Different Types of Headlights for Cars

Heather Clouse
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What Are The Different Types of Headlights?

Depending on the type of vehicle, the headlights can vary from car to car. It is always a good idea to check your car manual to figure out which one will work best in your eyes. Here are some of the most common headlights to help you better identify which one is right for you.

Halogen headlight bulbs are the most common in use today. They are inexpensive and very easy to find. On the other hand, their lifespan is short, ranging from 700 to 1000 hours. Halogen lights are brighter, but they create a lot of heat which can lead to a burned out bulb faster.

Xenon headlights are more common on expensive sports cars such as the BMW Nissan 370Z. They are very bright and last a lot longer than halogen headlights.

However, they are more expensive and not very common in common use. Xenon headlights require only 0.5 watts of power to operate. They also create a lot of light for their size due to their gas.

LED headlights use less power than xenon and halogen headlights and are not as bright as halogen headlights. However, their advantages far outweigh them. For one, they are very efficient and do not have to produce any heat. This can prolong their lifespan to as far as 50,000 hours.

Halogen/Filament Headlights

The very first headlights for vehicles were halogen filament or incandescent headlights. They were basically car headlights that were adapted from motorcycle headlamps.

These headlights were tubular in shape and contained a tungsten filament that gave off dim orange light. These are usually used on older models of cars to provide diffused light.

Modern vehicles have gone through some improvements and filament headlights were replaced by halogen headlights. Unlike the tungsten filament, the tungsten halogen filament uses quartz, instead of glass to hold the filament.

The quartz glass is heat resistant and allows the filament to dissipate more heat. The bulb is also fitted with an internal quartz reflector to distribute the light evenly.

The result is a car headlight that gives off cool, white light and is better for your eyes.

HID/Xenon Bulbs

HID headlights are brighter than halogen and even LEDs. There is a reason why they are the top choice for aftermarket auto parts. HID headlights contain xenon gas which generates light.

Xenon gas is what you find in the tubes of a traditional fluorescent lamp, like those you find in a grocery store. The only difference between regular bulbs and xenon bulbs is the amount of gas used. Regular bulbs have less gas, and xenon bulbs have more.

These are not only brighter than halogen lights but also last longer. However, xenon gas bulbs are rare and expensive.

LED Headlight Bulbs

At present, LED headlights are the most popular choice for car headlights, accounting for more than 70 percent of the global automobile industry. Due to their long lifespan, LED headlights can last for up to 50,000 hours.

LED headlights are also getting more and more affordable in the market.

There are some myths regarding LED headlights, such as the color of the LED headlights’ light can be customized. This is simply not true. Different LED headlights have different color light bulbs, but the same color LED headlights have the same light color.

LED headlights are easy to install and they don’t give off more radiant heat, making them an attractive option.