Most car manufacturers have used halogen lamps as the standard solution for car headlines over the past 20 years. But in the past few years, more and more car makers have shifted to energy-efficient headlights both as a way to reduce fuel consumption and make automobiles more aesthetically pleasing.
If you’re planning to swap your car’s headlights to something more efficient, you have two options to choose from: Xenon HID lights and LED lights.
But what makes these car headlight solutions different?
Xenon HID Headlights
Xenon HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights are the one of the most popular alternatives to halogen headlights. They use xenon gas, which is excited by an electrical current, causing a filament to generate light.
Although the process is similar to what happens in an incandescent bulb and halogen lamp (halogens are basically incandescent bulbs, by the way), HID headlights are superior in terms of energy efficiency and light quality. HIDs are also relatively affordable considering their generous lumen output.
Disadvantages: Although HID headlights are considerably brighter than halogens, they are also arguably more fragile. If you’re retrofitting a 4×4 truck that you constantly drive on rough roads, HIDs may not be the best headlight solution. Xenon HID headlights also tend to burn out at both high and low temperatures, which can affect their lighting quality.
LED (light-emitting diode) car headlights are basically bulbs with several tiny diodes bunched up together.
Unlike ordinary bulbs, LEDs don’t contain a filament that’s prone to burning out. Instead, they produce light through the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material. LEDs consume the least amount of energy to create a bright glow, helping your car’s battery life and fuel consumption.
With their solid-state engineering, LEDs have the longest lifespan of any light bulb on the market and can withstand vibrations and extreme temperatures—both hot and cold. This means that with LEDs, you won’t have to change your headlights as often as Xenon HID and halogen headlights.
Industry estimates predict that by 2030, as much as 75% of all lights used and sold will be LEDs. This is no different in the auto industry, as more manufacturers and car owners beginning to switch to LEDs, both as stock configurations and aftermarket additions. And with LEDs becoming more affordable by the year, this transition is not a matter of if, but when.
Choosing which headlights to get for your car doesn’t have to be difficult.
With Xenon HID headlights, you get a step up from the usual halogen lights, with better light quality, better energy efficiency, and an impressive of colors, all while being relatively affordable.
LEDs, on the other hand, have an incredibly long lifespan. Their solid-state engineering means they require less maintenance and have a lower likelihood of burning out prematurely. LEDs are on the pricey side of things, but they’re an investment that pays off in the long run.