LED Headlight Upgrades: A Brighter Idea

One of the easiest automotive upgrades you can do is to upgrade your headlights with brighter and more modern light bulbs.  Over the years, lighting technology has been steadily improving, starting with brighter halogen bulbs, and then HID Xenon bulbs. These bulbs were brighter but had drawbacks from poor color temperature, poor beam pattern, or a need to do significant rewiring of the headlight enclosure.

Today the hot ticket is LED. Kits for LED conversion use state-of-the art CREE LEDs, provide more lumens per watt of energy, last longer, and provide a crisp clean clear light that is tailored to your cars headlight reflectors.

Using these kits makes upgrading your headlights as easy as pie. Simply remove the existing bulb from your headlight and install the LED bulb by inserting it and twisting it into place. The wiring for the LED bulb simply snaps into the plug from your old bulb.  Nothing else is required to start seeing better at night.

Because LED conversion kits are very compact—though a bit bigger than stock halogen bulbs—their focal point of the LEDs is identical to the stock bulb. This ensures that they line up with the exact focal point on your headlights reflector resulting in a nice sharp beam pattern.

Shopping for LED Kits
There are a few things to consider when choosing a LED conversion kit. The first thing is to make sure that you have the right bulb-mounting interface for your car.  This interface typically has a name like H3, or 9006. If you are unsure about which bulb you need, consult your owners manual or use one of the great online reference guides like this one from OSRAM/Sylvania.

After you know your car’s bulb type, the next task is to pick the color temperature of the bulb.  Most LED kits use bulbs that have a color temperature of about 6000K. This is the color of daylight, and is typically the color that Factory automobile LED headlights use as well as LED street lights. A 6000K bulb produces a nice white light.

Finally, pick the wattage of the conversion kit. This is the amount of power that the LED bulb will draw from your car’s electrical system.  Most factory halogen bulbs draw about 35W, and a good conversion kit will use about 30W. If you stay close to your stock bulbs wattage, you won’t have any issues.

LED conversion kits are not much more expensive than a pair of regular halogen bulbs, and are well worth the premium when you consider the longer life, brighter and sharper light they provide.