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What are car headlight bulbs?

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

We describe the many types of automotive headlight bulbs presently available, from LEDs to xenon lights, and their benefits to assist you in making your decision. To aid you in making your selection, we detail the many types of vehicle headlight bulbs now available, ranging from LEDs to xenon lights, as well as their benefits.


Taillights composed of several light-emitting diodes have been around for a while. LED daytime running lights are becoming more common, and LED headlights are already available on certain higher-end vehicles.

LEDs are essentially semiconductors with no moving components that should, in principle, last the life of the automobile. They not only look great, but they also offer some obvious advantages. They utilize less electricity than halogen lamps, lowering the car's energy usage and thereby CO2 emissions, as well as causing unnecessary strain on the battery. The strong light they emit is also considerably closer to daylight, resulting in less glare and a lower risk of dazzling drivers in approaching traffic.

However, they are still pricey, and because they don't generate much heat, their lenses can often frost over in the winter, limiting light output.

HID or xenon bulbs

To create light, high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs, often known as 'xenons,' use an arc of high-voltage electricity rather than a metal filament. They are currently very prevalent on family and mainstream vehicles, either as a factory option or as an aftermarket modification. While xenon conversion kits are inexpensive, only full units with self-leveling and cleaning systems are road-legal in the UK and will pass an MoT. Xenon bulbs, on the other hand, have a longer lifespan than halogen lights, lasting up to ten years before needing replacement.

Halogen bulbs

Halogen light bulbs, the 'conventional' - and low-cost - illumination alternative, are still frequently used. However, there are several methods to improve them. The alternatives are as follows:

  • bulbs that advertise themselves as being "brighter" and promise to provide 30% to 100% more light.

  • energy-saving lightbulbs are made to use less energy and last longer.

  • xenon-effect or "blue" bulbs, which provide a light that is mostly used for aesthetic purposes.

At Automotive Globe Specialist we sell a variety of car headlights. Please visit our shop page to buy one for your car.

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