Best Headlight Bulbs Reviews (2020)
Introduction To Best Rated Car Halogen Headlight Bulbs
If you aren’t willing to upgrade to more advanced types of headlight bulbs such as LED or HID… then you probably would want to know which model between the halogen bulbs is the best one to get. Odds are, your vehicle’s factory bulbs are halogen. In this case, you’ll want to replace them with other halogen bulbs that hopefully will be brighter and last a bit longer.
Overall, halogen bulbs have the second shortest life span. They don’t emit light as bright as HID’s, which results in them having a slightly longer lifespan. If you happen to drive frequently, especially at night, then you’ll want bulbs that can light up a significant amount of space. Cheap halogen bulbs not only often have a pretty noticeable yellow tint to them, but they also can be cheaply put together.
Even though there might not be too many of us looking to replace or restore our old headlight bulbs with the new “same” bulbs that hopefully last longer, we still put together a list of the six best headlight bulbs that are halogen. One thing you will notice is that Sylvania significantly takes over this market, and alongside other brands such as Phillips and GE pretty much makes up most of it.
If, however, you want to go for LED headlights instead, you can find here our article on the best LED headlights of the year.
Top 6 Best Halogen Headlight Bulbs To Buy For Your Vehicle Today!
- See all aspects of the road better with Sylvania's premium headlight bulbs, the Ultra Night Vision performance headlight.
- Cobalt blue coating provides optimal light transmission and color. Proprietary Xenon halogen gas technology, DOT Compliant and 100% Street Legal
- Increased downroad visibility with no added glare, Proprietary filament design to increase performance and ensure durability
- Up to 130% more light on the road in comparison to a standard headlight bulb, X-treme Vision +130 delivers more Light without compromising on lifetime, Up to 147 Feet (45 meters) longer light beam than standard increases reaction time by up to 2 seconds.
- Get up to 30% more vision on the road compared to a standard minimum legal requirements in low beam headlamp test results
- Provide up to 90% more light than GE standard halogen bulbs to let you see what's ahead. Clean, white light allows for better visibility and contrast
6. GE Nighthawk Platinum Halogen Lightbulbs
The GE Nighthawk Platinum bulbs are going to be the first ones we look at if the old factory bulbs don’t do it anymore. These are one of the cheapest bulbs we could find, being less than 11 dollars for a pair.
This set is compatible with bulb sizes ranging from H4, H7, H11, 9003, 9004, 9005, 9006 and 9007. On top of that, these bulbs will bring out the more defined “white” light halogen bulbs should have. Installation is quite easy – it takes less than 10 minutes for both of them to be fully installed. If you really don’t want to spend much on a set of headlight bulbs, then you should seriously consider the GE Nighthawk Platinum Series Halogen bulbs.
5. Phillips Vision Upgrade Halogen Headlight Bulbs
Now, moving down to the #5 position on our list of the best halogen bulbs to buy, are the Philips Vision Upgrade Headlight Bulbs. These are a slight upgrade from their ordinary stock halogen bulbs you’ll buy from Philips. The unique thing about these is that you can expect a 30% increase in distance of light and approximately 3200K of light output.
With that being said, they aren’t going to be the brighter white light you’ll want. Moving as close to 5K as possible is what will give you the desired results. Now, for less than 20 dollars (2 pack) there is not really a reason to complain here. You’ll get noticeable improvement from your factory bulbs and compatibility with sizes 9003, 9004, 9005, 9006, 9007, H11 and H7.
The installation process is very simple. Within 5-10 minutes you’ll be able to have both of your new bulbs installed. Just remember to never touch these bulbs with your bare hands (use latex or nitrile gloves). Click below to see the current best price.
4. Philips X-treme Vision Halogen Headlight Bulbs
Moving down to our #4 top pick for the best halogen bulbs to get for your vehicle are the Philips X-treme Vision Headlight Bulbs. This set of two is, unfortunately, not compatible with many headlight bulbs. The sizes they will work for are H7 55W, H1 55W, DS3 and H4 60/55W. With that being said, they DO give you a noticeably brighter output compared to the Vision Upgrade’s that we have mentioned above.
According to Philips, there’s a light distance of up to 45 meters (or about 147 feet away). Installation is just as simple as any other bulbs we’ve mentioned so far. Click the button below to see the current price.
3. Sylvania XtraVision Halogen Headlight Bulbs
Being the best seller on Amazon under the halogen headlight category, the ExtraVision headlights are a much better upgrade from their lower end models. Usually costing less than 15 dollars for a set of two, what you get from the XtraVision bulbs is a better overall coverage from left, right, and most importantly the area ahead of you.
In terms of compatibility, you’ll be able to get 9006, H7, 9007, H4, H13, 9005, H11, 9004, H1 and 9003. Although price will depend on the size you get, don’t expect to pay any more than 20 dollars for a set of two. Click below to see the current best price.
2. Sylvania SilverStar zXe Halogen Headlight Bulbs
These are unquestionably one of the brightest halogen bulbs you can get that aren’t quite HID’s. Sylvania’s SilverStar zXe High-Performance Halogen Bulbs give off a brighter and whiter output of light, something that you would not find in regular halogens.
While the tint of these bulbs would give you the assumption that its light would not be in any way blue… that wouldn’t be the case. Unlike regular bulbs where a yellow shade of light is emitted, with these it’s a more defined white color (something that you’d typically find with temperatures at around 5K).
Compatibility isn’t an issue, as you can find them to fit 9003, 9004, 9005, 9005XS, 9006, 9006XS, 9007, H1, H11, H13 and H7. They are the most expensive bulbs you can get at just under 45 dollars for a pack of two. For the brightest “factory” style bulb, the zXe’s by Sylvania are your best bet.
1. Sylvania SilverStar Ultra High-Performance Headlight Bulbs
From the above halogen bulb reviews you’ve seen so far (assuming that you took a look at the above 5 halogen bulb sets), we picked the Sylvania SilverStar Ultra Halogens as the best halogen headlight bulbs to get for your vehicle. Here are a few reasons why that is.
First off, these bulbs don’t claim to “look like” HID bulbs like many others do. The Ultra’s last a good bit longer and give off a solid white light that comes close to 5K. Though some others may do the same, these are not your ordinary yellow tinted halogen bulbs.
Overall fitment isn’t bad, you can install them into 9003, HB2, H4, 9004, 9005, 9006, 9007, 9008, H13, H11 and H7 connectors. From Sylvania’s entire line-up, these are really the most potent bulbs you can get (coming very close to the zXe’s mentioned above). Click below to get the best current price.
If you’d like to step it up from any kind of halogen light bulbs, consider looking into LED headlight bulbs and Xenon HID headlight bulbs.
Best Headlight Bulbs – Buying Guide and FAQ
There’s no denying that headlights are one of the most important parts of your car – especially if you tend to drive at night, or there are bad weather conditions, such as heavy rain. Thanks to them, you are able to see the road, and drive safely. It also makes it easier for other people and animals to see you, so that they know that they need to stay off the road. As important as they are, unfortunately many people overlook them until the bulb in one of them breaks and they have to change them.
Here is where, for most people, the problem starts. There are so many quality and affordable products available on the market these days, that choosing the best one is one hell of a challenge. Cheap, mid-priced, expensive, white light, yellow light… All of this can get overwhelming pretty quick. How can you choose the best one, if there are so many? Well, we have some good news for you. You don’t need to find the ultimate headlight that will beat all the others – you just have to find one that will be the best for your needs. To do that, you just need to find out the types of bulbs that there are, and consider which one will be the most suitable for your needs.
If you think that choosing the best headlight bulb for your needs is too much of a challenge, don’t worry, as we got you covered. In our buying guide you will find everything you need to know, including various types of headlight bulbs, what features you should focus on while shopping for one, as well as how to install it once you made your choice. So, without any further ado, let’s just get right into it.
How to Find the Right Headlight Bulb?
If this is your first time changing the headlight bulb, then you might be pretty confused with which type will be the one to best fit your car – especially since it is not so obvious. However, luckily for you and other people in your situation, there are several ways in which you can find out, and not take a wild guess. After all, you wouldn’t want to buy one of the h7 bulbs if the one in your car is a 9003 one, right?
Those ways include:
- Car Bulb Finder
These days you can find almost anything one the internet, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that someone decided to create a tool that will find the most suitable headlight bulb for your car. All you have to do to find it is enter information about your car and your registration number. The tool will search the database which includes almost, if not all, models of headlight bulbs that are available on the market, and will show you the best headlight bulbs that are compatible with your car.
- Your Vehicle’s Manual
Sometimes those car bulb finders might have problems with finding your car. If this is the case, or you just don’t trust them enough to get it right, then you can always check your car’s manual – at least you will be sure that the headlight bulb is 100% compatible with your car. This information should be included in the ‘Lighting’ section of the manual – you will see the specification of the bulb (for example, if it’s a bulb h7 or h9, or some other) and the power.
Even though the majority of the vehicle’s manuals include this information, there are some producers that just don’t bother with it. If this is your case, then you will have to take the headlight bulb out and manually examine it to find its specification.
- Manual Inspection of The Headlight Bulb
Last but not least, if you want to find out what headlight bulb you have to buy, but there is no information in the manual, you can always remove the bulb from your vehicle and manually check its metal or plastic base. There, you should be able to find the bulb’s specification, the wattage and sometimes even the colour of the headlight bulb. The bulb should be marked with an application number.
Features to Consider when Buying Headlight Bulbs
If you take a look at today’s market, you will notice that there are so many things available, that it is almost impossible to find the perfect product, no matter what it is. Whether it’s a stereo receiver, car battery, or something as simple as a headlight bulb. However, there is good news (at least when it comes to the headlight bulbs) – if you want to buy the best headlight bulb, there are some things that you should consider first, which will be able to tell you if the product you are considering is a good choice. Those include:
Headlight Bulb Size
This is probably the most basic thing that you should consider – what size of a bulb will you need? While there are three common sizes (H1, H4 and H7), some brands also produce odd sizes. If you want to find out which size you should buy, there’s an easy way to do it – just check the metal part of the bulb you are replacing. You’ll find its size written or stamped on the side of the casing. The bulb you purchase should be of the same size.
Since we’re talking about sizes, let’s quickly jump into the proper installation as well (you can find more about it below). Once you have purchased your perfectly sized headlight bulb, you need to make sure that it plugs perfectly into your wiring – it shouldn’t be loose. If it is, it can burn out prematurely (you will be surprised at how often it actually happens!)
The wattage is the second important thing that you should take into consideration when purchasing a new headlight bulb. The higher the wattage, the brighter your bulb will shine. However, keep in mind that a very high wattage can do more harm than good by melting your car’s wiring, which is why a crucial thing is choosing a bulb that is compatible with your car’s specific wiring.
Many of the bulbs available on the market will use higher wattage when used as a high beam output, and lower when they are used as a low beam output. Usually it will be stated on the bulb with wattage readings, for example 70/50 W, where the first number is the high beam, while the second is the low beam.
If you are one of those people who want their headlight to shine with bright white light, then the colour temperature is another thing that will need consideration. It should be anywhere between 3000K and 5000K. Keep in mind that the 3000K and below temperature will give you a more yellowish, warm light, while above 4000K will give you the bright white that you desire. When it comes to 5000K, it will produce a very bright and strong white light. However, you need to keep in mind that it might not be exactly what you need, as some models will have a more purple-coloured output than white – everything depends on the brand and the model.
Bear in mind that some of the headlight bulbs do not have the temperature stated on their packaging – if you want to know the exact numbers, you’d have to get in touch with the manufacturer. However, if you like the colour that it gives, you might not need to check those numbers.
While it might be something obvious for those who already have experience in buying headlight bulbs, if you are new to this you might not know this – no matter which one you decide to buy, it has to be DOT/ECE compliant. Do not assume right away that all bulbs have to conform to the rules – some do not. However, if you decide to purchase one of the positions on our list, you have nothing to worry about, as all of them satisfy this criterion.
Halogen vs LED vs HID headlights
As we already said, there are so many types of headlight bulbs, that choosing the best one can be quite a challenge. However, there are ways in which you can make it easier – one of them being getting to know the different types. This way you will be able to choose the one that will suit your preferences and needs the most.
Halogen Headlight Bulbs
Halogen headlight bulbs are probably the most commonly used type of headlight bulbs by drivers from all over the world. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though, since they are inexpensive, easy to replace and universal. What’s more, they are usually bright enough to light up any dark road on which you might end up. However, keep in mind that the light that even the best halogen headlight bulb emits will always be warm white – it will never be extremely bright and white. It seems though that for most drivers it is enough – even those that often have to drive at night or during extremely unpleasant weather conditions.
Another thing worth mentioning is that halogen headlights are durable and long-lasting – at least in most cases. Of course, everything will depend on which model you will buy, and have often you tend to use the headlights. This means that on moderately used vehicles the halogen headlights are super long-lasting, while on the heavily used vehicles they typically are decently long-lasting.
However, just because there are so many good things we can say about the halogen headlights, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have any drawbacks. They do, one of them being the heat that they generate, which increases the energy consumption.
LED Headlight Bulbs
If what you are looking for is an extremely bright and white look, then the LED or HID headlight bulbs are your way to go. Keep in mind though that since the LED headlight bulbs offer you more brightness than even the most high performance halogen bulbs ever will, they are also more expensive.
They are a perfect choice for those who tend to spend more time driving at night than not – especially since they offer an instantaneous and powerful beam that will be able to light up any dark areas with no issues. Another thing is that the LED headlight light bulbs are efficient – they consume way less energy even when compared to the best halogen headlights available on the market at the moment. The efficiency of the car bulbs is for many drivers one of the most important things they will be paying attention to when choosing the best headlight.
Just like with the halogen headlight bulbs, the LED headlights also have some drawbacks. Even though the bulbs themselves don’t heat up, they still need more cooling to operate than the halogen headlights. The reason behind it is that they trigger heat in the surrounding wiring, which, to function properly, needs to be kept cool. Another thing is that the LED headlights ate trickier to replace than the halogen ones.
HID Headlight Bulbs
Last but not least, we have the HID headlight bulbs – or high-intensity discharge bulbs if you prefer – which are slowly but surely gaining popularity as the time goes by. This is mainly because of the exceptionally bright and white light that they are offering. Similarly to the LED headlight bulbs, HID headlight bulbs (which are often called xenon headlights) offer their users much more brightness than the halogen ones, which is why they are often chosen by those who spend most of their time driving at night. Another thing is that they last longer than halogens, and they also use less power.
To cut a long story short, the HID headlight bulbs provide their users with the brightest and most intense white light of all the headlight bulbs, so if the brightness is what you are after, then this type of headlight bulbs will be your best bet.
Now – the drawbacks. The probably most important one is the fact that HID headlights produce an intense amount of glare towards the oncoming cars, which is why they are prohibited and considered illegal in some of the states and countries. Additionally, they are much harder to install and more expensive than the halogen headlight bulbs.
How to install
Depending on what type of headlight bulb you choose, the installation process might differ when it comes to difficulty. It is much easier to install a halogen bulb than it is to install a LED or a HID one. In most cases, you will have to follow those simple steps:
The first thing that you should do is to turn off all the lights. Then, locate the bulb holder, and proceed to remove the wiring harness. If you have a plastic catch, then you have to press down the small lever at the top of the plug with your thumb while pulling it. If you have a metal clip, then you have to pull the lever up and away. Finally, if you have a screw cap, then you need to unscrew the plug by turning it anti-clockwise.
Once you’re done, remove the old headlight bulb by holding onto the base – in some cases you might have to rotate or wiggle for a bit to loosen it
Get the new bulb. However, remember not to touch it with your hands. Instead, try using a tissue or a clean rag. Plug the new bulb into the back of the headlight. If you installed the bulb properly, then none of the rubber gasket should be showing – the bulb should be all in.
Last but not least, plug the wiring back and re-secure the headlight. Check whether the headlights are working properly by turning them on. If one of them (or both) doesn’t turn on, then you have to remove it, check the wiring again, and reconnect it.
Our Top Pick / Summary
There’s no denying that headlights and headlight bulbs are one of the most important parts of the car – after all, it’s thanks to them that you drive safely at night, during not so pleasant weather conditions. However, with the amount of cars bulbs and brands available on the market, choosing the right one can be quite a challenge – especially if you don’t really know if you need a h7 bulb or a 9003 one.
When looking for the right bulb, you need to pay attention to four main things – the size of the bulb, the wattage, the colour temperature, and whether they are DOT/ECE compliant. Even though all of the positions on our list are, you will be surprised at how many of the other products do not fill the requirements. That’s why, if you decide to buy a product outside of our list, you cannot assume right away that it has DOC/ECE compliance – instead, you need to check it yourself.
Choosing the right type of the bulb is another important thing. There are three types of bulbs – halogen, LED and HID. All of them have both positive and negative things that can be said, however, the most commonly used one is the halogen one. After all, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.
Keep in mind that depending on the type of headlight bulbs that you buy, the intensity of the white light will be different – even the best halogen headlights will not shine as bright as the LED or HID ones will. When it comes to HID, before buying one of the bulbs of this type, you need to make sure that they are legal in your state or country, as the white light they emit is so bright that this type of headlight bulb is prohibited and considered as illegal in some of the states and countries.
After taking all this into consideration, we believe that the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra-High-Performance Headlight Bulbs are the best choice when it comes to halogen headlight bulbs. They not only give a solid white light, and last for quite a while, but also their range of compatibility is something that will definitely be appreciated by many people. Even though we think that all the headlight sets that we mentioned are good-quality products, this one definitely takes the crown.
With this being said, we have reached the end of our best headlight bulbs buying guide – we hope that it dispelled at least some of your doubts.