Best LED Headlights for Your Car: Seeing Things
Top 8 Best LED Headlight Bulbs
There few frustrations more vexing to a gearhead than one’s car being equipped with a set of headlights which cast approximately as much light as two fireflies in a jam jar. Replacing them with an aftermarket set of LED bulbs is a bright idea. LEDs cast a very bright and defined beam of light compared to halogen units, allowing drivers to see farther ahead and spot Bambi before he jumps out onto the macadam.
LEDs also don’t produce much heat. One less source of heat in an increasingly crowded engine bay is a Very Good Thing. Additionally, a big advantage of LED bulbs is their energy efficiency, drawing roughly a third of the power compared to traditional halogens. The auto industry has steadily improved the situation by introducing factory LEDs to the front of many cars, but there are plenty of older machines out there deploying old-school tech.
Keep in mind that different jurisdictions have different rules about headlight bulb replacement, especially when those replacements can illuminate the dark side of the moon. A sloppy installation can lead to annoyed (and blinded) oncoming traffic or an impromptu roadside conversation with the constabulary. Check yer local laws.
Table of contents
1. SeaLight LED Bulbs Combo Package
This product promises a '10 minute' installation, but anyone who's ever worked on a car knows a ten-minute job is just one busted bolt away from being a 3-day ordeal. But that bit of ad copy fluff is about the only complaint we have about this product since it is available in a variety of socket styles to ensure a proper fit - just make sure to order the right one for your car at the checkout.
While only drawing 12 watts of power, the seller insists it throws 14,000 lumens worth of light down the road. It is said these are designed so as not to blind or dazzle oncoming traffic, though the ultimate success of that metric is down to proper installation. The light it emits is rated at 6000K - a unit of measure you'll understand after reading this article. Essentially, it refers to the level of 'yellow' in the illumination cast.
- Very high ratings from 15,000+ real-world customers
- More expensive than some
- An example of getting what you pay for
Promoted Product: XenonPro LED Headlights
One of the brightest (pun firmly intended) entries in the automotive lighting aftermarket are the LED headlights kits from XenonPro. Among the best LED options on the market, these XenonPro kits are offered in an array of sizes and colors, produce up to 9,000 lumens of lights, and come backed by a lifetime warranty.
Looking for easy installation? These bulbs are the very definition of plug-and-play. This means a direct fitment with the same plugs and locking tabs as OEM specs, resulting in a quick-and-easy install in under 30 minutes. The bulbs come with an integrated driver and turbo micro-fan built in, which helps with underhood thermal management and durability.
They’re also available in four colors -- 3000K (yellow), 6000K (bright white), 8000K (blue), and 12000L (purple) -- though be sure to check your local laws before installing a colorful light such as blue or purple. Meanwhile, the advanced anti-glare technology prevents you from blinding other drivers—no small consideration if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a set of less-thoughtful LED bulbs. You can also expect XenonPro’s headlights to last, as they’ve been rated for 45,000 hours of use.
*This is a sponsored placement.
- Dead-simple install, up to 300% brighter than standard halogen, comes with a lifetime warranty, premium quality
- Premium quality means a premium price point
- One of the best options on the market
2. Highly Rated: LasFit LED Headlight Bulbs
Earning four-and-a-half stars from an aggregate of nearly 500 reviews is no mean feat – just ask the producers on any B-grade Hollywood movie. These LED headlights are available with a wide variety of connectors to fit most North American applications. Plug-n-play isn’t just for gaming consoles, y’know.
The company claims their headlight bulb creates a smooth light beam which illuminates in breadth and length with a sharp horizontal cutoff to avoid the ‘scatter’ that can blind other drivers. Reviewers seem to agree. They’re also one of the few sellers to note that the units will provide wonky DRL service if the car’s daytimes are shared with the stock low-beam bulbs. Your author can attest to this problem, so this warning to n00bs is welcomed. They also note some errors in Amazon’s fitment guide, another helpful item that many other sellers skip.
- Well-designed cutoff minimizes beam scatter, leagues of positive reviews
- Fitment guides must be examined like tax forms
- Popular plug-n-play option
3. GTP 9006 HB4 LED Headlight Bulbs
With a 360-degree beam pattern, this brand squarely inhabits the "never heard of 'em" end of the retail spectrum. The 250+ listed reviews are all over the map, bouncing back and forth between one- and five-star ratings like a pendulum on a grandfather clock.
Recent comments seem to focus on damage during shipping but there are also scads of reports about units failing in short order after installation. This product may be a very good example of getting what one pays for - but if a dirt-cheap set of LED is what you're after, these check that box.
- Bottom-feeder price
- Negative comments are starting to outweigh the good
- Shop carefully
4. Cougar Motor H13 LED Headlight Bulbs
Despite having a packaging that bears imagery straight out of computer parts from the 1990s, these lights stand alongside their modern competitors. Advertised as the industry standard of 6000K, these bulbs cast a cool white glow rather than the off-blue shade that some oncoming drivers find annoying, prompting them to hit the brights in retaliation (pro tip: don’t give in to the ‘payback’ temptation as you’ll both be blinded).
In terms of cooling, an aluminum component replaces a physical fan. Actual lumens are in the 7000lms range for the set and have a working operating temperature well within the confines of Planet Earth, save for Chicago when it's hit with the polar vortex. Reviewers report that these bulbs aren’t picky when it comes to polarity, meaning they can be plugged in and installed without difficulty. A few reports exist of the things winking out prematurely, however.
- Smaller base thanks to lack of fan, no polarity
- Hang on to that receipt
- Affordable with largely positive reviews
5. NightEye Novsight LED Auto Lighting
Yeah, your author is a sucker for bright colors and a unique design. For better or worse, I’ll frequently choose the flashy option that stands out like an errant nail waiting to be hammered into place. The units are painted bright red despite the fact they’ll reside in a part of your car that will rarely be viewed by human eyes. It matters not; the color’s awesome.
A cold-pressed aluminum heat sink (in red!) stays 40% cooler than standard, although what standard they’re talking about is unclear. It does rate its cooling fan at a heady 12,000 rpm, several thousand north of most other lights. Their lifespan claim of 100,000 hours seems excessive. As with all the other units in this group, they’re easy to install using stock wiring harnesses. They are polarity dependent, so test the suckers before wrangling them into the headlight housings.
These lights have garnered good reviews from customers who have shelled out their hard-earned cash. The company does note that some common brands, such as those from FCA and a few German makes, may require a load resistor decoder to avoid flickering.
- Anodized-style red finish looks baller, cool runnings
- Polarity dependent, unrealistic lifespan estimate
- Get these if you love the color red
6. Beamtech LED Headlight Bulbs
The so-called "aircraft-grade" aluminum shows up again, along with a high thermal conductivity Nano layer and 0.8mm double-sided laminated copper substrate to keep the light bulb at an appropriate working temperature. Estimated operating life is less than others at 30,000 hours. These bulbs are available in all the popular headlight connector sizes.
Note that some reviewers mention that it is indeed possible to plug these suckers in backward, so if they fail to illuminate after installation, be sure to check that connection before raging out on social media. Also, an alignment tool is apparently included for good reason - some vehicles will require tweaking of the "blade" on which the LEDs sit in order for them to cast the proper light. This is rare in replacement bulbs but seems to produce a much better result.
- Well-packaged and thought-out, plugs into many types of cars
- Not totally plug 'n play
- A bit of work might be worth the hassle
7. Hikari Thunder LED Headlight Bulbs
This sub-brand of the Hikari line was introduced to capture a portion of the low-price LED headlight market. Claiming to have superior brightness and beam pattern thanks to its experience developing high-buck solutions, the Hikari Thunder bulbs are priced in line with other entry-level LED headlight kits.
Hikari says they were the first to adopt copper as a material for heat dissipation, a metal now widely used in the LED industry for this purpose. According to their own tests in which the company removed the fan and let the thing run for two weeks in a high-temperature environment, these bulbs have great resistance to overheating.
Compared to the Hikari Ultra Series which toss out 12000 lumens per pair at twice the price, these cheaper units are capable of producing 9600 lumens of white light to toss down the road. Hikari is upfront about a few issues with which their customers might face, primarily the propensity of some popular brands to place bulbs in headlight housings at odd angles. To compensate, Hikari adopts adjustable buckles to enable some of these machines to obtain the optimal light-beam pattern.
- Tested to success in very high temperatures, reasonably priced
- Not as bright as its slightly more expensive brother
- Good budget option
Which is the best LED headlight?
Some LED headlights that have received a decent number of positive reviews on Amazon are:
AUXITO H11 LED ( Buy here!)
Available in a set of 2, these LED bulbs have 12,000 Lm and offer 6,500 K cool white color temperature.
SEALIGHT 9006 LED ( Buy here!)
This pack of 2 LED headlights offers 14,000 Lm and 6,000 K xenon white color temperature. In all, these bulbs are around 400 percent brighter than other standard LEDs.
Cougar Motor X-Small ( Buy here!)
These come in a pack of 2 and offer 6,500 K cool white color temperature.
If the above products are not compatible with your car, you can pick your preferred brand and choose the LED headlights that can fit in your vehicle. Simply put, the above links and merely for reference purposes.
What is the brightest LED headlight bulb that is legal?
Depending on your region of residence, the road laws may vary. For instance, if you are in the UK, no brightness level is specified in particular by the Government. However, if you are looking for aftermarket LED headlights, make sure that they have an ‘E’ mark on them which makes them legal to be used in vehicles.
As for the USA, the legally acceptable brightness of the LED headlights must fall somewhere between 500 candelas and 3000 candelas.
It is noteworthy that having an extremely bright LED will change its color from White to Blue which is illegal to use in many regions of the world.
What are the brightest LED headlights for cars?
Multiple factors are involved when it comes to deciding on the brightest LED headlights for a vehicle. These points include:
Size and Socket Type
Light Intensity, etc.
However, the figures that you must pay utmost attention to while buying LED headlights are:
Color Temperature – Measured in Kelvin (K), depending on the temperature, the color appears in three shades namely:
Cold (5,000 K to 6,000 K)
Neutral (3,000 K to 4,000 K)
Warm (2,000 K to 3,000 K)
Light Intensity – Measured in luminance (Lm), although the figures the vendors claim are somewhere between 9,000 Lm and 10,000 Lm, the actual brightness in most cases stays between 4,500 Lm and 8,000 Lm.
With the numbers discussed above, you can easily guess the maximum brightness the LED headlights have.
Are LED lights good for headlights?
As long as they have legally acceptable luminance, yes, they are good. Some noteworthy advantages of installing LED headlights are:
Brightness – LEDs are brighter when compared to standard headlights and therefore offer clear road visibility
Durability – LED headlights are more durable and can last for up to 30,000 to 50,000 hours. On the other hand, the standard halogens and HIDs have a life of around 1,000 and 2,000 hours or so respectively
Color Temperature – The LED headlights offer up to 5,000 K (Kelvin) color temperature. This figure is way higher than what halogen lights offer
Convenience – It’s easy to install LED headlights and the installation process can be done within 30 minutes to 60 minutes
Power Consumption Efficiency – The LED headlights consume less power as compared to standard halogen lights
What brand has the brightest headlights?
Headlights are available in three forms namely HID, Halogen, and LED. Although most vendors produce all three types of lights, the brightness level that they offer may vary depending on the material used by the manufacturer. Therefore, for your convenience, listed below are the brightest headlights from each category:
Philips Xenon (35 Watts, 4200 K) ( Buy here!)
Philips RacingVision (+150 Percent Output) ( Buy here!)
NINEO LED (12,000 Lm, 6500 K) ( Buy here!)
Although you may have your personal preference when it comes to choosing headlights for your car, it is suggested to use LEDs as they offer brighter luminance, increased durability, and ease of installation.
From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.
(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘
90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)
[Product images provided by the manufacturer.]
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
- JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
- JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
- Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.
- Dartdude Lorenzo, the reason for low manual transmission here is that most dealers won't stock them. I wanted a 2012 Kia Koup with manual tranny it was available, but no dealers ordered any from the factory hence there was none available. Go on any car manufacture's web site and price and build and build your model and you would be lucky if the model existed and was available.