Ideas for Your Next Car Bulb – What You Need to Know Beforehand

Car Headlight

The majority of headlights generate light by heating gasses or rare metals and spreading the light with the help of lenses and reflector optics. Whilst reflective materials help amplify the light, bulbs are what makes it in the first place. Since the introduction of the first electric headlight in 1898, there have been a lot of improvements and because of that, various types of bulbs and headlight features have emerged.

Are All Car Headlight Bulbs the Same?

Black Car Headlight

Whilst all headlight bulbs do the same exact job, they aren’t built the same way, nor do they all have the same capabilities.


Car bulbs filled with a halogen filament are still the most commonly used bulbs and they also operate in the same way as a household light bulb. Being affordable and easy to maintain are the main reasons why they are still used so widely used.

HID (Xenon)

High Intensity Discharge bulbs were first introduced in 1990 as a substantial upgrade from halogen lights. They work by burning the xenon gas inside the glass which produces a brighter light than halogen bulbs, whilst requiring less wattage and offering a longer lifespan.


The light emitting diode technology is the latest and greatest addition to headlights and despite the fact that it’s been around since the 1900s, it’s only after the 2000s that they started gaining in popularity. These are more durable than both halogen and HID bulbs and they are more efficient too.

Factors That Can Help You Find a Compatible Bulb for Your Electrical System

Audi Headlight


There are standards in bulb models and sockets which allow manufacturers to customize cars with different headlights. Halogen bulbs have their sockets ranging from H1 to H11 and even beyond that, whilst HIDs come in D1, D2, D3 and D4 variants. If you want to upgrade your headlight with LED bulbs, make sure you get a conversion kit that matches the headlight’s sockets.


The second thing to do is check the wattage on your existing bulbs and find ones that match it. Otherwise you’ll need to use a relay (if you go with car bulbs that have high wattage) in order to supply the power. You can burn the wires if you don’t hook up a relay.


Light brightness is measured in lumens and the more you have of them the brighter the bulb. Halogen bulbs are usually the dimmest at around 1400lm while HIDs have usually more than double the lm count (3000) and LEDs being the brightest at an average of 6000lm. Remember that LED car bulbs are more efficient cause despite producing so much light, they use less energy even when compared with a HID/ halogen bulb with the same lumen count.

Colour Temperature

The colour of the light is measured in Kelvin and the higher the number the cooler the light output. A sunset/ sunrise is about 3200K and a candlelight measures at 1500K. Car bulbs rated at 3000K and below will produce warm yellow light while ones with 4000K and above will give you a light closer to white.


If you don’t have time to fiddle around with your new headlights, buying a pair with plug-n-play will make the installation process a walk in the park. You simply connect the plug from the headlight to your car and you’re ready to go. If your headlight doesn’t come with plug-n-play, you’ll need to figure out the wiring and connections on your own.

Best Car Bulbs

Car Headlight


These LED bulbs can cut through rain and fog and illuminate the road with 300 watts of power. When compared to a standard halogen bulbs the JDM ASTAR provides up to 100% more light. These headlight bulbs are made with 6063 air-grade aluminium which helps with heat dissipation.

Phillips D4R

The 35 watt power of the D4R is going to give you more than enough light in detrimental weather conditions. These car bulbs are an ideal replacement for stock bulbs and they are great for night driving.

Osram Night Breaker

These H7 Osram bulbs generate a 40 metres longer beam than standard headlight bulbs and they also produce 110% more light. The coiled tungsten filament reduces heat and extends the bulb’s lifespan. These come with a blue coating for a blue-ish tint when driving during the day.

Phillips X-treme Vision

The UV-Quartz glass and high precision coating of the X-treme vision bulbs offer a white-ish light which is 130% brighter than stock headlight bulbs – they also come with a colour temperature of 3700K. All this helps you focus better, makes the bulbs more durable and gives them a 44 metres longer beam distance.

PIAA Extreme White

PIAA’s own XTRA technology coupled with the 4000K light output make for an intense bright light. The slight blue tint makes for cooler looking headlights and increases visibility whilst being durable. PIAA’s Extreme White bulbs come with a cold-pressed aluminium and a poly blended base that helps reduce heat.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.