HID vs LED Headlights: Which One Should Buy?

Headlights are an essential part of the car often when the night falls. It is a challenging and scary experience with poor headlight while a whole lot of enjoyment if they are bright and of high quality.

LED and HID headlights are the headlight you want to have in your car.

Besides being bright and energy-efficient, they have more features that make driving your car around an activity to look up to.

Below we focus on in-depth information on these headlights which include:

  • Walk you through HID headlights and LED Headlights
  • In some aspects, which will perform better?
  • Simple ways on how to change HID to LED

difference between hid and led

HID Headlights

What Is It?

High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights have a highly unreactive xenon gas. The headlights do not contain filament but instead uses the available xenon gas to send an arc of energy between two electrodes to creating light.

Pros and Cons

  • They are affordable.
  • They are incredibly bright as they have white or yellow color illuminating well in the dark.
  • They are more efficient due to lower operating temperatures.
  • They are attractive and elegant than regular headlights providing a cleaner and luxurious look.
  • They may take longer to achieve full brightness.
  • Manufacturers utilize xenon/halogen combinations as they don’t work well as separate high beams.

Who Should Use?

The HID-headlights generally are used by drivers who wish to upgrade to brighter bulbs in their vehicles with projector-style headlights. Besides, they are ideal for those who want budget-friendly lights.

LED Headlights

What Is It?

LED headlights standing for Light-Emitting Diodes are semiconductors that emit light when currents are passed through it as then-current follows the same direction.

It contains a series of diodes in which an electrical current runs to emit light. These headlights require only a little amount of current to provide illumination.

Pros and Cons

  • They are long-lasting as they have a lifespan of up to 20,000 hours.
  • LED headlights are more rugged and durable than halogen or HID.
  • Its efficient as it only requires a little electricity for it to work, unlike others which use more energy to light up.
  • It achieves full brightness instantly unlike HID that takes a few seconds in achieving full brightness.
  • They are expensive in the early stage.
  • They require cooling components which keeps the diodes from melting the emitter producing heat.

Who Should Use?

LED headlights are mostly used by drivers during their daily activities at night. They are also used by top-end luxury cars and motorists for their benefits, unlike other headlights.

Which Is Better: HID or LED Headlights?

  • Which One Is Better for Night Driving?

When driving in the dark, it is important to have efficient lighting for easier maneuvering. With options between HID and LED headlights, LED is more advantageous than HID.

Not only does LED provide the high intensity of beams without giving off glares, but also they are long-lasting. This is due to the usage of little electricity in the production of light.

On the other hand, HID headlights produce high brightness though it produces glares that affect other drivers and they are not long-lasting thus unreliable as they can die off during your stroll.

  • Which One Is Brighter?

Both types of headlights have been preferred due to how they perfectly illuminate during the nighttime.

In the case of HID headlights, they produce more brightness than the LED while they have a variety of color temperatures.

However, the lighting contains glares which are a disturbance to other drivers.

Through advancements in technology, LED headlight brightness has increased. On the bright side, it has no glares.

  • Which One Has the Far Lighting Distance?

Without a doubt, when looking for a headlight, the lighting distance is a matter of concern. You wouldn’t want to buy a headlight that cannot light up longer distances.

For this matter, HID headlights are the most preferred source of lighting than LED. This is because it contains high/low beams and a projector lens that enables it to light longer distances.

On the other hand, LED headlights have a range of color options and do not have projector lenses. It gives adequate lighting to the area around even though it does not have a projector lens.

  • Which One Has the Wide Light Color Spectrum?

Headlights color is a paramount factor as it affects visibility at night.

HID headlight has a wide range of color spectrum. It ranges from yellow, ice blue, purple, crystal white and much more. The color temperature of the headlight is determined by the material used to generate the light High-Pressure Sodium, Metal Halide, and Mercury Vapor which utilizes different chemicals to make light.

On the contrary, the LED headlight has limited color temperature but the options are better than HID.

  • Which One Is Better for All Seasons and Climates?

Different climates and seasons can affect the lighting of headlights.

LED headlights can work well in cold weather since they do not require heat in creation of light and working. However, if it snows, it might stick as there is no heat to melt it.

On the other hand, the HID headlights are better for all seasons as they are used in any adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, sleet, fog, or smoke.

  • Which One Is Cheaper?

Cost is a factor that needs to be taken into consideration when it comes to buying any item. Besides considering quality the product has to be pocket-friendly.

LED headlights may seem costly per initial cost, however, they require less maintenance while they have a very long life span.

On the other hand, HID is affordable but it’s likely to burn out faster thus cost of maintenance and buying a new one increases.

In conclusion, comparing both headlights, the LED light is cheaper than HID.

  • Which One Has Longer Lifespan?

LED headlights have a longer lifespan than HID.

While the HID headlights can last for 2000 to 8000 hours, the LED lasts longer than that.

LED headlights are more preferable to use as they last from 10,000 to 50,000 hours, which is equivalent to 10 years.

As long as it’s used in the right condition and how extensive it is. Thus, it will serve you for a long time without the need to change it.

  • Which One Has High Energy Efficiency?

A car, when lighting the way in the dark, requires the consumption of power in the engine. Therefore, a headlight should be energy efficient to reduce strain on the engine.

Among the two, LED headlights have more energy efficiency as they need very little power to produce light.

However, HID requires a considerable amount of power to lighten up the bulbs.

In this particular context, LED is more preferred than HID.

  • Which One Is Safer?

Safety is key to reducing accidents when lighting up the way at night. Both headlights contain enough brightness to light the sideways of the road as required.

However, HID headlights are much brighter containing glare which is a risk to other drivers causing accidents. In the case of LED, brightness has no glare thus safe to use when driving.

Thus, LED headlights are safer to use.

Comparison Chart between HID, LED, and Halogen Headlights

Halogen HID LED
1. They are budget-friendly The initial cost is affordable The initial cost is expensive
2. Consume lots of power Does not consume much power Energy efficient
3. Takes a few seconds to reach full brightness Takes a few seconds to reach full brightness They achieve full brightness instantly
4. Their lifespan is 450- 1000 hours. Their lifespan is 1000 – 8000 hours. Their lifespan is 20,000 – 50,000 hours.

How to Upgrade HID Headlights to LED?

1. Open the housing of the car and locate an L-shaped bar at the top of the housing and slide it out of the socket holding it together.

2. Remove the housing holding the HID lights with two tags holding it in. Remove the bulbs in the low beam by turning it counter-clockwise to unlock.

3. Next, take apart a whole HID ballast by unplugging it from the power running from the car.

4. To unplug the wire connector, lift the tab and pull. Take the LED headlights and attach them to the separate driver coming with them.

5. Align the top tab of the bulb with the top tab in the housing, ensure to turn it clockwise to lock it in.

6. Then plug the tab of the LED headlights into the wire connector that runs from your car.

7. Reassemble the light assembly back together and turn on the lights to see they are working.

Is It Safe to Upgrade LED Headlights to HID?

Currently, their LED cannot be replaced with HID headlights. This rule is enforced to meet federal safety standards.

From the given information HID headlights are not considered safe due to their glare as they cause accidents while LED is safe. Thus, shifting back to HID would seem unsafe.


LED and HID headlights are not only the best type in the market but also excellently performing showing you the worth of your money.

From their light output, energy efficiency, color temperatures, and lifespan give them the feature any driver would require.

From the above information, you are informed about the best headlights in the market. Consider the following:

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