Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingElectrical System and Electronics How Much Is A Headlight Bulb – And How To Install It Yourself?

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb – And How To Install It Yourself?

by Jordan Harris
How Much Is A Headlight Bulb

The purpose of a vehicle’s headlights is to brighten the road when driving at night and to increase visibility while driving during the day. But how much is a headlight bulb?

The headlamp system has two beams: a low beam for everyday driving and a high beam for usage only when there are no other cars on the road. While earlier automobiles depended on rounded, sealed-beam lamps, contemporary models have aerodynamic headlamps with swappable halogen bulbs.

High-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs are used in some headlamps to produce additional light. These lights, which are often referred to as “Xenon headlamps,” are notable for their intense bluish-white brightness.

Headlight Bulb

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb

A headlamp has a bulb that casts a light beam through a lens and is directed at the road ahead through the use of a reflector (or a set of mirrors) and a reflector.

Owing to halogen gas that is injected inside the bulb, halogen lights produce brighter light with much less heat production than previous incandescent bulbs.

HID, or Xenon, headlamps produce an electrical arc instead of a glowing tungsten filament to produce even more light. Self-leveling headlamps, which stay level with the road regardless of the vehicle’s angle, are a feature of several recent automobiles.

When a vehicle has adaptive headlights, a motor is used to change the lamp’s focus in order to follow curves in the road.

Headlight Replacement

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 1 – Security First

During the installation process, it’s important to wear safety goggles and gloves to safeguard your face and hands. Ensure you’re protected because you’ll be handling delicate bulbs and even getting to some small spaces.

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 2 – Change Both Lamps

It’s a good practice to change both bulbs when you’re changing one. You’ll save time for the long haul and for the headlight replacement, and you’ll be guaranteed to see the lighting that is on the road.

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 3 – Placement Of Low And High Beams

Some cars use one bulb to illuminate both the high beam as well as the low beam, although the majority of cars have separate bulbs for each.

If your car features two bulbs, then the high beam is often inside and the low beam is typically outside. To be certain of your vehicle, consult the repair manual or test it.

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 4 – Get To The Lights

You’ll encounter the best variation in this area. Some headlamps are kept in easily accessible, detachable assemblies which are often released after taking a small number of screws.

After removing them, you may get to the bulbs by placing the headlight assembly on the fascia. In the video at the top of the page, there is an example of this around 2:06.

To reach other bulbs, you can only do this via the wheel well. In order for you to access the bulb, take back the wheel arch, swap out the old bulb for the new one, and then put the cover of the wheel well back on, you might need certain tools.

Even though certain casings are difficult to remove, you can access the bulb by reaching behind the casing when the hood is up.

But it’s not always so simple. On occasion, you will need to remove something to access either one or even more of the bulbs.

In the video, this is a housing for the air filter, but in many other vehicles, it could be the coolant reservoir or perhaps the battery. If so, simply take what you’ll need to remove, take off the bulb, then change the one you took out.

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 5 – Release Clip To Remove The Plug

A pocket screwdriver aids in releasing the clip when replacing the plug for the bulb. These can occasionally be stiff, more so if the car is older.

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 6 – Disconnect The Old Lamp

Simply grasp the bulb housing and rotate it in the opposite direction. You can take it out in one motion once the tabs are lined up.

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 7 – Select The Appropriate Bulbs

They can have various part numbers if your car utilizes different bulbs for the low and high beams. The low beam is typically the higher number. In case you forget, a car mechanic can help you distinguish between the two.

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 8 – Configure The New Lamp

To replace the bulb, place the tabs in alignment and then turn the screwdriver clockwise till you hear the click. To help avoid confusion on whether you are changing a low or high beam, replace these one at a time.

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 9 – Install Rights And Left

Despite the fact that one of the lights is still on. For the most safety and visibility, replacing bulbs in pairs is always a smart idea.

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb, Replacement Steps 10 – Check The Lamps

Once your bulbs are in place, switch between the low and high beams to help ensure that everything is functioning properly.

Best Headlight Bulbs

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb

To avoid legal issues or to avoid being a hazard on the road because very bright light can dazzle approaching vehicles, headlight bulbs must remain street-compliant.

The headlight purchase package should be carefully examined, and you should research any applicable state law. The usage of them on riding carts,  lawnmowers, ATVs, as well as other off-road vehicles, however, is acceptable.

There are numerous replacement headlamp alternatives available, including energy-efficient models, headlight and fog light combos, high and low beam patterns, and LED and HID options with various beam patterns, with HID bulbs offering better vision for oncoming traffic than other LED headlights.

It is worthwhile to take the time to determine what is needed based on where and under what kinds of conditions you drive most of the time. Our shopping advice below can put you on the correct path when it comes to purchasing the ideal headlights for your car.

Buying Guide For Best Headlights

Even for good-quality bulbs, upgrading current halogen headlights with bulbs that have a high output of light can prove to be a considerable improvement for a relatively moderate cost. No of their level of experience, all drivers may experience anxiety when operating a vehicle in low light.

A more recent set of headlights will do the work, but it’s crucial that the automobile or truck that is being driven comes well-equipped with various safety features. Then it’s probably time for an upgrade if the headlights being utilized right now are the halogen lights that have low beams or even beams that are not as brilliant as they should be.

Even when the headlight warning light hasn’t turned on, it is recommended to clean your existing headlight housing on a car and look at what is already there before you start looking through our list of headlight bulbs.

A headlight restoration may be required in case of a damaged casing. The front lens of a headlight must be clear and undistorted in order to get the most light and visibility out of it.

Considerations For Headlight Bulbs

Many lights may appeal to drivers due to certain design features, such as blue tints as well as xenon light characteristics.

1. Headlight Shields

Additionally, there are additional goods that sell as headlight protectants. These provide a layer of defense against potential UV deterioration and scrapes.

2. Bulb Choices

Customers choose LED lights or HID lights above all other types of headlight bulbs. HID lights, sometimes referred to as xenon headlights, operate by fusing xenon gas with an electrical charge.

They are popular for producing a brighter light compared to other bulbs and for having a lengthy lifespan.

Halogen gas is sprayed over a heated filament in LED headlight bulbs to produce light. It emits a clear, brilliant, and glowing light. Compared to halogen headlight bulbs, LED and HID headlights are both more expensive, but they also have a better reputation for lasting longer and being more effective in general.

3. Kit Conversions

To upgrade the vehicle’s factory-installed halogen headlights to more effective and brighter LEDs or HIDs, you may want to consider a headlight conversion kit a conversion kit will save you from having to replace the whole assembly of the headlights.

Advantages Of A High-Quality Headlight Bulb

Here are just a few advantages to take into account when selecting a new headlight bulb.

1. Greater Separation

Compared to ordinary bulbs, LED as well as HID bulbs offer the best coverage and enhanced nighttime vision. This is especially when in locations with poor lighting or off-road situations where there is no available lighting.

2. Improved Vision In Low-Light Conditions

Some of the best bulbs for emitting a bright light are headlight bulbs, such as halogen lamps, LED headlights, or HID headlights.

3. Greater Longevity

Despite the lengthy lifespan of some lights, such as LED bulbs that has LED chips, HID technology has the potential to be more energy-efficient. While an LED bulb can last up to 30,000 hours, an HID headlight can only last 10,000 hours.

Low Beam vs High Beam

How Much Is A Headlight Bulb

You will find different bulbs with different beams whenever purchasing fog light bulbs or new headlights or, whether you’re replacing your original halogens or want to switch to a brighter alternative like LED headlights or even Xenon HIDs.

It’s crucial to comprehend the many beams, their applications, and their functions in order to get the proper goods. In summary, the low beam is the main source of light and the lighting function that is used the most, whereas the high beam offers a secondary light source that is only occasionally used in extremely dark environments, such as on dark highways, in the country, etc.

You’ll comprehend the distinctions between low beams and high beams after reading this instruction. We’ll also discuss when to utilize your low and high lights before answering some frequently asked questions about this subject from our clients.

Headlight Functions

High and low beams are for different types of nighttime driving, with low beams for city driving and high beams for country roads with little to no light.

In low light conditions, you should always use low beams. High beams, which face upward for additional light, are best for extremely brief periods of time in order to avoid blinding other drivers.

All vehicles have a low beam and high beam feature, and also most drivers should be familiar with how to use each one since it’s a requirement for obtaining a license.

How Do Low Beams Work

When night driving or in a low-light environment, such as an interior parking lot, you should utilize your car’s low beams, which are the “regular” lights that it emits. Low beams, often known as dipped beams, have a close-range focus.

The most crucial and commonly used beam in an automobile is the low beam. To lighten the road and prevent blinding other motorists, the light beam shines downward. They enable other motorists to see you.

In the past, drivers had to manually activate their low lights, but more recent vehicles do so automatically when they detect low light conditions, such as at night or when approaching a dark parking lot.

How Do High Beams Work

Normal use of the high beam lighting feature occurs in places with little to no light, such as the country or on narrow roads without any streetlights. High beams sometimes are known as brights or full beams.

To light up a surface area beyond the low beam illumination, a light beam for high beams shines upward. High beams have a far-reaching focal point.

High beams, in contrast to low beams, never automatically turn on. The driver must manually activate them when necessary. High beams will only come in use briefly when there is a need for additional lighting.

High lights while driving have the potential to dazzle oncoming cars, which is extremely dangerous. It’s against the law to leave them on for a lengthy amount of time.

Headlight Bulb Type

Xenon/HID LED, Halogen, and Laser headlight bulbs are the four most popular varieties. Here is a quick and simple guide that might help you choose the proper headlight bulb for your vehicle if you’ve ever wondered what kind you need:

LED, Halogen, Xenon/HID, as well as laser headlights, are the four most popular types of automotive headlights.

1. Halogen

Halogen lights have a filament or two filaments on a single bulb that can serve as a bright or dim headlight, but the bulb itself contains pressurized gas instead of a vacuum.

The glass envelope of a halogen bulb contains inert gas and a small quantity of a reactive halogen gas, typically iodine or bromine, allowing halogen bulbs to light brighter and longer without turning the inside of the bulb black. The bulb filaments comprise tungsten.

A blue coating is on some halogen lights to give them a brighter appearance brighter than they actually are.

Halogen bulbs are available in most modern headlights. Halogen capsules rather than the original filament kind are also part of some beam replacements for older vehicles.

The vacuum inside the sealed beam lamp is lost if one of those older sealed beam units is broken by a rock, and the old-style filaments will quickly oxidize and burn out. A little rock hole in the lens face doesn’t matter because the halogen capsule is supplying the light.

Halogen bulbs are common in most modern headlights.


How much is a headlight bulb? Halogen bulbs are cheap to produce and often cost less than $20 each to replace. But you must get a reputable brand because some models could burn out in less than a month.

On the majority of cars, you can change them rather easily. For some vehicles, it could be necessary to remove components from the engine compartment or even the splash shield (or the Toyota Highlander catalytic converter shield or a Prius catalytic converter protection system).


On the color temperature scale, standard halogen headlights have a faintly yellowish hue that burns at a temperature of about 3,000 Kelvin. 3,400 to 4200 Kelvin. Halogen bulbs are available from a few bulb manufacturers, however, they are typically not permissible on public streets.

In other words, the light becomes whiter as you move up the Kelvin scale. In general, the Kelvin scale goes as high as 10,000, but that’s the intensity of brilliant sunshine under a blue sky. The Kelvin scale for automotive headlights normally starts at around 2,500 and goes to approximately 4,600.

This is a warm, cozy glow that serves its purpose well, but if you want bright white lights with a little more range, you might want to think about switching to a headlight bulb with a Kelvin temperature greater than this one.

Changing A Car’s Headlight Bulb

How much is a headlight bulb? The halogen bulbs are inexpensive to produce and often cost less than $20 each to replace.

The typical lifespan of these bulbs is between 450 and 1,000 hours, which is slightly less than that of regular headlight bulbs because of how hot they burn.

A bulb typically costs between $10 and $20, while a set of headlight components can cost as little as $100.

2. LED

LED headlight bulbs emit light by a process of electroluminescence, which is just a fancy way of saying that electrons move toward positively charged holes in a semiconductor, releasing energy in the form of photons, which are light particles.

The same technology is now common in screen consoles and dashboard lights.

A rising variety of stop lamps, tail lamps, interior lamps, brilliant flashlights, and appliance indicator lights also feature LED lighting. In other words, LED lighting is popular in modern society.

Electroluminescence helps light up LED headlight bulbs.


In essence, LED bulbs are tiny semiconductors that can fit into confined places. This enables manufacturers to create headlamp designs that are more streamlined and gives them more freedom to style other assembly components, such as turn signal lights.

Any hue in the color spectrum can come from an LED. They are capable of producing a white, brilliant light that can illuminate a mile in front without blinding oncoming cars. On a color scale, LED lights typically fall between 4,000 and 6,000 Kelvin.

Finally, they are quick to turn on or off and use little energy.


Generally speaking, LED headlights are more expensive than their halogen equivalents. This is owing to the slightly different structure of their assembly, which is a requirement since the lights need to have a heat sink to prevent the base emitter from overheating.

In essence, LED bulbs are tiny semiconductors that can fit into confined places.

10,000 to 30,000 hours is the typical lifespan. LED bulbs run cool and don’t generate as much heat as halogen headlights.

As a result, they have more illumination hours, which in some situations may last the duration of a vehicle’s service life.

Still, wondering how much is a headlight bulb? A bulb typically costs $100, while a set of headlight components can cost between $600 and $1,300.

3. Xenon/HID

High-end vehicles frequently include Xenon headlights, also referred to as HID lights or High-Intensity Discharge lights.

These headlights comprise vaporized metals and a mixture of xenon and argon gases, which together produce an incredibly bright light. To upgrade to Xenon/HID headlights, there are conversion kits available from various aftermarket providers.

High-end vehicles frequently include Xenon headlights, also referred to as HID lights or High-Intensity Discharge lights.


The light that HID headlights emit has a bluish-white tint (4,000–6,000 Kelvin), which normally offers a wider (distance) lighting range.


Headlights powered by Xenon or HID take a while to attain their maximum output. They might also be overly bright, which could make oncoming vehicles blind.

The bluish-white glare may also cause vision impairment to the driver’s nighttime vision. You might not notice anything else outside the headlights’ field of illumination because of how narrowly focused their light is. This may make it more difficult to park, change lanes, or pass through intersections.

Xenon headlights provide an incredibly brilliant light by combining argon and xenon gases with evaporated metals.

2,000 to 10,000 hours is the typical lifespan. As there is no filament to burn out, HID headlights can last for many years.

If you want to know how much is a headlight bulb, then the costs range from $350 to $1,400 for a set of headlamp assemblies and $100 to $100 per bulb.

4. Laser

A more recent development in automobile lighting technology is the use of laser headlights. These lights produce light by starting a chemical reaction, which is a  chemiluminescence process.

The phosphorous gas inside a chamber glows when laser beams travel through it. Instead of the actual laser beams, what you see in front of your car is the light coming from the gas.

In other words, a powerful light beam occurs inside the headlight unit by the lasers shining onto mirrors, which then reflect light back onto a lens that is full of a specific gas.


Compared to LED bulbs, laser lamps are more effective. They use half the energy of LEDs while producing 1,000 times as much light. Additionally, they are 10 times smaller than the latter, enabling manufacturers to create an assembly that is shallower.

They have a wide range, are adaptable, and are simple to turn on and off.


Despite having a higher light output than LEDs, they also generate more heat. This means you will need more sophisticated built-in cooling systems for the assembly.

Additionally, because they may only be used in high beams at the moment, standard halogen, LED, or HID headlights are required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are HID Headlights

Headlights that are brighter than standard headlights are known as high-intensity discharge lights. In an HID headlight, the HID bulb comprises a couple of electrodes and also is protected by glass. The xenon gas as well as metal salts in the container are filled.

Does Autozone Replace Headlights

Once you purchase the headlamp from AutoZone’s auto shop, knowledgeable staff can quickly replace it. AutoZone is an auto shop that does not offer mechanic services, so in some circumstances, if the car needs to be disassembled to change the headlights as well as bulbs, AutoZone won’t offer this service.

How Many Lumens Are Car Headlights

The typical range for headlights is between 2,000 and 4,000 Lumens. However, a variety of factors affect how well an LED headlamp kit performs. The quantity of LEDs in each bulb is one of the key elements.

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