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HID Vs. LED Lights

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Your headlamps determine how well you see the road at night and, ultimately, how safely you stay and arrive at your destination. You might not think about them till they blow and need replacing, but these headlamps are critical to your vision. If you are thinking of replacing or upgrading your halogen lamps, you need to make a comparison of HID Vs. LED lights.

Most modern vehicles come with advanced lighting and have moved past the traditional halogen lamps invented in 1955 to more advanced lighting. This advanced lighting has added benefits like a longer lifespan, increased brightness, and eco-friendliness. 

You do not have to wait for your headlamps to go out before you replace them. You can upgrade your lamps for better visibility and longer-lasting headlamps. In this article, you will learn the difference between the two headlamps against halogen lamps, which lamp stands out in brightness, and how to choose the best lamp for your needs.

HID vs. LED Headlights Pros and Cons

HID headlights are also called xenon headlights because of the gas used to surround the filament. HID stands for high-intensity discharge. If you want to replace your halogen lamps with HID lamps, you should consider their advantages and disadvantages over LED lamps. 

HID Headlamps Pros

HID Headlamps

HID headlamps offer a lot more brightness than standard halogen headlamps. Their brightness measures up to 3000 lumens

These lamps offer the next most affordable option from halogen lamps. Though the cost can vary between brands, HID offers a cheaper option than LED lamps. 

With increased brightness comes an increase in visibility over sa longer distance. These lamps cover a distance of up to 300 meters (984 feet). These lights help those drivers who struggle with night blindness or drive in foggy conditions. 

HID lamps also have a lower running cost as they do not consume much power. They use the principle of charging xenon gas using a heated filament or electrodes. 

You can also get HID lamps in several colors as they have developed their styling further than the previous years of development. Before, you only had the option of one color. 

HID Headlamps Cons

HID lamps have the potential to give oncoming drivers a glare because of their intense brightness. You can cure this problem by having a professional install these lights, so they don’t hit the oncoming drivers squarely in their faces.  

These lamps also have a slow startup of up to 30 seconds as they charge the xenon gas with heat. They will take this time to get to their peak brightness. 

Xenon lamps also have a limited color choice as their manufacturing process does not allow for diversity in color.


LED headlights work differently in that they use electricity to charge electrons in the bulb that then move and produce light. LED is an acronym for “light-emitting diode” that also explains how the headlight works. 

LED Headlights Pros

LED Headlights

LED lights can produce a variety of colors by changing the semiconductor’s material properties. This property gives users an array of colors for their different lifestyle needs.

LED headlamps have a gentle light and do not give oncoming traffic any glare. This property makes them a safe alternative to halogen lights.

These headlights also consume the least energy compared to the other two lamp types. The energy they consume is constant from when you turn them on since they do not require a surge of power to heat up any gases.

The LED lights also have an instant start up and do not need to warm up to total power output. They give you full brightness when you turn the lights on, allowing complete visibility. 

You can also reduce the beam brightness by reducing the amount of current to the headlight, giving you precise control over your lights. 

When it comes to handling, LED lights produce much less heat in comparison to halogen lamps. On the off chance that the particular brand can produce a lot of heat, they get manufactured with heat sinks to dissipate the heat.

In terms of longevity, these lights have the most extended lifespan, with an average of 20,000 light hours. 

These headlights also come in different shapes and sizes as they can be fashioned differently to produce shapes that fit different designs.

LED Headlights Cons

Some LED light designs can heat up, so they require heat sinks that may come at an extra cost. 

LED lights also have a high initial cost, though they may be the cheaper option in how long they last. It takes a long time to replace any LED lights you have installed.

HID vs. LED Brightness

Many manufacturers have their lamps rated at very high brightness specifications. While some may have the right brightness indicators, others may have exaggerated specifications. The best way to know the difference in brightness between HID and LED is to do a brightness test.

HID bulbs have long had the brightest light on the market. But LED lights have constantly been evolving, making them better. Tests between the two bulb types can best work when various bulbs are tested in the same conditions. All these bulbs should have the same color temperature to have an even playing field.  

Tests reveal that housing affects the brightness of these bulbs. Projector housing seems to favor LED lights, while reflector housing seems to favor HID bulb types. The HID bulb has the highest lumen in this experiment, with about 2000 lumens. The LED light comes in close at about 1800 lumens, meaning they do not have a big difference.

HID vs. LED vs. Halogen


A comparison between HID, LED, and Halogen lamps show the first two lamps standing out over the traditional halogen lamp in every aspect. They both last longer, though LED lamps have the longest life span, approximately 20,000 to 40,000 light hours. Halogen headlights can last around 1,000 light hours, while HID lamps can last up to 15,000 light hours.

How Should You Pick HID vs. LED Headlight? 

Your headlight determines how well-lit the road ahead is. It would be best to choose a headlight that will suit your car from different perspectives. As you have read, LED lights use less power than HID lights, especially on startup. That aspect allows you to preserve the power in your car.

HID lamps also have a slow startup. If you choose to install HID lights, you should have a backup light that lights your way in the 30 seconds it takes the HID lights to shine your way entirely. You can comfortably use HID lamps if you can afford to wait while the beam powers up. 

You should also consider the cost between the two lamps as LED lamps tend to be more expensive but last longer than HID lamps. 

Final Verdict

Final Verdict

Choosing the right headlight for your car gives you a smoother ride with excellent visibility. Though LED lamps give you more options, HID bulbs give you the most brightness overall. Choose your preferred bulb based on your needs.

Have you replaced your car bulb with any of these two bulbs? How is it serving you? Kindly let us know how well it is serving you.

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