Different types of car light bulbs

Different types of car light bulbs

Today, there is a bewildering variety of aftermarket bulbs, with costs ranging from a few dollars to more than $35. Therefore, this article examines whether it is advisable to get the newest, extra-bright bulbs, longer-lasting bulbs, or bulbs that provide a whiter light like the LED HB3 bulbs, or whether you should just buy the cheapest bulbs you can find. Headlight bulbs come in three main types:

  • Halogen (which employs technology that has been around for a long time).
  • Xenon (which uses more recent technology to provide light that lasts longer and is brighter).
  • LED is the most current and energy-efficient kind of car light.

The sort of bulbs used is determined by car design. For example, cars with sportier styling will be made to have thinner headlamp units; thus, they’re likely to employ xenon bulbs. Conversely, smaller, more economical vehicles are more likely to have halogen headlight bulbs.

Although the newest LED bulbs are frequently used as daytime running lights on new automobiles because they are the most expensive to make, they are still mainly employed as headlights on high-end, luxurious, and sporty models.

List of All bulb types

While there are several types of headlight bulbs, headlights are basically classified into three groups: The halogen bulb (this bulb is based on the technology that has been around for decades), xenon or HID bulbs (The Xenon bulb uses newer technology to create longer-lasting, brighter light) and lastly, the LED headlight bulb, which is the newest, most energy-efficient type of automotive light.

List of All bulb types
  1. Halogen bulbs

Halogen bulbs have been used for over 50 years but are still often used because they are the most affordable to produce and replace. Like a standard light bulb, halogen bulbs have a tungsten filament filled with halogen gas, making the filament glow more brightly and last longer. For example, the H4 headlight bulb has two filaments and is frequently found in tiny cars. H8, H9, and H11 are self-sealing bulbs and don’t need to sit inside a watertight unit; therefore, they’re frequently employed as fog lights. H17 and H18 bulbs are smaller, more potent halogen bulbs.

2000 hours is a typical life expectancy.

  1. High-intensity discharge (HID) or Xenon bulbs

High-intensity discharge (HID) or xenon bulbs have an arc between their two electrodes rather than a filament. It requires a high-voltage starter to ignite the gas and a control device to maintain the light since it must comply with the law’s requirement that it operate at 80% of its potential within four seconds of being turned on. Metal salts maintain the arc’s flame, although xenon is the gas used to ignite it. Recently, most automobiles with xenon lights also required headlight washers and a self-leveling system to maintain downward light projection regardless of how fully loaded the car is. Due to their higher manufacturing costs, halogen bulbs have been the standard for many years among auto manufacturers. However, the price of xenon bulbs has decreased by roughly 50%, thanks to the development of lower light output bulbs that don’t require lens washers or self-leveling systems. Consequently, they are now being provided on an increasing number of smaller automobiles and lower trim levels.

Xenon bulbs often last a lot longer than halogen bulbs, but as time passes, their light intensity may eventually be insufficient for safe nighttime use. Therefore, some manufacturers advise switching out xenon bulbs every three years.

The average lifespan is 10,000 hours.

  1. LED bulbs

Because LED bulbs are more energy-efficient, last longer, and enable automakers to design distinctive light designs. LED lights are now replacing xenon in new cars. They use one or more light-emitting diodes to conduct energy. While the brightness of the light is comparable to that of a xenon bulb, LED bulbs are more effective and less expensive to operate.

One issue is that if an LED bulb’s electronics malfunction, the entire light unit will typically need to be replaced. This is problematic because it will be costly and impracticable to do so when the automobiles are older and worth considerably less. However, some LED bulbs already exist that don’t require being soldered into position inside a light unit and can be changed individually.

Average lifespan: 30,000 hours


Having the best bulb fitted on your vehicle or motorcycle is excellent, but restoring your vehicle’s headlights is better as it reduces cost, and you can do it yourself. To get started, all you need is a headlight restoration kit that you can get directly by clicking the Buy Now button. 

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