Installing LED headlights on your vehicle is an excellent way to improve your visibility in dark or foggy areas. Not only do they provide a high lumen and color, but they also last a pretty long time. These are all common knowledge that many of us know.
But most of us may not know how long do LED headlights last. If you have the same question, you are in the right place.
The purpose of this article is to give you an in-depth view of the lifespan of LED headlights. But what’s a better way to understand that other than to compare it with other headlight types? Other than LED, there are Halogen and Xenon.
You may also want to know more relevant details about LED lights. So, let’s have a look.
Different Types of Headlights
When it comes to headlights, there are three types that you can find. The halogen lights are one of the common choices for stock lights. It lasts shorter compared to the other types and is also dimmer most of the time. Halogen lights are available at a really low price.
HID or Xenon lights provide much lumen rating and are whiter in comparison to halogen. They also last longer and cost a bit much. The drawback of it is that the installation process of HID is too complex for casual drivers. Most people have to hire an expert to mount the headlight on their vehicle.
Finally, the LED headlights are superior in every quality compared to the other two. They provide lumens that can go up to 4000lm with both headlights combined. Their color can also exceed 10,000K. However, they are very expensive. LED headlights also stay cool, thanks to their heat dissipation system.
Things That Determine the Lifespan of LED Headlights
There are a number of factors that directly or indirectly affect the life of a headlight. Some of these are given below-
- Heat- The hotter a light gets on average on a daily basis, the shorter its lifespan gets. We explained why in the latter sections.
- Voltage- Running on higher voltage creates more heat and light, which reduces the life of a headlight.
- Vibration- Whether it is vibration from the road or engine, it can slowly damage the lights over time.
- Electrical surge- We don’t think this needs much explanation. Any light can get damaged during electrical surges.
- Moisture Build-up- Ingress of liquid particles can end up causing a moisture build-up inside the headlights. While some LED headlights use their excess heat to vaporize the moisture, most lights get their life shortened because of this issue. It also makes the headlight cloudy.
- Manufacturing- The lifespan of the headlight can depend on how the manufacturers built it.
How Long Do Halogen Headlights Last?
Before LED, we are adding the lifespan of other headlight types. Firstly, there are the halogen lights. Most of the time, you will find them as the stock headlight of your vehicle. They have a low LM and color temperature compared to the other light types.
Halogen lights have an average lifespan of 450-1000 hours. Yes, the gap is quite big because there are lots of factors there. Halogen lights use electricity to heat up their filament. Heated objects create light.
But, the filament keeps getting evaporated in the process. The halogen gas helps to reduce it while increasing the light. Now, if the filament is thicker, it can survive longer while providing less light.
On the other hand, getting more voltage than required creates more light but burns more filament, shortening the lifespan. The weather condition of the area also affects it. Finally, the battery stats, the shaking during the drives, and other factors work here too.
Even if you touch the bulb while installing, that also counts as a negative factor in these. That explains how the lifespan of halogen headlights can be 400 to 1000h at different conditions.
How Long Do HID Headlights Last?
The next headlight we will talk about is the HID headlights. High-intensity discharge, also known as the Xenon light, offers a better service by lasting 2,000h on average. It is around twice the lifespan of a halogen, thanks to the way these lights work. You will also get better light output from them.
In this case, the electrical flow is regulated via a ballast system. As a result, the light only uses the correct amount of electricity that it needs. It mostly saves the headlights from high voltages. There are Xenon gases inside the bulbs.
This gas can trigger so quickly compared to gases such as Argon that take a long time to work. As the electricity enters the light, it hops between two arc points. It triggers the Xenon gas, and the light comes on.
As you can see, the HID lights work so efficiently. Therefore, they are a popular choice as vehicle headlights. It also keeps the engine from working more than it should, shortening the amount of CO2 emission. Unlike halogen that wastes almost 95% of energy, HID lights use it all. Their bright blue beams are excellent for nighttime rides.
How Long Do LED Daytime Running Lights Last?
Finally, we have the lifespan LED headlights to discuss. LED lights are a newer addition in headlight markets than the other two, and hence, are less popular yet. They survive for around 20,000h to even 50,000h. This light uses the principle of electroluminescence to create the beams.
So, what is that principle? It basically means that applying power to a material will make it emit light. For LED (light-emitting diode) headlights, this material is the diode, and the power is the electric currents.
The process utilizes a p-n junction, where electron hops from the electron-rich side to the other side, which lacks charged electrons. It works like how heat flows from high-temperature area to low until both sides are evened out. As the electron is moving like that, the system generates light.
How is this process different than the halogen one? Well, the former one does require heat compared to the latter one. The absence of heat from electricity allows a LED light to last much longer.
LED daytime running lights work the same way, and they survive for around 10,000h. Also, LED lights die slowly, which gives you enough time to get a new one.
Now that you know about the lifespan of different headlights and their reasoning, you should be able to make an ideal choice when buying one. But as you can see, you should also take care of the light properly to get their service for a long time.
Vibration from the road or engine and poor weather conditions can be inevitable, but you can handle the other factors. Avoid headlights that aren’t compatible with the voltage and wattage of your vehicle.
Clean your headlights occasionally. If possible, drive during the daytime instead of night. On the occasion of any malfunction in the battery or cables, troubleshoot it quickly.