Most modern vehicles come with LED headlights. If you have an older vehicle, however, you may still have halogen bulbs in your headlights. Is there any point in changing your bulbs? Let’s compare LED and halogen light bulbs to help you decide if you should make the switch.
One of the main benefits of LED headlights is that they are much brighter than halogen bulbs. LEDs produce about 80 to 100 lumens per watt, whereas halogen bulbs emit just 16 to 24 lumens per watt. Even if you pick a halogen bulb that’s more powerful than an LED bulb, the LED bulb will still be brighter, improving your visibility on the road.
A con, however, is that LEDs produce more glare. Because they’re often brighter and cover more distance, they can temporarily blind other drivers in oncoming traffic. Sometimes, glare is caused by dirty headlights, but we have a quick solution: clean your lights every three to six months to lessen the impact of glare.
But how do you avoid being affected by glare? Try these tips:
- Look to the right of vehicles instead of directly at the lights.
- Avoid using lights inside your vehicle.
- Take breaks on long journeys to rest your eyes.
Despite how bright and powerful LEDs are, they require less than a tenth the amount of energy that halogen bulbs need to generate light. Halogen bulbs put out about 90% of their energy as heat, hence why they get so hot when in use. LEDs, however, only put out between 10% and 20% of their energy as heat. This makes LED lights more efficient, environmentally friendlier, and safer.
Another reason many people switch to LED lights is their extended lifetime. Most halogen light bulbs last an average of 1,200 to 2,000 hours. LED bulbs, however, can last 25,000 to 30,000 hours. This means you won’t have to replace your headlights as often and your lights will stay brighter for longer.
The main downside to LED bulbs is that they are more expensive than halogen bulbs. Exact pricing for headlights will depend on your vehicle type, but halogen bulbs typically won’t cost you more than $15 to $30 each. If you’re interested in learning how to replace halogen headlights, follow this guide.
To switch from halogen to LED lights, you’ll need a conversion kit. This can cost anywhere from $100 to $300. After the initial switch, future replacement LED headlights will cost you $50 to $100 each. If you choose to have your headlights replaced by a professional, you can expect to pay an additional $50 to $100.
Although LED lights cost more upfront, they often end up being cheaper to run because they last so much longer than halogen bulbs. In the end, many drivers find the long-term benefits of upgrading to LED headlights worth the price.
Maintaining Your Headlights
Whether or not you upgrade your headlights, it’s important to maintain them to keep your view of the road clear.
If your headlights are looking dim, try restoring them with a headlight restoration kit, such as this one. Follow these steps to restore your headlights from home. If restoration doesn’t fix the dimness, it may be time to replace your bulbs. Don’t forget to maintain your taillights too.
We have a wide selection of lighting products available on NAPACanada.com. Within this selection, you can find halogen bulbs for your headlights, like these ones from Sylvania, and LED bulbs, like these. To find products guaranteed to fit, enter your vehicle details in the top left corner of the website.
For any questions about headlights, visit your local NAPA Auto Parts store to speak with an expert.