Replacing Your Vehicle’s Original Bulbs Might Not Be Your Brightest Idea


Many people seem to be in a rush to swap out their cars’ old halogen light bulbs for new, flashy LED or HID bulbs. But not only is that potentially illegal, it also might not give you the results you’re looking for.

When vehicles are put together, the headlight housings are designed to house specific bulbs. And although these bulbs can be swapped out for different kinds, improved performance isn’t guaranteed. Don’t believe us? Watch this video EricTheCarGuy posted to YouTube to see how different bulbs perform in a 2004 Honda Element with halogen bulb housings.

We here at NESN Fuel love us some good light bulbs, but this video has us wincing at oncoming traffic for reasons other than intense brightness.

It’s alarming that while very bright when up close, there is hardly any difference between low beam and high beam for LED lights, with the high beams being much dimmer than the halogens’ and the low beams much brighter. Moreover, the HID lights, while the brightest of the three at a short distance, have dimmer high beams and a shorter distance than the halogen bulbs.

Such inconsistent performance suggests you might be well-served to stick with the bulbs that your vehicle’s housings were meant for; and to consider how headlights affect your ability to see, as well as the abilities of other people on the road.

Thumbnail photo via Pexels

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