Should You Make the Switch to LED Headlights?

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There is nothing worse than getting pulled over for a dead headlight on your way home from work. You stress out, you might get a ticket and then you have to worry about taking time out of your day to purchase a new headlight bulb to replace the burned-out one. Why not think about purchasing a different kind of bulb — one that will last longer?

Many people swear by LED headlamps, claiming they’re better than their halogen counterparts. Should you make the switch to new LED headlights for your car? Here are a few pros and cons to help you make that decision.

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Pro: Unparalleled Clarity

Driving at night is a nightmare if you’ve got dim or cloudy headlights. You can hardly see what’s in front of you, and you’re probably tense and on the lookout for deer if you live in a rural area or pedestrians if you live in a city. LED headlamps provide unparalleled clarity, making it easier to see what’s coming your way and where you’re going. You can even get LED reverse bulbs that make it way safer to back up.

Con: Not Street Legal Everywhere — Yet

This will likely change as more cars start offering LED headlamps as a standard option, but for now, LED lights might not be street legal in your area.

Pro: Easy to Upgrade

20150828_1255031_zpswxygb82gIf you do decide to upgrade to LED headlamps, it’s pretty easy. Most aftermarket kits are designed so they can be used in most common headlight applications. Some companies offer make- and model-specific bulbs that will fit your existing socket — skip those. Authentic LED headlights will require a heat sync to keep them cool enough to function properly.

 

Pro: Longer Life

GE_LEDNighthawk_Group_HRHalogen bulbs are designed to last about 1,000 hours, but due to their susceptibility to shaking and water, they tend to burn out much sooner than that. A new bulb can burn out in just a few days if you don’t wear gloves to install the bulb — the oils on your hands will create heat points that burn out the bulb. Even the ultra-bright HID lamps only have a lifespan of about 2,000 hours.

LED headlamps can last much longer than these, as long as they don’t get too hot. You know how they say if you replace the bulbs in your home with LED bulbs, you’ll never need to replace them again? The same applies for headlamps. If they’re properly cooled, they might outlast your car.

Overall, LED headlights are probably the best investment you can make in your car. They improve your visibility at night, last infinitely longer than halogen or HID bulbs and are just as easy to put in your car as those two classic styles. What are you waiting for?

About Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is an Automotive YouTuber and writer who loves cars, sports, and business. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington or email scottmhuntington@gmail.com.

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