Buyers Guide & Information

Best Car Headlights for Night Driving Reviewed

These brands offer less glare without losing brightness in your vehicle’s lights.

Studies show that driving at night is more dangerous than driving during daylight hours. That’s why it’s vital that you have the best car headlights for night driving.

We review the best headlights for night driving so that you can see obstacles and curves in the dark.


Preview

Product

Bulb Type

Light Output

Bulb Lifespan

Check Price

HIKARI Ultra LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion...

HIKARI Ultra

LED

12,000 Lumens

50,000 hrs.

SYLVANIA - 9006 SilverStar - High Performance...

SYLVANIA - 9006 SilverStar

Halogen

1,000 Lumens

200 hrs.

Fahren H4/9003/HB2 LED Headlight Bulbs, 60W...

Fahren

H4/9003/HB2

LED

12,000 Lumens

50,000 hrs.

Aukee H7 LED Headlight Bulbs, 50W 6000K 10000...

Aukee H7

LED

10,000 Lumens

50,000 hrs.

Philips RacingVision H7 Headlight Bulbs...

Philips

RacingVision H7

Halogen

1,500 Lumens

200 hrs

Cougar Motor LED Bulbs All-in-One Conversion...

Cougar Motor

CCD16-05-H11-6K

LED

10,000 Lumens

Detail

SEALIGHT Scoparc S1 9005/HB3 LED Headlight...

SEALIGHT

Scoparc S1

LED

10,000 Lumens

30,000 hrs

Philips 42302C1 D3S Standard Xenon HID...

Philips

42302C1 D3S

HID

3,000 Lumens

10,000 hrs

Benefits Of Upgrading Your Vehicle’s Headlights

If you install the best headlight bulbs for night driving, you gain significantly more visibility. Most cars only feature halogen bulbs, which don’t project far down the road. By upgrading to HID or LED bulbs instead, you not only receive more clarity and brightness, but the headlights are rated with a longer lifespan.

While upgrading to the best headlights for night time driving might cost more money than simply replacing the OEM bulbs, you will find that the longer life provides a better value.


Car Headlights For Night Driving: A Buyer’s Guide

Compatibility

What are the best headlights for night driving? The first step is finding a highly-rated option that fits your vehicle. After all, buying aftermarket headlights for a Jeep doesn’t make sense if you drive a Toyota car. Make sure the headlights you choose are compatible with your vehicle. You can find the information in your owner’s manual.

Type of Car Headlights

There are several types of headlights you can choose from. The halogen bulb is the standard equipment that comes with most cars. However, the LED and HID headlights are both brighter and offer more clarity than the typical halogen bulb. Because LEDs hold up the best to extremes, these are often noted as the ideal option for nighttime driving.

Headlight Housing Quality

If you purchase a headlight housing, you want to check the construction of the material. After all, having a cheap assembly won’t accomplish anything, especially if it allows water and moisture to seep in and fog up the lenses. Look through the customer reviews to ensure durability. Choose something heavy-duty if you are hard on your vehicles.

Ease of Installation – DIY vs. Professional

Do you know a lot about installing car headlights? If not, you want a simple plug and play installation that doesn’t require modifications. Otherwise, it might be best to hire a professional for the install.

Headlight Bulb Specs

  • Bulb Sizing 
    Headlight bulbs come in a variety of sizes. If your vehicle requires an H4 bulb, you don’t want to purchase H7.
  • Application
    What bulb are you replacing? Your car might use a different bulb based on if you are replacing the low beam, high beam, or fog light.
  • Bulb Wattage
    Headlight bulb wattage varies by type. However, this number doesn’t signify how bright the bulb actually is; it only shows how much power it uses.
  • Bulb Brightness & Clarity
    Lumens is the term used to describe brightness. The higher the lumens rating, the brighter the beam will be.
  • Bulb Life
    Halogen lights last a minimal amount of time, with HID and LED offering much longer lifespans.

Safety & Certification

To remain street legal, you must use a certain type of headlight bulbs. Look for the DOT certification from the manufacturer.

Color Temperature

What’s the best headlight color for night driving? 4300K produces a yellow-white color, while 5000K offers a bright white. Both of these are suitable for nighttime driving, as well as 6000K, which is an alpine white.

Price, Warranty & Vendor Return Policy

We understand the need to find the best replacement headlight bulbs for night driving at the lowest price, but you must look beyond the cost. After all, a cheap pair of headlights might offer 200 hours of service, while spending a little more could get you 50,000 hours. When broken down per hour, you often spend less on the better bulbs.


8 Best Car Headlights For Night Driving Reviewed

1. HIKARI Ultra

Best Car Headlights for Night Driving

Bulb Type

LED

Light Output

12,000 Lumens

Color Temperature

6000K

Bulb Watts

43

Bulb Lifespan

50,000 hrs.

Application

Low/High Beam

If you are going to take the plunge and upgrade to LED headlights, you should go with the company using the latest technology. These highly rated LED bulbs provide a uniform beam pattern and bright, white clarity. At 12,000 lumens, this pair of headlights is rated at 270-percent brighter than most stock halogen bulbs. Plus, the H11 kit fits the low beam, high beam, or fog light with compatible models.

With most vehicles, you aren’t going to need to make any modifications. Instead, you should be able to easily swap out the bulbs with these new options with ease. Additionally, the company uses an ultra-thin heat sink that improves the focus of the lights. If oncoming drivers are struggling with astigmatism, this should help reduce the glare.

At first glance, you might be taken back by the price of these bulbs. The pair is much more expensive than a standard set of halogen bulbs. However, the 50,000-hour lifespan is far more than what you will get with stock headlights. When you figure out how much you are paying per hour, you see that the initial investment pays off. Plus, the company offers a two-year warranty to give you more peace of mind.

Pros

  • Bright, white light
  • 2-year warranty
  • Plug and play installation
  • Long life

Cons

  • Higher initial cost

2. SYLVANIA - 9006 SilverStar

Best Halogen Headlight Bulbs for Night Driving

Bulb Type

Halogen

Light Output

1,000 Lumens

Color Temperature

4300K

Bulb Watts

55

Bulb Lifespan

200 hrs.

Application

Low/High Beam

If you are stuck on halogen bulbs, you want to invest in the best. Sure, you won’t see the same performance as you would with HID or LED, but these will get the job done. The 9006 halogen bulbs create more visibility than the OEM bulbs currently installed. That’s because Sylvania created a bulb that features a white light for additional clarity.

These bulbs are also designed to be durable. Sylvania uses a specially-created filament, unique lamp coating, and a propriety halogen gas mixture that help the light look brighter. However, it doesn’t matter how bright a halogen bulb is made; it simply won’t compete with an HID or LED bulb. For example, this set only produces 1000 lumens, but they run at 55 watts. Yes, the color temperature is rated at 4300K, but the lifespan only averages about 200 hours.

For the amount of money being spent, it makes much more sense to upgrade to brighter light. Plus, this company doesn’t offer a warranty, even if it is a leader in the market. Still, we understand that some people aren’t comfortable upgrading the headlight bulbs and rather stick to what they know. That’s why we’ve included this halogen option in the mix.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Reputable company
  • Plug and play installation
  • Direct 9006 replacement

Cons

  • Standard halogen performance

3. Fahren H4/9003/HB2

Best H4 Headlight Bulbs for Night Driving

Bulb Type

LED

Light Output

12,000 Lumens

Color Temperature

6500K

Bulb Watts

60

Bulb Lifespan

50,000 hrs.

Application

Low/High Beam

If you need an H4 headlight replacement, it doesn’t take much work to upgrade to LED. This set is rated at three-hundred percent brighter than the standard halogen bulbs. That's due in part to 60-watt LED chips that provide 12,000 lumens of brightness. Plus, the color temperature is rated at 6500K to give a cool white hue. The company provides a focused beam pattern that shines wider and farther, so you don't have to worry about seeing obstacles on the road. 

Plus, the durable construction ensures that the bulbs last. With the aviation aluminum body, 12,000 RPM turbo cool fan and hollow-carved heat sink, you can count on these bulbs to last more than 50,000 hours. Considering the longevity, it’s surprising to see the price so low. The company also offers a three-year warranty, which makes it an even better value.

As far as the installation goes, most vehicles can have new bulbs in just ten minutes, without any modification. This set works as a plug and play option for about 98-percent of compatible vehicles. However, there are a few instances when modifications might be necessary to stop flickering. Many times, this is needed with a Lexus or Ford, which tend to be more sensitive.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Highly rated
  • 3-year warranty
  • Bright, white light beam

Cons

  • Might require modification

4. Aukee H7

Best H7 Headlight Bulbs for Night Driving

Bulb Type

LED

Light Output

10,000 Lumens

Color Temperature

6000K

Bulb Watts

50

Bulb Lifespan

50,000 hrs.

Application

Low/High Beam

Another low-cost LED headlight bulb option comes from Aukee. If you need H7 headlight bulbs, you won’t be disappointed in this set. With a 6000K color temperature, you get a bright, white light that produces a combined 10,000 lumens of clarity. Because they are LED bulbs, there is no glare to oncoming traffic, and you won’t struggle with dark spots.

Because the set includes a high-speed cooling fan, the heat is dissipated quickly to ensure a longer life. Additionally, this fan is completely quiet, ensuring that you aren’t disturbed by more noise. In total, this set is rated to last 50,000 hours. With these bulbs, you also get a unique construction. The bulbs come with a removable aluminum adapter. You can take this adapter off, mount it first, and then insert the bulb. Plus, it's simple to rotate the bulb to create a varying beam pattern.

The built-in EMC system reduces the chance of radio interference. There have been some complaints that these bulbs burn out prematurely. However, Aukee does offer a one-year warranty, so if this situation occurs with your bulbs, you will have the protection you need to get another set. We recommend these H7 bulbs if you want to get maximum brightness for a reasonable cost.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Top-rated company
  • 1-year warranty
  • Optimal clarity

Cons

  • Might burn out prematurely

5. Philips RacingVision H7

Best Cheap Replacement Bulbs for Night Driving

Bulb Type

Halogen

Light Output

1,500 Lumens

Color Temperature

3400K

Bulb Watts

55

Bulb Lifespan

200 hrs

Application

Low/High Beam

If you need a super cheap option to replace your H7 bulbs, you will probably choose to go with halogen. If this is your choice, at least choose a reputable company and top brand, such as Philips. This company understands automotive lighting, so you get the best protection. While this set is your typical halogen type, it offers slightly more brightness than the stock headlights.

The set is rated at 1,500 lumens with a 3400K color temperature. There is also a blue band around the lights to give the beam a unique look. This set of bulbs has won awards, so you know it’s going to perform better than simply replacing the bulbs with stock equipment. However, you can’t expect the lifespan or beam to perform anywhere near the HID or LED bulbs would. In fact, this set is only rated for about 200 hours of usage.

That’s why, if you can afford to pay a little more, you would do far better to upgrade to a different headlight type. For the amount spent per hour used, both HID and LED bulbs offer a much better value in the long run. Plus, Philips isn’t backing up this headlight with any type of warranty. You are pretty much on your own after the purchase.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Highly rated manufacturer
  • Easy installation
  • Includes blue band

Cons

  • Short lifespan

6. CougarMotor-CCD16-05-H11-6K

Best LED Headlight Bulbs for Night Driving

Bulb Type

LED

Light Output

10,000 Lumens

Color Temperature

6000K

Bulb Watts

60

Bulb Lifespan

50,000 hrs

Application

Low/High Beam

For just a little more money, you can invest in high-quality LED bulbs that are going to last. This H11 replacement kit includes a pair of headlights running at 60 watts. This set comes with CREE LED chips that provide 10,000 lumens of 6000K cool white light. With the latest technology installed, you won’t have dark spots or foggy visibility while driving at night.

The headlights are air-cooled by a 7,000 RPM turbo cool fan to provide more than 50,000 hours of life. When you break down the amount of time you can use these lights versus the price, you see that you literally pay peanuts for this amount of visibility. Plus, the majority of owners find that the installation is a breeze. With the plug and play design, it shouldn’t take you more than twenty minutes to be ready to roll.

However, there are a few finicky car models that will require some extra equipment to avoid flickering. Make sure you look into what’s needed for your vehicle before purchasing. With that said, the company stands by all of the headlights that are made. With this set, you can expect to receive a two-year warranty and lifetime support.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • 2-year warranty
  • Bright, white beam
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Might require modification

7. SEALIGHT Scoparc S1

Best Night Driving Car Headlights for DIY Installation

Bulb Type

LED

Light Output

10,000 Lumens

Color Temperature

6000K

Bulb Watts

60

Bulb Lifespan

30,000 hrs

Application

Low/High Beam

Very similar to the last set is this option from SEALIGHT. The 9005 LED headlight bulbs offer an easy installation, taking you just minutes to complete. With the plug and play design, you simply place the headlights into the vehicle’s housing and connect without any tools. This set provides a bright, white beam that reduces dark spots and glares. Even though it is brighter than the halogen bulbs, you won’t blind oncoming traffic.

The compact fanless design of these headlights is slightly different than previous options. Because there is an advanced heat sink included, you can still count on 30,000 hours of life, without having a noisy fan on board. There's nothing you can't see at night with the 6000K color and 10,000 lumens of brightness. Staying safe and alert at night is the company's priority, and it shows through the customer ratings.

While the price is quite low for LED headlight bulbs, you can still count on the company to stand by the purchase. With a one-year warranty in place, you have the protection needed to buy with confidence. The only downside that this set faces is that some customers found the bulbs didn't fit right. This isn't a regular occurrence, but it's always best to check the compatibility of any headlight bulb before making a purchase.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • 1-year warranty
  • Advanced construction
  • Bright, direct beam

Cons

  • Possible fitment issues

8. Philips 42302C1 D3S

Best Xenon HID Headlights for DIY Installation

Bulb Type

HID

Light Output

3,000 Lumens

Color Temperature

4200K

Bulb Watts

35

Bulb Lifespan

10,000 hrs

Application

Low/High Beam

If you are set on getting HID bulbs for your D3S replacement, you can’t go wrong choosing a kit from Philips. These DOT-approved headlights come with a much higher price than the typical halogen bulb, but the brightness you receive makes it far worth the investment. Just remember that you might need some additional equipment to upgrade from halogen lights to HID bulbs.

This lightbulb set produces 3,000 lumens of 4200K white light. Because Philips is a leader in automotive lighting, you can count on the company to provide durable options for your vehicle. Still, it’s not clear why there is no warranty offered with this set, but premature failure doesn't seem to be an issue according to reviews.

If you already have HID bulbs installed, this should provide a direct replacement for your vehicle. In these situations, there’s very little you need to do to complete the installation. Just remove the old bulbs and put in the new ones for a bright white beam that helps you see better at night. Because HID lights don’t hold up as well under extreme temperatures and usage like the LED lights do, you might want to consider upgrading to LED instead, depending on how you use your vehicle.

Pros

  • Bright, reliable light
  • Reputable company
  • Quick HID replacement
  • Highly rated

Cons

  • May require additional equipment

The Challenges Of Night Time Driving

Nighttime driving causes more difficulties than traveling during the day. Some people struggle with a night driving headlight glare from oncoming cars. There are also visibility issues to contend with if your bulbs aren’t bright enough. Here are a few tips to stay safe at night.

  • Adjust your headlights correctly.
  • Keep the headlights clean.
  • When driving at night, only use your high beam headlights when you need to see up to 300 feet ahead.
  • Find the best glasses for night driving headlight glare if you continue to have problems.

Aftermarket Headlight Installation Guide

To replace your headlight bulb, follow these steps with most models.

  • Turn off the car and pop the hood.
  • Locate the headlight assembly and remove the connectors.
  • Remove the bulb and replace it with a new one. Make sure you use a gloved hand.
  • Connect the bulb.
  • Test the headlights.

If you need to replace the entire headlight assembly, you will have more work ahead of you. Here is an example of how to replace a headlight assembly in most vehicles.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Which is brighter 6000k or 8000k?

Actually, the 6000K bulb is brighter than the 8000K because of the color difference. 6000K is a bright white light compared to the blue hue of the 8000K. To determine what the brightest headlight bulb is, you want to examine lumens instead. Using our top choices above, the brightest headlights in the bunch are the Fahren H4/9003/HB2 and HIKARI Ultra, both producing 12,000 lumens of light.

What maintenance should I do to maintain the brightness of my headlights?

It’s important to clean your headlights when you wash the car. If the headlight assembly becomes foggy or yellow, you might need to use a headlight restoration kit.

What cars have the best stock headlights for night driving?

The IIHS did a study on headlight brightness with the crash test ratings. With 2020 models, the study found six cars with the best headlights for night driving included as standard equipment: Genesis G70, Hyundai Nexo, Honda Insight, Lexus NX, Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid plus the Tesla Model 3.

What should you do if your headlights shut off while driving at night?

If you experience headlight failure, start by trying the dimmer switch. If that doesn't work, try the hazard lights, parking lights, and turn signals. If nothing turns the lights back on, pull off the road, and call for roadside assistance.

Is it illegal to drive without headlights at night?

Driving without headlights at night is illegal in almost every area of the world. In some states, you are also required to have your headlights on at other times, such as traveling through a construction zone. 


Conclusion

What are the best headlight bulbs for night driving? If you are looking to upgrade to LED, we recommend the HIKARI Ultra. This complete conversion kit offers the clarity and beam you need to see clearly at night.

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