Are LED Headlights Better? (All You Need To Know)

LED headlights are becoming very popular, but you might be having some reservations about making the jump.

So, if you’re wondering about how much better LED headlights are or if they’re better at all, keep reading this article to see what I found out!

Are LED Headlights Better?

LED headlights are better than other traditional bulb options in terms of efficiency and longevity. They consume less power, generate less electricity and last years longer than their competition. However, where LEDs fall short is their brightness, which might be too high in some cases, and their legality in certain jurisdictions.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about LED headlights, including their advantages, disadvantages and how they stack up against other lamp types!

Are LED Headlights Better Than HID?

High intensity discharge (HID) headlights are a slightly older technology than LED, so the latter is automatically better in many aspects.

For example, LED headlights last a lot longer than HID lights, at an average of 30,000 hours compared to an average of 15,000 hours (3.4 vs 1.7 years).

LED headlights are also slightly more energy efficient than HID headlights and take slightly less time to fully light up. However, both use more energy overall than traditional halogen headlights.

Both of them have about the same range within which they can project light, about 985 feet or 300 meters.

Where HID headlights excel over LED is their price. Being a newer and more advanced technology, LED bulbs are more expensive than any other lamps.

For both bulb types, though, their performance will vary by model and between vehicles, so you’re better off using the one that came with the car.

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Are LED Headlights Better Than Xenon?

Are LED Headlights Better Than Xenon?

Xenon is the principal gas used in HID bulbs, which is what people mean by referring to HIDs as xenon headlights.

As far as whether LED headlights are better, the points in the section above still apply: they last twice as long on average, they’re more energy efficient and they light up slightly faster.

Being an earlier technology, xenon bulbs have LEDs beat in terms of pricing.

Are LED Headlights Better Than Halogen?

LED lights are better than halogen bulbs in most aspects.

LEDs need more power to operate, but they’re more energy efficient, meaning they can do more with their intake than halogen bulbs, which translates to lower energy consumption overall.

LED bulbs also emit less heat from the total energy they consume than halogen bulbs, only about 10 to 20 percent compared to 80 to 90 percent.

This property makes them cool to the touch right after use,  so they’re less of a fire hazard and easier to replace without needing to wait for them to cool off first.

Halogen bulbs last for about 5,000 hours, whereas LED headlights can go for an average of 30,000 hours.

LED bulbs are more expensive, but they last far longer than halogen bulbs, and you can have the same set of LEDs in your car for as long as it runs without needing to replace them.

Even though LEDs are more expensive to buy, you will realize savings over time due to their longevity.

Are LED Headlights Better For Night Driving?

LED headlights produce a brighter light than halogen bulbs that illuminates more of the surroundings and focuses better on the road ahead.

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Unlike xenon headlights, they don’t produce the kind of glare that would affect other drivers on the road.

These features make LED headlights a better option for night driving than both xenon/HID and halogen bulbs.

Are LED Headlights Better in Fog?

Are LED Headlights Better in Fog?

LED headlights produce a stronger beam of light that can better penetrate fog than halogen and HID bulbs.

That said, no bulbs are meant to give you better visibility in fog because the water molecules present in these conditions reflect light and don’t let it travel far. Rather, they are mostly intended to make you visible to other people on the road.

In this regard, LED lights are still the best option. In fact, modern cars are coming with daytime running lights (DRLs) that can also double as fog lights due to their brightness.

Are LED Headlights Brighter?

At up to 10,000 lumens, LED headlights are currently the brightest option available on the consumer market.

HID headlights produce around 8,000 lumens, whereas halogen headlights produce only around 1,200 lumen on the high beam and 700 on the low beam.

Are LED Headlights Brighter Than Xenon?

LED headlights are far brighter than xenon headlights, at up to 10,000 lumens, compared to 8,000 lumens.

Are BMW LED Headlights Better Than Xenon?

BMW LED headlights are better than xenon because they produce less glare, are more energy efficient and last far longer.

What is the Disadvantage of LED Headlights?

One major downside of LED headlights is how bright they can get. If you’re the one behind the wheel this is an advantage, but it negatively affects everyone on the road around you, putting you in danger.

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In fog or rain, this is actually a liability since LEDs emit more light that gets reflected around and could bounce back to you.

As stated above, they produce less glare than xenon lights, but they produce more glare than halogen bulbs, affecting other drivers.

They’re also more expensive than other bulb options because they use a newer technology than the competition. In some places, they could fail to meet safety regulations, making them illegal by default.

Why are LED Headlights Bad?

LED headlights are usually said to be bad because of the amount of light they emit, which could impact other drivers’ ability to see.

Apart from it being annoying and distracting when driving, experts are concerned that the type of light they emit can cause long-term damage to the retina.

To learn more, you can also see our posts on what headlights to use in fog, when to turn on headlights, and why do headlights flicker.


LED headlights are better than xenon or HID and halogen types because they last a lot longer, are more energy efficient and can get brighter if needed. They are considered the best headlights for nighttime driving.

Their brightness is also one of their biggest downsides, because it can interfere with other people’s vision when on the road. This is a primary factor in why they’re technically illegal in some places and most people are slow to adopt them.

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