What Headlight Bulb Do I Need?

Heather Clouse
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What Headlight Bulb Do I Need?

Your car is equipped with a stock halogen bulb. This bulb is great for providing you with the light you need to drive safely at night. However, if you’re the type of person who enjoys driving at night, you’ll need more light.

You may have seen commercials on TV or online that claim you can drive safely on the superhighway or in city traffic at night with no problem.

So it’s no coincidence that companies like HID Xenon and Sylvania have created lights that can do just that. These companies have created kits that are designed to put out a super bright beam of light.

When you turn on your brights, you’re able to illuminate what’s in front of you in an instant, ensuring that you won’t have any trouble seeing.

By Checking Your Car Manual

As a rule of thumb, the higher the beam of light, the more light the headlights will produce. The higher rating on a light bulb, the brighter the light it will produce.

But this isn’t always the case.

For example, a halogen light bulb with a 40-watt rating will produce less light than a 60-watt bulb with a higher rating. The reason for this is that halogen produces less light than other light bulbs. Halogen light bulbs also give off a different type of light that’s not as harsh.

Hence, you’ll notice that the 40-watt halogen light bulb doesn’t produce the same amount of light as the 60-watt non-halogen light bulb.

It’s also worth noting that the less the wattage, the longer the expected life of the light bulb.

In most cases, a low wattage light bulb will last about 10,000 hours of operation, while a higher watt light bulb will only have a lifespan of 5,000 to 6,000 hours of operation.

Bear this in mind when you’re replacing other light bulbs in your car. But remember, all of this isn’t the last word when it comes to choosing a light bulb.

Finding the Number on the Old Bulbs

Before you begin, it’s important to know a number. No, we’re not talking about your friends’ phone number (yet). It’s the wattage of your current bulb.

All that is required is a trip to the local hardware store, which will only set you back a few bucks. If you’re not able to find the wattage number on the bulb itself, you’ll have to find it elsewhere. Some manufacturers will post it on the back or side of the packaging that the headlight came in.

If all else fails, you can dig deeper into the box and find the bulb label. Bulbs are not standardized and can vary by manufacturer, so you’ll need to look for the label.

The label may look something like the one pictured below. The part we want to pay attention to is labeled “BULB TYPE”. There are two “BULB TYPE” models listed on the bulb. The first, is model H6054. The second, is H6054W.

Using an Online Headlight Bulb Number Database

Try using a simple number of your car’s headlight bulb.

If you type in “headlight bulb” and your vehicle’s year, make and model, you’ll be given a number to the specific headlight bulb you need.

For example, this is a true headlight number for a 2008 Cadillac CTS: H4, 9006, HB2.

Which is to say:

The headlight you need is a 9006 bulb, type H4, and the bulb is part number HB2.

You could also try doing the following:

Go to an auto parts store and ask an employee to give you the bulb number or check the number in the back of the store.

You could also consider doing your own research by searching for the headlight assembly itself.

When searching, keep in mind your car make, year, model, and bulb type. For example, if you search for an H1, you will end up with search results that include H1, H3, and H4.

Unless you’re sure, it’s a good idea to look for the assembly itself, in this case the 9006 assembly which is the proper bulb type.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Headlight Bulb Do I Need?

Headlight bulbs either come in Halogen bulbs, Xenon bulbs, or LED.

Here’s a little more information about each.

Can You Put LED Bulbs in Halogen Headlights?

If you want to know whether you can put LED bulbs in a halogen headlight, it might be best to ask how well could you keep the halogen headlight protected. Would the new bulb fit correctly? Could you find a dependable bulb in the event that an existing one lead to the detonation of your car’s headlight?

Now’s the time to begin thinking about getting new LED headlight bulbs. You have already learned that halogen ones are not going to work because their power will be too great for the new lights.

LED lights are powered by electricity. That said, you are going to need something to provide the energy for these bulbs to shine and that is most likely fuel. Therefore, you should know that LED headlights can’t be used in place of halogen ones without a converter.

By using digital converter boxes, you can connect the lights to your car.

While digital converter boxes are very common, they are often limited in their ability to convert power levels. Over time, these boxes get worn and will not provide a regular flow of power for the headlights.

What are the best headlight bulbs?

Some of the best headlight bulbs for motorcycles in the market are the ones that illuminate your path as well as surrounding objects with a high-power beam.

It’s very important to drive safe on the road, especially on low-light conditions. If you want to be able to see and be seen, you must have a good headlight and so must your motorcycle. Good lighting attracts the attention of other road users.

If you’re not paying attention to things around you, there’s a greater chance of accidents. And it should go without saying that, you should drive in a lane or as close to the lane as possible.

Various brands offer different headlight bulbs that you can choose from and they may fit your motorcycle.

BikeMaster 35 watt H4 Headlight Bulb is one of the headlight bulbs that you might want to check out. It’s brighter than the industry standard and it lasts up to 1000 hours.

Another headlight bulb brand is IconLed 40 watt H4 Headlight Bulb. It’s more powerful than other bulbs and comes with a 3-year warranty to give you peace of mind.

How To Change Headlight Bulb!

Once you’re sure that the headlight bulb is the problem, you go about replacing the bulb. This is something that novice mechanics can do if they have the proper equipment.

There is no need to take your car to the mechanic if you’re stuck in the dark. Just get the correct equipment for this job first. The first thing you’ll need is a headlight bulb removal tool.

The tool is a telescopic handle with an L-shaped end. This end has a small hook that is used to remove the bracket that holds the socket at the top of the housing.

Once the socket is free, slip the new bulb into the socket and replace the socket.

If you’re going to replace the headlight, you may need to remove the headlight assembly for a more efficient and less disruptive replacement.

You’ll need a special tool for that, but if you don’t have one, you can instead use a screwdriver in place of the tool.

Different Fittings

Different vehicle headlights require different fittings. You will need to select the right fitting from the following examples:

  1. H4 – For right hand traffic (RHT) vehicles using H4 bulbs, such as the Ford Focus.
  2. H4 – For RHT vehicles using H4S bulbs that fit into the existing H4 fitting, such as the Renault Clio.
  3. H4 – For vehicles using H7 bulbs fitted to the H4 fitting, as in the picture below:
  4. H7 – For vehicles using H7 bulbs fitted to the H4 fitting, as in the picture below:
  5. H11 – For vehicles using H11 bulbs fitted to the H7 fitting, such as in the picture below.