Headlight bulbs – Choosing a perfect fit

Today’s aftermarket offers a variety of products when it comes to car lighting. Of course, headlights are the most important part of that system. So, choosing a headlamp that would be a good fit for a specific car could be a little difficult sometimes. Old-school halogen bulbs will soon become history, not only because of less attractive visual appeal but for many practical reasons, as well as in the aspect of safety. Some experts prefer xenon lights, while others would always suggest LED technology. It is hard to tell which one is better since each has advantages and disadvantages. So, let’s start from the beginning:

First of all, there are two common types of headlights on the market. Conventional reflector headlamps are still more popular, due to a cheaper price. Design of these is pretty simple. There is a bulb positioned in the steel bowl, along with mirrors that reflect the light to the road. On the other side, there are projector headlights. Although invented way back in 1911, the first car application was in 1981 Audi Quartz Concept. The first production car to get these headlights was  in 1987 BMW 7 Series sedan. Even nowadays, these can be found only in premium cars. It is still a pretty expensive technology, so most of the mainstream cars don’t have them in the offer, even when it comes to highest trim levels. Besides bulbs and mirrors, these lights also feature lens, which magnifies the glass. The result is obvious – brighter light beam. Compared to reflector lamps, the beam is more focused on the road, without wasting the light around. Thanks to such direction, it is less likely to blind other drivers.

Replacing conventional halogen bulbs is good for many reasons. Visual improvement is not the only benefit. There are many other practical reasons why you should go for xenon or LED bulbs. Still, it is hard to say which one is better. It all depends on your preferences. Xenon light is brighter for sure. It is perfect for projector headlamps. On the other hand, it probably won’t work so well in reflectors. On the other side, LED lamps are pretty versatile and will work well with both types of headlights. The biggest advantage over xenon lights is the lifespan. LED bulb usually works for about 25.000 hours, which is five times more compared to xenon. Speaking of durability, they are pretty solid, while xenon bulbs are fragile.

Finally, LED lights have lower heat emission and power draw. Installation time is much shorter as well.

Car lights

Some general conclusion would be that xenon bulbs are brighter, while LEDs are far more practical in many aspects.