Reviews

Best Aftermarket Headlights: Enhance Your Night Vision with Quality Headlights

Quality aftermarket headlights ensure safe and comfortable driving during the night

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BY Robert Kimathi / LAST UPDATED ON December 23, 2019

Driving in the dark can be dangerous without a set of good-quality headlamps to help you see clearly. You may need aftermarket headlights to replace damaged ones or to upgrade your existing ones. However, when it comes to selecting the best headlights for your car or truck, it can be a challenge due to the numerous types available. We compiled a list of several aftermarket headlights to help you make an informed buying decision.

Best Overall
Torchbeam LED Headlight Bulb Kit
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Summary
Summary

These LED headlight bulbs are 1600 lumens with a 6500K color temperature. They feature a plug-and-play design with a 10,000 RPM turbo fan.

Pros
Pros
  • They are brighter than stock halogens and feature a defined beam pattern that won't blind oncoming drivers
  • They have a 50,000-hour lifespan
Cons
Cons
  • They're a bit bulky, so it may be a challenge to fit them in some vehicles
  • You may need to purchase an anti-flicker CanBus harness
Best Overall
Torchbeam LED Headlight Bulb Kit
Best Value
SYLVANIA XtraVision High-Performance Halogen Headlight
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Summary
Summary

This XtraVision halogen headlight is a super bright light that is a perfect replacement for your OEM headlamps. This light has enhanced down-road visibility while eliminating any glare.

Pros
Pros
  • Besides being economical, these lights are aesthetic and reliable
  • They are also DOT-approved, which means they are street legal
  • They illuminate long distances and can perform well in foggy conditions
Cons
Cons
  • Being halogen lights, they are not bright enough for people who prefer LED headlights
  • They also have a limited lifespan compared to LED lights
Best Value
SYLVANIA XtraVision High-Performance Halogen Headlight
Honorable Mention
HIKARI 2021 Acme-X H11/H8/H9 LED Bulbs
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Summary
Summary

These LED bulbs produce a xenon-white light, and the beam is adjustable 360 degrees. They are designed to last 50,000 hours.

Pros
Pros
  • See wider and father at night
  • They produce a bright light
  • They’re easy to install
  • Fans are quiet and contribute to the bulbs’ long lifespan
Cons
Cons
  • Light output may not be much different from previous versions of the bulb
  • They are longer than older versions, so the fit may be snug
Honorable Mention
HIKARI 2021 Acme-X H11/H8/H9 LED Bulbs
best aftermarket headlight

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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Benefits of Aftermarket Headlights

  •  Better night vision. Every driver needs light to navigate efficiently. However, stock headlights do not provide enough light to illuminate poorly lit off-road trails. It is therefore advisable to invest in high-quality aftermarket headlights to sufficiently illuminate the way, enabling you to see your path.
  •  Improved safety. You may encounter dangerous paths while driving. Aftermarket headlights light your paths, enabling you to identify danger spots and obstacles so you can avoid them.
  •  Better aesthetic. Every car owner desires to make their vehicle as attractive as possible. Installing aftermarket headlights improves the look of your car, making it more attractive to others.
  • Fatigue-free driving. Driving in poorly-lit conditions forces you to involve your eyes more to find your way through the path. Once you replace your low-quality original headlights with aftermarket headlights, your way is illuminated, enabling you to drive more effortlessly.

Types of Aftermarket headlights

Halogen Headlights

Halogen aftermarket headlights are an advancement of incandescent lights. Electricity flows through the halogen light’s filament, enabling them to produce heat. Although there are five halogens, iodine and bromine are the only ones used in the manufacture of halogen headlights. Lumen output in halogen headlights is 1500 lux, which is fairly low, reducing the amount of light that the headlight produces. Moisture highly affects the performance of these headlights.

HID Headlights

HID headlights have a low energy requirement of between 35 and 42 watts, yet are extremely bright. Producing 4100 degrees K, the light closely matches that of natural sunlight, which is 4870 degrees K. Lumen output in HID headlights is 3000 lux, which makes them even brighter. It also has adjustable degrees of color to choose from.

LED Headlights

LED headlights have a high-performance diode with a metal blank that enables it to regulate heat better. Easier heat dissipation further allows more current to flow freely through this diode, resulting in higher light output. LED bulbs require very little energy to function, so they are capable of performing for 100,000 hours of continuous use.

Top Brands

Cougar Motor

Cougar Motor is a renowned company that manufactures motor vehicle lighting accessories. It is located in Australia and was founded in 2006 with the aim of providing car owners with high-quality aftermarket headlights. LED headlights with and without fans, fog lights, and HID bulbs are some of the products that the company manufacturers. Cougar Motor LED Headlight Bulb is a product that contains CREE LED chips and has a fan. From the Cougar Motor, you will also find CREE LED Fog Lights, which have 50,000 hours of working life.

SYLVANIA Automotive

SYLVANIA Automotive was established in January 1993 and is located in Oregon. From Sylvania automotive, you can obtain replacement bulbs and aftermarket headlights that will light your path during driving. Xtra Vision High-Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb is a value product that the company manufacturers. Halogen bulbs of 65 watts provide you with sufficient lighting while driving. If you need fog lights that are bright, white and sharp, consider the 9006 ZEZO Fog Lights from Sylvania automotive. These lights are easy to install and have a five-year warranty.

Beamtech

Beamtech is a headlight manufacturing company that is located in Taiwan. The company was founded in 1997 and has since manufactured powerful lights with different features to suit your car’s requirements. Some of the headlights from this company include the BEAMTECH H11 Headlight Bulb and the BEAMTECH 9005 LED Headlight Bulb. The H11 LED headlight bulb has a long lifespan and can serve you for 30,000 hours. The BEAMTECH 9005 headlight bulb, on the other hand, produces 8000 lumens per set. 

Aftermarket Headlights Pricing

  • Under $50: Headlights in this price range have a wattage of about 65 watts and work with 12 volt DC. Their voltage and wattage enable them to provide you with enough lighting to efficiently illuminate your way. However, they lack features such as water resistivity and shock resistance, which are necessary for extreme weather and off-road conditions.
  • Between $50 and $100: Aftermarket headlights in this range will serve you for about 30,000 hours. This service life is long and does not require frequent replacement. They are suited for both off-road and highway conditions. 
  • Over $100: You will need extra installation hardware when you buy headlights in this price range. These lights can serve you for many years and are suitable for all weather conditions and terrains. Some lights have features such as low beam and high beam patterns. They can work in foggy conditions and they sometimes include a turn signal light and a tail light in one set.

Key Features

Service Life

Consider inquiring about a headlight’s service life before purchasing it. Lights with a longer service life last much longer without requiring repairs and replacements. Such headlights save you money because you do not need to purchase new headlights so frequently. You will also have some peace of mind when you do not have to worry about your lights going off unexpectedly.

Voltage and Wattage

Voltage and wattage affect the quality of light that your headlights will offer you. A higher voltage enables your headlight to provide you with more stable lighting. A headlight with a higher wattage gives you a brighter illumination for a better driving experience. The right headlight is one that gives you the amount and quality of light that you require while consuming less power.

Heat Production

Headlights produce heat when in use. High heat production causes the filaments of your headlight to blow within a short time. To avoid the cost of replacing your bulbs frequently, consider purchasing a headlight that does not produce too much heat. Such headlights will prolong the life of your bulbs. In this case, LED bulbs are preferred over halogen lights.

Energy Consumption

The amount of energy that a headlight consumes should be considered before purchasing a headlight. A headlight with a high energy consumption derives a lot of energy from your car’s battery. When such a headlight is left running for a long time, it may drain your battery.

Other Considerations

  • Water Resistance. A waterproof headlight keeps water from penetrating into your headlamp. Water damages your bulbs, which compromises their functionality. It also blocks the rays of light produced by your bulbs and inhibits the quality of light that you get. Your headlamps will serve you for a long time if they are water-resistant, saving you money. They will also illuminate your driving path more clearly.
  • Lightweight. Bulky headlights weigh down your vehicle. They may also cause more damage to your car if you encounter a situation that creates an impact on your vehicle. Consider installing light headlights on your car to keep it safe from such damages and avoid adding unnecessary weight to your car. 
  • Classy and Fashionable. Besides illuminating your paths, headlights can add a touch of elegance to your vehicle making it look more attractive. Choosing an attractive headlight helps you achieve a beautiful look on your vehicle. You should thus consider purchasing a fashionable headlight if you intend to make your vehicle look good.

Best Aftermarket Headlights Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Torchbeam LED Headlight Bulb Kit

The Torchbeam T2 9005/HB3 9006/HB4 LED Headlight Bulb Kit is 16000 lumens with a 6500K white color temperature. The lights are designed to improve visibility, extend vision, and provide more reaction time as they are significantly brighter than stock halogen lights. They feature a non-polarity, plug-and-play design; modern heat sink technology; and a 10,000 RPM turbo fan for heat dissipation and to keep them cool. The lights have a defined beam pattern, won't blind other drivers, and are designed not to flicker. Stable in all types of weather, these lights have a 50,000-hour lifespan. Users report that they're bright so it's easy to see the road and any hazards in the way, and they're simple to install. Just make sure you adjust your headlight lenses so the light shines in the proper spot for the best night vision.


However, there have been some complaints that they're a little bulky and may be hard to fit in some vehicles. You may also need to install an anti-flicker CanBus harness.

Best Value
Sylvania XtraVision Halogen Headlight Bulbs

The XtraVision halogen headlight is a super bright light that is a perfect replacement for your OEM headlamps. This light has enhanced down-road visibility while eliminating glare for a safe driving experience. Besides being economical, these lights are aesthetic and reliable. They are also DOT approved, which means they are street legal. They illuminate long distances and can perform well in foggy conditions.


Being halogen lights, they are not bright enough for people who prefer LED headlights. They also have a limited lifespan compared to LED lights.

Most Efficient
HIKARI 2021 Acme-X H1 LED Bulbs

The HIKARI 2021 Acme-X H1 LED Bulbs feature a super-focused beam pattern, so you can see wider and farther at night. They provide five times the amount of white light surface and 12 times more flux efficiency to boost night vision. The bulbs are designed to last up to 50,000 hours and feature an advanced cooling design, which contributes to their long lifespan. They produce a xenon-like white light that helps you see the road ahead, and the Acme-X LED chips aid in providing a wide field of view. The LED, reflector, housing design, and optics combined produce a beam pattern that can boost visibility by as much as 300 percent. In addition, the beam is adjustable 360 degrees, so you can customize it to suit your needs. Users report that the bulbs are bright, easy to install, and don't require any extra hardware. The fans are also quiet, and overall the bulbs appear to be of high-quality construction. 


However, the light output doesn't appear to be much better than previous versions of the bulb. Also, they may be a tight fit on some vehicles because they are a little longer than older-model HIKARI bulbs.

Best HID Alternative
Philips CrystalVision Ultra Upgrade Headlight Bulb

If you're searching for bright white lights, the Philips CrystalVision Ultra Upgrade Headlight Bulbs are a good option. They feature a blue coating on the glass, which makes them similar to HID lights. These bulbs provide enhanced performance over stock halogen bulbs and have blue caps that produce a blue effect in the reflectors during the day. The bulbs are very reliable and make a big difference over OEM headlights. Users report that the bulbs improve light output as well as the look of a vehicle and are a great alternative to LEDs. They make a difference whether you're driving at night or in the rain and do very well on roads that have a lot of glare from street lights.


Depending on what type of vehicle you have, it can be challenging to install these bulbs. The ease of installation can vary from car to car. In addition, the color temperature may not be quite what you expect and may not be as "white" as you want.

Best LEDs
SEALIGHT 9005 And 9006 LED Headlight Bulbs

The SEALIGHT 9005 and 9006 LED headlight bulb combo kit has bulbs that are better than stock. They're more visible and have a brighter high beam output and a better low beam pattern. The lights project a uniform glow both horizontally and vertically and are compatible with 95-percent of vehicles due to their low profile. Optimized light distribution means there's no glare, and you won't blind oncoming drivers. They produce cool xenon LED light, take just 10 minutes to install without modification, and feature 7000 lumens per pair. In addition, there's no fan noise yet good heat dissipation. Overall, they are bright, clear, and project a decent distance. They are much brighter than halogen lights and are of great quality for the price.


One downside with these bulbs is that they project more of a pinpoint beam straight ahead instead of a wide beam, so they don't illuminate the lanes to your left or right particularly well. They can also be tricky to install in some vehicles.

Tips

  • Make sure the headlights you buy are compatible with your vehicle. Although some headlights are universal, it is important to check your manufacturer’s manual just to be sure you are buying the right fit.
  • When aligning your headlights, make sure they are pointing slightly downwards to prevent blinding other motorists. As a courtesy, always dim your headlights when approaching other drivers.
  • Since laws regarding headlights vary from state to state, ensure the headlamps you buy comply with the regulations in your area to avoid trouble with the authorities.

FAQs 

Q: Why would I need aftermarket headlights?

A: Aftermarket headlights are meant to replace damaged OEM lights. You may also need them to upgrade the existing headlamps for better visibility and also to enhance the look of your vehicle.

Q: Can I install aftermarket headlights on my own?

A: Yes, it is possible to install headlights at home if you are armed with some simple tools. However, there are some headlamps that are difficult to install. In such cases, you need to consult a professional.

Q: What qualities should I look for in aftermarket headlights?

A: In some cases, the type of headlamps you buy depends on your preference. However, you should consider the brightness of the light, ease of installation, bulb design, and most importantly, compatibility with your vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick for the best aftermarkets headlight is the Torchbeam LED Headlight Bulb Kit. These lights are much brighter than halogen bulbs and provide a clear view of the road ahead.

For the value pick SYLVANIA XtraVision High-Performance Halogen Headlight is our recommendation. It is DOT-approved, aesthetic, and reliable even in foggy conditions.