Headlights are now standard on every car and buyers may need to replace them from time to time. This may be to upgrade the quality of the headlights, replace a broken headlight, or for purely aesthetic reasons.
There are many factors to consider when choosing headlights for a car. Firstly, Buyers need to understand the components of headlights, the difference between headlight bulb and sealed beam headlight, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of bulb. Secondly, buyers need to know how LED technology boosts the evolution of automobile headlights, and the factors affecting the quality of LED headlight bulbs when you choose to buy LED headlight bulbs.Thirdly, Buyers also need to ensure that the new LED headlight bulbs are compatible with their car and adhere to the law. Finally, buyers should consider how to convert to LED headlight bulbs to create optimum driving conditions.
Types of Headlight Bulbs
Single Beam Bulb vs Dual Beam Bulb
- All car headlights must have both high and low, or dipped beams. Some achieve this by using one individual bulb integrated with both high and low beam function, it is called Dual Beam bulb (basically H4, H13, 9004 and 9007). Other designs have two separate bulbs with high beam and low beam function separately, for example, an H1 bulb for the high beam and an H7 bulb for the dipped beam. Both H1 and H7 bulb are called Single Beam bulbs (basically h1, h3, h7, h8/h9/h11, 9005, 9006, and 880/881).The single beam headlights have two headlight bulbs per headlight. The dual beam headlights have just one headlight bulb per headlight. If your vehicle came with single beam headlights, your only option is single beam bulbs replacement if you need to change them. The same goes for dual beam headlights. The two styles are not interchangeable because the headlight wiring on the vehicle will not match up to the opposite style.
- All Halogen, HID and LED headlight bulb has its own benefits and drawbacks that result from how it is manufactured. The table below lists some of the key advantages and disadvantages of the different bulb types.
Bulb Type Advantages Disadvantages
Low price Fragile Short life span HID (High Intensity Discharge) Produce high lumens Cause Glare & potentially troublesome to other drivers Energy waste Illegal by some governments LED (Light Emitting Diode) Bright Energy efficiency Longer life span High production costs
- LED produces light, as a diode is a semiconductor that controls the flow of electricity. There are two primary parts within the diode: the p-type semiconductor and the n-type semiconductor, whereas the p-n junction is located between them. Negatively-charged electrons fill the n-type semiconductor, and positively-charged carriers fill the p-type semiconductor. During the application of an electric current to the diode, the electrons that are negatively charged become attracted to the positively-charged p-type conductor. Nevertheless, the electrons continuously circuit around the nucleus of an atom. To move away from the nucleus, they must change their energy, or more precisely in a given case, lose some energy. They start losing the energy in the form of photons or light while crossing the p-n junction. In this process, the light energy that illumines LED bulbs is created.
LED Headlight bulbs in Automobiles
- As in the majority of applications, LED headlight bulbs used in cars produce enough light for visibility due to a series of diodes. LED headlight bulbs have certain particular features related to performance, and style & model number.PerformanceLED technology for headlight bulbs aims at improving performance in several ways. LED bulbs produce light in an efficient way as they do not emit heat as a byproduct of their light. Nearly all energy consumed by an LED headlight bulb is used to generate light, unlike in cases of HID technology and halogen, which convert a significant amount of energy into heat. Accordingly, less fuel is required to produce light by LED headlight bulbs in comparison to other lighting technologies. In regards to full explanation of LED headlight bulbs performance, you need to consider the following points.
- #1: BrightnessLumens is the measurement that is used to evaluate the brightness of light bulbs in general, normally one LED headlight bulb could reach around 3000lms or higher, but it is important to pay attention to how many lumens the bulb uses for actual light, since some luminosity is lost to other energy production within the lighting process. One solution is to install extra LED projectors in headlight assembly to make light beam more focused rather than scattered. The other solution is related to the type of LED chips and how you pick the high performance LED headlight bulbs on the market.
- #2: Color Kelvins are used to measure the color of both natural light and light produced by light bulbs. This unit, in fact, measures the temperature of light. The warm white color is typical for the temperature range of 2500 to 4000 K, whereas the cool flu whites range from 5000 to 8000 K. LED headlights tend more towards the lower end of cool white light, typically from 5500 to 6500 K.
- #3: Temperature IssuesLED bulbs are semiconductors, and accordingly, their performance depends on the temperature. A diode is designed to produce more light at a lower temperature than at a higher temperature. Thus, the temperature of the LED headlamp must be stable to keep the continuous light output required by headlights and to ensure a longer life span in case of being shut off instantly. Hence, buyers should take the heat dissipation of LED headlight bulb into consideration.
- #4: StabilityRegarding the stability of LED headlight bulbs, you are supposed to start from aspect of ballast, shockproof and waterproof. The high performance ballast (or called driver) generally connected with LED headlight bulb inside box is a necessary part for LED headlight to prevent LED damages from voltage variation and spikes in order to optimize heat protection, continuous brightness output, and power efficiency.Secondly, the shockproof is dependent on the bulb materials and whole solid design to reduce vibration frequency and accomplish damping function. When you drive a car, it’s inevitable to be bumping. Some poor performance headlight could shut down temporarily and the cutline could be influenced sometimes to affect your driving experience. Finally, in rainy condition, the IP ratings are the main measurement to test the waterproof level of LED headlight bulbs. The higher waterproof level, the less worry you take. Style & Model NumberIn addition to performance enhancement, LED headlight bulbs also give vehicle manufacturers and vehicle owners who are installing aftermarket LED headlight bulbs onto their automobiles more control over the car or truck's lighting style. LED headlight bulbs use a series of smaller bulbs, enabling manufacturers of these headlights to arrange the bulbs in different patterns. This gives vehicle manufacturers more control over how to shape headlight bulbs and vehicle owners more choices for how the headlights that they install will look. Typically, the bulb model numbers are mainly divided into single and dual beam function. For single beam bulbs, h1, h3, h7, h8/h9/h11, 9005, 9006 and 880/881 are applied to. For dual beam bulbs, h4, h13, 9004 and 9007 are applied to.
Factors to consider when purchasing LED headlight bulbs
- One of the most basic factors to consider when buying car headlights is whether the model fits the vehicle. Buyers also need to ensure that the headlights are permitted by law, safe, and appropriate if they wish to travel. Legality of Car HeadlightsIn addition, buyers should to verify that the headlights are legal for use on the road, and not meant to for display only. For example, buyers cannot simply replace the bulbs in a halogen headlight with HID bulbs. Instead, they must upgrade the entire headlight and ensure that it carries RoHS, CE, and E-Mark certifying its compliance with European standards. Or in United States, it needs to be DOT-Compliant to follow USA transportation regulation. Compatibility of Car and Headlights. Perhaps the biggest factor for buyers to concern themselves with when purchasing headlights is whether the type of headlight they are interested in is compatible with their vehicle. While in most cases, headlights are suited to a wide range of models (h1, h3, h7, etc), it is critical for buyers to investigate the matter thoroughly to avoid making an erroneous purchase. The user manual for most vehicles provides this information or the model number marked on previous headlight bulb. In addition, buyers could refer to our bulb reference on the top of each page to find out the bulb matches your vehicle.
- This is usually caused by the incompatibility between LED bulbs and vehicle computer system. It is commonly found in high profile automobiles such as Mercedes, Audi, and BMW among others and latest year vehicle.By simply wiring the capacitors (also named as warning cancellers or anti-flickers) between LED bulb plug and vehicle socket, this kind of issue can be well resolved.