When you think of car maintenance, headlight bulbs are probably one of the last things that come to mind. They don’t seem like one of the most urgent parts to attend to in order to maintain vehicle safety. Brakes and cooling features definitely need to be regularly checked on, but make sure that the headlights in your car also get some attention. While they have a long life span and will last you for 5 or 6 years easily, their quality lessens over time. After a couple years have passed headlights won’t be as bright as they were in the beginning, but since its gradual many people don’t notice the change over time. This is dangerous though, because it means that you will have limited vision when you’re driving at night. Path obstructions won’t be properly illuminated, putting both you and your loved ones at risk when driving.
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So when it comes time to replace your old headlights, make sure you keep a couple different things in mind. Their lifespan should play a huge part in the final decision, because after all, the longer the life, the less it needs to be changed. Even if these bulbs are more expensive, it will be worth it in the long run. You will save money and time by needing to attend to them less frequently.
Brightness is the next factor to take into consideration. If you drive a lot at night, then this should be the most important aspect of the bulb when shopping. It gives you better eyesight at night, making driving safer. Unfortunately, the brighter the bulb, the shorter the lifespan. Finally, you need to take into account the kind of light that the headlights will emit. Try to find the lights that produce a crisp, white light. It is a strong beam that will find reflective singe sooner and as a result, increase your safety.
There are a number of different kinds of headlight bulbs that cater to a variety of needs. Luckily for you, we’ve provided a cheat sheet for you below:
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First up are LEDs. There are some clear benefits of these efficient lights. They should hypothetically last the lifetime of your car, while simultaneously requiring little energy to operate. They will lessen the energy consumption of your car as a result, and yet they produce a bright, concentrated, and clear light. This is easily visible in both the nighttime and daytime. Since they better mimic sunlight, LEDs have less glare as well. This is good news for other drivers, as glare has a history of distracting other drivers at night. Due to their energy efficiency they are also ideal for electric cars. Unfortunately this brings us to the con list for these lights. LEDs are still very costly and they also don’t provide much heat putting them at risk of frosting over in cold weather which will dim the lights. Since they are new to the market, they are often still illegal on vehicles that were not built with them. These are all important things to keep in mind.
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Bulbs
Also known as ‘xenons’, these lights have a high voltage current running through them. These are increasingly being used in family vehicles and other mainstream cars on the market. Conversion packs can also be purchased in order to use these lights. They tend to have a long lifespan, often promising 10 years of use before needing a change. They are a reliable light, that come with a reasonable price tag attached to them. Unfortunately, they use more energy to run that their LED counterparts.
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These are the traditional lighting option for cars. They are low cost and are widely used. They have shorter lifespans than other options, dimmer, and require a lot of energy from your vehicle though. They easily fit many different makes and models, from SUVs to the Ford Mustang, but unfortunately they can be tricky to replace. Because of the chemicals involved, you definitely want to take them to a professional to be changed. There are also other options of these bulbs in order to improve their performance. You can now get Halogen “brighter bulbs” and energy-efficient bulbs that are designed to reduce energy consumption.