HID vs. LED Headlights: Which is Better and Brighter?

HID vs. LED Headlights: Which is Better and Brighter?

. 3 min read

Installing custom car headlights can help make your vehicle stand out and increase the field of vision at night. For most people, the choice is between LED and HID headlights. They've grown in popularity, leaving halogens in the past. These two types of lights might seem similar but are actually very different. As experts in installing car and truck lights in Long Island, NY, we're going to make it easy to understand.

LED Headlights

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are an energy-efficient and flexible type of light that is popular worldwide. They produce light by powering a semiconductor that forces light particles to be released. They make perfect off-roading headlights, clearing the way while withstanding shocks.

You can either buy an entire LED headlight kit or, the more popular, drop-in LED replacement kit. LEDs are also fantastic for decorating interiors, adding color to the body and grill.

Pros of LED Headlights

  • Energy Efficient - Far less power usage than HIDs.
  • Dimmable - LED brightness can be dimmed by reducing the electric current. They're ideal for anyone who might be transitioning between the asphalt and off-road.
  • No Glare - Unlike HIDs, LEDs don't create dangerously intense glares that can blind other drivers.
  • Flexible - LEDs' flexibility allow you to get creative with positioning and angles.
  • Durable - LEDs tend to live longer than HID bulbs. Some manufacturers claim their LEDs can last over 25,000 hours. That's nearly three years of constant use!
  • Bright and Natural - LEDs provide a crystal clear, white and natural light. They light up the road in front of you perfectly.

Cons of LED Headlights

  • Installation May Require Cooling - Although LEDs stay cool, the surrounding parts can heat up. Installing a cooling fan or heat sink to solve this problem.
  • More Expensive Than HIDs - LED upfront costs are higher than HID lights, but as they have an unbeatable life span, you're likely to make long-term savings.

HID Headlights

High-Intensity Discharge lamps (HIDs), also known as Xenon lights, are the brightest and farthest-reaching headlights used on cars. They work by passing electricity through a gas-filled tube, which creates a glow similar to how neon lights work. They have replaced nearly all old halogen headlights but require more maintenance than LEDs.

Pros of HID Headlights

  • Intense and Strong White Lights - HID lights produce incredibly intense, white lights. They can be fantastic for lighting up long distances, but dangerous in traffic.
  • Far-Reaching - LEDs are no match for the reach of HIDs, making them perfect fog lights.
  • More affordable than LEDs - HIDs are less expensive than LEDs. However, that's the upfront cost. When you factor in maintenance and bulb replacements, LEDs are more cost-effective.

Cons of HID Headlights

  • Limited Color Range - HIDs are limited to whites, restricting the ability for personalization.
  • Blinding Glare - HIDs are incredibly bright, which causes intense, dangerous glares.
  • Warm-up Time - HIDs take some time to reach their optimal brightness, whereas LEDs switch on instantly. Depending on your bulb type, it could take up to 30 seconds.
  • Not Dimmable - No ability to quickly change the intensity of the bulbs like LEDs.

Xenon HID Lights

Xenon headlights are a sub-type of HIDs. Xenons light up instantly and simulate sunlight better. However, they require a much higher voltage making them less energy efficient.

Which Is Brighter, LED or HID Headlights?

There is not much in it, but HID headlights are slightly brighter. However, you must consider the strong glare they give off.

  • HIDs - Around 3,000 lumens.
  • LEDs - Around 2,000 lumens.

Which Are More Durable, LEDs or HID Headlights?

LEDs are shockproof and vibration resistant. HIDs are fragile and prone to damage while off-roading.

Which Headlights Are Best for Me?

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. However, if you want far-reaching fog lights - go HID. If you want shockproof, dimmable, non-glare lights - go LEDs.

Car and Truck Headlights in Long Island, NY

AutoKicks has performed over 3,000 car, truck and Jeep customizations over the past 20 years. If you need car and truck customization in Long Island, NY:

Call us at (631) 585-8880

Stop by our shop at 25 Raynor Avenue, Ronkonkoma, New York 11