What Are The Best LED Headlight Bulbs? (2020 Review Guide)
More than just a way to get a ticket, a missing headlight is dangerous, too. Lack of visibility on the road is a major contributor to accidents and other vehicular damage. While the stock headlights on your vehicle will get the job done, for the best possible illumination on the road you’ll want to consider an upgrade.
LED headlight bulbs are relatively new, incredibly strong and definitely worth consideration. Interested in learning how these LED bulbs work and whether they’re a good choice for your vehicle? Here’s a look at six of the best LED headlights you’ll want to consider, as well as a complete guide which answers common questions:
- 1. Cougar Motor LED Headlight Bulbs Best LED Headlight All-in-One Conversion Kit
- 2. Beamtech H11 LED Headlight Bulb
- 3. SEALIGHT LED Headlight Bulbs
- 4. VoRock8 8000LM LED Headlights
- 5. OPT7 Fluxbeam LED Headlight with Clear Arc-Beam
- 6. Auxbeam LED Headlight Bulb F-16 Series
- 7. Akarui CREE LED Headlight Bulbs
- 8. DDM Tuning Saber Pro LED Headlights
- 9. Hikari Ultra LED Bulbs
- 10. SNGL Super Bright LED Headlight Bulbs
- Frequently Asked Questions about LED Headlight Bulbs
- What are the Different Types of Car Headlights?
- Halogen Bulbs
- LED Headlights
- How Do LED Headlights Work?
- Do LED Headlights Have Any Disadvantages?
- What are the Advantages of LED Headlights?
- Amazing Visibility
- All-Weather Durability
- Increased Driver Safety
- Are LED Headlights Easy to Install?
- How to Convert My Headlights to LED Headlights?
- Step 1: Unbox Everything
- Step 2: Take a Current Picture
- Step 3: Locate the Bulbs
- Step 4: Remove the Old Bulbs
- Step 5: Install the LEDs
- Step 6: Connect the Ballast
- Do LED Headlights Make It Easier to See Oncoming Traffic?
- Factors to Consider When Buying LED Headlights
- Bulb Color
- Super Bright
- Bulb Expectancy
- Final Thoughts
1. Cougar Motor LED Headlight Bulbs Best LED Headlight All-in-One Conversion Kit
Brilliant, long-lasting illumination backed by a three-year warranty and lifetime support from Cougar Motors.
- Powerful LED lights with 7200LM per pair
- 10,000 RPM cooling fan keeps LED bulbs cool
- Plug-and-play installation averages 20 minutes
- Over 50,000 hours of estimated bulb life
- LED bulbs are long (which increases fragility during installation)
- Customer support can be difficult to reach
These LED headlights from Cougar Motors pack a lot of punch with high luminous efficacy flux up to 7200LM per pair. That works out to illumination which is about 200% brighter than typical Halogen bulbs. At the same time, these LED bulbs stay cool inside an aluminum housing with a 10,000 RPM TurboCool fan.
Installation is usually pretty simple even if you’re not mechanically minded. Plug-and-play design with CanBUS-Ready bulbs means your vehicle’s computer system will instantly recognize the new LED bulbs. Total bulb life is over 50,000 hours. They’re on of the best LED choices out there.
2. Beamtech H11 LED Headlight Bulb
These LED lights from Beamtech produces a bright, even beam pattern while preventing overheating with silent, passive cooling technology.
- Unique passive cooling system means no fan noise
- Super-bright 8000 lumen beam pattern
- Waterproof and durable
- Bulb lifespan over 30,000 hours
- Bulb retaining ring doesn’t fit some vehicles
- Minor blind spots in center of beam pattern
The cooling technology in many cheap LED lights often produces an audible rumbling noise which can be heard inside the car. Beamtech prevents that annoyance with whisper-quiet passive cooling features which don’t sacrifice illumination.
CSP double-sided LED chips produce an 8000-lumen light output, which creates a wide strip of light able to cut through the cloudiest and darkest conditions. Easy plug-and-play installation requires no complicated fan setup or use of high voltage connections. Lights are also waterproof. If you’re looking for the best LED lights, check these out.
3. SEALIGHT LED Headlight Bulbs
Although small in size, these headlights pack a powerful beam pattern with no shadows or dark spots.
- Wide beam pattern inside small housing, no dark spots
- Lights cut through fog, rain and harsh weather conditions
- Won’t blind or annoy other drivers
- Installation decoder required for many Dodge, GMC and BMW models
These are some of the smaller headlights on the market, making them perfect for compact cars and other vehicles without much front room to spare. The 6000LM lights are great for everyday driving but can also work effectively as fog lights.
At the same time, the 6000K Xenon-white bulbs don’t produce glare and won’t blind other drivers. All of the advantages of HID headlights with none of the disadvantages. Easy plug-and-play installation.
4. VoRock8 8000LM LED Headlights
Small, simple and powerful, these LED Headlights have efficient cooling with a full beam pattern.
- Weather-resistant and durable
- Bright, full beam pattern with 4000LM per bulb
- Two-ball fan system for fast heat dissipation
- Easy plug-and-play installation
- High-powered cars require a canbus decoder
With light output capable of reaching 4000LM per bulb, these LED headlights from VoRock8 use Bridge Lux Chip-COB technology which is perfect for cutting through the dark. These lights are rain resistant, waterproof and designed for rough weather conditions.
Heat dissipation is top-of-the-line thanks to a built-in Japanese two-ball fan cooling system. Installation is simple plug-and-play, although some high-powered cars will need a canbus decoder.
5. OPT7 Fluxbeam LED Headlight with Clear Arc-Beam
A clear, powerful beam pattern protected by solid aluminum with enhanced cooling features.
- Arc-beam technology for bright beam pattern
- Aluminum heat sink for 35% heat reduction
- Can be used as headlights, fog lights and low beams
- U.S.-based lifetime support and full two-year warranty
- Might not be strong enough beam pattern for heavy-duty fog
These Fluxbeam LED headlights have a clear arc beam pattern with 3,500LMS per bulb, with no dark spots or glare. Cooling features include a TurboCool fan and RedLine driver which help the bulb last over a whopping 50,000 hours. CREE MK-R LED and Arc-Beam technology create a solid beam pattern to the front and sides of the vehicle.
Can be used as headlights, low beams or fog lights. Plug-and-play technology allows for fast installation. Plus, all lights include a two-year warranty as well as lifetime support from the California-based OPT7.
6. Auxbeam LED Headlight Bulb F-16 Series
Auxbeam is a trusted name in car lighting technology, and their F-16 series of LED headlights are bright, durable and have an efficient cooling system.
- Bright white 6000K beam pattern highlights road information
- Cuts through dark, rain and fog
- Efficient aluminum alloy cooling system
- Decoding system doesn’t work on all vehicles
These single-beam headlights are each powered by CREE chips with a luminous flux of 3000LM per bulb. The 6000K is bright enough to light up the entire road but won’t stun passing drivers. Can be used as either headlights or fog lights. The white light reflects against road signs and paint.
A built-in turbo fan and aerospace aluminum alloy keeps the lights roughly 30% cooler than standard headlights. Waterproof and dustproof IP68 seals make these lights a great choice for harsh outdoor environments.
7. Akarui CREE LED Headlight Bulbs
If having a lot of power is important to you, these lights will ensure you have no problem seeing on even the darkest of nights.
- Shockproof and waterproof LED bulbs
- Three times brighter than the average LED
- Lifetime warranty
- 55W and 9600 LMs
- The LED bulbs have some flickering when the vehicle isn’t moving
- Challenging installation
These LED bulbs are incredibly bright, with 55 watts and 9600 LMs of power. The manufacturer goes onto say that they are around three times brighter than your average LED light.
With all that power comes a lot of excess heat buildup. Luckily, the company included some technology to help fight the heat. They use a revolutionary cooling system that has cold-pressed aluminum and dual turbofans. These fans spin at 15,000 revolutions per minute, and they’re even silent, so you don’t hear or notice the fans at all.
This unique technology helps keep the LED bulbs cool, which extends their life and makes your investment a bit more sound.
The LED headlight bulbs are shockproof and waterproof, which is helpful during the installation process. That said, based on some other reviews out there, installation is a challenge. The unique design of these LED bulbs makes them unfamiliar even to people with experience, so you might need to have a professional install them.
One slight downside we noticed is the slight flickering on the LED bulbs when the car isn’t moving. It’s possible to see it when the vehicle is in motion, but it’s much more noticeable when the car is still. They do come with a lifetime warranty, which is great and says a lot about the manufacturer’s confidence in their product.
8. DDM Tuning Saber Pro LED Headlights
Each light puts out around 10,000 lumens, and you won’t need a decoder for most American made models like Chevy and GMC.
- Two-year warranty
- Universal design for any make and model
- Robust light focus
- Doesn’t come with a resistor
- Need to purchase in pairs
Here is a set of LED headlights from DDM tuning. These 50-watt pro series headlights offer robust light transmission, focus, and longevity once you install them.
The innovative design helps provide a precise light wave that increases visibility, reduces glare, and limits the amount of dark blind spots you experience while driving. They’ve designed these to be slightly smaller than the previous, and there is no radio frequency interference on these.
One downside is that they don’t come with a resistor, but the manufacturer ensures that you likely won’t need it anyway because you can adjust the level of the beam once you install it. They come with a two-year warranty and waterproof design that helps with the installation.
9. Hikari Ultra LED Bulbs
These LED bulbs have the same design and size as traditional halogen bulbs, so they are familiar and easy to install for most people with a bit of experience.
- Great light utilization and focus
- 12,000 lumens
- Precise beam pattern hotspot
- Uses less wattage than the competition
- Two-year warranty
- Not as bright as some would like
- Not compatible with projector headlights
When we talk about some of the features, we first have to talk about the light utilization. These LED bulbs do a great job of providing a focused beam of light that doesn’t interfere with your driving.
Many LED bulbs will send a blinding light towards the road, which makes it difficult for you and oncoming traffic, these LED bulbs do a great job of preventing that.
The maximum light output is 12,000 lumens, which makes them one of the brightest on the market. While they do claim 12,000 lumens, many customer reviews state that the bulbs aren’t bright even for them. They use high-quality LED chips from Philips-Lumileds Luxeon, which is a modern LED technology.
For being a super-bright bulb, they don’t use a lot of wattage compared to the competition either. Each lamp uses 23 watts, and they come with a two-year warranty that covers almost anything that could go wrong.
10. SNGL Super Bright LED Headlight Bulbs
The LED headlight bulbs from SNGL are durable and resistant to shock as well. You’ll get more than 50,000 hours of total and complete bright white light from these LED bulbs.
- Anti-glare feature
- Two-year warranty
- 10,400 lumens
- Install in under 20 minutes
- Durable and resistant to shock
- Possible flickering
- Bulbs require more space in your headlight assembly than halogen bulbs
These LED bulbs use a patented Adjustable Focus technology that helps you get the correct beam pattern for proper light distribution. This helps ensure that you can see the whole road, free from distortion. Meaning, you won’t have any dark spots or foggy lights that dim the LED bulbs.
The LED headlight bulbs from SNGL also come with anti-glare technology that helps prevent your from blinding oncoming drivers. This technology also helps a lot when driving in wet conditions where the lights may glare off the wet road surface.
The bulbs send out a 6000k white light with 10,400 lumens, so they are plenty bright enough for most road conditions. They are also CanBus-Ready, so you can work them into any vehicle CPU as a direct replacement for your halogen bulbs or HIDs. The manufacturer even goes onto say that anyone can install these in under 20 minutes.
The company provides a two-year warranty, and you won’t void the warranty if you try and install the bulbs yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions about LED Headlight Bulbs
Car headlight technology has advanced tremendously in a relatively short period of time. There are more options for different types of headlights than ever before. Standard headlights will certainly illuminate the road, but better and brighter options are often available.
What are the Different Types of Car Headlights?
Halogen bulbs, HID headlights and LED are the three most common types of headlights.
These are the most common types of headlights and are typically standard on most consumer vehicles. They use a heated tungsten filament to produce light, similar to how the lights in your home function. But this type of light also produces a fair amount of heat and skin moisture.
Halogen bulbs are relatively inexpensive and tend to last for a long time, but they provide the least illumination of the three headlight types. They’re also not ideal for fog, rain and excessively dark conditions.
Also called Xenon lights, High-Intensity Discharge lights are much brighter than Halogen bulbs. HID headlights are those super-bright blue-white headlights which light up the road – and have probably lit up your rearview mirror on occasion, too.
Xenon lights require a burst of power when first turned on, but they use very little energy to maintain brightness. They’re far more energy efficient than halogens. The downsides are an increased cost per bulb compared to halogen, plus HID lights can definitely annoy other drivers.
LED headlights are the newest type of headlight. While they’re not as well-known as HID and halogens, LED headlights are quickly growing in popularity because they have many unique advantages over other headlights.
How Do LED Headlights Work?
LED technology uses small, light-producing diodes when stimulated by electric current. Unlike gas or filament-based lights, LED headlights require only a small amount of power. Plus, LED headlights are significantly brighter – up to 200% brighter or more – than other vehicle headlights.
These light emitting diodes are small, so they can be formed into almost any shape. This is especially helpful when dealing with any cramped light arrays found in the front of smaller and compact vehicles. Multi-colored LED headlights are also used to create light strips and other design patterns on vehicles.
Additionally, LED headlights are directional while halogen lights and HID diffuse the light. This means LED headlights are able to provide a clear beam which can cut through fog, rain and moonlight-free darkness.
Do LED Headlights Have Any Disadvantages?
Cost and heat are the two major disadvantages of LED headlights. However, solutions for each are available.
First, the best LED headlights do cost more than halogen lights and HID lights. Exact prices will depend on the number and complexity of the individual diodes used in the LED headlight, but prices can exceed 10 times halogen bulbs. However, that’s not really the full story.
Halogen headlights can last for a reasonable amount of time but the best LED headlights will last much, much longer. Some of the best LED headlights will burn bright for anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 hours and even more. In some cases, LED headlights will outlast the car they’re installed in! So, while the initial costs are higher, the best LED headlights are often the more economical choice in the long-run.
Additionally, LED lights can get hot even after short periods of use. All LED headlights will include some type of cooling system. Most systems will consist of a high-powered cooling fan as well as aluminum housing to act as a heat sink.
One side effect to watch out for is fan noise. Cheaply made LED headlights will often have a loud fan in the cooling system which you’ll be able to hear inside the car. You’ll want a well-constructed fan which operates at a quiet level. Certain passive cooling systems, which don’t use a fan at all, are also available.
What are the Advantages of LED Headlights?
LED headlights have quite a few unique advantages over Halogen lights and Xenon lights
LED headlights clearly provide more visibility than any other type of headlight. The beam pattern will be crisp, bright and free from shadows. At the same time, LED lights are designed to eliminate glare. You won’t be blinding every driver you pass.
LED headlights have no bulbs, filaments or electrodes. This means they’re unlikely to break even when driving in rough conditions. LED headlights are ideal for any vehicle which frequently drives across rough, bumpy and rugged terrain. Many off-road and industrial vehicles use LED headlights because of this durability.
As discussed above, LED lights are typically purchased just once (barring any serious accident or damage). The average LED headlight is equivalent to 50 Halogen headlights or 20 HID lights.
Increased Driver Safety
Over 72,000 accidents are caused each year by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. In a weird twist, many traditional headlights are actually contributing to driver fatigue. Our body’s internal clock is regulated by the color temperature of the light around us. The color temperature of traditional headlights actually mimics those of a sunset, and our brains interpret this light as a signal to sleep.
LED lights have a color temperature similar to midday sunlight. This light helps the brain feel awake. If you frequently drive during the night, LED headlights can actually improve your reaction time and overall alertness.
Are LED Headlights Easy to Install?
Halogen headlights have done their job for quite a while, but many people are reaching a point where they’re ready to convert to LED lights. The problem is, a lot of people don’t realize how simple they are to install, so they skip the process and stick with their old headlights.
Luckily, even someone who has never swapped headlights before can do it in less than an hour. There are many reasons why you would want to upgrade your headlights.
Once you’ve decided on your product choice from some of the great options we’ve discussed previously, it’s time to think about installation.
Purchasing an LED headlight kit is what makes the process easy and straightforward for anyone. Even if you have zero car experience and you barely know where the headlights are, you can do this in less than an hour.
If you do feel nervous or concerned about installing them yourself, you could take the car to a professional and have them do it for you. Since you’re providing the LEDs yourself, they should give you a good deal on labor.
It’s also important to understand that you will void the warranty on some products if you try and install them yourself.
How to Convert My Headlights to LED Headlights?
So, you’ve decided to tackle the LED headlight conversion kit yourself. Good for you! Let’s go over some of the necessary steps you’ll follow when converting your halogen lamps into LED headlights. These steps will vary depending on your LED headlight conversion kit, your car, and other factors.
Step 1: Unbox Everything
You’ll want to unbox your LED headlight kit to make sure you have everything you need before you start pulling stuff apart. You should see two LED bulbs with ballasts and wiring to go with it.
Step 2: Take a Current Picture
Don’t leave anything up to chance. Take a picture of how your halogen lights look when they reflect off something like your garage or the side of your home. It will make it easier for you to compare the difference when you complete the installation.
Step 3: Locate the Bulbs
Next, shut the car off and ensure that it’s parked. Find your headlight bulbs behind the cavity and unplug them using the wiring connector on the bulb. They might have a plastic clip on them that you’ll have the wiggle and loosen.
Step 4: Remove the Old Bulbs
Look at that; you’re already ready to remove the old bulbs. Twist them counterclockwise and pull. If the bulbs are in good shape, consider keeping them because you never know when you may need them again.
Step 5: Install the LEDs
Follow the same process as before and install your LED bulbs. You’ll want to screw them in clockwise and do not touch the LED with your fingers because you may distort the light.
Step 6: Connect the Ballast
One end of the ballast goes into the new bulb, and the other runs to the wiring harness. Once you connect this part, you should have light. Check that the position of the light lines up with the halogens, so you aren’t blinding oncoming drivers.
Do LED Headlights Make It Easier to See Oncoming Traffic?
The best LED headlights improve visibility, but a significant factor to consider is the installation process. If you don’t install the lights correctly, you won’t only make it more difficult for you to see, but you’ll make it challenging for other drivers as well.
If the lights point too far up, they’ll blind oncoming traffic. When you blind drivers coming towards you, you’re setting yourself up for an accident. It’s essential to make sure you follow all the guidelines outlined in this article, but you also want to review all manuals that come with the light kit and check with your car’s manual as well.
Factors to Consider When Buying LED Headlights
Now that you’ve decided to upgrade your headlights to LEDs, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before making that purchase. Installing and setting up your LED headlights is easy, and more and more people are converting to them every day.
Determining the type of bulb you need for your car is a challenge. There are many brands with different types of lamps and factors to consider when choosing. Continue reading for some information that may help you choose the right bulb for your vehicle.
During the reviews, you heard us refer to Kelvin. White LED lights are measured using Kelvin, which doesn’t have as much to do with brightness as people think. Kelvin has more to do with the appearance of the light. The lower the Kelvin, the warmer the color will appear when it reflects off your eye.
There are three different classifications of LED lights, and each will impact the driving experience. Let’s take a look:
A warm LED light is between 2,700 and 3,500. You won’t often find this light color in your headlights, but some manufacturers use a film over the bulbs, which allows them to change colors. Warm colors are said to be better for your eyes, but they don’t have the brightness you need to illuminate the road when you’re driving.
Bright LED is between 3,500 and 5,000. These are somewhere in the middle, and you’ll find them on a wide assortment of headlight models because they provide excellent visibility without being so bright that you blind oncoming drivers. They’ll provide enough illumination so you can drive safely when it is dark outside.
Anything over 5,000 Kelvin is super bright or “cool” lighting. These lights provide the furthest and widest view, and they do such a great job of illuminating the surroundings that some people even say it looks like daytime when you’re driving with these headlights.
While they work great, they may harm your eyes due to the extreme brightness. You also have the possibility of blinding oncoming traffic, especially if you don’t correctly install them.
The next factor to consider is the lumens of the headlight. Lumens relates to the intensity of the light, which translates into the overall brightness of the surrounding area while you’re driving. Most headlights run between 6,000-8,000 lumens. While brighter might always seem better, we’re not sure if that’s 100% true.
6,000 Lumens – These use bright colored bulbs, and they provide adequate light for most drivers. While they might be on the lower side of the brightness spectrum, they can still provide light as far as 500 meters.
8,000 Lumens – If you have 8k lumens, you’ll have light for up to 700 meters in a straight line. They’re more powerful than any halogen light on the market, and you can use them with bright and super bright colors.
10,000 Lumens – These high-intensity light bulbs offer the most considerable distance with bright or super bright colors. They provide enough light to make it appear like daytime while you’re driving. The downside is that they might blind oncoming traffic, which doesn’t help provide more safety to you or anyone in your car.
Every LED bulb will come with a life expectancy. Since you’re spending a bit more money per bulb compared to halogens, you want them to last you a while. Most bulbs offer between 30,000 and 50,000 hours. Once you get up towards 50,000 hours is when the headlight bulbs become more rare and expensive.
You must choose LED bulbs with a cooling system in place because those are the ones that generally last longer.
Another critical buying factor when you choose a bulb is the length of the warranty provided. Almost all LED bulbs will provide at least a two-year warranty. If you can get anything longer than two years, you’re in good shape.
If you manage to find a set of LED bulbs that offer a lifetime warranty, we would always recommend making this purchasing decision. Even if you don’t like the lights, you could send them back and then get something else.
The lifetime warranty ensures you have nothing to worry about for as long as you’re driving the vehicle with those LED bulbs.
Many people simply stick with whatever type of headlights came with their car. But that can be a mistake. Brighter, safer and more cost-effective headlight options are available.
LED Headlights in 2020 light up the road and allow you to spot potential dangers even in dark, foggy conditions. Plus, unlike Xenon headlights, LED headlights have no glare and won’t blind other drivers. Although the initial cost can be higher than other types of headlights, LED headlights typically last for over 10,000 hours, making them an economical choice.
Don’t let poor visibility put you in danger on the road. Choose a pair of bright LED headlights to increase your safety when behind the wheel.