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LED vs. Halogen Headlights: Which is Best?

two cars, one with halogen and the other with LED headlights

The global automotive industry continues to expand and is expected to reach USD 3.8 trillion by 2030, signifying a 3.01% growth. As middle-class incomes rise, people are buying and changing their cars at an exponential rate. This increased demand also increases the demand for spare parts like headlights.

However, many consumers may not understand the differences between LED and halogen car headlamps. As an online retailer, it’s imperative that you understand the pros and cons of each so that you can best stock for your target audience.

Here, we’ll shine a light on the differences between LED vs. halogen bulbs, helping you to stock the best lights for your business. 

What are halogen headlights?

a yellow car with a halogen headlight

Halogen headlights are an improved version of an incandescent bulb. They use a tungsten filament sealed in a small transparent capsule filled with halogen gas and other noble gases. When electricity passes through the filament, it heats up and emits light.

The halogen gas helps redeposit evaporated tungsten onto the filament, thus maintaining its lifespan and keeping the bulb clean. They emit a yellowish glow that resembles daylight. And since they create lots of heat, they use quartz bulb material.


  • They’re relatively cheap, costing USD 5-30 to replace
  • They emit less glaring light, making them friendly for other motorists on the road


  • They have a shorter lifespan than LEDs, meaning customers may need to replace them more often
  • They are less efficient and consume more energy than LED headlights, which may adversely affect the car’s electrical system
  • They are dimmer than LED headlights and may not illuminate harder-to-see objects

What are LED headlights?

a black sedan with a bright LED headlight

LED headlights are made up of light-emitting diodes, which emit light when an electric current passes through them. These headlights have excellent visibility in bad weather or low-light situations.

Since they consume little power, they’ve also become popular with modern auto manufacturers. Consumer reports showed that in 2018, 55% of the cars built had LED headlights. This number increased to 86% in 2019, indicating that LED is becoming the industry standard.


  • They’re more energy-efficient than halogen lights, making them environmentally friendly. Less energy consumption also means less impact on the car’s battery system.
  • While LED headlamps may be expensive, they can outlast the vehicle, with some even lasting 30,000 hours
  • They’re brighter and offer better visibility, allowing drivers to see in low-light conditions. LED headlights also have a more focused beam pattern, enhancing visibility without blinding oncoming drivers.
  • Unlike halogen lamps, they illuminate instantly when powered on


  • Even with the best care and maintenance, one may need to replace an LED headlight, which, at around USD 600-1,000, can be expensive
  • The brightness of LED headlights is a double sword, as they help the driver to see the road more clearly but may distract other drivers

Halogen lights vs. LED lights comparison

a comparison of halogen and LED headlights
ParameterHalogen headlightsLED headlights
EfficiencyLess efficient: A significant portion of the energy these bulbs consume is transformed into heat rather than visible light, making them less efficient in converting electrical energy to lightMore efficient: Most of the energy is used for lighting
BrightnessLess bright: Since part of the energy produced is used to generate heat, halogen headlights are less bright than LEDsBrighter: Almost all the energy is focused on lighting
LifespanShorter lifespan: ~450-1,000 hoursLonger lifespan: 20,000-50,000 hours
Heat emissionProduce more heat:  Makes them environmentally unfriendlyProduce less heat: Makes them environmentally friendly
CostLower initial cost: Cheaper in the long runHigher initial cost: More expensive in the long run
DurabilityMore susceptible to vibrations and shocks: May not last as longMore durable against vibrations and shocks: Can last for longer
CustomizationLimited customization: Fewer color and style optionsMore customization: More colors and styles

Halogen vs. LED: Which is the better headlight?

The dilemma of LED vs. halogen bulbs boils down to individual preferences and unique needs. However, there are several factors to consider when determining what will likely suit your customers.

LED headlights might be the better choice if your customers are looking for additional brightness and visibility, especially those driving in challenging conditions. LEDs are also ideal for environmentally conscious consumers because they are energy efficient. This can save fuel and reduce strain on the car’s electrical system.

On the other hand, halogen lamps are less expensive, making them ideal for customers with a limited budget. They’re also friendlier toward other road users.

As a retailer, it is essential that you study the needs of your customers and stock accordingly. No matter what lights you’re looking for, you’ll find them among the thousands of options on Alibaba.com.

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