- 1. Halogen Headlight Bulbs
- 2. Xenon / High-Intensity Discharge Headlight Bulbs
- 3. Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Headlight Bulbs
- 4. Matrix Headlight Bulb
- 5. Laser Headlight Bulbs
Headlight bulbs play a vital role in a car. They enable you to wade through the darkness, spot an oncoming vehicle, overcome gloomy weather while driving, and even make driving beautiful.
Today, there are many types of headlight bulbs that you can choose from.
However, your choice will depend on several factors, such as the model of your car, the cost you are willing to incur, the size of the bulb fitting in your vehicle, and government regulations on headlights.
There are five main types of headlight bulbs that you can choose from:
1. Halogen Headlight Bulbs
Halogen headlight bulbs are perhaps the oldest and most commonly used headlight bulbs.
Unlike the traditional headlight bulbs, which had a filament surrounded by a vacuum, these bulbs are made up of a glass that contains a filament and a halogen gas.
The electric current heats the filament, making it glow and produce a bright yellow light. The purpose of the gas is to prevent the filament from getting oxidized under a lot of heat.
The blue coating on these bulbs magnifies their brightness.
These headlight bulbs are cheap but less efficient for vehicles that produce a small electric current. They also cover a short distance of about 100 meters hence not compatible for individuals who like driving at a fast speed.
These headlight bulbs are being phased out of the market due to advancements in technology and the need for more efficient headlight bulbs. It is thus becoming hard to find modern vehicles that use halogen headlight bulbs.
Car Models That Use Halogen Headlight Bulbs
Halogen headlight bulb is commonly used in old models of cars. However, some new models of cars use these types of bulbs. Such models include Toyota, Honda, Polo, Perodua, and Vento.
If your model falls in these categories, you can consider getting this type of headlight bulb.
2. Xenon / High-Intensity Discharge Headlight Bulbs
These halogen headlight bulbs were initially used in high-end and premium vehicles, but as the world becomes a small village, many manufacturers are now using them.
These bulbs are more powerful than halogen headlight bulbs since they produce light that covers a distance of about 250 meters. They operate almost similar to fluorescent bulbs used in our homes.
Unlike halogen headlight bulbs that produce light by heating the filament, Xenon bulbs create light by heating electrodes found inside a tube containing Xenon gas.
Making light in Xenon headlight bulbs usually takes time since the electrodes need time to heat up first, but once they do, the bulbs produce a very bright light that has blue-white color.
Due to its very bright light, the Xenon headlight bulb can endanger you and other vehicle drivers. Reflection of its light can impair your vision, while the bright light can prevent other drivers from seeing where they are heading.
These can cause accidents hence you should be very careful if you decide to use them in your car.
Car Models That Use Xenon/ High-Intensity Discharge Headlight Bulbs
Xenon headlight bulbs are used primarily on modern cars.
Hence, if your car model is Ford F-150, Ford Escape, Audi A3, Toyota Avalon, Lexus IS, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Genesis G80, Volvo S60, Volkswagen Tiguan, or Volkswagen Jetta, then you need this headlight bulb.
However, conversion fittings in the market will enable you to use Xenon headlight bulbs in your old car model, and you should not be discouraged from using them.
3. Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Headlight Bulbs
LED technology is one of the mainly used technologies in the world. It has been used in flashlights, interior lamps, stop lights, and home lights. In addition, they are now used in headlight bulbs for many vehicles.
The LED headlight bulbs are popular since they produce very bright white light and last for a more extended time than other headlight bulbs. Furthermore, LED headlight bulbs can easily be turned on, unlike Xenon bulbs.
Also, unlike Halogen bulbs, these headlight bulbs conserve energy and illuminate a longer distance of 300 meters. This powerful characteristic of LED headlight bulbs makes them attractive to owners of premium car models.
These bulbs produce light through a process known as electroluminescence. It is a process in which electrons are pushed towards a positively charged section in a conductor resulting in the release of light particles.
This process does not produce any heat; hence it is energy efficient and results in more lifespan for the bulb.
One of the most significant disadvantages of the LED headlight bulb is that it is more expensive than the Xenon headlight bulb because it requires a cooling system to prevent overheating.
The cost of building the heating module is high.
Car Models That Use Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Headlight Bulbs
The technology used by these bulbs is still new and expensive; hence it is used mainly by modern and luxurious vehicles.
Therefore, if your car model is in the category of Mercedes- Benz, BMW, and Toyota Camry, then you might need this type of headlight bulb.
Some cheap but modern vehicles have also embraced this type of headlight bulb.
They include Renault Clio, Dacia Sandero, and Vauxhall Corsa; hence, if you own such superminis vehicles and wonder what headlight bulbs I need for my car? Then you can choose the LED headlight bulb.
4. Matrix Headlight Bulb
Matrix is another type of headlight bulb you might need in your car. The name comes from this headlight bulb is a collection of LED headlight bulbs. Therefore, it can be said to improve LED headlight bulb technology.
In addition, each LED bulb in the pack can be controlled separately, thus regulating the amount of light beam passed out in the form of vertical and horizontal light.
Matrix Headlight Bulb also uses sensors and cameras placed inside the back of the rearview mirrors. These sensors and cameras enable the headlight system to detect a corner and an oncoming vehicle.
Therefore, the headlight system will turn on the beam when it detects a corner and turns off the beam when it detects an approaching vehicle. It will reduce accidents and ensure that the other driver’s visibility is not impaired.
The most significant disadvantage of this headlight bulb lies in its cost. Because you will have to use many LED bulbs, you will incur more than if you had just used the LED headlight bulb.
Also, its maintenance cost is vast compared to maintaining other headlight bulbs such as halogens and xenon.
Car Models That Use Matrix Headlight Bulb
Like LED headlight bulbs, the matrix headlight bulb is only available to modern high-end vehicles such as Audi, Mercedes, Range Rover, Hyundai, and Volkswagen.
5. Laser Headlight Bulbs
When you hear the word “laser,” you think that these bulbs produce a very bright light that can blind a road user.
However, that is entirely not true since laser headlight bulbs are just LED bulbs that have undergone technological advancement.
Laser headlight bulbs are the most advanced and recent ones in the automotive industry. They produce light that is many times stronger than the LED headlight bulbs using chemiluminescence.
This process involves passing three blue-colored laser rays through a chamber filled with phosphorus gas. The beam energizes the gas, making it glow and produce a very bright light that can cover a long distance of up to 600 meters.
But before the bright light exits the headlight system, it goes through a diffuser that regulates its brightness not to dazzle other drivers.
The laser headlight system usually comes to life when there are no vehicles in front of the car, and during this moment, it uses energy that is 30 percent less than the energy used by the LED headlight system.
The most significant advantages of this headlight bulb are its ability to occupy a smaller space and use less power than LED headlight bulbs.
At the same time, its most significant disadvantages are its need for a cooling system and the high cost of acquiring and maintaining it.
Car Models That Use Laser Headlight Bulbs
Since laser headlight bulbs use the most advanced technology, only a handful of car models use these bulbs; they include BMW 7, BMW i8, Audi R8 LMX.
Do you own one of these car models? If yes, then you need this headlight bulb.
Were you asking yourself, “what headlight bulbs do I need for my car?”
Then you have probably gotten an answer, and you are now ready to replace your headlight bulb, but before you head to the market, here are is a summary of what you should know about headlight bulbs.
Car headlight bulbs are of five types; Halogen, Xenon, LED, Matrix, and Laser. Each of these bulbs may not necessarily fit your car; hence, you should check its compatibility.
Also, these bulbs’ cost varies according to the level of innovation used to build them; therefore, the most recent headlight bulbs will be more expensive than old ones.
Kevin has been hanging around cars and automobile magazines since he knew what a car is. He grew up in his father’s 1995 Mercedes E320 Wagon and Volkwagon Phaeton W12 2004. He rides his first car, a manual 1979 Porche 911SC.
Currently, he owns an Acura Integra GS-R. During his childhood, he showed a keen interest in how things actually work and fix them. This passion transforms into his eternal love for cars and bestows him an ideal position in one of the leading automobile companies; whenever he finds time, he takes out his Acura and opts for the longest possible route to find hidden wholesome pleasure in a road trip.
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