Older cars have halogen bulbs that are not as efficient and run hotter than modern-day LEDs. It may be a great solution to see better at night, but can you replace your headlight bulbs with LED on your car? Well… It’s not a simple swap over.
Introduction of Common Headlight Bulbs Types
What Are Halogen Headlight Bulbs?
Halogen headlight bulbs are a type of lighting commonly used in car headlights. Halogen bulbs have many advantages compared to other types of automotive lightings, such as being brighter and more affordable than other options. They also have a longer life span than traditional incandescent bulbs, making them an appealing choice for drivers looking to make the switch.
Halogen headlights consist of a glass envelope filled with halogen gas and tungsten filament wire. When electricity is applied, the gas evaporates from the filament wire which causes it to heat up and glow brightly. The halogen gas helps maintain the brightness of the bulb by preventing the evaporation of the metal from the filament wire over time. Additionally, halogens produce less glare at night due to their precise beam pattern which can help improve visibility for drivers on dark roads or during foggy conditions.
What Are Xenon Headlight Bulbs?
Xenon headlight bulbs are a type of halogen bulb that offer superior illumination to traditional headlights. These bulbs use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that produce a brighter, more powerful light than their regular halogen counterparts. Xenon headlights have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their longer life span and the fact that they provide up to three times more light output than standard halogens. They are often used on sports cars and luxury vehicles, as well as some mid-range models.
Many drivers appreciate the improved visibility provided by xenon headlights, thanks to their larger viewing angle and better color temperature compared to traditional bulbs. Additionally, xenon lights consume less energy than regular halogens, helping you save money at the pump over time.
What Are LED Headlight Bulbs?
LED headlight bulbs are a relatively new and increasingly popular choice for car headlights. LED stands for light-emitting diode, and these bulbs are smaller yet much brighter than traditional halogen bulbs. LED headlights are also more efficient and last far longer than halogen, significantly reducing the need to replace them regularly.
Headlights with LED technology produce a cool white light that has been proven to be safer and easier on the eyes at night because it is less straining and provides greater visibility while driving in dark areas or harsh weather conditions like fog or rain. Additionally, the long lifespan of LEDs ensures you will get your money’s worth since they won’t need to be replaced as often as standard bulbs. This makes them an ideal option if you want bright headlights that don’t require frequent maintenance or replacement costs.
How Does LED Bulb work?
Some products claim to be ‘LED’ but do not use the correct terminology. To stop confusion Halogen lights contain a tungsten filament that is surrounded by halogen gas. When lights are switched on, a current passes through this filament and releases light and heat to make the bulb glow. Xenon headlights also use gas but instead of a filament, the current passes through to heat the gas directly, producing light.
LED bulbs work in a different manner. Without filaments or gas, LEDs have light-emitting semiconductors (or diodes). When current passes through them, it produces a bright glow you see on modern-day vehicles.
What is the advantage of LEDs?
LED headlight bulbs like these come with a brighter glow which can improve visibility over halogen lights. Plus, with a small current needed to pass through them, they need much less power to operate. As a result, they do not heat up as much and use smaller packaging space in the vehicle – creating more design options for car makers.
Can I replace my headlight bulbs with LED?
Yes, it is possible, but it is not simple to swap out your Halogen or Xenon headlights to LEDs. You will need a conversion kit. Each kit should come with a set of bulbs, and LED drivers. The drivers control the amount of current from your existing wiring to make the new, more efficient LEDs to function correctly.
Usually, it is set up in the form of a small wiring harness that plugs into your existing bulb harness and had a small box or module which is the driver. With bespoke LED conversion kits, the bulbs fit in the same way as your old halogens. With the locking tabs, connectors, and fitment to your existing headlamp setup.
Is it safe to replace headlight bulbs with LED?
All vehicle headlights require directional focus on the road for optimum functionality. LEDs do not focus on all directions; they only focus on a single direction. Despite being brighter and more efficient, LED technology may not be compatible with your headlamp setup.
As headlight assemblies use mirrors and projectors to focus the beam, they were originally designed for halogen lightbulbs. As a result, may not bend the light effectively. Meaning it may seem brighter when switching to LED, but the long distances that headlights are used for may not work so well.
This means that to effectively swap halogen with LED headlights, new reflectors are needed too. It may be tricky to trace a LED-compatible reflector for your headlights, and the amount of effort and investment needed may convince you not to do so.
Despite this, you can replace headlight bulbs with LED. A lot of time and investment are required for accurate results. But you end up with a more efficient, brighter setup to illuminate the road when swapping to LED. Make sure you take care when doing so, and ensure you get the correct kit for your vehicle.
How to Install LED Headlight Bulbs in Your Vehicle
To begin, check your owner’s manual for detailed instructions on how to access and remove the old headlight bulb from the housing. Depending on your car model, it may require a few tools such as a screwdriver or ratchet set to open up the housing and access the bulb. Once you have successfully removed the original headlight bulb, simply replace it with an LED headlight bulb that is compatible with your car model.