Modern headlights come in LED and HID technologies. Learn more about the similarities and differences to choose which ones fit your needs. Which one is better for you depends on your driving style and conditions where you drive.
LED Headlights Pros and Cons
LED stands for light emitting diode. Computers and electronics use LEDs because the one big plus is their energy-efficiency. They produce a bright bulb, but with much less power than halogens or HID. LED lights last a long time, at least 5,000 hours or more. Some manufacturers even rate their bulbs at over 25,000 hours. LED lights are cool to the touch and don’t glare. The big cons are that the upfront cost of installation is higher than HIDs. You may even have to fit your truck with a cooling fan to protect the components around the LEDs. LED lights stay cool, but the surrounding fittings may not. However, once installed, you probably won’t ever have to change the bulb.
HID Headlights Pros and Cons
HID stands for high-intensity discharge. HID lights are often named for the gas they contain. Xenon is a popular choice, but not the only one. HID lights are much brighter than traditional halogens, but they do produce a glare. HID lights are ideal in foggy conditions. HID lights take a lot of energy to turn on, but once they have started up, they are more energy-efficient than halogens. HIDs cost much less to install than LEDs, but they do have more maintenance costs in the long run.
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How to Change Your Headlights From LED to HID
HID lights are the most illuminating. Most people upgrade to LEDs, so make sure that you really want to install new headlights if you already have LED. Look up how to change a headlight for your vehicle. A mechanic may be required for a complete retrofit, but there are conversion kits available for DIY mechanics. Purchase a high-quality kit that won’t give out after a few months of use.
Gaining access to the lights depends on the make and model for your car. You should also use safety goggles and gloves during installation. The oils from your hands can damage bulbs, but more importantly, the bulbs are sensitive and may break easily. Determine whether you need a separate bulb for the high and low beams.
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