Best LED Headlight Bulbs Reviews and Buying Guide 2019

The demand for LED headlights has been growing steadily over the past few years and has become one of the more popular choices for newer cars. Despite this, many people may not be convinced that they should choose these over other types.

There are a variety of benefits for why drivers should opt for LED lights, with some of the more notable being:

  • Easy to install;
  • Brighter than halogen lights;
  • Don’t cause as much glare as other headlights, and;
  • More cost-effective to run than halogen headlights.

Alongside this, there can be a variety of environmental benefits, which has made them a popular choice for sustainably-minded people. The increasing popularity of these lights has meant that supply has grown to keep up demand, which has results in more and more manufacturers being established and releasing products.

It should be noted that there are a few small drawbacks to using LED headlights, with the most notable being that they cost more than halogen lights. Much of this is driven by the cooling system that they must have to operate effectively, which adds a significant amount to the price.

Halogen and HID lights aren’t affected by this, which means that they can be priced much cheaper. Despite this, there are many more benefits than there are negatives, which has helped the market grow consistently over the past several years.

This has naturally led to a significant number of options for drivers to choose from. While this can be a great thing to have, it also means that the decision can be overwhelming for many people. Not knowing what to look for in the products can also play a large role in this.

There are several brands and models that stand out from the crowd and which are worth a consideration when you’re buying.

Best LED Headlight Bulbs Reviews 2019

Best Seller

NINEO H11 H8 H9 LED Headlight Bulbs CREE Chips,12000Lm 5090Lux 6500K Extremely Bright All-in-One Conversion Kit, 360 Degree Adjustable Beam Angle

These are one of the best LED headlight bulbs on offer based on their ease of use and installation, which has led to them becoming one of the more popular models. Alongside this, there are several other advantages on offer with this.

The first of these is that it’s much brighter than many other models, which provides a significant degree of visibility. An adjustable mounting mechanism means that drivers will be able to rotate the headlights easily and properly align them.

The fan that’s included in this also ensures a significant amount of heat dissipation, which means that you shouldn’t have to worry about the lights becoming overheated.

There is one drawback that drivers should be aware of in that these aren’t as long-lasting as competitors. As such, you may need to replace them more often than you might have thought.

Pros:

  • Adjustable mounting.
  • Large heat dissipation.
  • Easy installation.

Cons:

  • Not long-lasting.

Top Pick

HIKARI LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit-H11(H8,H9), 2019 New Gen of HIKARI, Adjustable Beam, 9600lm 6K Cool White,2 Yr Warranty

Having an adjustable beam can be important for many drivers, with this being one of the core features on offer here. This isn’t the only area where these LED lights stand out, as its large lumen count means that it’s quite bright, so you shouldn’t need to worry about visibility.

There’s also a significant amount of heat dissipation with the headlights having a high heat tolerance. As such, you shouldn’t need to worry about your light’s temperature, regardless of how much you use it.

The only major drawback here is that these may not fit certain vehicles. You should check with the manufacturer to ensure that these will fit your car before you buy. This typically affects larger vehicles, although they will fit in a few.

Pros:

  • Large lumen count.
  • High heat tolerance.
  • Adjustable beam.

Cons:

  • May not be appropriate for certain vehicles.

Best Value

BEAMTECH H11 LED Headlight Bulb, 50W 6500K 8000Lumens Extremely Brigh H8 H9 CSP Chips Conversion Kit

Many drivers will want a crisp and clean beam pattern from their headlights to increase visibility. This is something that this BEAMTECH H11 has in spades, with the design being much easier to notice than many other LED lights.

Coupled with the large lumen count, drivers shouldn’t have any problems with visibility when they’re driving at night. Alongside this is the fact that these headlights offer over 30,000 hours of operation, so you shouldn’t need to replace them anytime soon.

One thing that you’ll need to look out for here is how difficult to install it may be. While the manufacturer’s manual overcomes much of this, it can still be quite time-consuming to do.

Pros:

  • Lumen count of over 8,000.
  • Long life span.
  • Crisp beam pattern.

Cons:

  • Difficult to install.

Runner Up

CougarMotor LED Headlight Bulbs All-in-One Conversion Kit – 9006-7,200Lm 6000K Cool White CREE – 2 Year Warranty

Nobody wants to replace their LED lights regularly, which means that everybody will look for long-lasting headlights. These is where these shine, as they can last for up to 50,000 hours before they begin to fade.

Drivers also shouldn’t need to worry about the temperature of the lights during use, as a TurboFan feature ensures that heat levels are kept to an absolute minimum. Add in its ease of installation, and this is one of the best LED headlights in terms of long-term use.

However, it’s been noted that these are noticeably not as bright as many of their competitors, which could be an issue for many people.

Pros:

  • Lower temperature.
  • Easy installation.
  • Long-lasting.

Cons:

  • Low brightness.

Also Consider

9006/HB4 LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit SEALIGHT X1 Series 12xCSP Chips – 6000LM 6000K Xenon White, 1 Yr Warranty

When it comes to finding the best LED headlight for preventing glare, this tops the list thanks to a large volume of anti-glare technology being built-in. While this doesn’t avoid glare completely, it can help to minimize it.

This is quite an achievement, especially considering that it’s large lumen count makes it one of the brighter LED lights on offer. You should be able to install these in almost any vehicle, thanks to its design.

What many people have noticed, however, is that these may not be effective in large amounts of snow or rain. As such, they may not be a wise year-round choice for your headlights.

Pros:

  • Fits in most vehicles.
  • High lumen count.
  • Minimal glare.

Cons:

  • Not effective in excessive rain.

Best LED Headlight Bulbs Buying Guide 2019

When it comes to choosing between different LED headlights, many people may not know what to look for, which can often lead to drivers making the wrong choice for them. Part of this is driven by the various features that should be focused on when making a decision.

When it comes to finding the best LED headlight, there are quite a significant number of features to look at. Many of us mightn’t know what these features are or what they mean. As they can be so vital for your decision, it’s well worth knowing what you’ll need to consider when buying.

Being informed can be one of the more important aspects of any choice, especially if it costs a significant amount of money. Car headlights deserve a large amount of thought because of how much of a role they can play in staying safe while driving.

This means that you’ll need to spend a considerable length of time figuring out what the best for your vehicle will be. There are a few things that you’ll have to look at when doing so.

Lumens/Light Output

Light intensity is measured in what’s known as lumens. While there will be a considerable difference in the lumen capacity of LED lights and HIDs, what many people may not realize is how much of a difference there can be between products within both categories.

LED headlight bulbs typically come in three lumen groups, with the lowest intensity being 6,000 lumens. These usually give out a solid light that provides adequate visibility for up to 500 meters. Secondly is a lumen level of 8000, which provides a significant amount of visibility for up to 700m.

Lastly would be the high-intensity lumens, which offer a lumen count of 10,000, which provides a bright light that should make drivers feel safe and comfortable.

Which one of these you should pick can vary depending on your needs and how bright you want them to be. As a result, you should know what your requirements are before you look around and then base your decision on this.

Life Expectancy

The majority of LED headlights will last a minimum of 30,000 hours, although there can be a large amount of variation depending on the make and model. While this is much more than the 6,000 hours you can typically expect from halogen lights, you’ll still have to determine how long specific headlights will last.

There are a significant number of LED lights that can last up to 50,000 hours, if not much longer. If you’re looking for headlights that aren’t going to need changing anytime soon, then this is what you should look at.

While these can often be more expensive than their shorter-living counterparts, you may end up saving money in the long-term, especially when the costs of replacements are factored in.

Cooling Methods

One of the significant drawbacks of LED lights is that they can generate a considerable amount of heat. This has led to manufacturers installing cooling systems in them, although there are quite a few versions of these on the market.

Each of these cooling systems has their pros and cons, which is why they should factor into your decision. The first of these is a Heat Sink, which can create a large amount of heat dissipation. Compared to many others, LED lights with this tend to last much longer. They’re also cost-effective and energy-efficient.

The many other types of cooling systems involve the use of an external fixture, with the first of these being a fan. While this does take up a certain amount of space within the light, this isn’t as much as you’d expect. One of the primary benefits of this is that it gets rid of heat much faster than others.

The primary drawback of these external attachments is that they can use up much more power than those which use a Heat Sink. They can also be much more difficult to assemble and install in a car.

These should be things that factor into your choice, although the decision should be a personal one depending on your preferences.

Beam Pattern

Many drivers will be used to having one beam pattern available, as this is typically what’s offered with halogen headlights. With LEDs, however, there are a few possible options. The first of these is a Spot Beam, which emits a focused and targeted light, making it a great choice if you typically drive on straight roads.

The only drawback to this is that small objects slightly out of view will go completely unnoticed. A Flood Beam is also available, which lights up much more of the road. This can make it a better choice for paths that have a large number of twists and turns, or where drivers will need to see other obstacles.

A Combination Beam is also available, which blends both of the above. You may also take advantage of a Driving Beam, which had a wide range and a diamond pattern that is much sharper than many other lights.

Lastly is what’s known as a Diffusion Beam, which produces a much softer light. While this can reduce in much less glare, it does have the drawback of having a much shorter range than others.

When you’re deciding on which LED beam pattern to pick, you should know where you’re more likely to be driving at night. By doing so, you’ll be able to choose the right option based on your needs.

Warranty

Manufacturers will offer various warranty lengths depending on which product you’re looking for. As this can be affected by a range of different factors, such as how long the manufacturer believes the LED lights will last, you should look at this when making a decision.

While this isn’t always a sign of quality, it can offer much more peace of mind when you receive a product with an extended warranty. Though you shouldn’t expect issues to occur, it can be comforting to know that these will be covered for several years.

If you have the option of going for a longer warranty, then this is highly recommended. While this may be an extra cost, it should save you any unexpected expenses in the future.

LED Bulb Color

What many people may find surprising is that LED headlights can come in a few colors. This doesn’t mean that each of the colors is recommended, however, as some will perform much better than others.

You should avoid any lights that issue a warm, yellowish light, as these may not light up the road as much as their paler, colder counterparts. There will be noticeably less visibility between the two colors, which is why it’s recommended that you avoid these yellow lights.

It’s suggested that you pick an LED headlight that has a temperature of the 5,000 Kelvin mark or higher. These will project a white light offers a much farther, and wider, view than many others, which maximizes the amount of visibility you’ll have on the road.

They can also be effective during daylight hours if the need ever arises to use them.

Installation

If you are installing the LED headlights yourself, then you’ll need to look at what kind of installation is required for them. In many cases, this will be a plug-and-play method, which means that you’ll simply need to unscrew your current headlight and screw in the LED light.

However, there are a few other options on the market, many of which may be somewhat more complicated than this. You should keep an eye out for these and ensure that you’ll be able to put the headlights in yourself.

Instructions should be found in the buyer’s manual, so you should follow this as closely as possible. Some may require professional help to install, which means that some people may prefer to avoid these particular lights.

In the majority of occasions, you should be able to do this with ease by yourself, although it may take a certain amount of time.

Price

While many drivers may first look at the price of an LED headlight, this shouldn’t be what you primarily base your decision on. You should instead look at each of the different aspects of the product, each will have a role in how much value you’re getting for your money.

For example, cheaper LED lights tend to have lower lumen counts and a shorter lifespan. As such, you should first narrow down your choice to two or three products that you like and then bring their prices into the decision.

In many cases, the more expensive options may be the better ones to use, thanks in large part to their visibility and longevity. You often get what you pay for, which means that you’ll have to pay more for quality.

Local Laws

What many people may not have realized is that some communities may have placed a limit on the usage of LED headlights. While this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re buying the products at a local store, for obvious reasons, it could present some if you purchased them online.

This is primarily because local sellers will know the local laws, whereas online sellers wouldn’t. You should, therefore, check what these regulations say so that you can choose headlights that you can legally use.

In many cases, this is a restriction on how high of a lumen count there can be, which colors you can choose from, and more. Knowing these will ensure that you don’t make any mistakes when buying.

Should you have headlights that aren’t legally allowed in your area, then you could open yourself to the possibility of fines, as well as needing to replace the lights. Drivers will naturally want to avoid this, which means that researching before buying is highly recommended.

FAQ

As there are a variety of factors that you’ll need to consider when buying LED lights, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself. While some of them may be relatively straightforward to answer, it doesn’t mean that you should overlook them, as they can make a significant impact on your decision.

There are a significant number of questions that you might want to think about when making a choice. You should make sure that you have an answer for each of these before you buy, and that you’re happy with the answers.

There are a few that you should focus on.

Which Headlights Do I Need?

Many people might believe that they can get any type of headlights for their car. This isn’t true, as there are a variety of factors that will affect whether or not it can be installed in your vehicle. Much of the information you need should be found in your car’s manual.

This should be the first question that you ask yourself, as it can play a significant role in the rest of the process. Knowing what can’t be installed in your car means that you’ll know which headlights to avoid. Doing so will ensure that you buy lights that are usable.

There are also a variety of websites where you can input your car’s make, model, and year and you’ll be informed about which headlights can be put into your car.

How To Install The LED Headlight?

Installation is something that few of us are fond of, as a variety of mistakes can be made during the process. This shouldn’t be the case with LED headlights, however, as the majority employ what’s commonly called a plug-and-play conversion kit.

With these, there are a few quick and easy steps to install the lights. Once you have your LED light, you’ll need to disconnect the wiring for your halogen bulb and then begin twisting it like a screw to remove it. The twisting motion here should be in an anti-clockwise action.

You’ll then need to install the LED light, which involves twisting it into place in a clockwise direction. We should also note that you shouldn’t touch the LED headlights with your bare hands. Doing so could cause damage to them.

Are LED Lights Legal?

As we mentioned above, LED lights may not be legal in certain areas, although this primarily extends to specific types and colors. In several states, for example, blue LED headlights can’t be installed in a car.

You should check with local laws before you buy any of the products. While this shouldn’t be an issue in a local store, there may be problems if you buy them online and they aren’t legally allowed.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution, which means that you should check before you buy. Similar to which LED headlights can be installed in your car, this should be one of the first things that you look at.

How Long Do They Last?

Nobody wants to change their car headlights regularly, which is why many will look for ones that last a significant amount of time. This is one of the primary benefits of LED lights, as they can last much longer than other products.

While this could depend greatly on the make and model itself, many can last up to 50,000 hours. As a result, you should be able to drive with your headlights on for ten hours a day for over a decade before they fade.

There can be a noticeable difference between different brands and models, so you’ll need to check their longevity before buying. You can typically to find this on the products labeling or packaging, alongside much more information you may want to look at.

What’s The Difference Between LED & HID?

Many people may have heard about both LED and HID headlights are and may be confused as to what the differences between them are. Alongside this, some drivers will want to know if one is better than the other, which is a natural question.

While both offer benefits, LED headlights may be the better option to choose. This is driven by the fact that HIDs use a high-intensity light that can often make arc control difficult. It’s also been reported that HIDs may be more likely to blind oncoming drivers, which is something that everybody would want to avoid.

These issues haven’t been reported with LED lights, which means that it can offer as much light as its counterpart without the risks. This makes it the safer and more practical option to choose from.

What If My LED Headlights Are Flickering?

Flickering headlights can be an all too common issue for many of us. Because of how frequent the problem might be, many people have found that there are a limited number of things that may be causing it. Each of these have easy fixes.

The more common reasons for flickering LED headlights include:

  • Alternator failing to start;
  • A week battery, or;
  • The LED headlights not being properly connected.

If none of the above affect your vehicle, then you’ll need to inspect all of the electronics and wiring around your headlight. This should include the sockets, relays, and switches, as any of them being faulty can have an adverse effect on the LED headlight’s performance. Much of this is caused by an interruption in the power supply because of the faults.

There may be some cases where the fault isn’t caused by any of the above. If this is the case, then there’s a high chance that it’s the result of a failure in communication between the headlights and your car’s computer system. There are a limited number of options to overcome this.

The most common are anti-flicker capacitors and error code canceller capacitors, both of which are easy to install pieces of equipment. Once installed, the capacitors will intercept the miscommunication and translate it so that your car and LED headlights no longer see a fault.

Will They Fade Over Time?

As they don’t burn out quickly, many people may wonder whether LED headlights will fade over time. This is true, although the rate at which they will fade can be quite slow, depending on a variety of factors.

Temperature, humidity, and thermal load will have various effects on this, which cannot be avoided. Depending on how well-designed the LED headlights are, they should last upwards of 50,000 hours, if not more. As such, you shouldn’t have to worry about them fading for a considerable amount of time.

Manufacturers should be able to give you an approximate number of hours that the lights will last. Since this can often be affected by driving conditions, among others, you should see this as a general timeline that may vary from one car to the next.

Do They Use A Lot Of Power?

Headlights can often be one of the most significant drains on a car’s energy supply, which has meant that many drivers will want to know how much power individual lights will use. LED headlights have been shown to use much less electricity, regardless of where they’re placed, with this extending to cars.

Compared to the majority of other lights on the market, these have one of the lowest energy consumption rates available. While this is true for all LED lights, some will use more power than many others, which means that you should aim to check specific models before you buy.

If power consumption is one of your deciding factors, then this should be one of the first things you ask yourself. This should be placed prominently on the box, which means that it shouldn’t take long to answer this question.

The majority of LED headlights vary between 30 watts and 60 watts. While this may not seem like a broad range, it can make a significant difference over time, as it will have an increasing impact on your car’s batteries.

How To Adjust LED Lights To Not Blind Traffic?

Many states have mandated that headlights must be aimed in such a way to not blind oncoming motorists. This has led to many manufacturers designing car lights to allow for adjustments, although it might be a slightly confusing process for many drivers.

It can be simplified, however, by ensuring that you carefully follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. In general, there are a few things that should apply to most vehicles, with these focusing on ensuring that the lights are properly aligned. To do so, there are several steps you should take:

  1. Park your car in front of a plain wall on flat, even ground, and ensure that it’s level;
  2. Unload any heavy items, and then fill up the gas tank before checking the suspension and air pressure;
  3. Turn on headlights facing the wall and make a mark of the beam’s center on each headlight, which should be done vertically, and horizontally;
  4. Back up your car the appropriate distance, which is typically 25 feet but can vary from model to model;
  5. Block one headlight and compare the other’s beam to the previous wall markings. The top of the highest-intensity beam much be at or below the horizontal marking you made. The most intense spot on the horizontal must also be on the right of the vertical line;
  6. Make notes of these findings to use for adjustments. If they match how the headlights should be, then you don’t need to take any further action;
  7. If changes are needed, then you should follow the manufacturer’s procedures for adjusting the light;
  8. This should then be repeated for the other headlight.

Why Do Some LED Lights Create Glare?

Glare is something that many people have complained about, regardless of which headlights are being used. This refers to the reduction in visibility that a driver will have as a result of a light being close. If lights are too bright, especially on the driver’s side of the car, then it will cause light scatter or glare.

In some cases, this can completely reduce visibility, which can be hazardous for everyone involved. LED headlights typically cause this problem through having a less-sharp cut-off, which means that more light may be directed to the other driver’s eyes.

While glare can be minimized in a variety of ways, it often cannot be completely negated. You should aim to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on adequately aligning headlights to reduce the risk of glare. Alongside this, you can reduce the light level when passing another car to minimize it further.

Conclusion

If you’ve got traditional halogen lights and are looking to upgrade, then LED headlights can be the right choice. Not only can they be much more cost-effective to run, but they can offer much better visibility while you’re on the road. As a result, they can provide both short- and long-term benefits, making them a smart investment.

While there is an overwhelming number of options available, by considering the above, you should be on the right track to making the right decision. When you’re choosing, you should bring your preferences into play; while some LED headlights may tick all of the boxes on your list, sometimes you’ll have to go with your gut feeling.

This means that you should go LED light shopping knowing what you’re looking for so that you can narrow down your choices quickly. Research can be your best ally when making a decision, so be informed and know what you’re looking for, but don’t be afraid to have a somewhat open mind.

Automotive Expert

Your automotive Editor-at-large and car mechanic.

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