Informational Guide

LED vs Halogen Headlights

In this comprehensive guide, we look at LED vs halogen headlights. Learn all about these 2 popular lighting types and what is best for your vehicle.

The headlights of a vehicle come in many varieties and types. If you've been considering upgrading your stock lighting, you want to understand the difference between LED vs. halogen headlights.

Our comprehensive guide to the halogen headlight bulb vs. LED will help you determine what automotive part is best for your vehicle.

The Importance of Headlights

Automotive headlights are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. When properly cared for and adjusted correctly, you get the visibility needed to prevent serious accidents.

Headlights also make it easier to see unexpected obstacles, signs, pedestrians, and road markings, especially in low-light situations.

car headlight

Halogen vs. LED Headlights


The construction is different with LED lights vs. halogen headlights. What are halogen headlights? These bulbs are incandescent with a tungsten filament that creates halogen gas. In comparison, the LED headlight doesn't have a filament. It transfers current through a semi-conductor, which emits photons and creates light.

Fitment/Vehicle Compatibility

There aren't many differences between the halogen vs. LED headlight bulbs when it comes to compatibility and fitment. You can often find either option to fit most modern vehicles; it's just a matter of finding the appropriate brand that fits your needs.

Ease of Installation

Is there a difference installing car headlights LED vs. halogen? Not really. You can install LED bulbs with most stock headlight assemblies or simply replace them with the existing halogen variants. Considering most cars already come with the halogen option, it can often be easier to find the appropriate model but isn't any easier to install.

Bulb Life & Wattage

The bulb life and overall power are among the most significant differences with the LED or halogen headlights. The halogen headlight doesn't last quite as long and usually runs between 50 and 60 watts. However, LED headlights will run for 20,000 hours or more, making the additional expense a better overall value.

Bulb Range/Field of Vision

Because the LED brightness is much more dramatic than the dimmer halogen bulb, drivers get a larger range, which allows them to see more clearly on the road. With this additional visibility, it becomes easier to navigate obstacles ahead. However, the LED bulbs don't blind oncoming drivers as some halogen lightbulbs can.

Clarity & Brightness

Halogen light bulbs feature a two to four percent luminous efficiency. One of the most significant reasons customers are replacing halogen headlights with LED is because they can be ten times brighter and more efficient than the comparable halogen model.


With a halogen bulb, the current is passing through a filament that uses heat to create light. Because of this design, halogen lightbulbs can reach over 100 degrees. While the LED bulb does produce some heat, the temperatures come nowhere close to the comparable halogen options.

red car

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Why can't you touch a car headlight bulb?

When you replace your headlights, you don't want to touch the bulb with your bare hands. Everyone's hands contain oils that can disrupt the heating process of the light. This small amount of oil gets hotter when the bulb is on and can destroy the light. Not only might the bulb burn out sooner than normal, but it could also crack or shatter.

How long do headlights last on average?

It depends on what type of light bulb you choose. The standard halogen bulb tends to last around five years, but the LED can work much longer.

Can I put LED bulbs in halogen fittings?

Many people ask - can you replace halogen with led headlights? In many cases, the answer is yes. Most models allow you to replace the bulbs with LED, but others might require a new fitting. For most owners, converting from halogen to led headlights is just as simple as putting the OEM bulbs in.

What is the difference between HID vs. LED vs. halogen headlights?

The Xenon HID headlight uses a high-intensity discharge that is similar to halogen bulbs, with a different gas used. However, these are often brighter than halogen, as are LEDs. On the downside, the HID headlight is fragile and not recommended for use when you are rough on your vehicle.

Is it legal to use colored halogen headlight bulbs?

Blue halogen headlights aren't actually blue but are a bright white that gives off a blueish hue. Most people see these as blue because we are used to seeing a yellow tint to headlights. These bulbs are legal because they are, in fact, white. The only color headlight that is approved to use on the road is white. If you are thinking of using any other color, you could find yourself on the side of the road, getting a ticket.


Now that you understand car headlights halogen vs. LED, it's time to determine what you will outfit your vehicle with. It's time to see clearly and drive safely.