You don’t have to wait till your car’s bulbs are blown before you get them replaced. Headlight bulbs, for example, can lose up to 20% of their light capacity within 2 years which impacts your visibility and safety on the road. Here are some factors to consider when it’s time to get new headlight bulbs.

1.  Type

Headlights are classified according to lighting technology. Halogen bulbs use halogen gas to increase light output and life, and are cost effective. While halogen is currently the most common headlight type used, alternative technologies xenon and light-emitting diode (LED) are growing in popularity. LED and xenon bulbs use less power and generate more light than halogen ones. An added benefit of LEDs is you will have different color options.

2.  Light intensity

Bulbs also differ in terms of light output. The more lumens in a light bulb, the brighter the light and the better your surroundings will illuminated. To make it more simple for customers, Bosch Automotive bulbs packages always rate the light intensity under the point “Range”.

3.  Color Temperature

Want to change up the style of your car? The color temperature of the light output (how “cool” or “warm” it is) is measured in units of Kelvin (K). The lower the K, the warmer or more yellow the light output.

  • Cool (blue-tinged) ~ 7,000 K
  • Natural daylight (white) ~ 5,000 K
  • Warm (yellow-tinged) ~ 3,000 K

4.  Lifespan

Replacing your headlight bulbs are an important part of vehicle maintenance, but it definitely saves you time and money over the long run if they need to be replaced less frequently. With a lifetime of approximately 5000 hours, LED bulbs are usually the best choice in terms of lifespan, followed by xenon bulbs which can last 2000 hours or more. This is still easily at least 4 times longer than halogens, which usually average at 400 to 500 hours for headlamp applications.

However, there is a trade-off between bulb longevity and performance. As a general rule, bulbs of the same type with higher output tend to have shorter lifespans. The decision should be made on your personal preferences – if you like very bright lights, then you will need to remember to replace them more often.

Although they may seem like small, negligible car parts, pay attention to your lights to ensure maximum visibility on the road and the safety of the driver and passengers.