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HID VS LED Headlights - Which Are Best For Your Vehicle

HID Headlights VS LED Headlights - Which Should You Use?

If you own a vehicle, one of your key concerns may be your headlights. You want good, durable, and reliable beams that can guide you through dark places when you need it the most. You may also be looking for bright, clear, crisp lights that show everything without blinding other drivers. The search for a good set of headlights is far from mundane: it is necessary.

Your Headlights:

All car companies and manufacturers decide which type of headlights they want for their products. Depending on the brand of car you drive, your headlights will be one of these three options: Halogen, Light-Emitting Diode (LED), or High Intensity Discharge (HID). Keep in mind that halogen lights are the most common, as this was the original bulb used in cars since the invention of the personal vehicle.

However, with the advent of more sophisticated technology, the halogen light was replaced with high intensity discharge bulbs (HID). Years later, light-emitting diode (LED) technology became a third available option.

The Essential Headlight Basics:

We will discuss LED headlamps and HID headlamps. Both of these headlamp options have their own pros and cons. However, you may find that the main difference rests in the process by which each technology actually produces the light.

Since each option produces light differently, the convenience and complexity of the process will translate into differences in durability, accessibility, efficiency, power output, lightning power, and heat emission, among many others that will be discussed here.

However, what is also important to the buyer is aesthetics. We all want bright, clear light coming out of our vehicles’ headlights. You will learn that, because of the light production process of each technology, the lamps will also look different.

The more sophisticated the technology, the more pieces are needed to create the headlight that will produce the desired final product This review shows the difference between the HID and the LED bulb. We will go over what each technology encompasses, how each technology produces light, and what are the consequences of these factors in the indicators we mentioned previously.

What is LED technology?

LED, or Light-emitting diode

We are exposed to LED every day of our lives. Think laptop screens, TVs, computer monitors, smartphone screens, those curing lamps at the nail salon, and tons of other things that require lightning are powered by LED technology. We also use LED technology for more complex objects, such as your headlamps.


How is LED light produced?

The light that is produced through LED technology is possible thanks to a semi-conductor through which a current is transferred. This process makes electrons move. Ultimately, light is generated as a result of this movement of those electrons.

LED headlights are bright, do not generate as much heat, and can be manipulated. As long as the semiconductor is adjusted and changed around, LED lights can change color, intensity, brightness, and much more. These are some of the reasons why they are so popular.

What is HID, or High Intensity Discharge?

In the case of HID, a gas called Xenon passes through an electric current in order to produce light. The result of this combination is a much brighter and crisp light production which would require a more delicate, and equally crisp design for bulbs. Typically, an HID product is impressive to look at due to its brightness and clarity. The design of the bulb is typically more attractive, as well.

Which Headlight Type is better?

Let’s start with the basics. LED technology is easy to manipulate and it adjusts to a number of other multiple technologies, from headlights to computer screens. HID is a more sophisticated technology that requires equally exclusive products.

Still, here are other differences between the two:

Lightning power: Both LED and HID produce bright light. The light in HID is said to be brighter and crisper, but this is also due to the fact that its technology requires bulbs that are capable of transmitting the type of light that the HID headlamp is capable to produce. So, in this category, while both are good, there is a market for people who prefer the HID.

Efficiency and Durability: LED headlights use the semiconductor technology, with no filaments. This makes it shock proof because the headlamps are not made with any moving parts. HID is considered average in terms of efficiency because these headlights normally come with, both, bulbs and filaments which could be easily breakable.

As far as durability, LED headlamps are known for their high durability (see Longevity) compared to HID, which is rated as “average” in terms of durability.

Output: Because it is less sophisticated, LED light is produced quickly and on the spot. Headlights light up to their brightest in a much quicker way than HID lights, which take a couple of seconds to light up to their maximum potency.

Power Draw and Heat Emission: LED headlamps have a low power draw, which also makes them low in heat emission. This is partly due to the way LED light is produced, too. HID headlights are average power draw and are high in heat emission.

Longevity: LED headlamps are nine times longer lasting than HID lights. An average LED product can last up to 45,000 hours, whereas HID lights have a lifespan of 5,000 hours on average.

Variety: LED is so easy to manipulate that it can produce light in up to seven different colors. HID, being more complex to produce, can produce light in up to 4 colors.

Time to install: It takes an average of 30 minutes to install an LED headlight, versus an hour for an HID light.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. However, it is clear that, as far as convenience, LED headlamps may prove to be the best buy for your money. Not only do they last longer, but they are also shock proof, available everywhere, and have an incredible 9X advantage over HID headlamps in terms of life span. This means less chances of getting a ticket for a busted headlight.

Overall, both choices will do the job they are supposed to do, and they both have their unique features. What is your choice? Sound off in our comments section.