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Updated Sep 6, 2022 12:34 PM

Your headlights growing dim isn’t often something you notice while parked safely in your driveway. Instead, it happens at the worst moment when you’re headed down a pitch-black road, squinting and struggling to see if there’s a suicidal deer ahead. Fortunately, amping up the brightness of your factory headlights or upgrading old, burned-out bulbs is super simple. LED headlights allow you to significantly increase brightness and, by default, your own visibility on the road. And it’s a change you can do in your own garage, and it’s pretty budget-friendly too. 

Before you swap out your old incandescents for long-lasting LEDs, though, it’s absolutely critical that you understand the laws around LED headlights. LEDs are only legal on vehicles that came from the factory with LEDs or if you upgrade the entire headlight housing too. If you upgrade the bulbs only, your modifications will be illegal in most states, and they won’t work properly either, making your upgrade pointless. Make sure you perform a proper LED headlight housing update if you’re going to be using any LED light bulbs. 

We’ve picked out some of the best LED headlights you can turn to below.

Our Methodology

LED headlights come in many forms, shapes, and sizes, so in order to highlight the best products in terms of quality, brightness, and longevity, we specifically took a look at LED bulbs. These standalone accessories can fit into a number of different vehicles’ LED headlight housings and come in various sizes for different needs. To pinpoint which bulbs were the best of the bunch, we considered and compared them based on their lumen output, their installation requirements, the color temperature of the light, and their expected lifespan. We also took users’ real-life experiences using the bulbs into account to get a sense of how each product performed in various vehicles, weather conditions or temperatures, and when used on different brightness levels.

Best LED Headlights Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall

When it comes to LED headlight bulbs that perform consistently and without worry, delivering great brightness and easy installation, Sealight LED Bulbs are a hard-to-top choice. Each set of LED light bulbs delivers 14,000 lumens, giving you approximately five times the brightness of your typical halogen alternative. Designed with reflective interior surfaces, these bulbs can increase your headlights’ light range, giving you a clearer, longer, and brighter beam even in serious darkness. An external driver chip helps dissipate the heat produced by the bulbs, separating the power supply from the bulb itself to keep cool. And these LED headlights are designed for plug and play installation; you can get them in place in just 10 minutes.

The only potential drawback is the fit can be a bit tight on some vehicles’ headlights. You may find it difficult to push the bulbs into place securely, but they are designed to handle a tough push if needed.

Specs
  • Lumens: 14,000 per pair
  • Color: 6,000K Cool White
  • Installation: Plug and play
PROS

No warm up time, lights illuminate instantly

Deliver wider, longer beams

Offers a nearly universal fit for all vehicles

Bulbs can last up to five years

CONS

Bulbs can be tough to install in some vehicles due to a tight fit

These bulbs offer great value, as they deliver up to 5,000 lumens of bright white 6,000K light. You don’t have to spend a lot to get some of the best LED headlights; if you opt for Lasfit LED Headlight Bulbs, you’ll get quality and affordability. These bulbs offer great value, as they deliver up to 5,000 lumens of bright white 6,000K light once installed. They can be used for high, low, and fog light beams, and they’re ready for all kinds of weather. These LED bulbs carry an IP67 water-resistance rating and are sealed against dust and dirt, too. Though they’re pretty compact at first glance, these little headlight bulbs can be as much as 200 percent brighter than your current halogen bulbs, all with lower power consumption. And you can easily adjust the beam in 360 degrees as needed for the right light pattern.

Installation is designed to be as easy as plugging the new LED bulbs into the same spots your old halogen bulbs sat. However, make sure you also upgrade your headlight housing; simply swapping the LED bulbs in can make your lighting illegal.

Specs
  • Lumens: 2,500 per bulb
  • Color: 6,000K bright white
  • Installation: Plug and play
PROS

Delivers up to 5,000 lumens total

Fit any H11 bulb placement

IP67 water-resistant and sealed against dust

Delivers more power without using a lot of energy

CONS

Product claims you can plug and play into any housing, but LED housing is necessary

Honorable Mention

When you’re in need of headlight beams that cover more area, you’ll want to consider Fahren LED Headlight Bulbs. These impressive bulbs are all about brightness, and they deliver—you’ll get 20,000 lumens out of each pair. You can see as much as 600 percent more brightness, the bulb’s makers claim, compared to your standard halogens. In addition to increasing your visibility with brightness, these LED headlight bulbs can also increase your beams, making them wider and longer so you can see more area in the darkness of night. And that’s without adding glare. With an ultra-thin design and slimmer LED chips, these bulbs are more focused so your light beams can also be more focused. Plus, they can last up to 50,000 hours, giving you plenty of long-term value.

However, these bulbs can be less reliable in cold climates. Some users report that in cold weather, the lights can go out or begin to flicker. And as the weather changes, for example chilly mornings to warm afternoons, your lights can also experience flickering or a lack of reliability.

Specs
  • Lumens: 20,000 per pair
  • Color: 6,000K cool white
  • Installation: Plug and play
PROS

Deliver up to 600 percent more light than halogen bulbs

Ultra-thin with extra-slim LED chips

Fit H11, H9, and H8 fittings

Create a super-focused beam with wider angles and longer length

CONS

Can become unreliable in cold weather

Lights can flicker when the weather changes

With an expected lifespan of 50,000 hours and 65 percent less energy used, these bulbs offer all-around benefits for single beam headlights. The Nilight LED Headlight Bulb Kit includes everything you need to amp up your headlights if you’re driving a vehicle that uses a single beam setup. Featuring two bulbs each for your high beams and your low beams, this kit also comes with a handy instruction manual (helpful for first-time installers) and a pair of gloves for a bit of added protection. Each bulb can deliver up to 350 percent more brightness, extending and increasing the light from your headlights effortlessly. You’ll get a nicely focused beam pattern with no movement or dark spots, and the beams will be wider and longer too. With an expected lifespan of 50,000 hours and 65 percent less energy used, these bulbs offer all-around benefits for single beam headlights.

However, because this kit is designed for single beam headlights, they don’t have a universal fit. Instead, they’re more vehicle-specific and may only work with certain makes, models, and headlight housings.

Specs
  • Lumens: 20,000 per pair
  • Color: 6,000K Xenon white
  • Installation: Plug and play
PROS

Delivers up to 20,000 lumens for your headlights

Comprehensive kit includes four bulbs, clear instructions, and gloves

Specific bulbs for high beams and low beams

Bulbs last up to 50,000 hours

CONS

Can only be used in single beam headlight setups

Features a more vehicle-specific fit

Best Lower-Brightness

Maxing out at 12,000 lumens per pair, you’ll get about 300 percent more illumination, plus wider and longer beams, without blinding others. Auxito LED Headlight Bulbs are a great option if you want to up the brightness and clarity of your headlight beams a bit, but you don’t want to overwhelm other drivers (or yourself) with excess brightness. Maxing out at 12,000 lumens per pair, you’ll get about 300 percent more illumination, plus wider and longer beams, without blinding others. Suitable for use in H11, H9, and H8 bulb fittings, these LEDs can enhance visibility and provide a consistent, reliable beam. Made out of aviation-quality aluminum, they’re lightweight and don’t use a whole lot of energy. Plus, they’re IP65 water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about the weather interfering.

While these LED headlight bulbs are designed for dual beam setups, their lower lumen output makes them really best for fog and low beam usage, according to some users. Additionally, in some vehicles, they may not be a perfect fit and may need the addition of an extra wiring harness to prevent flickering and loose fitment.

Specs
  • Lumens: 12,000 per pair
  • Color: 6,500K cool white
  • Installation: Plug and play
PROS

Increases brightness by as much as 300 percent

Crisper, whiter light temperature

IP65 water-resistant for all-weather reliability

Last for more than 30,000 hours

CONS

Some cars may require additional wiring harnesses to prevent flickering

Because of the lower lumens, may be best for fog lights alone

Our Verdict on LED Headlights

When it comes to the best LED headlights, Sealight LED Bulbs offer a great all-around performance in their brightness, their longevity, and their ease of installation. However, if you’re hoping for a combination of quality and affordability, Lasfit LED Headlight Bulbs offer great value for their solid performance.

What to Consider When Buying LED Headlights

When you’re shopping for LED headlights, there are key details, specs, and features you’ll want to keep in mind. Here’s our guide to picking out the perfect set so you get better visibility and lasting quality at any price point.

Types of LED Headlights

Single Beam

Single beam LED headlights are exactly what they sound like: Headlights that use one beam (or bulb) per light. While your typical vehicle headlight assemblies all have beams for high, low, and fog lights, a single beam setup uses one bulb per function, requiring multiple bulbs inside the headlight component. That means you’ll need one bulb for each of these light beams (or two, if your low and fog light settings are bundled together). Popular H11 bulbs, for example, are single beam products.

Dual Beam

If you’re working with a dual beam setup in your headlight assembly, then you’re going to be able to opt for just one LED bulb. Dual beam LED headlights are those that use a single bulb with a built-in high and low capability. These bulbs can effortlessly switch as you change your headlight settings, and they include common sizes like H4, H13, 9004, and 9007. 

LED Headlights Pricing 

When you’re buying LED headlight bulbs, you can expect to spend between $35 and $75 in total. Most sets include two bulbs, but you can find sets of four if needed (at a higher price). Single bulbs, along with smaller mini bulbs, can be cheaper and cost around $10 to $20 per bulb. The housing is an added cost, as you’ll have to purchase or upgrade your housing separately.

The Questionnaire 

Car Bibles answers all your burning questions.

Q: Are LED headlights illegal?

A: While LED headlights themselves aren’t illegal, there are specific regulations that make using LED bulbs illegal. If you want to upgrade from standard bulbs to LEDs, you’ll need to change out your headlights’ housing too. It’s illegal to merely change out your existing bulbs to LED bulbs. However, if you upgrade to LED headlights and housing, you’ll be in the clear. 

Q: Can LED headlights cause problems?

A: You can encounter issues when you make the switch to LED headlights; one of the most common is inconsistent light output. But problems usually only occur in the wiring and power conversion process. If you’re seeing flickering, failure to turn on, or light dimming, you’ll want to double-check your wiring and make sure you’re set up with headlights that are a proper power fit for your vehicle.

Q: How many lumens are legal in LED headlights?

A: Restrictions on the number of lumens you can have in a set of LED headlights varies from region to region and state to state. Check your local laws to find out what’s considered street legal in your home state.

Sources:

  1. Headlamp – Wikipedia

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