How Long Do LED Headlights Last? (Your Full Guide)

LED headlights are quickly becoming popular among car owners for their futuristic look, but some people are worrying about whether the higher cost translates to reliability.

Therefore, if you’re one such person and you’re interested in knowing how long your investment is going to last, keep reading to see what I discovered!

How Long Do LED Headlights Last?

LED headlights can keep going for as long as 30,000 hours in total. LED is currently the headlight bulb technology that lasts the longest, longer than other types that average between 3 weeks to 4 months in total. They’re also more energy efficient and less likely to burn out, increasing their longevity.

If you’d like to learn if LED headlights last longer than regular headlights, if LED headlights burn out and more, keep reading for more useful facts!

Do LED Headlights Last Longer?

LED headlights can last as long as 30,000 hours or about 3.4 years, and LED is currently the longest lasting headlight bulb technology.

In comparison, halogen bulbs, the more common types, last between 500 and 1,000 hours or between 20 and 40 days.

High intensity discharge (HID) or xenon headlights last about 2,000 to 3,000 hours or about 83 to 125 days.

Note that these figures apply to leaving the light on constantly, so you’re going to need to get them replaced if you use them more often.

Going by the numbers, LED headlights can last the entire lifespan of the vehicle without needing to be replaced.

Do LED Headlights Burn Out?

Do LED Headlights Burn Out?

LED headlights have a very low chance of burning out and they’re likely to do so only if they’re of significantly low quality.

How Long Do Audi LED Headlights Last?

Like all standard LED lights, the ones Audi uses in its headlights can also last for tens of thousands of hours or a couple of years, and you might never need to replace them.

How Long Do BMW LED Headlights Last?

BMW LED headlights can last for tens of thousands of hours and you can easily use them for as long as you have the vehicle.

Are LED Headlights DOT Approved?

There are specific LED headlight models that are advertised as DOT-approved, meaning they comply with the US Department of Transportation’s guidelines on headlights.

This regulatory body has not said anything specific about LED headlights as a whole, but they do have guidelines for headlights and any LED manufacturer can comply with them in order to be approved.

Approval doesn’t necessarily mean that the DOT has inspected the lights, but that the manufacturer has built them in line with the guidelines.

Another body, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), has standards in place for different vehicle components, including LED headlights.

Their standards, however, take a back seat to the DOT’s, meaning that your headlights could be SAE-approved but still illegal to use because they don’t adhere to DOT requirements.

To be on the safe side, go for LED headlights that state they are DOT-approved. This approval is a major selling point for the manufacturers, so anything that’s missing this is probably not legal to install.

Why Are LED Headlights Illegal?

Why Are LED Headlights Illegal?

LED headlights themselves are not illegal, but become so if they fail to meet the standards of the DOT.

Current regulations allow for use of LED lights in every other part of the vehicle – brakes, fog lights,etc. – except for the headlights. This isn’t due to any specific laws outright banning their use but rather because LED lights usually don’t fit the standards already in place.

For starters, most LED lights are several times brighter than their halogen counterparts, and federal law has a limit on how bright your headlights can be for the safety of others on the road.

Even if you get dimmer ones, the reflectors in the housing are meant for different lighting technology, meaning they won’t be able to direct the light as intended.

What ends up happening is your LED lights will be sent out forward, directly into other people’s eyes like high beams instead of onto the road.

Whoever installs the LED headlights also needs to angle them correctly, but without modifying the housing, as that’s also illegal under federal law.

Federal law also regulates the color of headlights to either yellow or white. Some LED lights will produce a bluish white light, which usually isn’t an issue but varies by situation, so you should stay on the safe side by getting DOT-approved lights.

To know more, you can also see our posts on whether LED headlights are better, if toothpaste cleans headlights, and when to turn on headlights.

Conclusion

LED headlights are currently the longest lasting type of bulb you can use in your car, going for an average of 30,000 hours. This is longer than the 500 to 1,000 hours of halogen bulbs and the 2,000 to 3,000 hours of xenon or HID bulbs.

LED headlights are only technically illegal if they don’t fit within the standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) on intensity, color, angling and more. To be safe, buy ones that are marked as DOT-approved.

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