Novsight Experience

What’s the Difference Between Halogen, HID and LED Headlights?

Sometime back, when one would get a car, all excitement was drawn by the design, model and probably color but very little or none on the headlights. Headlights were a common thing to every car and hence very little attention was given unless they broke down or needed replacement. Today as the technology advances most cars seem to be lighting the road brighter than before when the dim yellow light flourished. Thanks to the development of better, brighter and longer lasting headlights. The greatest battle today is between halogen, HID (Xenon) and LED headlights. What difference really lies between them? Here is the difference explained.


Halogen lights are in fact the most commonly used headlights on most cars. Their invention dates back to the 1960s which was as a solution towards generating light with limited resources. Just like the incandescent lights, halogens use heated tungsten filament to produce light. The filament is however encased in a bubble of halogen gas unlike the incandescent, as a measure towards improving longevity and performance. These lights are easy to manufacture making the manufacturing process inexpensive. Moreover replacement costs are also very low. Halogen lights can fit most cars of different models as they come in different sizes and shapes. These lights however do not provide the best visibility as the white HID bulbs and LEDs. Quite a large amount of heat is lost while using these headlights and hence wasted energy. Moreover, they are very fragile requiring extra care unlike the LEDs and HID.

HID (High Intensity  Discharge)

They are best known for their bright light emission that is far reaching. Their tungsten is encased in a quartz tube filled with xenon gas. They may require more power when turned on but use much less of it to maintain brightness. Moreover, they have a longer lifespan compared to the halogens. They may seem better but they also present some limitations such as being more expensive as far as manufacturing and replacement is concerned. They are not easy to manufacture from their complex design. Their bright light cause a blinding effect to oncoming traffic which is undesirable and can cause dangers on roads.

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

These are now the current and most recent innovation that is taking over from the HID and Halogens. The LEDs employ the diodes technology where they produce light when electric current excites their electrons. They require low power and energy and still produce brighter light than halogen headlights which also leads to LEDs’ longer life-span. Their diodes can be manipulated into various shapes providing unique configurations. With LED technology, the vision is much improved and more focused. Although the initial cost of HID and halogen bulb is less than LEDs, the operational and maintenance costs of LED are significantly lower LEDs, having a longer life, reduce maintenance and lamp replacement cost. Because LEDs need to be replaced less frequently, the owner spends less on new lamps and the labor needed to change them. LEDs also consume less energy; thus the overall cost of a LED system can be significantly lower than that of conventional lighting systems.


Now you’re in the know, checkout the type of headlight your car has next time and see whether you have one of the best or you would prefer a better one.

Reading next

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.