HEADLIGHT BULB TYPES: HOW TO CHOOSE?



Would you rather see or be seen? Ah ha! It’s a trick question, because when you’re on the road, they’re both equally important. Just as you want to see the road, pedestrians, and other vehicles, you want everyone to be able to see you, too. That’s why it’s essential to your safety that you understand the headlight bulb types currently available so you can select the one that provides the light you need.


SO MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEADLIGHTS!


Should you replace your headlight bulbs with ones that provide an extra-bright light? Are the bulbs with the lower price point a better deal than the ones that promise longer life? With all these headlight bulb types, how do you know which is the right option for you? The short answer: Car design generally dictates which of these headlight bulb types you should choose. Now, let’s take a closer look …


SMALLER, MORE AFFORDABLE CARS ARE LIKELY TO HAVE HALOGEN HEADLIGHTS


Halogens use technology that’s been around for more than half a century, and their dependable performance has helped make them the standard among car manufacturers. They provide a bright light and perform dependably in extreme temperatures. Of all the different types of headlights, these bulbs are the easiest to find at replacement time. Their typical life expectancy is 2000 hours of use.


SPORTIER CARS MAY HAVE XENON HEADLIGHTS


Also known as High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights, they are often the choice for cars that have narrower headlight units. These are the brightest of all the different types of headlights available today. Their light output can decrease over time and eventually they won’t produce enough light to be safe for night driving. (By law, they must operate at 80% of capacity within 4 seconds of being switched on.) Still, Xenon bulbs last much longer than halogen bulbs. Typical life expectancy is 10,000 hours of use.


LED HEADLIGHTS ARE USUALLY RESERVED FOR HIGH-END, LUXURY CARS


Light emitting diode — or LED — lights are gaining in popularity and have replaced Xenon headlights on many new cars. They produce a bright light, nearly as bright as Xenon bulbs, and consume less power than halogen headlight bulbs. With a typical life expectancy of 30,000 hours, they are the longest lasting of the headlight bulb types. With all those benefits, why not just switch headlight bulb types and go with LED lights?


  • In many cases, an LED bulb won’t fit. They are smaller than halogen bulbs and convert electricity into light differently. A conversion kit may be required along with the bulbs, which means additional money and time.

  • If the electronics in an LED bulb fail, the entire light unit may have to be replaced. That makes LEDs impractical for older cars. At least for now! Technology is always evolving, and in the future, there may be LED bulbs that can be replaced separately.


TO FIND OUT WHICH HEADLIGHT BULB TYPES WORK BEST FOR YOUR CAR, CONSULT YOUR VEHICLE OWNER'S MANUAL


If you can’t locate your manual, or if it gives you multiple options, feel free to ask a trained Jiffy Lube® technician. You can count on Jiffy Lube® to access the proper specifications for your vehicle.


AN INSPECTION OF EXTERIOR LIGHTS IS INCLUDED WITH THE JIFFY LUBE SIGNATURE SERVICE® OIL CHANGE


This includes more than your headlights. Jiffy Lube® technicians will also check:


  • Fog lights

  • Parking lights

  • Tail lights

  • Backup lights

  • Brake lights

  • Turn signal lights

  • License plate lights


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