Halogen vs. HID vs. LED Headlight Comparison
The light emitted from our vehicles is something often taken for granted, keeping us safe during the day and night, ensuring we get bright illumination for proper vision on each and every drive. Not all light is made the same, however, and the history of automotive has seen an evolution of new light technology over the years. You may have heard of halogen, HID and LED lights, but may not exactly know what they are, how they work, how they compare against each other and which one is best for your vehicle. Follow along with us here at Southside Dodge as we break down these lights in detail, outline their pros & cons and show which one is best!
What are Halogen, HID & LED Headlights?
Halogen lights are similar to incandescent bulbs that you may find in your home, their light is created by a combination of argon and nitrogen that heats up a tungsten filament to produce a bright glow. These lights are cheap, easily accessible, durable and practical, thus still found in the majority of vehicles today.
HID, or High-Intensity Discharge, and otherwise known as xenon, slowly crept up over halogen lights as an optimal choice. This light is created through a current passed between two electrodes with ionized gases, a similar process to halogen. HID lights create some of the brightest light available on your vehicle (perfect for nighttime driving) and are more efficient and longer-lasting than halogen lights.
LED, or Light Emitting Diode, lights don’t create light like halogen lights do with a filament, instead utilize a semi-conductor to produce its brightness. LED lights may be a bit pricier, but are incredibly durable over an almost unlimited lifespan, run efficiently and provide bright illumination, making them increasingly popular.
Pros & Cons of Halogen, HID & LED Headlights
- Low cost
- Easy to install & replace
- Can use in a wide variety of vehicle types & models
- Easy ability to adjust its dim
- Can produce a large amount of heat, given the light production process
- Increased energy consumption due to heat
- Not very eco-friendly
- Sensitive to oils, such as your fingerprints, which can cause uneven heat
- Brighter light than halogen
- Longer lifespan than halogen
- Better efficiency than halogen
- Uses less energy than halogen
- Comes at a higher price than halogen
- Geared toward more serious, consistent drivers
- Best used for those who drive in a lot of darkness
- Have been known to produce a lot of glare
- Powerful light
- Small size
- Unlike HID, does not produce mass glare
- High price
- Produces a lot of heat
- Needs cooling time
- Complex fit can make them harder to install
Which Headlight is Best for Your Vehicle?
As we’ve outlined above, there’s a fair amount of pros & cons for each of the halogen, HID and LED light types, so which one should you get for your vehicle? Halogen lights had been the norm for years, but as technology advanced HID lights gained in popularity and now LED lights are increasingly becoming an optimal choice. It all depends on what kind of driving you intend on doing, how often, and your reticence to price. Halogen lights are still the most popular choice on vehicles, due to their cheap price, versatility and ability to produce solid light, for those who do nominal, casual driving not often at night. HID lights provide a solid upgrade for those who use their vehicle more, especially at light, providing brighter light, better efficiency and longer life. LED, though, is making its modern case to be the standard, becoming more affordable even with its more expensive price, but can pay off if you drive your vehicle a lot at night, given their incredible lifespan that will hardly require them to be replaced. Lights on your vehicle are extremely important, but luckily for you there’s a variety of top tier choices to suit your needs.
At Southside Dodge, we’re here to solve all of your vehicle lighting needs, and answer any questions you may have. If you have specific questions about halogen, HID and LED lights and how they apply to your current or prospective Ram, Jeep, Dodge or Ram, we’re the source for knowledge in Red Deer! Contact our team, today, and let us help you brighten up your vehicle’s future.
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