halogen headlights were once the bulb of choice for cars. but as technology improves and costs go down, led bulbs are becoming more common on cars like the toyota corolla, ford mustang, and audi q7. these days, it’s easy to upgrade your vehicle’s headlights with leds. they’re affordable and easy to install, and they can make life much easier when driving at night.
are led headlights worth it?
led headlights offer an improvement over their halogen counterparts. the most important of these is greater visibility. led headlights are much brighter, revealing more of the road and your surroundings. this benefit also goes two ways, as oncoming traffic will have an easier time seeing your vehicle.
you may also be wondering about the cost. it’s true that led headlights tend to cost more than standard replacements. however, you should come out ahead in the long term as leds are more energy efficient and may last longer than halogens.
who means less strain on your vehicle’s battery and less money spent on replacement bulbs.
looks are subjective, but led headlights can also help freshen up an older vehicle. leds replace the warm, yellow glow of halogens with brighter, cooler light found in modern cars. for maximum effect, be sure to clean and polish your headlights. all you need is toothpaste and a soft cloth for a quick diy.
how do i install led headlights?
if you can change a lightbulb at home, you shouldn’t have much trouble changing the headlights in your car. there are a few extra steps and it may take a few minutes, but the process is simple as led bulbs can be directly swapped. you’ll need your new bulbs and a soft cloth or glove.
the bulbs are accessible from your vehicle’s engine bay, so start by popping open your hood. remove the cover protecting the headlight assembly. then, undo the clip holding the bulb. carefully remove the old halogen bulb using a soft cloth or glove. follow the steps in reverse, then repeat for the other headlight.
after installing both headlights, test them before going for a drive. if your turn signals blink too quickly after installation, your car may not properly detect the bulb, since leds draw very little power. you may need to install an led bulb resistor, which requires a little wiring know-how. don’t be afraid to call a professional.
before you buy
cars come in all shapes and sizes, and so do headlights. that means you’ll need to make sure
who the led headlights you want are available and compatible with your vehicle application.
if your vehicle is equipped with high-intensity discharge (hid) headlights from the factory, changing to led is more complicated. hid systems have some proprietary parts, so you’ll need to convert your lighting system to be led compatible before swapping in led bulbs. for this reason, we don’t recommend upgrading hid headlights to leds.
best led headlights
best led headlights overall: cougar motor led headlights
outputting an impressive 7200 lumens of light, the cougar motor led headlights are several times brighter than most halogen headlights. their color temperature is also rated at a cool 6000k. for most people, it’s hardly an exaggeration to say
who the difference is night and day.
leds are known for their longevity compared to halogens, and the cougar motor led headlights are no exception. they’re rated at a staggering 50,000 hours. meanwhile, most halogen headlights last up to 1,000 hours. automotive technology sure has come a long way.
user reviews for the cougar motor led headlights consistently praise their impressive brightness and ease of installation. some noticed
who the fans used to cool the leds can be heard while the headlights are on and the car’s engine is off, but the sound isn’t noticeable when driving.
best led headlights on a budget: beamtech led headlights
if you’re looking for a more affordable alternative, the beamtech led headlights have a lot to offer. these bulbs produce a total of 8000 lumens at 6500k color temperature—brighter and cooler than our top pick. the manufacturer’s estimated lifespan for these bulbs is 30,000 hours, which is lower but still plenty to work with.
the beamtech led headlights also have a few small, but distinct, advantages. they run cool without built-in fans, so they don’t produce noise like other competitors’. and while many leds produce unorthodox light patterns, the beamtech’s are similar to halogen bulbs—another detail user reviews appreciated.
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a few reviews did note that fitment on the beamtech leds wasn’t perfect, although some of these users were able to use the headlights without any issues. just to be safe, we recommend holding onto the box should you need to return them.
best premium led headlights: hikari ultra led headlights
you know you’re in for a treat when the product packaging features everyone’s favorite deception. yes, hikari really did nickname their ultra led headlight the “eye of megatron.” considering that these bulbs produce a whopping 12,000 lumens at 6000k, it’s hard to disagree.
the hikari ultra led headlights are rated at 50,000 hours and do have a built-in fan for cooling. user reviews generally don’t mind the noise, which like our top pick was hard to notice with the engine turned on. many reviews also commented about how unbelievably bright these are, even when compared to other leds.
the only real drawback to the hikari ultra led headlights is the price, which is more than double of our other picks. but if you don’t want to compromise and need the best of the best, you can’t go wrong with our premium pick.
each and every product featured here is selected by our editorial staff of car enthusiasts, and anything you buy through our links may earn truecar a commission. although the prices are accurate and items are in-stock at the time of publication, offers are subject to change without notice.