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Best Halogen Headlight Bulbs: Drive at Night With More Confidence

Upgrade your old, dim headlight bulbs with whiter and brighter ones.

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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON June 9, 2021

If you don't want to spend money on LED lights, replacing your burned-out bulbs with halogen headlight bulbs is a good option. The automotive industry relied on halogen headlights for years because they are easy to produce and replace. Plus, they're brighter and often longer lasting than incandescent bulbs. Good-quality halogen headlight bulbs can illuminate the road properly and won't blind oncoming drivers because they're not as bright as some other types of bulbs. Check out some of the best available in our buying guide below.

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Benefits of Halogen Headlight Bulbs

  • They help you see at night. Without headlight bulbs, you won't get very far in your vehicle at night or in low-light conditions. They're a necessity when it comes to driving after dark.
  • They're inexpensive. Compared to other types of headlight bulbs such as LEDs, halogens are more affordable. If you want to save a little cash, they are a good option.
  • They are superior when it comes to side views. Compared to LED and HID bulbs, halogen headlight bulbs provide a wider field of view. You will be able to see the sides of the road much better with this type of bulb.
  • They are less likely to blind oncoming drivers. Some headlight bulbs are so bright that they cause a lot of glare. Halogen headlight bulbs won't irritate other drivers as much as other bulbs do.
  • They make driving safer. If you have a burned-out headlight, it can be harder to see what's going on in front of you, which can lead to a crash. A brand-new set of halogen headlight bulbs can solve the issue.
  • They're versatile. You can install halogen lights on cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and more. They are available in a range of sizes and fit a variety of vehicles.

Types of Headlight Bulbs

Halogen

Halogen bulbs have been used in vehicle headlights for many years. This type of bulb contains halogen gas as well as a thin tungsten filament and a glass filament. The gas moves through the tungsten to the filament, producing a chemical reaction when the headlight is turned on. Halogen lights generate a white light with a tint of yellow.

Xenon

Xenon headlights are also known as high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps. They hit the market in the early '90s and eventually became the top headlight option for many car manufacturers. A xenon light produces 3,000 lumens compared to a halogen light, which produces just 1,400. Xenon headlights also have a longer lifespan than their halogen counterparts.

LED

LED headlight bulbs were first used on vehicles in the early aughts. They need less power to function than classic halogen lights and are popular on hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius. They emit light similarly to HID and halogen bulbs but can produce a more focused ray of bright light as well as different shapes.

Top Brands

Sylvania

Sylvania traces its roots to 1901 when entrepreneur Frank Poor joined a small company in Middleton, Mass.,that renewed burned-out light bulbs. By 1942, the company became Sylvania Electric Products, Inc. The brand has been under the LEDVANCE umbrella since 2016. Two top products are the SYLVANIA - 9003 XtraVision - High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb and the SYLVANIA - 9006 SilverStar Ultra - High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb.

Phillips

Philips & Co. was founded in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father, Frederik Philips. It soon became one of the world’s leading producers of light bulbs. Two popular products are the Philips H11 Standard Authentic Halogen Replacement Headlight Bulb and Philips X-treme Vision +130% Headlight Bulbs.

GE

General Electric (GE) was founded in 1892 with the merger of Edison General Electric Company of Schenectady, N.Y., and Thomson-Houston Electric Company of Lynn, Mass. The company's headquarters are in Boston, Mass. One recommended product is the GE Lighting 9003/BP Standard OEM Halogen Replacement Bulb.

HELLA

Sally Windmüller founded the company Westfälische Metall-Industrie Aktien-Gesellschaft in Lippstadt, Germany, in 1899, producing lanterns, headlamps, horns, and fittings for bicycles, carriages, and automobiles. HELLA was first trademarked for an acetylene headlamp in 1908. The company now has 40,000 employees in 35 countries. One top product is the HELLA H7 Standard Halogen Bulb.

OSRAM

OSRAM was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Munich, Germany. The company develops, produces and sells lamps, light modules, and sensor components for automotive applications. One popular product is the Osram H1 Night Breaker Unlimited Halogen Bulbs 55W.

PIAA

PIAA has been designing automotive products since 1963. Its American headquarters are in Portland, Ore. The company produces halogen and HID fog and driving lamps, LED daytime running lights, accent lighting, high-performance replacement Halogen bulbs, and more. One recommended product is the PIAA H11 Xtreme White Plus Bulb.

Halogen Headlight Bulb Pricing

  • Under $10: Some halogen headlight bulbs are very inexpensive. They are good replacements for original equipment bulbs but generally won't increase your headlights' brightness or performance.
  • $10-$20: Many high-quality halogen headlight bulbs are available at this price point. They are often brighter than stock bulbs and provide a better range of view at night.
  • $20 and up: The more you spend on halogen headlight bulbs, the brighter and whiter they tend to be. Expect to spend $40 or more if you want lights that are extremely white and intense.

Key Features

Luminance or Brightness

Halogen headlight bulbs that are vivid and bright will enable you to see more of the road's surface area. The brighter or more luminescent they are, the better, so look for something with at least 1,000 lumens. The only caveat with brighter headlights is that they tend to have a shorter lifespan and will need to be replaced more often.

Lifespan

Another one of the most important factors when selecting the best high or best low beam headlight bulb is how long it will last. Look for ones that last longer than a year or two. This will prevent you from having to change the bulb as often and will be less costly in the long run.

Other Considerations

  • Compatibility. Not all halogen bulbs will fit all vehicles. You need to check your vehicle's make, model, and year to make sure it lines up with a product's part number. This will ensure that the best halogen light bulbs will properly fit in your car, truck, or van's headlight assembly.
  • Range. The best halogen headlight bulbs should give you a long field of vision and down road visibility at night. The further you can see on the highway or on a rural road, the safer you will be. Even just a few extra feet of light can make a big difference.
  • Color Temperature. The brighter and whiter a bulb is the higher the color temperature is. In the past, halogen bulbs were yellow. These days you can find bright white halogen headlight bulbs for your car. In addition to producing excellent visibility, they also give your vehicle a stylized look. Bulbs with a temperature less than 3000K (Kelvin) will produce yellow light. If it's higher than 3000K, the bulb will be white. Bulbs over 4000K will produce bright white light.
  • Ease of Installation. It's usually not too difficult to replace a halogen headlight bulb. Check your vehicle's owners manual as well as the product's instructions to do it properly. Just make sure you have the proper connections. For example, you may require the best H1 headlight bulb or you may need the best H7 halogen bulb.

Best Halogen Headlight Bulbs Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Philips 9006 CrystalVision Ultra Upgrade Bright White Headlight Bulb

These 12-volt, 55-watt bulbs produce a bright white look and resemble HID lights. During the day, the bulbs' unique blue cap creates a cool blue effect in the headlamp’s reflector. The CrystalVision bulbs boost the style of your vehicle while offering enhanced performance compared to standard bulbs.


These bulbs are bright and crisp, project far, and help you see a few hundred feet ahead of your vehicle. They emit bright white light without any harsh glare. The light beam is focused and bright; and they have a cooler, whiter color than standard, stock halogen bulbs. They also help you see better in foggy conditions and are easy to install.


There have been some complaints that the lights do not have a blue tint on them. They may burn out within a year and lose brightness within a few months. In addition, the bulbs don't fit on some makes and models.

Best Value
HELLA Standard-55W Standard Halogen H7 Bulbs

These 12-volt, 55-watt bulbs are DOT, ECE, and INMETRO certified for the United States, Europe, and Brazil. The package includes two bulbs that increase visibility and performance when compared to basic bulbs, and HELLA guarantees optimum fit and function. The bulbs also come in yellow and +50, which provide up to 50 percent more light output than standard bulbs.


These bulbs work great, are good quality and emit a nice, clean light. The biggest selling point is that they are significantly less expensive than competitor products of the same quality. They are easy to install, are just as bright or brighter than OEM bulbs, and fit perfectly as a replacement. They're also a cost-effective solution if your vehicle's headlights burn out on a regular basis.


There have been some complaints that the bulb doesn't have a very long lifespan and may fail within a few months or a year. Also, they may not be as bright as you expect and may be dimmer than some competitor brands.

Honorable Mention
Osram H1 Night Breaker Unlimited Halogen Bulbs 55W

These 3400K, 12-volt, 55-watt bulbs increase visibility by producing a light beam up to 35 more meters longer when compared to standard bulbs. Overall light is boosted by up to 110 percent, and the partial cobalt coating of the glass body contributes to up to 20 percent whiter light. In addition, the patented blue ring coating helps to reduce back glare.


These bulbs are great quality and produce a noticeably brighter light than stock halogen bulbs. The color temperature is perfect for seeing far into the distance at night. While they may not appear brighter when you look at them, you can see the difference when you're driving in the dark. They are also whiter than standard headlights with just a hint of yellow.


One problem is these bulbs may not last as long as some other H1 bulbs, and they may burn out after a few months. The OSRAM packaging even notes that the lifespan is shorter than standard bulbs. Also, there have been some complaints about the yellowish tint that the bulbs emit.

Honorable Mention
Osram Night Breaker Laser H4

These bulbs allow you to see more clearly and further when driving at night. Osram claims each bulb is 150 percent brighter than competing halogen light bulbs due to their laser ablation technology. They shine a beam of light up to 150 meters and improve visibility. They are 12-volt bulbs with 75 watts.


The bulbs are reportedly 20 percent whiter than other lights, which makes them more modern looking. They give you more field of view when you kick on the high beams, allowing you to feel more comfortable when you’re driving. 


While not a big negative, the lights may emit a blue tint. They may also be difficult to install on certain vehicles.

Honorable Mention
Sylvania 9006 SilverStar Ultra-High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb

The Sylvania 9006 halogen bulbs are quite powerful and bright. They are made with Sylvania’s patented TriBand Technology, which gives them the brightest and whitest white light possible to improve contrast and visibility.


They provide a clear and crisp white beam, so you can see the road ahead. The 12-volt, 55-watt bulbs have a base of P22d. They are also quite easy to replace as long as you use gloves. 


However, they are a bit expensive. Also, they may not be particularly long-lasting and may not last one full year. However, if that’s the case, the one-year warranty should kick in. Optimally, the lights should last at least two years.

Honorable Mention
Philips 9003 VisionPlus Upgrade Headlight Bulb

Lightbulb manufacturer Philips has been around for quite a while. The company's halogen headlights are impressive, especially its Philips 9003 VisionPlus Upgrade Bulb. This pack comes with two lights, each providing over 60 percent in added lighting. They are reliable and dependable as well.


The 12.8-volt, 60.5-watt bulbs are efficient and effective in the darkness. They are also quite long-lasting as the company states they can last more than two years. They provide a bright and constant beam of powerful white light, so you can see further and more clearly. 


However, they may burn out well before the two-year mark, and they may not be as bright as you expect.

Honorable Mention
SYLVANIA - H11 XtraVision - High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb

If you want to improve down road visibility, consider the SYLVANIA XtraVision bulbs, which are a step above the SYLVANIA basic bulbs. The XtraVision version helps you see better without any additional glare. The bulbs provide maximum performance using a proprietary gas mixture combined with a "robust" filament design. 


These bulbs are legal for road use and are long lasting. The bulbs have a 55 watt low beam wattage, a 3200K color temperature, and a rated life of 150 hours. The manufacturer recommends replacing them in pairs since the lights dim over time. Users report that they are very easy to install and provide a solid, clean view of the road ahead. Many report that they are just as bright as OEM headlight bulbs. They're also a great option if you don't want to blind other drivers on the road. 


The biggest complaint about these bulbs is that they don't fit certain vehicles, so make sure they're compatible before making a purchase. Also, they may not be as bright as you would like.

Honorable Mention
Osram 64211L+ H11 OEM Halogen Headlight Bulbs

The Osram H11 OEM Halogen Headlight Bulbs are a new series from the Germany light manufacturer. The package includes two 12V 55 watt bulbs. They are the OEM replacement for a variety of vehicles, including models by Acura, Audi, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, MINI Cooper, Nissan, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. 


These "long life" bulbs last longer than non-"L" versions. The brightness of these bulbs is comparable to the OEM bulbs, making them a direct replacement. They provide a good amount of light yet won't blind oncoming traffic. While other brands may be brighter, they cost more and don't last as long. Users report that the 64211L+ bulbs match perfectly with factory bulbs. 


Still, like many other halogen bulbs on this list, they're not as bright as some other options. Also, some users have had a little difficulty installing them, but that depends on what type of vehicle you have.

Honorable Mention
Philips 9012 HIR2 Standard Halogen Headlight Bulb

If all you need is a basic replacement bulb, you may want to consider the Philips 9012 HIR2 Standard Halogen Headlight Bulb. These DOT-compliant bulbs feature original equipment quality, so you know they'll do the job right. They are reliable 12V 55W bulbs and won't blind oncoming cars. 


Users like that they have the same stock beam pattern with great intensity. They are legal, keep you safe on the road, and are very affordable. While the bulbs may not be as bright white as newer car bulbs, they match OEM bulbs perfectly. They also fit perfectly and take minutes to install. 


However, they won't upgrade your lighting or make it easier to see the road. The manufacturer also recommends not touching the glass when installing these bulbs because the oil on your skin can damage them; wear gloves or use a paper towel when handling them.

Honorable Mention
HELLA Optilux XB Series HB3 9005 Xenon Halogen Bulbs

The HELLA Optilux XB Series HB3 9005 Xenon Halogen Bulbs are great for rural areas and off-road terrain. These 12V 100W bulbs produce a bright white beam that resembles the output produced by Xenon bulbs. The crisp, bright light is strong and a popular option among performance-driven drivers. 


As long as the lights are properly aimed, you won't blind other drivers. They are less expensive and easier to install than HIDs and are noticeably brighter than 55 watt bulbs. While they are a little pricier than some other options, they're worth the extra investment. 


One downside is that they may not be the xenon white or blue color that you expect. Some users have also complained that even though they're 100 watts, they're not as bright as they had hoped.

Tips

  • Replacement halogen bulbs are usually available in a twin pack or single pack. Make sure you know the quantity you need when you’re selecting the best headlight bulb brand.
  • If you decide to upgrade to a brighter bulb, it's a good idea to replace both bulbs at the same time. The brightest halogen light bulbs can be significantly brighter than standard halogens, and you don't want to produce an uneven light beam.
  • When you're looking for replacement halogen headlights, make sure to choose ones that are street legal. Check that they are certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT). If they're not, review your state's regulations to make sure they won't cause you any legal problems.
  • Headlight bulbs lose about 20 percent of their lighting capacity after about two or three years. If you want to ensure optimum visibility, consider changing the bulbs before they burn out.
  • Be careful not to touch the glass surface of a halogen bulb during installation. Use gloves or a paper towel when handling a bulb to avoid contaminating the surface and to prolong its life.

FAQs

Q: When do I need to replace my halogen bulbs?

Bulbs get old and deteriorate over time. If the bulb stops working, you need to replace it. A bulb also needs to be swapped out if it no longer shines light very far or is not as bright as it used to be. 

Q: How long do halogen headlight bulbs last? 

As we mentioned previously, halogen bulbs have a shorter lifespan than some other types of bulbs. Typically, a halogen bulb will last 2,000 hours or two years, while LED bulbs can last 25,000 hours.

Q: Are halogen headlight bulbs safe?

Halogen light bulbs can get very hot. When the bulbs age, they can produce even more heat and can take a while to cool off. Like any other type of light, the glass can be dangerous if the bulb breaks.

Q: What is the best and brightest halogen headlight bulb?

There are several excellent halogen headlight bulbs available online and in stores. We include many options in this buying guide, so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. 

Q: Can you put LED bulbs in halogen headlights?

Most vehicles fitted with halogen headlight bulbs can be converted to accept LED bulbs. Check your owner’s manual or look online to determine whether you have a single or double beam bulb, and then purchase an LED headlight conversion kit.

Q: Are halogen headlights brighter than LEDs?

As we noted previously, halogen headlights are not as bright as LEDs. The upside is that they are less expensive than LEDs. 

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best halogen headlight bulb is the Philips 9006 CrystalVision Ultra Upgrade Bright White Headlight Bulb. The bulbs produce a bright white look similar to HID lights. The light beam is focused and bright; and they have a cooler, whiter color than standard, stock halogen bulbs. They also help you see better in the fog.

For a more budget-friendly option, consider the HELLA Standard-55W Standard Halogen H7 Bulbs.