they create a much brighter light. The problem with the brightness of these lights is that they are more likely to produce glare and aren't good at penetrating fog.
LED H11 bulbs grew in popularity thanks to automobile designers. These lights are noticeably thinner than the others, and can easily be shaped into many forms. While they aren't as bright as HID bulbs, they are less likely to cause glare and perform better in foggy conditions. LEDs are also much longer lasting while using even less energy. They are, however, the most expensive to produce.
BEAMTECH is an LED kit manufacturer with more than a decade of experience producing lighting-related products. At its inception, it focused on a wide variety of lighting options. Today, it concentrates on providing high-quality aftermarket lighting for the automotive industry. The company’s H11 LED Headlight Bulb is a popular choice among consumers.
Cougar Motor is an award-winning automotive lighting company. The small, privately-owned company got its start in 2006 and aims to bring customers excellent service and products. It offers an H11 LED conversion kit and replacement bulbs at a great value.
The well-known Philips name is now a part of a company called Signify. Signify has become the world leader in lighting technology. It works to create energy-efficient products, and its global Signify Foundation does charity work to increase access to lighting. The Philips H11 X-tremeVision is a competitively priced headlight.
H11 Bulb Pricing
- Under $20: Some H11 headlights are available for under $20. These are bulbs with no additional parts and usually use halogen technology, which is cheaper to produce.
- $20 to $40: Higher-quality LED and HID lights are typically more expensive than halogen H11 bulbs. This mid-price range will typically include high-quality replacement bulbs without additional installation materials.
- Over $40: Because most vehicles do not come with the brightest H11 bulbs from the factory, buying higher-quality H11 lights may require extra installation. These higher prices are typically for full installation kits and LED or HID light bulbs.
Lumens is the measurement of how bright a light bulb is. One LED headlight bulb can reach over 3,000 lumens; however, some luminosity is lost due to energy production. Scattered light beams may have a higher "brightness" but aren't necessarily the best for driving. Different types of LED chips or installing extra projectors can give you a more focused light beam to better illuminate the road.
Kelvin is used to measuring the color and light produced by light bulbs. The different temperatures give off different hues. Headlights that look yellowish are typically in the range of 2,000 and 4,000 Kelvin. The bluish colored headlights are much warmer, with more than 6,500 Kelvins, and traditional white lights land in the middle.
The overall performance of your headlights will depend on how they handle road conditions. The ballast is a part connected to the LED light that protects it from voltage variation and heat and optimizes power efficiency. Bulbs need to be shockproof due to the inevitable bumps in the road, and poorly damped lights may cut out. Finally, lights have IP ratings to measure the level of waterproofing.
- Compatibility: Not every light bulb you come across is going to fit in your vehicle. There are a lot of different types available, 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 are 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. models.
- 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.
Best H11 Bulb Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Many aftermarket H11 headlights suffer from issues related to their size and shape—they’re less versatile because they’re too bulky to fit in some mounts. Auxito has designed its H11 bulbs to work around this problem. They’re small enough to fit in almost any factory socket and are non-polar, so they can be plugged in more than one way to find the perfect fit.
A useful shape isn’t the only advantage of going with Auxito. The company claims its LED H11s can put out five times the lumens of a factory halogen bulb, and in almost every circumstance, they’re right. While they are fan-cooled, the fan isn’t loud enough to hear over your engine, and they have an OEM-style circular beam pattern that announces your presence without blinding other drivers.
However, that beam pattern is a double-edged sword sometimes, as it means these headlights are less focused. While they do often reach the promised 8,000 lumens, it’s not always distributed efficiently.
Another warning about these bulbs: Just because they’re the right shape to install, doesn’t mean that they can’t be damaged by banging against the headlight frame. If in doubt, check with a mechanic.
Philips produces one of the brightest H11 halogen bulbs available with its X-tremeVision headlamp. These lights are a popular option thanks to the company's reliability and the relatively low cost of this model. Since these use halogen technology, the production cost is much lower than the competition.
The X-tremeVision lights perform well in poor weather conditions. They have a yellow light associated with them (with a temperature of 3,400 Kelvin) and are perhaps best suited to be fog lights. These lights are also much easier to install compared to others on the list, which helps lower the cost as no kit is required.
While Philips makes one of the top H11 halogen bulbs, the X-tremeVision lights come with a few drawbacks. They consume twice as much energy as LEDs, and if you accidentally leave them on, you're more likely to drain your car's battery. The bulbs are also incredibly fragile, and the company warns not to touch the glass during installation. Using gloves or paper towels while handling them is essential.
SYLVANIA is the most successful automotive lighting brand in both the OEM and aftermarket segments. The company has been around for more than 100 years and is a leader in cutting-edge technology to promote a high-quality driving experience.
The SilverStar Ultra bulbs use a patented tri-band technology that produces one of the brightest light beams available. These lights also utilize an advanced technology called cobalt blue nanocoating. This helps the bulb's performance and creates the H11 white bulb light you'd expect from a 4,000-Kelvin headlamp. Thanks to the company's experience, these lights are guaranteed to comply with every state's legal standards.
While these are some of the best high beam bulbs you can buy, the SYLVANIA lights aren't ideal for every situation. One of the most significant drawbacks is the lifespan of the SilverStar Ultra bulbs. These white halogen headlight bulbs only last 125 hours. On top of that, the bulbs are more expensive than other headlights that last much longer.
If you crave the strength of a halogen headlight but don’t like how hot they get, look no further than Beamtech’s LEDs. These Korean-built bulbs are engineered to match the powerful light of a halogen lamp, but they actually exceed halogen lamps in lumen output. Beamtech’s H11 headlights emit 4,000 lumens each (8,000 per set) and put out far less heat.
The low heat output doesn’t just make these bulbs safer but also prolongs their lifespan, allowing them to shine for around 30,000 hours before burning out. Additionally, the lack of a need for a cooling fan makes your headlights less noisy. The halogen inspiration also reveals itself in the beam pattern—these bulbs emit light from a concentrated strip rather than spreading less-intense light around in a circle.
The downside with Beamtech LED headlights is that they’re an unusual shape, which doesn’t fit neatly in every vehicle. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are three possible ways to screw these bulbs into the socket, so you can’t always be certain whether they won’t fit your car or if you’re just installing them wrong.
For drivers looking to move on from their dim OEM halogen headlights, Cougar Motor’s LED H11 bulbs are a great choice. They’re vastly more affordable, easy to install, and throw a wider beam of light without flickering. Some LED bulbs have been known to require professional rewiring, but there’s no risk of that here.
Cougar Motor H11 headlights are also notable for their color, which is far more pleasant to look at than even most other LEDs. The shape and strength of the beam combine so they do a great job of illuminating the entire road in front of you. Some headlights are just for letting other cars know you’re there in the dark, but these will actually increase visibility in almost all conditions.
The major drawbacks of Cougar Motor LED headlights are that they’re fan cooled, which adds an extra layer of noise to your drive, and that they’re too bulky to fit in certain vehicles. They also suffer a bit in the durability department with individual bulbs sometimes burning out by the six-month mark.
The JDM Astar is another bulb built to the exact size and shape of a factory halogen bulb, making replacement as easy as possible. While very simple to plug in and install, these bulbs also demonstrate a noticeable increase in brightness, making them a worthwhile choice for an aftermarket headlight upgrade.
Other reasons we recommend the JDM Astar bulbs are their shape and longevity. These H11 bulbs are strong enough, and shaped deftly enough, to turn the entire road in front of you bright white without ruining the night vision of your fellow drivers. Customers have reported using them for two years or more without any visible loss of intensity.
Full disclosure: We’re not big fans of the amount of exposed machinery on these bulbs, which makes them a bit more dangerous in a tight fit. The manufacturers could also be more clear that the direction in which these are installed really matters. The LED chips need to be parallel to the ground to reach the stated lumen output.
- Always refer to your vehicle's owner’s manual for what type of bulb your headlights require. H11s can be used in the regular headlamp and as fog lights. Sometimes they require special installation.
- It's essential to know your state's regulations when it comes to headlights. In some states, HIDs are illegal, which means they may not be an option for you.
- How often you drive in poor weather conditions may affect your choice. The brightest bulb does not necessarily mean the best at penetrating fog, rain, or snow.
- If you're just looking to replace the bulb, you can find out what type it is by looking at the bottom of your old bulb.
- The average warranty for headlights is about two years. If you run into issues before the two years are up, most companies have technical support to help you with any problems.
Q: What cars use H11 bulbs?
A: H11 headlights are a type of single beam bulbs that are often used in modern vehicles. They are interchangeable with H8 and H9 housing units; some cars may have these as the stock option, while others may need to be converted.
Q: What weather conditions can H11s be used in?
A: LED lights are optimal for any weather. They don't emit heat, which helps them adapt to any climate, and they're designed to work great in rain and fog. HIDs are the best for nighttime driving, although poor weather conditions can reduce their visibility significantly.
Q: Will my H11 bulbs turn yellow?
A: Your bulbs shouldn’t turn yellow. If they do, there is a problem with the ballast and the amount of heat.
Q: Which headlights blind other drivers?
A: HID lights are known to cause a glare, which irritates oncoming traffic. LED lights are less likely to do this, especially if angled properly.
For consumers looking for an H11 bulb upgrade, the Auxito H11 Headlight Bulbs are the best option available.
For customers looking for a cheaper H11 bulb, by comparison, the Philips H11 X-tremeVision is a great value.