Since the invention of the automobile, drivers have needed to illuminate the road ahead of the vehicle. The lighting systems of the car are essential for the safety of the driver, for this reason, car manufacturers have been modifying the technology of headlights, going from halogen lamps and glass to more advanced technologies such as the LED or the laser. This need is simply essential, not only to see but also to be seen by other road users.
LED and xenon headlights include automatic height adjustment technologies and only change their light direction within very specific parameters.
It is recommended that the headlights be adjusted periodically, as it is cheap, simple and very effective, thus avoiding dazzling drivers who are traveling in the opposite direction.
Table of Contents
- Different Types of Car Headlights
- Incandescent Headlights
- Halogen Headlights
- Xenon Headlamp
- Led Headlight
- Laser Headlights
- Running Lights
- Pencil Beam
- Fog lamps
- Q. What Is Better LED Or HID Headlights?
- Q. Is It Worth Upgrading To LED Headlights?
- Q. Is It Worth Upgrading To HID Headlights?
- Q. Can You Replace Halogen Bulbs With LED Headlights?
- Q. What Are The Brightest Legal Headlights?
- Q. How Many Lumens Is Legal For Headlights?
- Q. How Many Lumens Do Factory HID Lights Produce?
- Q. How Many Lumens Does A Xenon Bulb Produce?
- Q. How Many Lumens Can Headlights Be?
- Q. How Often Should You Replace HID Bulbs?
- Q. Which Headlights Are Best For Night Driving?
- Q. What Are The Brightest Headlights For A Car?
- Q. What Color Lights For Cars?
- Q. Which Type Of Headlight Is Best For The Car?
- Q. Is It Illegal To Have Xenon Headlights?
- Q. Are Xenon And LED Bulbs Interchangeable?
- Q. Is Halogen An Older Type Of Headlight?
- Q. When To Use Dipped Headlights?
- Share This Post
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Different Types of Car Headlights
Incandescent headlights have become a traditional and common type used by most American automakers. This is a relatively primitive method of lighting considering the other technologies used in today’s cars and trucks; incandescent headlights have been in use for more than a century.
This type works like the average house lamp, although much more powerful. The filament used in these lights evaporates over time and burns out.
A new headlight lighting technology is halogen light. These lights are similar to traditional incandescent lamps in that they both require a tungsten filament.
This type of headlight is the most common, as it is included as standard in almost all mid-and low-end models and is the simplest and most economical.
This type of headlight has been used since 1962 and although the technology of the bulbs has been improving over time, they have limited performance since it is difficult for them to exceed approximately 800 hours of use.
It is the cheapest option but the duration of its useful life is below 500 hours.
Xenon bulbs have been growing in popularity in recent years due to their ability to produce a much brighter light than any bulb offered before. The most coveted are High Intensity Discharge (HID). This does not use a filament but instead uses two electrodes in sealed xenon gas.
This lighting provides up to three times more light output than halogen lights with much less power consumed. These types of headlights use high-intensity gas discharge lamps. Its beam of light is superior to that of halogen bulbs and its useful life is around 2000 or 2500 hours of use.
With a different operation and construction, this type of lighting is composed of electrodes that generate electricity that heats the Xenon gas that is located in the bulb. It uses the same mechanism as a conventional fluorescent tube.
It is said that this type of lamps does not melt, the reality is that they do not have a filament but they can suffer damage, to know if their useful life decreases, the symptoms that appear are that their tonality turns bluish or yellowish or that “Blinks” in the beam of light.
Its price is considerably more expensive, although it must be taken into account that its useful life is tripled compared to the first ones.
This type of technology was introduced in cars to illuminate the optics of the brakes and turn signals.
The LEDs are based on the union of several light diodes of very small dimensions if we compare them with the rest of the alternatives.
They emit their maximum light capacity almost instantly when they are turned on and allow functionalities such as adaptive lights, which reduce or increase lighting intensity depending on road conditions or automatic anti-glare systems.
Led diodes theoretically have an infinite duration. The negative part is that a led headlight is generally an indivisible unit, so the breakage of this component usually implies the replacement of the complete headlight and it is a fault that ranges between $500 and $900 depending on the model.
Its advantages are obvious: low weight and the possibility of installing them in almost any way with really low consumption and above all, a useful life that rotates over 10,000 hours.
This would be the latest trend in car lighting. Laser lights allow you to create smaller optics with greater freedom and more efficiently since we are talking about 30% lower consumption than its alternatives.
The new laser headlights can illuminate up to six hundred meters away, twice as much as LED headlights. They are highly reliable optics with long service life, even with prolonged use in extreme conditions.
Audi and BMW have gone a step beyond LEDs, and have been the first to incorporate laser headlights as an option in their vehicles. In short, they are a system that uses less energy and illuminates more. The new laser headlights can illuminate up to 600 meters away, twice as much as LED headlights. They are highly reliable optics with long service life, even with prolonged use in extreme conditions.
The price of the latest generation headlights is very high if we compare them with halogen or xenon systems. Additionally, the entire optics may have to be replaced in the event of a failure. But if we take into account their possibilities and performance, they are lighting systems unattainable by traditional lights.
Driving lights are standard and mandatory on all vehicles manufactured today. These are always mounted at the front end of the vehicle and usually have high and low lights for different driving environments.
The visible range of illumination is typically about 1,000 feet (305 m) above 20 to 30-degree horizontal spread. Some automakers offer what is known as a projection headlight. This refers to a convex lens mounted in front of the bulb, and the purpose of this lens is to evenly distribute the light output.
Pencil beam lights are typically an off-road aftermarket option. These lights are long-range up to 2,000 feet (609 m) and have a narrow horizontal span. In some states, these lights are not legal for use on the street; its brightness value and mounting location can often blind other drivers on the road.
Fog lights are offered as an extra feature on most cars and trucks, or they can be an aftermarket accessory. These lights are designed to be directed down the road to maximize visibility in fog, rain or snow.
Q. What Is Better LED Or HID Headlights?
The debate over LED vs HID headlights have been a hot topic since the introduction of new lighting technologies. At first, everyone assumed that LED lights were better than HIDs because they used less energy and put off less heat. However, it is not so simple.
Both types of headlights have advantages and disadvantages when compared to each other. That means there is no clear winner in the LED vs HID battle. It all comes down to what you want out of your headlights. Do you want long-lasting bright lights or do you like super bright lights with a fantastic color? Either way, both options are available for modern cars!
LED headlights last much longer than HID headlights. An LED headlight can last up to 50,000 hours on average, while an HID headlight will only last around 2,000 hours on average.
However, this is where the benefits of LED lights stop. It has been shown that LED light provides less visibility distance than HIDs because it cannot put out nearly as much light. To see why this is, you have to understand how they work.
HIDs are similar in technology to halogen car headlights. One key difference is that the gas mixture inside the bulb is different, allowing for more ultraviolet radiation and less infrared radiation.
So what does all of this mean? Well, by producing more UV radiation, HIDs are able to emit the bright light that is so desired.
However, LED lights do not have the same ability because they use Gallium Nitride or GaN to produce their energy instead of Xenon gas mix.
This means that the mixture is different and less power can be delivered through Gallium Nitride, which makes an LED headlight dimmer than HIDs.
Q. Is It Worth Upgrading To LED Headlights?
The answer to this question all depends on what you are looking for in your headlights. If you want great visibility, it is definitely worth switching to LED headlights because they produce much less heat than HIDs and last much longer.
But if you really care about having powerful lights that can light up hundreds of meters in front of your car, then you might be disappointed with LED lights.
The instant on/off nature of LED headlights combined with the inefficient gas mixture makes for a low color light and lacks power. In this sense, it is not worth switching from HIDs to LEDs because there are much better options available now.
Q. Is It Worth Upgrading To HID Headlights?
HIDs are better at putting out a larger range of light than LEDs are. This is why most companies put LED headlights in economy cars while they put HIDs in higher-end vehicles with more aggressive lighting needs.
A significant difference between LEDs vs HIDs is how safe they are for other drivers on the road. Because HIDS emit mostly infrared light, they are safe for the eyes of other drivers on the road.
LED lights, however, emit a significant amount of UV radiation which makes them dangerous to look at. So while HIDs have less range, they make up for it with their safety factor.
Q. Can You Replace Halogen Bulbs With LED Headlights?
If you want to upgrade from halogen bulbs to LED headlights on your car, it is not difficult for most people. The headlight assembly will need to be taken off your vehicle, and the existing bulb will need to be removed.
From there, all that needs to be done is change out the old one for a new one. However, additional work may be needed to get the headlight unit set up correctly, depending on your car.
Q. What Are The Brightest Legal Headlights?
HIDs and LEDs are both legal headlights. If you want more brightness, it is best to choose HID headlights because they put out more lumens than LED lights.
When researching different types of car headlights, be sure to pay attention to the number of lumens that each one puts out so you can get a decent idea about how bright your headlight will be.
Q. How Many Lumens Is Legal For Headlights?
The number of lumens that headlights put out is not regulated in the US. There are no laws limiting how bright your car’s headlights can be.
However, if you want to be safe and avoid blinding other drivers on the road, it is best to stick with LED headlights between 2000-3000 lumens.
This will provide ample brightness without worrying about others driving and losing visibility in your lights.
Q. How Many Lumens Do Factory HID Lights Produce?
Factory HIDs range from 3500-5000 lumens, making them much brighter than the average LED headlight system. However, this does not mean they are better or worse than LEDs, just different fits for a different purpose. Whether or not you should get these headlight fixtures is entirely up to you and your car’s needs.
Q. How Many Lumens Does A Xenon Bulb Produce?
Xenon bulbs put out between 3500-5000 lumens on average, which is a significant increase from halogen headlight bulbs that only put out around 700 lumens of light.
However, it is essential to be sure about what types of headlights are legal for your state because if they are too bright, they may violate local laws.
In some states, cars with Xenon HIDs cannot have automatic high beams, but these laws vary from place to place, so make sure you know the regulations in your area before purchasing any type of headlights system.
Q. How Many Lumens Can Headlights Be?
LEDs range in the 2000-3000 lumen range, while HIDs are in the 3500-5000 lumen range. Xenon bulbs can go into the 5000+ lumen level, which is why they are considered one of the best types of headlights out there.
Q. How Often Should You Replace HID Bulbs?
HIDs should be replaced every 2-3 years if they are used consistently. If you barely drive your car, it is best to get LED headlights because they last much longer than HID bulbs.
Q. Which Headlights Are Best For Night Driving?
If you want headlights for night driving, it is best to go with LEDs because they provide bright white light and do not put out ultraviolet rays as HIDs do.
HIDs are better suited to be used in foggy or humid conditions, while LEDs are better for areas that have more clear nights. Either will serve their purpose well, but LEDs are the way to go if you want safety on the road.
Q. What Are The Brightest Headlights For A Car?
HIDs and LEDs are both high brightness headlights that you can use to light up the road ahead. The only difference between them is that LED lights tend to be brighter than HIDs and put out UV rays that aren’t healthy for your skin, eyes, or lungs.
HIDs are lower in lumens than LEDs, but they do not produce ultraviolet rays. So they work well in foggy or humid conditions where bright lights can cause problems seeing through these types of weather events.
If you want safety and visibility on the road at any time, then LEDs should be your go-to choice because they provide bright white light without the health risks associated with HID bulbs.
This type will provide ample night driving vision as well as keep you safe from potential collisions with other drivers. Xenon bulbs are the most powerful types of headlights on the market. So if you want to see well at night, it is best to get these types of bulbs installed.
They will provide highly bright light, so it is easier for you to see as well as those around you which keeps everyone safe and secure on the roads.
Q. What Color Lights For Cars?
LEDs come in a variety of colors from blue, red, green, purple, and more, making them very versatile headlights that can be used for various reasons.
HIDs also come in various colors, but they tend to be just white or yellow depending on the manufacturer.
Xenon bulbs typically only white light, so if you want a range of colors, then LEDs are the best types of headlights to get.
Q. Which Type Of Headlight Is Best For The Car?
Overall, it is entirely up to you which type of headlights are best for your car. You should consider how often you drive at night versus during the day so that you can find an option that will be most effective where you need it.
If you live in a humid or foggy area, then HIDs may not be the best choice because their lights reflect off of these water particles and lower visibility even more than normal, leading to potential accidents on the road.
LEDs are better suited for areas with poor conditions because they don’t put out ultraviolet rays as HIDs do. So they work well even if there is humidity or mist in the air around them.
Xenon bulbs are also good options. You want highly bright light, but they aren’t as versatile as the LEDs, which give you more colors and can be used. Whichever option you choose, just make sure that it is the best type of headlights for cars so that everyone will be safe on the roads.
Q. Is It Illegal To Have Xenon Headlights?
Xenon headlights are entirely legal for use on all forms of road. They provide bright white light and do not put out harmful ultraviolet rays like HIDs do, making them a more versatile option if you want something that works well in all weather conditions.
Q. Are Xenon And LED Bulbs Interchangeable?
Xenon and LED headlights are not interchangeable. LEDs put out bright white light but do not produce ultraviolet rays, which is why they are the better choice for humid or foggy conditions where HIDs can cause problems seeing through these weather events.
Xenon bulbs provide incredibly bright light. So it is easier to see as well as those around you which keeps everyone safe on the roads, so they are a great option if you want extremely powerful headlights that work at any time of day.
Q. Is Halogen An Older Type Of Headlight?
Halogen is not considered an older type of headlight. It actually comes before both xenon and LED technology because they’re more common than xenon lights.
Halogen light bulbs burn hot enough to give off light, but that heat also affects the headlight’s lifespan, which is why they are typically only seen on high-end luxury cars because of their high price.
LEDs have become the most popular option for new car headlights because they’re brighter, more durable and lower maintenance than halogen or xenon headlights, so many manufacturers are switching over to LED technology even on mid-level vehicles.
Q. When To Use Dipped Headlights?
Dipped headlights are often used during the day so that you can easily see where you are going.
These headlights have a small cut-off line in them, which means they don’t shine the light to the sides of your car, only straight ahead, so it is easier for other drivers to see oncoming traffic and know what your vehicle is doing all time.
Dipped headlights are typically standard on all cars, but if you want something similar with more intensity, then HIDs or LEDs might be better options for you.