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Published Sep. 13, 2021

Driving a dark stretch of road is an experience that will make just about anyone appreciate the exceptional illumination LED headlights provide. These bulbs provide substantial levels of light so you can clearly see other cars, pedestrians, or obstructions while also casting enough light to illuminate the shoulder of the road in case you need to pull over.

Not only are LED headlights brighter than the incandescent headlights many vehicles came with, but they are also more durable and energy-efficient—the best LED headlights boast an 80 percent improvement in efficiency over conventional lamps, reducing the power demand from your car’s electrical system. To find the LED headlights for your needs, consider the list of products below, then keep reading for additional information that could help you replace or upgrade your existing headlight bulbs.

How We Chose the Best LED Headlights

Many years of DIY vehicle repair and maintenance experience combined with extensive product research provided the cornerstone for compiling  this list of top LED headlights. We considered more than 30 products and emphasized brightness, light color, LED headlight type, and estimated lifespan when making our recommendations.

Our goal wasn’t to simply find the brightest LED headlights available because several states ban the sale and use of aftermarket LED headlights that state regulators deem too bright. Instead, we focused on  identifying the most reliable LED headlights to efficiently improve visibility. Product lifespan was a key factor in our selections to ensure users can count on these top products to provide years of reliable service. 

However, we found that some products fade and experience a change in color long before the bulbs need replacement. While some reduction in illumination is to be expected, it should occur in close concurrence with the estimated lifespan. We considered any products that fell outside of a reasonable time range to have failed prematurely and did not include them in the selection.

The Best LED Headlights: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: SEALIGHT LED Bulbs

Long Lifespan

These top single-beam bulbs provide excellent illumination and last more than over 50,000 hours.

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Why It Made the Cut: This set of LED headlights by Sealight have an impressive lifespan, high light output, and fit most vehicles.

Specs: 

  • Lumens: 14,000Lm
  • Bulb Color: Cool white at 6,000K
  • Lifespan: Over 50,000 hours

Pros:

  • Excellent illumination
  • Convenient combo pack includes four single-beam bulbs
  • Durable construction and long lifespan
  • Optimized light distribution to avoid blinding oncoming drivers

Cons:

  • May be too bright for use in some states 

Replace or upgrade your headlight bulbs with a set of single-beam LED headlights from Sealight. The package includes four bulbs, so users can replace the low and high beam bulbs on both sides of the car with a single purchase. 

These excellent LED headlights will last 50,000 hours before they need to be replaced. They’ll light up the darkest road with up to 14,000 lumens and cast a cool white 6000K light. The beam is optimized to avoid blinding oncoming drivers, but you’ll still want to check state laws to ensure they’re legal where you live.

These LED headlights are designed to work with up to 99 percent of vehicles, though you’ll want to check your vehicle’s specs to ensure they fit your specific car, truck, or van.

Best Value: Marsauto 9006 LED Bulbs

Affordable Single-Beam

A budget-friendly upgrade that fits most vehicles and is easy to install.

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Why It Made the Cut: This affordable pack of single-beam LED headlights provides a respectable 8,000 lumens of output and simple plug-and-play installation.

Specs: 

  • Lumens: 8,000Lm
  • Bulb Color: Cool white at 6,000K
  • Lifespan: 30,000 hours

Pros:

  • Fits 95 percent of vehicles
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Attractive headlight color temperature

Cons:

  • Only two bulbs in the package
  • Short lifespan

Each bulb in this two-pack of single-beam bulbs throws 8,000 lumens, which is ideal for city driving, so consider using them to replace a vehicle’s low beam bulbs. 

Installation takes just a few minutes, and the lamps are good for about 30,000 hours before needing to be replaced. That isn’t as long as many competitors, but it still exceeds the average lifespan of halogen bulbs by several thousand hours. The light produced by these Marsauto bulbs has a cool white appearance at 6,000K, which is excellent for nighttime driving.  

This nicely priced set of LED headlights is a suitable option for about 95 percent of cars, trucks, and vans, though it’s still important to verify that they are compatible with your vehicle. 

Best Dual-Beam: HIKARI TOP LED Bulbs

Improved Night Visibility

Although pricey, these bulbs offer Impressive output, excellent lifespan, and high-beam / low-beam versatility.

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Why It Made the Cut: The Hikari Wings dual-beam LED headlights can switch from low to high beam settings and produce up to 10,000 lumens of cool white, 6,000K light.

Specs: 

  • Lumens: 10,000Lm
  • Bulb Color: Cool white at 6,000K
  • Lifespan: 50,000 hours

Pros:

  • High- and low-beam lighting in one bulb 
  • High efficiency makes them easy on vehicle electrical system
  • Fit 95 percent of vehicles

Cons:

  • May be too bright for use in some states
  • High price

These LED headlights from Hikari Wings are 90 percent more efficient than standard halogen headlights. Given their 50,000-hour lifespan, you’ll probably replace your car before you replace the bulbs. 

This two-pack is a suitable replacement for 95 percent of vehicles with dual-beam bulbs. They’re pricier than single-beam bulbs, but that’s to be expected given they provide both low- and high-beam illumination. The 10,000-lumen output may be too bright for some states, so make sure to check your local laws to ensure they’re legal where you live.

Best Single-Beam: Nilight 9005 9006 LED Headlight Bulb Kit

High Light Output

Light up the darkest road with this four-bulb, single-beam combo pack, which provides up to 20,000 lumens.

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Why It Made the Cut: These powerful Nilight single-beam bulbs pack an outstanding 20,000 lumens, making them perfect for dark roads—and they fit most vehicles.

Specs: 

  • Lumens: 20,000Lm
  • Bulb Color: Cool white at 6,000K
  • Lifespan: 50,000 hours

Pros:

  • Phenomenal 20,000-lumen brightness
  • Four single-beam bulbs per pack
  • Focused beams reduce oncoming driver blindness
  • Fit 99 percent of vehicles

Cons:

  • Low efficiency compared to other LED headlights
  • They may be too bright for use in some states

Light up even the dimmest rural streets and back roads with the outstanding 20,000-lumen output of these Nilight LED headlights. While the impressive power may be too high for some states—you’ll definitely want to check before buying—these bulbs work with 99 percent of vehicles. 

The single-beam bulbs come four to a-pack, so you can replace the low beam and high beam bulbs. These high-performance bulbs can last about 50,000 hours. They produce a focused beam that concentrates illumination where you need it, avoiding the scattered light that can cause glare and blind oncoming drivers. That said, bulbs this bright require a substantial amount of energy and these are only about 65 percent more efficient than halogen bulbs. Other LED bulbs improve efficiency by up to 90 percent. 

Best Conversion Kit: Fahren H11/H9/H8 LED Headlight Bulbs

Convert Stock Headlights

Update your vehicle’s incandescent or halogen headlights with this easy-to-install LED conversion kit. Fahren

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Why It Made the Cut: The simple installation and space-saving design make this conversion kit an ideal option for anyone looking to update their headlights to brighter, more efficient LEDs.

Specs: 

  • Lumens: 10,000Lm
  • Bulb Color: Blue-hued white at 6,500K
  • Lifespan: Over 50,000 hours

Pros:

  • Including two LED bulbs and CAN bus device driver
  • 360-degree adjustable beam pattern
  • Unique, blue-hued white light 

Cons:

  • May be too bright for use in some states
  • Kit includes just two single-beam bulbs

The Fahren LED headlight conversion kit makes it easy to upgrade the dim, inefficient lighting in 98 percent of vehicles to 10,000-lumen, single-beam LED headlights. Simple plug-and-play installation or the included CAN bus device driver make installation a snap. 

These LED headlights produce a blue-hued white light with a temperature rating of 6,500K, so they provide ample visibility and a unique appearance. The 360-degree locker ring makes it easy to adjust the pattern to suit your needs and preference. However, the conversion kit includes just two single-beam bulbs, so you’ll need a second set of bulbs to replace both low and high beam headlights.

Things to Consider Before Buying LED Headlights

Before choosing a set of LED headlights, take the time to evaluate some important product features and factors, including the type of LED headlight, brightness, bulb color, and the estimated lifespan of the headlight bulbs.

Types of LED Headlights

There are two main types of LED headlights to consider when choosing the best option for your vehicle:

  • Dual-beam LED headlights are essentially a single bulb capable of switching between low and high beams. When the headlights are turned on, the bulb produces the standard amount of light, but when they are switched to high beams, the same bulb increases its output to provide greater illumination and visibility. 
  • Single-beam LED headlights can be used as low or high beams because the headlight uses two bulbs. One bulb provides low-beam illumination; the other is only used when the high beam lamps are activated. Check your vehicle to determine whether it has two bulbs per headlight or if it uses dual-beam bulbs before choosing replacement LED bulbs. 

Brightness

The intensity, strength, and overall brightness of an LED headlight bulb is measured in lumens. One lumen is equal to the light produced by a single candle. 

  • Low-intensity LED headlights offer about 6,000 to 8,000 lumens. These bulbs are ideal for urban drivers who don’t often leave urban areas. 
  • Medium-intensity LED headlights are a good choice for people living in the suburban outskirts because they provide an enhanced level of visibility suitable for the lighter illumination common in such areas. These bulbs range from 8,000 to 10,000 lumens.
  • High-intensity LED headlights are really only necessary for drivers who frequently travel on dark roads and empty highways. This category starts at about 10,000 lumens and can exceed 20,000 lumens. However, some states ban the use of LED headlights this bright, so check local and state laws before choosing a set.

Bulb Color

The bulb color can refer to the hue of the light or to the color temperature, so it’s important to read the product descriptions and check the specs to ensure you choose the correct bulb. The light from an LED headlight is typically white because this color does a better job illuminating the road than yellow light. However, other color options are available, such as blue- or purple-hued LED lights. 

Color temperature is a method for accurately describing the appearance of the bulb’s light. It is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale that ranges from 1,000 to 10,000. A typical LED headlight bulb will have a color temperature of 5,500 to 6,500K. Light from a 5,500K bulb will have a generally yellow appearance, 6,500K has a slight blue appearance, and 6,000K is considered completely white in appearance.

Lifespan

The lifespan of any type of bulb refers to the number of hours that it can remain illuminated before needing replacement. Typically, LED headlights last between 30,000 to 50,000 hours, which is an impressive lifespan given that halogen headlight bulbs only last about 6,000 hours on average.

Check the manufacturer’s directions for use and the product information to determine the estimated lifespan before selecting a set of bulbs. LED headlights with a relatively short lifespan are usually more affordable, though if the set-it-and-forget-it lifestyle is more appealing there are premium bulbs that can operate without an issue for over 6 years. Just keep in mind that premium refers to more than the product specs and you’ll  pay a little more.

FAQs

Q: Are LED headlights worth it?

This depends upon when and where you tend to drive. If the majority of your time is spent driving on well-lit city streets, LED headlights may be unnecessary. If you live in a rural community or regularly enjoy heading into the country for hiking, climbing, or camping, then it may be a good idea to install LED headlights for better visibility.

Q: Can I replace my headlights with LED bulbs?

Although it’s possible to replace stock headlights with LED headlights, some steps must be taken before doing so. First, you will need to check state laws to ensure that the upgrade is legal in your area.

If everything checks out, then you will need a conversion kit that is suited for your vehicle. This will typically consist of a set of bulbs and LED drivers. While the bulbs produce light, the drivers help the vehicle regulate the flow of electricity to suit the power demands of an LED bulb.

Q:

Will LED headlights melt the housing?

LED headlights tend to get hot as they operate, but even the brightest LED headlights are not hot enough to damage the headlight housing—impressive, given that LED headlights can reach 215 degrees.

Q:

What is brighter halogen or LED?

LED and halogen headlights are both capable of producing approximately the same level of light, however, LED bulbs require about 90 percent less energy. The power differential is because LEDs run electricity through a diode that uses electroluminescence to generate light, while halogen bulbs rely on a filament. The electrical resistance generated by the filament makes it hot enough to generate light; this requires far more energy than illuminating a diode.

Final Thoughts

With an impressive lifespan, high light output, and versatile compatibility for up to 99 percent of vehicles the SEALIGHT LED Bulbs is an outstanding option for illuminating the road. However, if you rarely travel outside the cover of bright city lights, then the affordable Marsauto 9006 LED Bulbs may be a better choice.

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