Finding the proper light bulb for your car can be tricky. There’s turning bulbs, fog lights, brake lights, and headlights, just to name a few.
However, when choosing a headlight, it’s very straightforward in terms of the necessities. That being said, the world of car headlights can be a bit daunting because there’s so many brands and manufacturers to choose from! That’s why this quick overview will help you decide exactly what it is you’ll need to accomplish your headlight-buying goals.
This is the most important part in the process of purchasing your headlight. If you get a headlight that has some cool features and perks, it will be useless if you accidentally get the wrong size! Luckily, there are some great online tools to ensure that you pick the correct headlight size.
As a general rule, it’s important to check the bulb you are replacing for any information that might aid you in getting a new one. For example, my bulb has “H7” written right near the connecting piece, so I immediately know that my socket requires an H7 bulb. That being said, here’s a couple resources to help you get the correct size, even if you can’t find the exact fitting information.
Firstly, I would recommend using Amazon’s vehicle guide to determining the correct size. When you search for a headlight, Amazon will prompt you to enter your vehicle make/model/year/etc. to ensure you have the right size. I’ve used this feature quite a few times for various car parts, and I’ve never had a bad experience.
Another option is powerbulbs.com. They have a search option, similar to Amazon, which allows you to enter the make/model of your car and search for bulbs from there.
This website obviously specializes in lightbulbs, so if you go to Amazon and find that they don’t have something you’d need, I would suggest cross-referencing them with powerbulbs.com because I’m sure one of them will have what you need.
Apart from size, the features of your bulb is the next step to determining which one you’d want to buy. Different bulbs offer different variations/intensities of whiteness, halogen vs LED bulbs, bulb colors, and the brightness of the bulbs.
A standard bulb will generally be around 6000K and vary from there depending on what color you’d want, and LED vs halogen bulbs depend on how much energy you’d want to use.
People prefer halogen bulbs because they tend to last longer and obviously don’t need to be replaced as much, whereas LED bulbs tend to have a higher replacement rate while, but use less energy. It’s really up to the consumer to decide which bulb is best for them.
Halogen vs Led
An important decision to consider when purchasing your headlights is whether or not you want a set of halogen bulbs or a set of LED bulbs. It might sound trivial, but it will definitely make a difference in the long-run.
LED lights are great because they’re able to be created to form all sorts of different light patterns due to the fact that the bulbs involve multiple small light systems coming together inside the bulb itself.
That being said, this also hurts LED bulbs because they tend to die faster as a result of having so many small parts; if one part fails, the light can dim, start to flicker, or completely fail. LED bulbs are also generally more costly than halogen bulbs.
Halogen bulbs are still generally the industry standard because of their long life and low replacement costs. The biggest downside to the halogen bulb is its massive energy cost.
Halogen bulbs generate a ton of heat, and this heat represents wasted energy. These bulbs are also generally harder to install and replace, and they can also be damaged by touching them with your skin.
Choosing a bulb can be a daunting process if you’ve never done it before, but you simply have to consider your own preferences for things like color and energy use to ultimately choose a bulb.
Understanding the fit of your bulb and the size of the socket you have is the most important part, since none of the other features will work if you can’t install the bulb. After that, it 100% depends on your preferences regarding halogen/LED bulbs, light intensity, light color, and beam focus among other things.