There are four main types of headlight bulbs available in the vehicles that Americans drive. They are LED bulbs, halogen bulbs, HID conversion kits and OE HID bulbs. To start your way to the headlight upgrade, check our owner’s manual or bulb size checker to see, what headlight bulbs your vehicle has got from the factory. If you have bought a used vehicle and plan to work on its headlights, make sure you know, what light bulbs are installed in your headlights right now. Why is that so important? There is a chance the previous owner has done something with the headlights in terms of customization. So, if you start buying headlight bulbs, there is a chance you will buy the wrong bulb size or even the wrong bulb type. So, you will end up having to return products that you will not be able to use. This is quite frustrating in our opinion.
What can be altered in the headlights?
If your vehicle has got HID headlights from the factory, you can proceed to the section of OE HID bulbs and pick the ones of the proper bulb size. That’s because headlights of vehicles equipped with stock HIDs cannot be converted to LED or halogen bulbs. The same story with stock LEDs. There is no way to convert them to something else (HID, halogens). However, if your vehicle has got halogen headlight bulbs from the factory, there is always much space for aftermarket upgrades. So make sure you are aware of what you have in your vehicle.
The previous owner could have replaced headlights with the aftermarket ones. Aftermarket headlights normally feature different bulb sizes of high and low beams, so if you pick the bulb sizes that are mentioned in the owner’s manual, most likely they will not fit. We believe, it will be quite frustrating to deal with the return and replacement of the product, along with having to assemble the headlights again.
Halogen headlights are quite often upgraded to LED or HID by means of conversion kits. Note, that some states do not allow altering the headlights of any vehicles. Once headlights are customized, the vehicle may become not street legal. So make sure you are aware of the DOT requirements in the area you live in not to get a ticket.
Note, that bulb sizes of the LEDs and HIDs used in the conversion kits differ from the ones you can see in certain vehicles that have LEDs or HIDs from the factory. Besides, it is always a good idea to know, what light source you have, as this is about your safety when it’s dark.
What light bulbs are better: halogen, HID, or LED?
Let’s be honest: if someone knew the answer, there would be only one bulb type for all vehicles. So, as long as we have several options, it’s fair to say, that each of them has got its pros and cons. It is hard to compare every aspect of each bulb type to get a huge comparison chart, so let us take the basics and compare here right away. And if you are looking for details, just check detailed comparison guides to see precise technical explanations of different light bulb operation specs.