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Car and Truck Light Bulbs

There are a variety of different types of light bulbs that can be used in automobile lighting, including halogen bulbs, HID (High Intensity Discharge), and LED headlights. LED headlights are the most recent development in the field of car lights and are becoming more and more common as people learn about the benefits of LED lights. It is important to know relevant laws in your area since there are usually restrictions on the color and brightness of car lights that you can use.

What kinds of headlight bulbs are there?

There are three main kinds of bulbs for automotive headlights: halogen, HID, and LED bulbs. Each one has its own benefits, and each one should be considered when deciding which one you want to install in your own vehicle.

  • Halogen: The standard light bulb used in automotive applications for decades, these bulbs are easy to manufacture and have lifespans of up to 1,000 hours under normal operating conditions.
  • Xenon HID: Newer and more advanced than other types of bulbs, High Intensity Discharge headlights are becoming more widely used. They have an advantage over older lights because they are more efficient in how they use energy, and have much brighter, and often more visually appealing white light. They can often illuminate far more than other headlights can and have lifespans of approximately 2,000 hours.
  • LED: LED lights are becoming more and more common in a variety of applications, and while they are not quite as bright as the Xenon HIDs, they are still brighter than the older halogen lights. LED lights also benefit from having very low energy requirements, the lowest of the three different types of headlights. With a lifespan of around 10,000 hours, they far outpace other forms of vehicle lighting. They also have a more focused beam of light than either of the other two, and the small size of an LED light makes it possible for manufacturers to come up with numerous designs that can fit in the space allotted for the lighting system.
Why are some car lights illegal?

There are two main reasons that can lead to a car light being illegal: it is either too bright or the color is wrong. Either one of these can be traced back to causing safety problems, so they should be taken very seriously when choosing your lights.

  • Too Bright: If the lights on your car are too bright, then it can be very difficult for other drivers to be able to see when you are coming toward them. This is usually a problem on smaller streets, with one lane going in each direction where oncoming drivers are most in-line with your car.
  • Wrong Color: Most countries have restrictions on what color your car's headlights can be, usually either yellow or white are the legal options. Some models of vehicle light bulbs had a slightly blueish tint, which can be easily confused with the lights of many countries emergency services vehicles.