Best Headlight Bulbs for Night Driving (2021 Expert Picks)

Nighttime driving can be dangerous if you don’t have the proper headlight bulbs. The best headlight bulbs for night driving are compatible with your vehicle, have extensive light output, and don’t break the bank.

Before selecting a headlight bulb for your vehicle, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each bulb and whether or not it fits your specific needs. 

Table Summary

FeaturesAdvantagesDisadvantagesPrice
Best overall pick: Sylvania SilverStarWhiter light
1000 Lumen light output
12 voltSAE/DOT approved
One-year limited warranty
Extensive reach
One-year warranty
Brightness level
White light for greater visibility
Easy to install
Well-known company  
The halogen bulb uses more energy
Short lifespan  
Single Bulb Package: $29.99  

Double Bulb Package: $54.99  
Best high-end pick: Auxito62 watts
IP65 waterproof technology
6000 Lumen
300% brighter than most halogen bulbs
Over 30,0000 hours
Wireless design  
Long lifespan
Light output exceeds standard
Modern appearance  
Price
Size doesn’t fit some conventional housing
Double Bulb Package:
$49.99
Best value pick: Philips H7 VisionPlusDOT compliant
55-watt
12 Volts
Longer light beam
Easy to install
Illuminates up to 60% further than the requirement
Price
Halogen bulbs use more energy
Unknown warranty options  
Double Bulb Package:
$22.17
Best pick in terms of durability:
Auxbeam F-16
30 watts per plug
IP68 waterproof and dustproof
One-year warranty
3000 Lumen light output per bulb
Durability
Waterproof and dustproof
One-year warranty
Competitive pricing
Only 3000 lumens per bulbDouble Bulb Package:
$45.99
Best pick in terms of light output:
Philips H7 CrystalVisioin
55 watts
12 volts
DOT compliant
Extra-clear light
Blue tint
Original Equipment Quality seal  
Easy to install
A powerful and bright beam
Increased level of safety for night driving
Street-legal
Price  
Not compatible with all vehicles  Double Bulb Package:
$32.00

What to Consider When Choosing Headlight Bulbs for Night Driving

Before hitting the road for some after sunset driving, it is vital to understand the current state of your headlight bulb and whether or not it’s up to par for the current conditions.

Consider the type of headlight bulb, light output, compatibility, price, manufacturer, energy consumption, weatherproofing, legality, and the after-sale services available.

Type of Headlight Bulbs

To make an informed headlight bulb decision, it is vital to understand the varying types of headlight bulbs and what makes them different.

The type of bulb you select for your vehicle depends on the manufacturer’s specifications and compatibility with your vehicle.

Halogen Bulb

The least expensive bulb option and the easiest to reproduce is the halogen bulb. Halogen bulbs use tungsten filament and are similar to household bulbs because they are full of halogen gas, making them last longer and shine brighter.

This type of bulb is often used for fog lights and doesn’t require a watertight unit because they are self-sealing.

The typical life expectancy for halogen bulbs is 2,000 hours.

LED Bulb

The headlight bulb that provides efficiency and brightness is the LED bulb. LED bulbs use electricity to ignite the light-emitting diodes, which means they do not produce nearly as much heat as other bulb types.

This makes them more efficient than other bulb options, but their brightness levels are similar to Xenon bulbs.

One drawback associated with LED bulbs is that because they use electronics, if the bulb fails, you may be required to replace the entire light unit. The typical life expectancy of LED bulbs is 30,000 hours.

Xenon or HID Bulbs

Xenon or high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs don’t use a filament but instead have an arc that connects the two electrodes.

This type of bulb requires a high-voltage starter to ensure it lights up within four seconds of the vehicle being turned on, which is required by law.

A drawback to this type of bulb is the light output decreases over time, meaning they need replacing approximately every three years.

Because the light decreases over time, they may not be the best night driving headlight bulb. The life expectancy of Xenon or HID Bulbs is 10,000 hours. 

Laser Bulbs

Laser headlight bulbs are the type of bulbs you will find in luxury vehicles. First introduced in 2017, laser bulbs have one of the highest illuminating power of all bulb types.

While they produce high illuminating power, the price tag reflects this as they can cost over $10,000.

The typical life expectancy of laser bulbs is 20,000 hours.

Light Output

When driving at night, it is vital to see in front and to each side of your vehicle. This allows you to see in advance whether or not you need to begin braking for something on the road or prepare to stop for something coming in on the side of the road.

If your headlight bulbs do not produce enough light output, you’re putting you and your passengers at risk as you may not have enough notice to stop your vehicle in time.

Light output is measured by Lumens, with 2,000-4,000 Lumens being the average headlight range.

Compatibility

As with other vehicle parts, you must ensure your headlight bulbs are compatible with the make and model of your car. If your bulbs are not compatible, they will not work correctly, which is another safety risk.

You can find the correct bulbs for your vehicle by inputting your vehicle information on an automotive parts retailer’s website.

Price

The price of headlight bulbs varies depending on the type of bulb. As previously noted, laser bulbs hold a heavy price tag as these bulbs can cost over $10,000.

On the other end of the spectrum, halogen bulbs are easy to produce, making them an inexpensive alternative.

However, it is vital to consider the bulb’s life expectancy; if you constantly change the bulb, the price can add up quickly.

Manufacturer or Brand Name

Reputation goes a long way when it comes to headlight bulb manufacturers. If you are considering a specific brand of headlight bulb, but it does not have a good reputation, it is a good indicator to go with a different brand to ensure a longer bulb lifespan.

Top bulb manufacturers include Sylvania, Phillips, Hella, and JDM Astar.

Energy Consumption

Energy consumption is another aspect to consider before making a headlight bulb purchase. The energy consumed by varying types of bulbs depends on the makeup of the bulb.

For instance, halogen bulbs convert heat to light, meaning they consume more energy than LED lights that use electricity.

Weatherproofing

Weatherproofing a bulb ensures it has a longer life expectancy and works appropriately. While the headlight cover does provide some protection from water, dirt, and dust, there is still a chance these particles can get to the headlight. Selecting a headlight bulb that has been weatherproofed is essential.

Legality

Believe it or not, headlights are sold in automotive retailers that are illegal to drive with. Before purchasing headlight bulbs for your vehicle, ensure they are legal and meet all required standards.

After Sales Services

Headlight bulb warranties and other after-sales services may be the deciding factor in your bulb purchase. These services vary depending on the manufacturer and are vital to consider as they provide free replacements for a specific time frame.

7 Best Night Driving Headlight Picks

Sylvania High-Performance Silverstar Ultra Headlight Bulbs

Sylvania is a leader in the automotive lighting industry and prides itself in delivering high-quality technology to its customers. Silverstar Ultra bulbs are specifically designed for nighttime driving to help users see further down the road than standard headlights.

Bulb Type

The Sylvania High-Performance Silverstar Ultra headlight bulb is a halogen bulb.

Features

Features of the Sylvania Silverstar headlight bulb include:

  • Whiter light
  • 1000 Lumen light output
  • 12 volt
  • SAE/DOT approved
  • One-year limited warranty

Price

Pricing for the Sylvania High-Performance Silverstar Ultra headlight bulb varies on a single bulb or double bulb package.

Single Bulb Package: $29.99

Double Bulb Package: $54.99

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Extensive reach
  • One-year warranty
  • Brightness level
  • White light for greater visibility
  • Easy to install
  • Well-known company

Cons:

  • The halogen bulb uses more energy
  • Short lifespan

Our Performance Rating

This bulb receives a performance rating of 5 out of 5.

Philips H7 VisionPlus Headlight Bulbs

Philips has a long history of producing high-quality headlight bulbs. This history makes them a reliable and trustworthy bulb company and a favorite among motorists looking for a brighter light that won’t break the bank.

Bulb Type

The Philips H7 VisionPlus headlight bulbs are halogen bulbs.

Features

Features of the Philips H7 VisionPlus headlight bulbs include:

  • DOT compliant
  • 55-watt
  • 12 Volts
  • Longer light beam

Price

These headlight bulbs start at $22.17 for a two-pack.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Illuminates up to 60% further than the requirement
  • Price

Cons:

  • Halogen bulbs use more energy
  • Unknown warranty options

Our Performance Rating

Philips H7 VisionPlus headlight bulbs receive a performance rating of 4 out of 5.

Auxito LED Headlight Bulbs

Auxito LED headlight bulbs provide space-efficient heatsinks and fans, ultimately shrinking the bulb size to match manufacturer bulb sizes. At the top end of the LED headlight bulb market, Auxito has positioned itself as a name you can trust in the headlight industry.

Bulb Type

As the name implies, these Auxito headlight bulbs are LED.

Features

Features of the Auxito LED headlight bulbs include:

  • 62 watts
  • IP65 waterproof technology
  • 6000 Lumen
  • 300% brighter than most halogen bulbs
  • Over 30,0000 hours
  • Wireless design

Price

These bulbs start at $49.99 for a pack of two.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Long lifespan
  • Light output exceeds standard
  • Modern appearance

Cons:

  • Price
  • Size doesn’t fit some conventional housing

Our Performance Rating

The performance rating for the Auxito LED headlight bulbs is 4 out of 5.

Sylvania XtraVision Headlight Bulb

Like the Sylvania High-Performance SilverStar Ultra bulbs, the Sylvania XtraVision headlight bulbs are high-quality with state-of-the-art technology making them a popular headlight option.

Designed with maximum durability in mind, these bulbs increase download visibility, making them an excellent choice for nighttime driving.

Bulb Type

Sylvania XtraVision headlight bulbs are halogen bulbs.

Features

Features of the Sylvania XtraVision headlight bulbs include:

  • 1000 Lumen light output
  • Street legal
  • SAE/DOT approved
  • 12 volt
  • 65 watt
  • Clear color
  • One-year limited warranty

Price

Sylvania XtraVision headlight bulb comes in a single bulb or double bulb package.

Single Bulb Package: $18.99

Double Bulb Package: $34.99

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Bright
  • Easy installation
  • High-quality
  • Increased night time vision

Cons:

  • Short lifespan

Our Performance Rating

The performance rating for the Sylvania XtraVision headlight bulb is 4.7 out of 5.

Cougar Motor LED Headlight Bulbs

The Cougar Motor LED headlight bulbs promote longevity, performance, and an ideal price point for your next headlight bulb replacement. These headlights come in an aluminum housing that includes a TurboCool fan to ensure your bulbs do not overheat.

Bulb Type

Cougar Motor headlight bulbs are LED.

Features

Features of the Cougar Motor LED headlight bulbs include:

  • IP67 Waterproof
  • Three-year warranty
  • 50,000-hour operation life
  • Lifetime support

Price

A double pack of the Cougar Motor LED headlight bulbs is $39.99.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Three-year warranty
  • Competitively priced
  • 50,000 hours of life

Cons:

  • Not as bright as other LED headlight bulbs

Our Performance Rating

Our performance rating for the Cougar Motor LED headlight bulbs is 5 out of 5.

Auxbeam F-16 Headlight Bulb

The Auxbeam F-16 headlight bulbs are an excellent midrange headlight option. This bulb features aircraft-grade luxury gold aluminum chips, and a built-in CAN Bus to provide resistance to error codes. The waterproof and dustproof design helps protect you and your passengers from the dangers of nighttime driving on rough or dusty roads.

Bulb Type

The Auxbeam F-16 headlight bulb is LED.

Features

Features of the Auxbeam F-16 headlight bulb include:

  • 30 watts per plug
  • IP68 waterproof and dustproof
  • One-year warranty
  • 3000 Lumen light output per bulb

Price

These bulbs have a competitive price of $45.99 per pair.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Durability
  • Waterproof/dustproof
  • One-year warranty
  • Competitive pricing

Cons:

  • Only 3000 lumens per bulb

Our Performance Rating

The performance rating for the Auxbeam F-16 headlight bulbs is 3.8 out of 5.

Philips H7 CrystalVision Ultra Headlight Bulb

Bulb Type

The Philips H7 CrystalVision Ultra headlight bulbs are halogen headlights.

Features

Features of the Philips H7 CrystalVision Ultra Headlight Bulb include:

  • 55 watts
  • 12 volts
  • DOT compliant
  • Extra-clear light
  • Blue tint
  • Original Equipment Quality seal

Price

The Philips H7 CrystalVision Ultra headlight bulbs are $32 per pair.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • A powerful and bright beam
  • Increased level of safety for night driving
  • Street-legal
  • Price

Cons:

  • Not compatible with all vehicles

Our Performance Rating

Our performance rating for the Philips H7 CrystalVision Ultra headlight bulbs is 3.5 out of 5.

Author: DJ

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.