How To Choose The Headlight Bulbs for Night Driving?
Dim and yellow stock bulbs are not suitable at all for night driving. For ensuring safety and brightness, experts recommend switching to brighter and whiter bulbs.
Replacing your OEM bulbs with LEDs is the best option. However, you can also go for quality halogen lights that are pure white and provide more brightness. Not to mention HID, which can be the brightest of them all!
Me and my buddies used nearly a hundred brands over the past few months for this website. I was able to find some of the best headlight bulbs for night driving this year. Here they are:
Best Headlight For Night Driving In 2022
Table of Contents
- Best Headlight For Night Driving In 2022
- 1. AUXITO H4 9003 HB2 LED Bulb
- 2. SEALIGHT 9005/HB3 H11/H9/H8 LED Bulbs Combo
- 3. Hikari 2022 HyperStar H11/H8/H9 20000LM Wireless LED Bulbs
- 4. Philips Automotive Lighting H11 X-tremeVision Upgrade Headlight Bulb
- 5. VoRock8 R2 COB H11 H8 H9 H16 8000 Lumens Led Bulbs
- 6. Fahren H11/H9/H8 LED Headlight Bulbs
- 7. AUXITO 9005 LED Headlight Bulbs
- 8. Fahren 9005/HB3 LED Headlight Bulbs
- 10. AUTOONE H11 LED Headlight H8 H9 LED Bulb
- 11. Torchbeam D1S HID Headlight Bulbs
- Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Note
1. AUXITO H4 9003 HB2 LED Bulb
Adjustable Beam 6500K Xenon White, 300% Night Visibility High Low Light Kit
- Having no cooling fan, the bulb produces no annoying noise.
- More than double the brightness and visibility compared to OEM halogen bulbs.
- For most vehicles, the installation is plug-and-play and can be done in under five minutes.
- IC driver built-in, aviation aluminum, and heat sink ensure 30,000 hours of durability on average.
- Even though the installation is plug-and-play, you need time to adjust the bulb adequately.
- A few vehicles may experience slight radio statics when with these bulbs.
A lot of people like would switch to LED bulbs if it was not for the annoying noise of the fan. That is why this pair from Auxito is excellent due to its fanless design.
The fanless construction is just one of many reasons why the H4 Auxito LEDs are one of my top choices.
Auxito claims that these lights are 300% or 3 times better than regular halogen in terms of night visibility. From my experience, I can safely say that the bulbs produce more than two times the brightness of OEM stock options.
Moreover, the 6500K color temperature of the light means you can see the surrounding better while driving at night with a pure white beam.
Speaking of beam, the beam pattern of the bulbs is similar to the original halogen bulbs that come with your car.
Auxito achieves this by putting the LED chips at the same spot as halogen bulbs place their filament. It is called 1:1 design. Therefore, it has a sharp cutoff without causing glare to oncoming drivers.
Due to high brightness, a pure white light along a proper beam pattern, this pair is excellent for drivers who mostly have to be in their cars at nighttime.
The lack of a fan does not affect the durability of the bulbs too much. It's due to the aviation aluminum that works together with the heat sink and IC driver. Such excellent cooling leads to a long lifetime for the LEDs.
2. SEALIGHT 9005/HB3 H11/H9/H8 LED Bulbs Combo
400% brighter than Halogen bulbs, 100% wider vision than other bulbs
- Comes with quality gloves that will help with the installation.
- Excellent high and low beam replacement for Ford F150 vehicles.
- A fanless heat sink ensures no noise while still providing quality cooling.
- 10 years of lifespan due to quality construction and heatproof coating on the chips.
- The 6000K color temperature is pure white without a hint of blue, which prevents stress on the eyes.
- Illuminates up to 650 feet of the road; excellent for highways and even off-road driving.
- The low beams were a bit harder to install due to the bulbs being a bit bulky.
- Due to the heat sinks being a bit large, the bulbs do not properly fit in a 4Runner vehicle.
If you own a Ford vehicle, especially the F150 model, this set of bulbs from Sealight can be the perfect upgrade for better night driving vision. Even in over 90% of cars other than Ford, the bulbs work great providing quality low and high beams.
With over four times the brightness of regular stock bulbs, you can see up to 650 feet in front of you. As result, you can have more reaction time during dark nights.
These 60W bulbs do not come with a fan. However, they still provide ten years of a lifetime. I'm guessing it's due to the heatproof chip coating, excellent heat sink, and overall quality of the build. Therefore, you can enjoy the silent operation of the bulbs without sacrificing durability.
When it comes to color temperature, most 6500K LEDs emit a white beam with some blue hue. This blue color can be uncomfortable when looked at for a longer period. That is why I like the 6000K color temperature of these bulbs, as it does not cause stress to your eyes.
Unless you own a 4Runner car, I recommend these two pairs from Sealight. They are the easiest replacement for Ford F150 high and low beams.
3. Hikari 2022 HyperStar H11/H8/H9 20000LM Wireless LED Bulbs
32W Acme-X LED Equivalent to 150W Ordinary LED, Wider Driving Vision, Halogen Upgrade Replacement, 6000K White IP68
- Canbus-ready; does not cause problems with your vehicle's internal components.
- Due to the excellent Acme-X chips and the 6000K white color temperature, the night performance is brilliant and dazzling.
- There is very little glare and black areas, and the beam is uniformly diffused for clear vision.
- Waterproof grade of IP68; protects against moisture and dirt build-up and extends the life of the device.
- The bulb unit is kept cool by a strong 15,000-RPM turbofan.
- Installation is more difficult than with LEDs like Auxito.
- Due to its somewhat bigger size, the dust cover may not fit in some cars.
Compared to other LEDs on this list, you will notice that this Hikari LED pair is pricier by a good margin. Moreover, the bulbs feature a cooling fan that is missing in Auxito and Sealight bulbs from before.
The 6000K color temperature and excellent vision of the bulbs make Hikari one of the best brands to have inside your headlight assembly. As their long-time user, I recommend everyone to get Hikari if they have a good budget!
Despite the fact that these are 32W bulbs, they may produce exceptional brightness that rivals that of Sylvania or Philips. As a result, you can anticipate the bulbs to have the brightness of top halogen brands as well as the color temperature and endurance of LEDs.
Hikari bulbs are recognized for their long life. This particular pair is one of their best, thanks to a strong turbofan that rotates at 15,000 RPM, greater heat sinks, and an IP68 waterproof rating.
Furthermore, once you have owned your bulbs for a year, Hikari provides free or low-cost upgrades.
The Hyperstar H7 pair from Hikari is excellent if you are willing to spend a good amount of money on a pair of high-quality LEDs.
The installation is a little more difficult than with other halogen lamps (at least for me). Hikari is more than worth it if you can put up with the little installation problems.
4. Philips Automotive Lighting H11 X-tremeVision Upgrade Headlight Bulb
Get Up To 100% More Vision On The Road Compared To A Standard Minimum Legal Requirements In Low Beam Headlamp Test Results
- Does not require you to adjust the bulb in most cases.
- The light is significantly whiter than OEM halogen with a 3400K color temperature.
- Does not blind oncoming drivers due to a controlled amount of brightness and good beam pattern.
- Installation is plug-and-play; much easier to get the bulbs in compared to LEDs.
- The duration of the lifetime is not that impressive; some users pointed out that the bulbs last a year.
- Not as bright and white as LEDs.
LEDs are very bright, sometimes too bright. If you are looking for a moderate lumen output that will surpass OEM halogen but will not blind others, halogen may just be the right choice.
The X-tremeVision halogen pair from Philipps claim to be over 60% brighter than OEM bulbs. They are also whiter than regular halogen with 3400K color temperature without having a blue hue like 5500K LEDs.
Installation is a common issue with LED bulbs. With the X-tremeVision, I enjoyed a plug-and-play installation as a heat sink or fan does not exist on the bulbs.
I did not even have to do the beam adjustment process with the bulb as it provides an excellent OEM fit.
One of the downsides of this pair is its longevity. LEDs have cooling mechanisms and a better construction that makes them last longer. On the other hand, these halogen bulbs do not feature any of them. Therefore, you can’t expect the Philips bulbs to last as long as other LEDs.
I recommend this pair from Philips if you prefer halogen to LEDs. You can get an easier installation and a moderate amount of brightness without blinding oncoming drivers.
However, for more brightness and a color temperature of around 5000K, I suggest getting LED bulbs. Moreover, LEDs can be better at longevity.
5. VoRock8 R2 COB H11 H8 H9 H16 8000 Lumens Led Bulbs
Low Beam Dipped Conversion Kit Bulbs, H9 Bright Light, Fog Driving Light
- Easy installation; true plug and play.
- 4000LM per bulb or 8000LM output from the pair; the brightness is excellent for night driving.
- Quality cooling with aviation aluminum heat dissipation and cooling fans.
- The cooling fans do not make noise and it is not audible when the engine is running.
- Being polarity sensitive, the installation can take some time for some vehicles.
- The bulbs are not Canbus-ready.
You can use these LEDs from VoRock8 to replace your low beam halogens or fog lights. With 6500K color temperature, you are expecting a pure white beam, unlike a yellowish light that you get from halogens.
Compared to most other LEDs with a big heat sink and a cooling fan, I realized that these bulbs are fairly easy to install. However, the pair is not Canbus-ready, which is a feature present on LEDs from Hikari on this list.
Without the Canbus-ready option, the bulbs may cause issues like dashboard error messages and flicker on a small number of sensitive vehicle models. I had to install a decoder to fix the issue and considering the price of the pair, it is worth it!
Unlike Auxito or Hikari LEDs, this pair contains cooling fans. When the engine is running, I couldn't hear the fans at all. Therefore, the bulbs have better longevity with the cooling fans assisting the heat dissipation without having annoying noises.
8000 lumens of output from the pair ensures high brightness for night driving. The COB chips used on the bulbs provide a focused beam pattern. As a result, there are no dark spots present and vision improves significantly.
I recommend these LEDs if you are looking for quality bulbs at a moderate budget. The pair is great as fog bulbs as well, if you already have LEDs installed as your main bulbs.
6. Fahren H11/H9/H8 LED Headlight Bulbs
120W 20000 Lumens Bright LED Headlights, 6500K Cool White LED Headlight Conversion Kit IP68 Waterproof, Quick Installation
- Plug and play installation; took us around 6 minutes to get them both installed.
- Since the bulbs draw 120W of power, you will most likely not get error messages on your car’s dashboard.
- You can get at least 16,000 lumens of output from these bulbs.
- The bulbs have the same beam pattern of OEM halogen and they do not have any dark spots or do not blind others.
- There is a hint of blue on the beam. We prefer 6000K pure white color temperature and these bulbs provide 6500K.
Fahren is one of the most recommended names when it comes to LEDs and this 120W pair does not disappoint. The manufacturer claims the bulbs provide 20,000 lumens of output. We and most users who have tested this pair can confirm that the bulbs’ lumen output is at least 16,000, which is more than enough!
The 6500K cool white color of the beam has a hint of blue. Therefore, the bulbs can make your vehicle look great but staring too much at the beam can cause eye stress.
This pair is considerably brighter than most LEDs mentioned here. They even surpass the brightness of Hikari bulbs while having a lower cost. When compared to OEM halogens, the beam is pattern is the same but with more than five times the brightness.
In the case of longevity, this pair provides 50,000 hours of lifetime. The bulbs achieve such durability due to quality heat sinks, aviation aluminum, and 12,000-RPM turbofan for cooling.
Moreover, the IP68 waterproof rating adds to the longevity, keeping the bulbs safe from water and dust inside the headlight assembly.
If you are planning on spending a bit extra on purchasing high-quality LEDs, Fahren is as good of an option as Hikari. The ease of installation, high brightness, and admirable longevity make this pair a great choice.
7. AUXITO 9005 LED Headlight Bulbs
12000LM Per Set 6500K Xenon White Mini Size HB3 Wireless Headlight Bulb
- Gets installed easily in five minutes due to the wireless construction; you can use OEM dust covers on these.
- Illuminates further and wider down the road and on the sides.
- IP65 waterproof rating makes the bulbs excellent for rainy weather.
- 12,000 lumens of output illuminates the road with bright and white 6500K color temperature.
- We don’t like the beam pattern being non-adjustable.
- There are small insignificant dark spots that can be slightly noticeable.
Similar to the Hikari LEDs, these bulbs feature a wireless construction, making the installation easier and plug-and-play. The Auxito pair surpasses the brightness of Hikari by a good margin. However, they do not have the same beam pattern as your OEM halogen bulbs that Hikari has.
There are a few dark spots present and the bulbs being non-adjustable does explain why this pair is available at a lower price. Nonetheless, the performance is still significantly better than OEM stock bulbs.
The pair offers a lifetime of 30,000 hours, which is not as long as Fahren’s 50,000 hours of longevity but still great at that price range.
The powerful turbofan keeps the unit cool while not making too much noise that may disturb you. Moreover, the bulbs have a unique heat sink paired with aviation aluminum heat dissipation.
The color temperature of these LEDs is 6500K. Therefore, it outputs a white beam with a hint of blue. The slightly bluish hue can cause eye stress but the bright white light ensures that you can see everything properly at night.
If you are searching for wireless LEDs with an easier installation and high brightness, this pair is recommended. The beam pattern could be a bit better but overall it is a good choice for the money.
8. Fahren 9005/HB3 LED Headlight Bulbs
60W 12000 Lumens Super Bright LED Headlights Conversion Kit 6500K Cool White IP68 Waterproof
- Unique heat sinks and aluminum aircraft cooling can save up to 50,000 hours over the course of a lifetime.
- The 360-degree adjustable adapter ring makes installation and alignment easy.
- There is no need for a decoder; it does not flicker or create dashboard error messages in up to 98 percent of automobiles.
- Very bright; more than three times brighter than standard halogen without blinding oncoming traffic.
- Polarity problem; installation in a limited number of automobiles may require certain adjustments.
Fahren might be the answer if you're seeking for very bright bulbs to replace your OEM lights. Because of their excellent brightness of 10,000 lumens, the bulbs may be utilized as low beams.
The lights' 6500K cool white color temperature makes them substantially superior to any halogen OEM lamp or low beams, in addition to providing three times the brightness.
The appropriate adjustment of the bulbs is one of the most common challenges encountered while installing LEDs. Fahren's adjustable adaptor ring simplifies the installation process.
You can simply secure the light in the housing while ensuring the bulb is correctly oriented since the adapter ring permits 360-degree rotation. Furthermore, a Canbus decoder is unlikely to be required because the lights are compatible with up to 98 percent of automobiles.
The 12,000-RPM fan provides excellent cooling without being loud. Therefore, the bulbs have better longevity without having the annoying fan noise of most LEDs. Fahren offers a lifetime of 50,000 hours, which is significantly higher than most LEDs that offer 30,000 hours.
Compared to the previous Fahren pair we mentioned, these bulbs have half the lumen output. Therefore, if 10,000 lumens is all you need and the high brightness of the 20,000LM is too much, we recommend this option.
10. AUTOONE H11 LED Headlight H8 H9 LED Bulb
12000LM CANBUS Plug and Play for Low Beam Fog Light High Beam Super Bright Headlight Bulbs 6000K White
- Being wireless, these bulbs are as easy to install as halogen lamps.
- Even though the color temperature is 6500K, there is no blue tint and the light is pure white.
- They consume only 26W of power; you can leave them on unlike halogen bulbs.
- Canbus-ready for low and high beams; does not cause error messages or flickering issues.
- There are some flickering issues reported when you use the LED as DRL bulbs.
Autoone is not the most familiar name when it comes to LED bulbs. However, the quality of this pair makes them as good as names like Auxito. First things first, the installation is true plug-and-play with these bulbs due to their compact size and wireless construction.
Moreover, the Canbus-ready feature ensures that they will not flicker or cause error messages when you use the bulbs. However, some users did point out that as DRL bulbs, these have flickering issues. Therefore, we only recommend these LEDs as low or high beams.
Let’s talk about the performance, the 6000K white light is pleasant to the eyes due to not having any blue hue. 12,000 lumens of output ensures high brightness for night driving. As a result, these bulbs are significantly better than OEM halogen.
We like the bulbs using only 26W of power because, in that way, you can keep these bulbs on for a long time without stressing your car’s battery. Such power efficiency adds to the longer lifespan of the LEDs.
Moreover, the excellent cooling due to the turbofan, aviation aluminum body, IP67 waterproof rating, and quality heat sink provides 50,000 hours of lifespan.
Overall, we recommend these for low or high beams. We love the 6000K color temperature of these LEDs, as the emitted beam is pure white without having any blue hue.
11. Torchbeam D1S HID Headlight Bulbs
6000K Cool White, 150% Lighting Distance, Xenon Replacement Bulb, IP67 Design with Metal Stents Base
- Near three times the brightness as regular halogen bulbs.
- The 6000K color temperature of the bulbs ensures a pure white beam without any hint of blue.
- Only requires 35W to operate, which is excellent for an HID bulb.
- IP67 waterproof feature ensures longevity under bad weather conditions.
- The installation is a bit complicated on some vehicles like BMW or Volkswagen.
Even though we prefer LEDs to HIDs in most cases, this pair from Torchbeam can compete with other LEDs. It is due to the power-efficient 35W consumption, they do not require as much wattage as many other HIDs.
Moreover, the IP67 waterproof feature and 5 years of lifespan make them even better than many LEDs. On top of that, the budget-friendly price tag makes them a highly recommended pair if you prefer HID over LEDs.
With these bulbs installed, you can have nearly three times the brightness of OEM halogen. Moreover, the wireless design ensures a plug-and-play installation unless you have a BMW or Volkswagen car. The 6000K color temperature of the HIDs makes the bulbs emit a pure white light without any blue hue.
One of the biggest issues with halogen and HIDs is the light getting dimmer over the years. To prevent this, Torchbeam’s HIDs have an anti-ultraviolet coating. Therefore, these can emit a constant lumen output without dimming for a long time.
If you have a headlight assembly that can use HID bulbs (projector assembly), we recommend this pair from Torchbeam. The brightness is also limited to a moderate amount that won’t cause legal issues.
There are a few specific things you need to be looking for in search of the best bulbs. Especially, when the purpose of you buying headlight bulbs is to improve night driving performance.
The following factors play the most role in terms of increasing your range of vision making everything clear to see. There are also other important aspects mentioned.
OEM halogens do not give out enough brightness for the best driving experience at night. Therefore, you need to keep your eyes open for higher lumen output when making your purchase.
Although, we recommend not going overboard with the brightness since many super-bright HIDs may not be street legal.
When purchasing LEDs, having a minimum of 4000-lumen output is great. So, you are looking for 2000LM per bulb. There are some pairs that offer 10,000LM and are extremely bright.
In simpler terms, you should go for bulbs that can emit over 60% brightness of your regular stock bulbs. Any LED, halogen, or HID that fits this criterion can be great for nighttime driving.
A yellowish beam of OEM halogen makes night driving an awful experience. The lights do not illuminate the road properly and you can struggle to see the things around you.
That is why you should go for bulbs that emit a bright white light. As a result, a higher color temperature is the key.
You will be getting a good white beam from bulbs that have a color temperature range of 3400K to 6500K. Most LEDs we mentioned have a color temperature of 6000K, which is pure white without any hint of yellow. They perform their best to make the road as bright as day even in the darkest of nights.
Halogen, LED, or HID?
For most cases, going for LED bulbs is the best choice for the following reasons:
- They are significantly brighter than OEM halogen.
- LEDs feature a whiter beam that illuminates the road well.
- They are overall a better choice for night driving.
- LED bulbs last significantly longer than both halogen and HID.
On the other hand, LEDs can have some disadvantages:
- They are somewhat harder to install.
- LEDs cost a bit more than halogens.
Therefore, if you want a cheaper alternative to LEDs, halogen bulbs from Philips and Sylvania are great. However, they won’t be lasting as long as their LED counterparts. For maximum brightness, HIDs are preferable but they may not be legal everywhere!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which headlights are best for night driving?
In general, LED headlights are ideal for night driving. They provide a wider beam that’s easy on the eyes, and a brighter light that allows you to see further in front of you. They also provide better visibility in fog and rain, and can reduce your blind spots. Some models also offer better color rendering, which makes them more noticeable during the daytime.
Are LED headlights better for night driving?
LED headlights are better for night driving, but they aren't as bright as HIDs. They can also be a bit dimmer on high beams and still be visible. It is advised to use them only when it's absolutely necessary to drive in low light. Otherwise, HIDs are a much better option.
What is the brightest headlight for a car?
The most powerful headlamps for cars are the HID and LED options. They emit light in the form of light beams, and are ideal for nighttime driving, especially in urban areas. LED headlights are the best option, as they can provide better visibility than HIDs.
Night driving comes with a few challenges but it doesn’t have to be hard. Using proper headlights, you can eliminate any risk and ensure safety at night. Brighter and whiter light is the key to this process of replacing your old OEM halogens.
From our list, we highly admire Hikari bulbs due to their flawless quality. However, they do come with a hefty price tag. If you want budget-friendly options, there are other LEDs and halogens mentioned, too!