car headlights replacement - partsmax

What Kind of Headlights Can I Install in My Car?

What Kind of Car Headlights Replacement Can I Install in my Car?

Headlights are essential for safe driving and car headlights replacement should be done in pairs. This is a good practice so that the bulbs have balanced usage. There are a wide variety of headlight bulbs on the market. When you decide to replace your car headlights, you can choose between the original bulb or an upgraded type. Below we will discuss the types of bulbs that are available for your vehicle.


The majority of car headlights use halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs are the least expensive of the headlight bulb types. They are similar in design to the halogen bulbs used in your home. Halogen bulbs have an orange or yellow type beam and are not as bright as other bulb types.


High-Intensity Discharge(HID) headlights entered the market over 25 years ago and are typically used on luxury vehicles. HID bulbs produce light by igniting xenon gas within the bulb. Xenon bulbs are more efficient, last longer and use less wattage than halogen bulbs. If your vehicle is equipped with HID bulbs, they must be replaced by the same type bulb. Conversely, other bulb types can be upgraded with an HID bulb. Xenon bulbs require a ballast assembly to function properly. Aftermarket HID conversion kits can be found at PartsMax for your car headlights replacement. The kits are easy to install and don’t require any special tools.


Light Emitting Diodes(LEDs) are the latest in car headlights replacement technology. Although the technology is new to car headlights, it has been around since the 1990’s. LED bulbs can be used in the interior and exterior of automobiles. These bulbs produce light by the use of diodes. LEDs bulbs are typically more expensive but are more durable than any other bulb type. Conversion kits for these bulbs can also be found on PartsMax.

Watt Rating

The wattage of headlight bulbs will vary by the type. Regular halogen bulbs are typically 55 watts and HID bulbs are 35 watts. In general, as the wattage increases, so does the brightness. Installing a bulb with too high of a wattage can overheat wiring or damage your vehicle’s electrical system. It is important to know the limitations of the vehicle’s electrical system prior to performing any upgrades. Also, all states have laws covering headlight color, type and brightness. It would be wise to review these laws before upgrading your lights.

Kelvin Rating

Kelvin ratings for bulbs will determine the color of the light beam. Ratings between 2,500K-3,500K have a yellow appearance. Ratings between 3,500K-4000K have a white appearance. The cool blue headlight beams are visible between 6,000K-10,000K. Light appears purple at 12,000K. The rating actually has nothing to do with the brightness of the bulb, although the higher rated bulbs may not appear as bright. Most street legal headlight bulbs have a Kelvin rating between 3,400K to 5,000K. Halogen bulbs fall within the lower range of the Kelvin scale. Xenon bulbs are rated on the middle to upper end of the Kelvin scale.