Everyone who owns a car knows how important it is to have good headlights, especially when driving at night or in bad weather. You may have noticed that the headlight bulbs in different cars are different.

Led vs Halogen Headlights are two of the most common types of headlight bulbs on the market today. For a long time, halogen headlights were the norm in the auto industry, but now LED lights are better. In the battle between the two bulbs, you might be wondering which one is better for your car. The answer depends on what you like and how often you drive in low light or at night.

If you ask the car companies, they prefer LED bulbs, and most new cars have LED headlights that come standard or as an option. If you need a little more light at the end of the tunnel, keep reading to learn more about the differences between LED and halogen headlights. Are you want to know the different Led vs Halogen Headlights? This article helps you know the Led vs Halogen Headlights.

Led vs Halogen Headlights 

People often ask us what the difference is between LED and halogen headlight bulbs and why one is better than the other.

The short answer to this common question is that, compared to halogen bulbs, LED bulbs are brighter, use less energy, last longer, send light farther, and turn on instantly (no warmup time).

LED bulbs cost more than their halogen counterparts, but when you consider how long they last and how much power they use, LEDs are much cheaper.

Read on to find out more about how LED and halogen headlight bulbs are different.

LED Headlights

LED bulbs are the newest thing to come out in the lighting industry, and drivers are quickly adopting them. As was briefly mentioned above, LED headlight bulbs are very bright but use very little power, give off almost no heat, and last more than 10 times longer than halogens.

Drivers want to see better, drive safer, and spend as little time and money as possible maintaining and replacing their headlight bulbs.

As a result, and because demand is growing, more and more cars, from Fords and Kias to Audis and Bentleys, come with LED headlights or offer them as an upgrade.

Halogen Headlights

Halogen bulbs are one of the first and oldest ways to light up a car. They have been used since the 1960s, and they became popular in North America around 1983.

The vast majority of cars and trucks have halogen bulbs because they are cheap, give off enough light to meet government standards, and newer technologies like LED and HID headlights aren’t widely used yet.

How LED Headlights Bulbs Work?

To keep things simple, LED (light-emitting diode) headlight bulbs make light by sending electricity through a diode, which is a type of semiconductor that gives off light when it is powered.

Because of this advanced technology, LED bulbs are very good at turning electricity into light, which means they waste very little energy, use less power, and put out almost no heat. The diode-based technology also lets LED bulbs have any color temperature. This is different from halogen bulbs, which can only be yellow or yellowish-white.

How do Halogen Headlights Bulbs work?

Without getting too technical, halogen headlight bulbs work by heating up a tungsten filament inside the bulb. Halogen gas (Iodine and Bromine) is inside the bulb to make it last longer and shine brighter. This is done through a process called a “halogen cycle.”

Because halogen bulbs are made to focus on heat, they are very inefficient, don’t last very long, give off a dull yellowish light, and give off a lot of heat. It is thought that more than 85 percent of the power used is wasted as infrared heat and that less than 15 percent is used to make light.

Does the Type of Bulb Really Make a Difference?

LED headlights are better than halogen bulbs almost everywhere, but the main problem with them is that they are more expensive. Many car companies offer LED headlights as an upgrade to the standard halogen or incandescent bulbs, but it’s safe to say that as fuel economy standards continue to rise and electric cars become more common, more car companies will make LED lighting a standard feature.

If you drive on highways sometimes, you might want to replace your halogen bulbs with LED aftermarket headlights when the ones that came with your car burn out or just to get a better set. The improvement in visibility will be very noticeable, and it could even save lives, so it’s hard to put a price on that. The new LED bulbs could also last for the whole life of the car, which would make up for the higher price when you buy them.

For a small amount of money, LED headlight bulbs can be a big improvement for your car.

Differences Between LED And Halogen Lights

You may have noticed that halogen lights are becoming harder to find. Why? Since these things are different…


Halogen lights are cheaper to buy than LED lights, but they burn out much faster. They are also not very useful. Only 20% of the energy they use comes out as light, while 80% of the energy they use is turned into heat.

On the other hand, LED light bulbs last longer and use much less electricity, but they cost a little more. In the debate between LEDs and halogen lights, this makes them a much more cost-effective choice overall.

Brightness Level

Halogen lights give off between 16 and 24 lumens per watt, while LED lights give off between 80 and 100 lumens per watt. This means that, even if you use a less powerful bulb, LEDs will be much brighter than halogens.

A 15-watt LED bulb, for example, will be as bright as an 85-watt halogen bulb.


Because of a few things, LEDs tend to last longer than halogen bulbs. They don’t have a filament inside, which is one reason. Filaments can break when they are shaken or hit with a sudden burst of energy.

LED lights are also made of plastic, which is much stronger than the glass used to make halogen bulbs, which can break if they are dropped. A halogen light’s glass can also break if cold water is splashed on it when it is hot.

Color Temperature

A scale for halogen and LED lights’ color temperatures

The Kelvin scale is used to measure color temperature (K). Halogen light burns at 3000K, which is a little bit “whiter” than incandescent bulbs, which burn at 2700K.

One good thing about LEDs is that they come in many different color temperatures, from 1800K to 6500K.

Life Expectancy

LED lights last more than 25,000 hours, while halogen bulbs of good quality last only 3,600 hours. Based on 4 hours of use per day, this means that an LED should last more than 15 years, while a halogen bulb should last only 2 to 3 years. LEDs have a very long life, which makes them great for recessed lights in high or vaulted ceilings where it can be hard to change the light.

LEDs are also less likely to break if you turn them on and off a lot, which can shorten the life of halogen bulbs.

Energy Efficiency

LED bulbs use up to 85% less energy to give off the same amount of light as regular bulbs. As the price of energy goes up, halogen lamps are becoming less useful.

Retailers can’t sell incandescent and halogen lights in some states because they don’t meet the efficiency requirements of the local energy code.

Ultraviolet And Infrared Light

UV and infrared light are given off by halogen lights (IR). Halogen lamps have been the standard for highlighting artwork and adding accent lighting for a long time, but they need a quartz or glass filter to keep the photons from fading the color of fabrics or delicate artwork.

LEDs, on the other hand, give off almost no infrared or ultraviolet light.

Which Type of Headlight is Best for you?

The next pages (which you can get to by clicking on the links in the top left corner or at the bottom of this page) will explain how each type of bulb works, but as a car buyer, it’s a different story.

Halogen bulbs are the oldest type of light on this list. If you want cheap, mostly reliable bulbs, a set of halogen headlamps shouldn’t give you any trouble. But they don’t have the high-tech look of more expensive options and can’t compare to LEDs in terms of how much light they give off, how well they work, and how long they last.

Xenons, on the other hand, make a car look more modern because their light is clear and blue. This could help you sell your car. Because xenon bulbs are more complicated, they cost more to replace than halogen bulbs. A xenon bulb should last longer than a halogen bulb, but LEDs can beat them both.

Do LEDs Make Headlights Better?

Most of the time, yes, but not always.

Whether the light comes from a halogen, high-intensity discharge, or LED bulb, the design of the headlight assembly and the reflectors—the parts that shine the light down the road also affect performance, as does how well the headlights are aimed.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates headlights based on how far they light up the road when a car is going straight and when it is going around a bend. IIHS says that on a straight road, good-rated low-beam headlights light up the right side of the road for at least 325 feet. Headlights that are rated “poor” (the lowest rating) or less than 220 feet.

IIHS says that in general, LEDs do better in their tests, but some halogen headlights have scored higher than some LEDs. Some halogen headlights have been rated acceptable, which is the second-highest rating, and some LED headlights have been rated marginal or even poor. But only LEDs have been given good marks.

Led vs Halogen Headlights Comparison

Getting in the car? No matter how long or short your trip is, you’ve probably noticed that some cars have different bulbs. Halogen lights and LED lights are two of the most common types of headlight bulbs in cars today. How do these things differ? Is there a difference between the two?

LED Vs Halogen Comparison Chart

Halogen LED
Heat production   80% of total energy 20% of total energy
Brightness per watt 16-24 lumens 80-100 lumens
Average life expectancy  3,600 hours 25,000 hours
Average cost $4/bulb $6/bulb
Energy Usage 90W  8W
Durable No Yes
UV & IR emission Some None
Color Temperature ~3000K 1800K-6500K
Dimmable Yes Yes

Halogen Bulbs Pros and Cons

The Halogen bulbs are the most common type of headlights today. They can be found in both old and new cars. Halogen bulbs are a kind of incandescent light that use halogen gas to work. Halogen bulbs are used in the headlights of cars that have a yellow color.

What are the good things and bad things about halogen bulbs? If you are on a tight budget, it will be cheaper to replace a halogen bulb than an LED. The yellow light is also softer and less likely to make other drivers lose their sight. So, why aren’t halogen bulbs better? In the end, it comes down to how much energy is used. A halogen bulb gets hot to the touch when it is on. Since these bulbs give off a lot of heat, they use more energy, which means that energy is wasted.

LED Bulb Pros and Cons

In many ways, LED bulbs are different from halogen bulbs. LEDs give off a brighter, whiter light than most halogens. This makes it easier to see what’s around corners and makes things look a lot cooler. Also, LEDs use a lot less energy than halogen bulbs. Halogens give off a lot of heat, but LEDs give off much less heat, which helps save energy. You can expect an LED bulb to last longer than a halogen bulb because it uses less energy. Because of these benefits, LED bulbs are becoming more and more popular among drivers. Today, most new cars come with LEDs as standard equipment or extras.

On the other hand, it costs more to fix LEDs. Not only that, but it’s much harder to change an LED bulb than a halogen one, so more people have to pay a mechanic to do it for them. Also, because LEDs are brighter, other drivers may have a harder time seeing them at night.

How can you Upgrade your Lights?

There is a right way to change your halogen headlights to LED ones if that is what you want to do. This is done by taking out the old reflectors and replacing them with new projectors that work with LEDs. But even though there are proper projector conversion kits, they may not be available for every car. Aside from taking off the old reflectors, the conversion process also requires putting in new wiring, mounting new hardware, and sealing the new projectors. Also, the kits aren’t cheap. Depending on the car, they can cost anywhere from $200 to $600 or more.

But LEDs aren’t always the best way to replace halogen headlights. A sealed beam, on the other hand, can be made better with an LED upgrade. The filaments in sealed beam headlights are like the filaments in halogen headlights. But when the bulb goes out, the whole thing has to be changed. So, the “sealed” in “sealed beam” comes from the fact that it’s all one unit. Because they are built this way, sealed beam LED conversions don’t have problems with the reflector or projector. The new housing is made to work right from the start with the bulb.

But you might not need to upgrade if you already have halogen lights. If you’ve noticed that your headlight lenses are cloudy or foggy, you can fix them. Cars.com says that the bulbs may not be lined up right either. A tape measure, some tape, and a screwdriver are all you really need to make the adjustments.

Steps To Change A Halogen Bulb In A Vehicle

Like the bulbs in your home, the ones in your car will eventually burn out. Eventually, these small pieces of glass will need to be replaced. This could be because they are old or because they are in a very hot or cold place. The bulbs themselves are pretty cheap, and it’s not too hard to change them.

How To Safely Change A Headlight?

  • Get some gloves. Oil stains are one of the main reasons why things burn out too soon. Even a single fingerprint on the glass of your bulb can make it burn out quickly. To avoid this, wear latex or vinyl gloves when you change your light bulb.
  • Find out what type of headlight bulb you need. The owner’s manual for your car will tell you what kind of bulb it needs. It will also help you figure out how to change the bulb in your car.
  • Put your car in park. It’s to keep you safe.
  • Open the hood and look for the holder for the headlights. It will be near your car’s front.
  • Taking the power cords apart Most of the time, there will be three of them to unplug. Most of the time, a plastic catch, a metal clip, or a screw cap keeps these in place.
  • Take out the old one. In many cars, you can take off the back of the headlight holder to get to the bulb. You might have to turn the bulb in its socket to get it out.
  • Change it out with a new one. Don’t forget to wear gloves before you touch the new bulb. It’s also a good idea to clean it with an alcohol wipe before putting it in place. Put the bulb into the base, and put the headlight holder back where it was. Put back together with the wires you took apart before.
  • Check the light. Turn on your headlights to make sure your new bulb works right. If it doesn’t work, make sure you did it right and used the right bulb. If everything seems fine, you could also have a problem with the wiring or fuses. If you can’t figure out what’s wrong, you should ask a local mechanic for help.


Most of the time, LED is better than halogen, whether you want to buy a new lamp or replace the bulbs in one you already have. LED lights use less energy, last longer, and give you more options for the color temperature. LED lights are better than halogen lamps in a lot of ways. For example, they use less energy and last longer.

Read More: How Long Does a Car Battery Last

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Halogen vs LED Headlights

Which headlights are better: halogen or LED?

LEDs give off a brighter, whiter light than most halogens. This makes it easier to see what’s around corners and makes things look a lot cooler. Also, LEDs use a lot less energy than halogen bulbs. Halogens give off a lot of heat, but LEDs give off much less heat, which helps save energy.

Is it true that LEDs are brighter than halogens?

Yes. LED headlights are about three times as bright as halogen ones. LED lights can put out 72 lumens per watt, but halogen lights can only put out about 25 lumens per watt. In short, less energy is used to make a brighter light.

Does less electricity get used by LEDs?

Yes. Just look at the answer above. But LED lights usually come with a fan and a heat sink, which could cancel out the energy savings you just got from the LED light.

Should I switch my headlights from halogen to LED?

One of the main reasons to switch from halogen lights to LED lights is that LED lights use less power. LED headlights only use a small amount of the power that standard halogen headlights do. Your battery and alternator will last longer if they don’t have to work as hard.

Does it make sense to switch from halogen to LED?

Switching out your old incandescent or halogen bulbs for long-lasting LED bulbs has many benefits. You get even better light performance and save a lot of money on energy costs. Also, LEDs can make all shades of white light, so the warm yellow light of halogen bulbs is no problem at all.

What kind of headlights are best for driving at night?

LED and HID bulbs give the best coverage compared to regular bulbs, and they also make it easier to see further at night, especially in dimly lit areas or when you’re off the road and there’s no light.

Are LED lights better for driving?

IIHS says that LEDs do better in most of its tests, but it has given higher ratings to some halogen headlights than to some LEDs. Some halogen headlights have been rated acceptable, which is the second-highest rating, and some LED headlights have been rated marginal or even poor. But only LEDs have been given good marks.

Do LED headlights work well when it rains?

If you drive a lot in bad weather, you might want to have yellow LEDs put in your fog lights and use them when it’s snowing or raining heavily. The warmer light will cut through the snow or rain and help you see better.

Do LED headlight bulbs use less energy than halogen ones?

Yes. LED bulbs will use 75% to 85% less energy than halogen bulbs to give off the same amount of light. For example, LEDs use about 20 watts of power to make about 2000 lumens of light, while halogens use about 125 watts.

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