Best LED Bulbs for Projector Headlights
There are a lot of projector headlight bulbs and light kits on the market, making it difficult to know which ones are good and which ones are not so good! Well, if you are searching around and you can’t decide which bulbs are best for your needs, then this is the article for you!
There are lots of things to take into consideration before choosing what type of bulb is best suited to your needs. Such as safety, light intensity, ease of installation, light distribution, bulb lifespan, and more. So, without further ado, let’s take a deep dive into some of the best bulbs for projector headlights.
1. Fahren H11/H8/H9 LED Headlight Kit
First up we have the Fahren LED Headlight kit. These 60-watt LED headlight bulbs give off a whopping 6,000 Lumens each! They are around 3 times brighter than stock halogen bulbs. With a super focused beam pattern and no dark spots, it’s easy to see why these are so popular!
These bulbs are made using an aviation aluminum body, with a hollow-carved heat sink and a 12,000RPM turbofan, meaning that these bulbs have an efficient and reliable cooling system.
It can take as little as 10 minutes to install these LED headlight bulbs as they don’t need any special sockets, just plug and play. These bulbs are also pretty kind to your wallet, which is always a nice bonus!
Like with all bulbs, bulb size matters! Just have a read through your car/headlight manual to find out what size bulb will suit your needs.
- Plug and Play – easy headlight assembly
- Up to 50,000 hours lifespan
- Super focused beam pattern
- No dark spots or foggy light
- Does not blind other drivers
- 360° adjustable locker ring to provide the best beam pattern
- 300% brighter than stock halogen bulbs
- Does not fit all vehicles
2. Fahren 9005/HB3/H10 LED Headlight Kit
The second one on this list is another one from Fahren, the people over at Fahren really know how to produce high-quality headlight kits! These light bulbs can be used as both high and low beam headlights, although this depends on your headlight socket.
Just like the previous entry, these bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours, they are 3 times brighter than halogen lights, and they are easy to install, just plug and play.
These bulbs are CANbus ready, meaning that they work with 98% of vehicles without causing any computer error issues.
By using a whole aviation aluminum exterior, these bulbs are waterproof and dustproof, this makes these bulbs great in most driving conditions. Just be sure to check your car manual to make sure that these bulbs are the right size for your needs.
- Plug and play – easy headlight assembly
- Super bright output, up to 3 times brighter than halogen bulbs
- Does not blind other vehicles
- Up to 50,000 hours lifespan
- These bulbs leave no dark spots or foggy lights
- Super focused beam pattern
- 360° adjustable locker ring for best beam pattern
- Operational between -45℃ and +150℃
- Does not fit all vehicles
- A small handful of reports stating that the headlight bulbs burn out fairly quickly
3. SEALIGHT Scoparc 9005/HB3 LED Bulbs 4 Pack
SEALIGHT 9005 h11 LED bulbs have an enormous 14000 Lumens per pair! That is 400% brighter than standard halogen headlights. With a perfect beam pattern to give you 100% visibility without blinding other drivers, these high power bulbs are perfect for almost any situation.
These bulbs contain an external driver, which helps to dissipate the heat given off by the LED light bulbs. This can lead to these headlight bulbs lasting up to five years. That’s five times longer than halogen bulbs!
The brightness that is given off by these lights allows you to see further ahead, allowing you to react faster, and in turn, drive safer.
This is a four-pack, so you get two high and two low beam lights, this is great since some older vehicles require both sets of lights.
SEALIGHT 9005 h11 LED bulbs are easy to install, just plug and play. These lights are CANbus ready so they are compatible with 99% of vehicles. Just be sure to check that these are the right size before purchasing them! They are no good if they don’t fit!
- CANbus ready for 99% of vehicles
- Provides excellent heat dissipation
- Plug and play – easy headlight assembly
- 400% brighter than standard halogen headlights
- Perfect beam pattern
- Does not obstruct other people’s visibility
- No dark spots
- Safe and reliable
- Up to two years warranty
- Doesn’t fit all vehicles
- Not everyone needs four bulbs
- A little more expensive than some of the other bulbs on this list
4. SEALIGHT Scoparc 9005/HB3 LED Bulbs, high beam headlamp replacement kit
Another one from SEALIGHT, this time it’s a little cheaper, although you get two bulbs instead of four! These high beam headlamp replacements are ideal for those looking for something easy to install whilst also being incredibly bright and long-lasting.
These lights take as little as five minutes to install. With up to 50,000 hours of life, these LED lights are built to last!
These lights provide a great beam pattern and work incredibly well in foggy and rainy conditions. They are also excellent for country roads and dimly lit backstreets as they are three times brighter than standard halogen headlight bulbs.
The SEALIGHT Scoparc high beam headlamp replacement kit is CANbus ready for 95% of vehicles. So, not as high as the others on this list, but still pretty good if you ask me! Just be sure to check your vehicle manual to make sure that this kit is compatible.
- Last up to 50,000 hours
- 5 minutes easy installation
- 300% brighter than a standard halogen bulb
- Excellent heat dissipation without any fan noise
- Does not blind oncoming traffic
- No dark spots or wavy lights
- Super focused beam pattern
- They aren’t as compatible as other entries on this list
- A few reports of customers receiving damaged or broken products, mainly due to bad handling from the shipping company
5. AUXITO 9005 LED Headlight Bulbs
Last but by no means least we have AUXITO 9005 LED headlight bulbs. These 30-watt LED headlight bulbs pack a punch! With 12,000LM per pair, they are 300% brighter than halogen headlights.
These headlight bulbs were designed the same way as halogen bulbs, but with a thin LED chip to provide a perfect beam without any dark spots or dark spots foggy lights.
The AUXITO 9005 light bulbs have a built-in powerful fan to keep the led bulb cool, this helps prolong the lifespan of the bulb. These light bulbs can last at long as 30,000 hours. It isn’t as long as the other products on this list, but it’s still pretty long!
These bulbs come in 6500k Xenon white, which allows you to see further during dark conditions. These light bulbs are quick and easy to install, just plug and play.
These LED headlight bulbs can also be used for both full and low beam light, so no need for multiple bulbs. Although, this is dependent on your vehicle’s headlights, so check the instruction manual first!
- Very cheap as far as LED bulbs go!
- Lasts 30,000 hours
- Easy to install
- Not compatible with all vehicles, may require an extra CANbus decoder
- Lasts 20,000 hours less than the other products on this list
- There are a handful of reports of poor light output and overall poor light performance
What are projector headlights?
Firstly, what are projector headlights? Well, to put it simply, they are high-performance headlights. They are built to take high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs, halogen bulbs, and light-emitting-diode (LED) bulbs. Basically, you have a choice on what type of bulb you want.
These headlights first came about in the early to mid-80s, they were mainly used in high-end cars. Projector lights are a brighter and more stylish alternative to reflector headlights.
Projector headlights have become increasingly popular over the last few decades, they are standard for most newer cards as they are much brighter than reflector headlights amongst other benefits which we will get into shortly!
As previously mentioned, projector headlights are capable of taking different types of bulbs, HID, LED, and halogen bulbs, allowing drivers to choose which bulbs will work best for them. But make sure to check your manual for your specific model as things may differ.
So, which bulb is best for projector headlights? Well, it depends on several factors, including preference, accessibility, location, and weather conditions, alongside several other factors. I feel I should mention that with all aspects of driving, the most important factor is always safety!
Now let’s dive into each bulb type and learn a little more about each one and decide which bulb is superior!
Let’s start by ruling out halogen bulbs, it’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that they aren’t as good as HID and LED lights. This is because they emit a lot of heat, they don’t last anywhere near as long, and they aren’t as bright as HID and LED headlight bulbs.
Which bulbs are the best?
Well, there are a few key differences between LED and HID bulbs, so, let’s break them down, below is a summary of LED and HID light bulbs:
High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
HID headlights are much brighter than standard halogen lights, they produce more light, are more energy-efficient, and have much better heat dissipation when compared with standard headlights.
Typical HID lights have around a 5,000 hour lifespan, this is more than five times longer than a standard halogen bulb! HID lights also have a much clearer light output than halogen bulbs, giving you greater and clearer visibility.
HID bulbs are usually very easy to install, HID installation kits are available for purchase in most auto shops and on a lot of websites. Combining the ease of installation and the ease of accessibility, it’s easy to see why these are considered better than halogen lights!
Unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies with HID light bulbs! These bulbs can take up to 20 seconds to achieve maximum brightness, which is less than ideal! They also tend not to turn on instantly, it can take a couple of seconds for the lights to start, also not great!
Light Emitting Diode (LED)
LED bulbs are very energy efficient, lasting up to 50,000 hours per bulb! LED lights provide a more even light distribution than most other types of light bulbs. They are usually very straightforward to install and are compatible with most headlights.
Because of how bright LED headlight bulbs are, you are able to see much further down the road, improving driver safety and increasing reaction time.
An LED bulb can actually save you money due to its energy efficiency! Depending on what fittings you have in your headlight, one bulb can be used as both high and low beam lights. They are also much more environmentally friendly when compared to generic bulbs.
LED headlight bulbs usually have an excellent built-in cooling system, so your lights are much less likely to overheat or burn out.
Unfortunately, LED bulbs aren’t perfect. If you don’t install your bulbs correctly or if there is a fault with your bulb then there is a chance that your light will flicker whilst in use. Although this doesn’t sound too bad, it can be deadly as it can affect the visibility of other drivers.
There is also an argument to be had regarding the brightness of LED bulbs. Even though most LED bulbs in projector headlights tend to point downwards and out of other people’s eye lines, there does come a point where the brightness can become a distraction to you and other drivers.
Not every vehicle will be able to take LED light bulbs as they require a heat sink to help manage their temperature, so once again, check to make sure it will fit before committing to a purchase.
Overall, I think it’s safe to say that LED headlights are the better choice, they are brighter, good for both high and low beams, offer better visibility, they last up to 10 times longer than HID lights. On average an LED bulb offers faster heat dissipation when compared to an HID bulb.
I feel like the biggest plus for LED headlight bulbs is that there is no warm up time, it’s instant, full power light output. Not to mention that LED lights tend to look better than HID ones!
Projector vs. Reflector Headlight – What’s the difference?
So, what’s the difference between projector and reflector headlights? Well, quite a lot to be honest! Let’s take a look at some of the differences between the two types of headlights.
Reflector headlights are the standard headlights, or at least, they used to be! Projector headlights have started to take over, but I’ll get to that!
Reflector headlights have evolved. The light beam used to be controlled by the lens in front of the headlight, these weren’t great as the headlight housing couldn’t be removed easily to replace a burnt-out bulb.
But as time went on, the headlights got better, they got cheaper, smaller, brighter, and most importantly, manufacturers started building them in a way that allowed access to the headlight housing, allowing for burnt-out bulbs to be changed.
There are still vehicles being manufactured using reflector headlines, but they are starting to dwindle as projector headlights take their place.
Projector headlights were invented as a more efficient and modern alternative to reflectors. Projector headlights make use of a reflector bowl, not unlike those found in older headlight models.
These headlights offer a much better light performance than standard headlights, they are also great as they don’t blind other vehicles since the built-in lens keeps the light away from the direct eye line of other road users.
As mentioned several times throughout this article, projector lights provide you with an improved light pattern, with little to no wavy or flickering lights.
Projector headlights are not problem-free, unfortunately! They tend to be more costly than standard headlights, they can also be a hassle to set up and if they are not installed correctly then they can be quite dangerous.
Overall projector lights are much better than reflector lights. They are brighter, much more energy-efficient, they last way longer, and they look a lot sleeker than standard headlights.
8 Factors to consider when buying projector headlight bulbs
There are many things to take into consideration when buying projector headlight bulbs, here is a list of 8 things to take into account when buying these bulbs. Please keep in mind that this list is in no particular order:
- For the safety of other drivers, you don’t want to be impairing the vision of oncoming traffic as it can cause an accident!
- LED, HID, or Halogen? Luckily we have already been through that so hopefully, you know which one is best!
- Price, what kind of budget are you working with?
- The brightness of the bulb. The bulb you choose directly affects the amount of light produced.
- What color would you like? Especially with LED headlights, there are a lot of color options for you to choose from. Just make sure they comply with the law as some regions don’t allow certain colors.
- How easy is the installation process?
- What size do you need? There are many different bulb sizes out there, H8, H9, h10, and so on. Check your manual to find out what bulb is best for you.
- Where you live also plays a big role in what light bulb is best for your needs. If you live in a place with lots of rain or fog then you will need something that was designed to handle those kinds of environments.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need special bulbs for projector headlights?
Yes and no! Whilst you can use halogen, HID, and LED bulbs with most projector headlights, always do some research first to find out what bulb is best suited to your specific headlights!
As an example, let’s take LED headlight bulbs, they require a heat sink for their cooling system. Lots of older cars aren’t equipped with this, so they wouldn’t really be compatible without professional modification, which can be pretty costly!
The second thing you need to do is look at bulb sizes. There are many different bulb sizes out there, so check the manufacturer’s guide and make sure you get the right-sized bulb!
How to make projector headlights brighter?
There are several ways you can make your projector headlights brighter, but remember, too bright is not alright! Be mindful of other people, you don’t want to be blinding anyone as it has the potential to cause an accident.
Let’s assume that you are having issues with your headlights, if that’s the case then check out some of these solutions that may help increase your headlight’s brightness:
- Cheap bulbs are always a no go! If they look too cheap to be good then they usually are!
- Check that you have used the correct sized bulb! It sounds silly but you’d be surprised!
- Is there a fault somewhere causing a problem? Check to make sure that everything is wired up correctly
- Do your headlights need a clean? If your headlights are dirty then it can make the light appear a bit dim.
- Adjust the aim of your headlights, most cars have adjustable components allowing you to raise and lower your lights
There are other ways of making your headlights brighter but most of them require some professional modification, so if you are wanting to go brighter and the solutions above aren’t helpful then get a pro to take a look for you.
Do LED bulbs work in projector headlights?
Yes, they do! LED light bulbs work great in projector headlights. LED light bulbs require a heat sink, this is what helps to create a secure temperature for the light bulb. Not all projector headlights are equipped with one of these, although that number is shrinking as new cars come out.
Why did my projector bulb blow up?
There are several different reasons why your bulb might blow up:
- Manufacturing defect
- Bulb not compatible
- A mistake during the installation process
- End of the bulb’s lifespan
- Error with the cooling system
- Problems with the projector itself
The best way to avoid this happening to you is by following instructions to the letter! If you aren’t sure how to install a new bulb, then do some research or find a tutorial to guide you through the process.
One other thing you can do to minimize the risk of a bulb blowing up is to only buy from registered and respected brands. There are a lot of cheap imitation brands out there. They are not worth it as they can end up causing more harm than good.
Finally, if you do end up having a problem with your headlight bulbs, then contact the manufacturer as they may be able to issue you a refund or a replacement.
Hopefully, you have learned a thing or two about bulbs for projector headlights and you can now pick out the perfect bulb for your needs!
Please bear in mind that the most important factor to take into consideration when it comes to anything to do with driving is safety! So I would advise that you choose safety and reliability over all other factors.