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When it comes to headlights, there are two types of options: HID and LED. Most people don’t know what the differences are between these two types of lights so we’re going to break them down for you to answer the question which headlights are better HID or LED?
What is HID headlight?
A HID headlight is a type of headlight that uses a metal-halide gas to provide light. This is typically accomplished by using two electrodes on either side of the bulb and filling it with xenon or argon gases. That’s why HID headlight is also called Xenon light.
This type of headlight came to the market in the 1990s and quickly became the go-to option for most drivers.
Pros & Cons of HID Headlight
HID headlights are so popular because they offer a bright, white light. The best part about these types of lights is that it doesn’t take much power to make them work which saves you money! They also last for an average of five years and don’t need any special maintenance. Let’s look at further detail here.
How HID headlights works is that the electrodes ionize a gas such as xenon, krypton, or argon. Therefore, HID headlights are brighter. The brightness of HID bulbs is measured in lumens which is a measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by an object in all directions.
In comparison with halogen lights, HID lights can emit almost double the number of lumens than those of halogen lights. This means HID headlights have better night visibility.
In terms of energy consumption, HID lights use less energy than halogen headlights because they are more efficient.
In terms of longevity, HID lights need to be replaced every few years while some models can last up to 20 years or longer. This is largely due to the quality of the ballasts and bulbs that produce them.
HID headlights are more expensive than their aftermarket counterpart, xenon lights or even halogen bulbs. Also, HID headlights need other parts to install such as the project lens.
- offers brighter white light
- save energy while driving
- Longer lifetime
- Bigger sizes
- Need special skills and tools (ballast) to install
What are LED Headlights?
LED headlights work in a similar way as HID lights, except they use LEDs for lighting instead of gas. LED headlights use negative electrons run through a semiconductor. The brightness of LED lights comes from the phosphor that coats the surface of the semiconductor.
Pros and Cons of LED Headlights
LED headlights are more energy-efficient than HID or halogen lights, but less so if you have fogging issues with your vehicle. LEDs also last longer and produce a brighter light than traditional bulbs. Furthermore, LED headlights have many color options.
One of the biggest benefits of LED lights is that their size is smaller and they don’t require much space to install.
The downfalls of LED headlights are that they’re more expensive to purchase and install. They also don’t work well in foggy conditions, meaning you may need additional lights or an anti-fog coating on the lenses for visibility.
LED headlights are a more affordable solution than HID lights. The downsides of LED headlights are they require an inverter to work and not as bright as some other types of headlight options.
LED headlights are brighter than HID lights but not as powerful as Xenon.
The installation process is much simpler than HID ones, requiring the loosening and removal of a few bolts for fasteners to be taken out that hold down brackets in place. Once those are off, it’s just one wire connecting the headlight assembly.
- Small sizes, so very compact
- Simple installation
- Last longer hours than HID headlights
- Not as bright as HID headlights
- Not suitable in foggy conditions
Which Headlights are Better HID or LED?
There is no straight answer to this question. It’s all up to your need. Mechanics said that many drivers prefer HID headlights as they are brighter, offering them better night visibility. However, LED headlights can last much longer than HID ones and many opt for this option as they don’t have to change the headlights regularly.
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With our detailed analysis above, with the pros and cons of HID headlights and LED headlights, we hope you find the most suitable headlights for your situation. Put the brightness, lifetime and cost at scale and you will be able to make the right choice.