car led headlights

5 Best LED Headlights For Night Driving 2018

Upgrading your OEM headlights to xenon headlights can be an expensive upgrade but replacing halogen bulbs to LED headlights is more cost effective. It is also much easier to install as its a direct replacement with no additional power required.

The best LED headlights are the Philips Diamond X-treme Vision, which is available as a H4 and H7 bulb that is proven to produce 130% more brightness than halogens.

An alternative are HID kits but they are either poor quality or illegal to the point you other motorists are getting blinded. They also require power packs for both bulbs that will require fitting securely in the engine bay.

Best LED Headlight Bulbs

Headlight BulbsSizesBrightness
Philips X-treme Vision23,700K
Philips CrystalVision184,000K
PIAA Xtreme White Plus 174,000K
SYLVANIA SilverStar Ultra83,500K
Philips VisionPlus193,300K

Upgrading to a xenon white headlight bulb will provide additional visibility on the road, brighter light and a more modern look and feel. Unlike HID kits there is no need for additional power sources that need to be installed in the engine bay.

The color temperature for the desirable white light output is between 3,000K and 4,000K. Anything out of this scale will either be a yellow color is below or have a blue/purple tint if higher but these will not be road legal.

Replacing your stock headlight bulbs is fairly straight forward with no complicated installations. Below is a list of the best LED headlights for the xenon look by just using bulbs and without the need of additional power packs.

Philips Diamond X-treme Vision White Light Bulb


The Philips Diamond Vision that specialize in white light bulbs that look very similar to xenon bulbs. The MK5 Golf in the image above has these xenon bulbs fitted and it gives an excellent source of white light as well as reliability.

Premium cars that have the bog standard halogen bulbs can see a vast improvement from the Philips white light bulbs in terms of looks.

Compared with HID bulbs, these are easier to install, don’t blind other motorists and provide a nicer looking white light from the headlights.

The Phillips Diamond Vision bulbs are the best LED headlight bulbs to buy, with an excellent source of xenon white brightness and reliability. Philips state that using these bulbs will provide an additional 130% brightness, which is very impressive.

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Philips Crystal Vision Xenon Look Bulb

Philips Crystal Vision are described provide the closest color to HID bulbs with a 4000K bright light to provide the xenon look. They are available in 18 different sizes so that they can be installed on a range of cars and in multiple locations.

These Philips bulbs are fairly distinctive with the blue cap at the end of the bulb that creates the blue tint to the brightness. They are DOT compliant unlike HID bulbs and provide an excellent source of xenon light at a budget price.

Overall, the Crystal Vision by Philips are the most powerful LED headlight bulbs with a range of sizes to satisfy all requirements.

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PIAA 17655 H7 Xtreme White Plus Bulb


Moving aside from the Phillips bulb we have the 4000K PIAA bulbs that offer a powerful source of white light with the added (light) tint of blue that is still street legal. These bulbs benefit from a high quality heat resistant tube that produces 110 watts of light from 55 watts of power.

The PIAA offer an impressive difference from the standard halogen bulbs that provide limited visibility. All bulbs that are produced by PIAA come with a one year warranty which will give you some confidence when purchasing.

PIAA is the best alternative to the Philips bulbs but the only drawback is that they are more expensive. However, PIAA have designed the bulbs to be long lasting by using high quality materials and the latest technology.

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Sylvania 9004 Silver Star Ultra


The SilverStar Ultra bulb by Sylvania is one of the brightest headlight bulbs available on the market that also provide white light. They still meet the DOT standards and are street legal for high visibility when driving at night.

Sylvania produce a range of OEM replacement headlight bulbs but the 9004 focuses on white light. They produce excellent down-road visibility and clarity compared to stock bulbs.

They are great all round bulbs but when you compared them against the Philips white headlight bulbs, they are very pricey.

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Philips VisionPlus OEM Bulbs


For those on a budget that are not looking for any sort of upgrade but simply want to replace their broken bulb, the VisionPlus are perfect. They are cheap headlight bulbs that provide up to 60% more vision on the road than halogen bulbs and are much cheaper than OEM bulbs from the dealership.

As with all Philips headlight bulbs, they are DOT compliant and are all legal to be used on the streets. The VisionPlus is not as bright as the more powerful alternatives above but they are suited for those looking for the cheapest white headlight bulbs.

There are 19 different sizes so that they will work in a range of vehicles and they offer 3,300K of reliable light. Overall, they are the best cheap LED headlight bulbs that offers a bright white light output.

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LED Headlight Bulb Buying Guide

The three most common reasons for changing your headlight bulb is because it is broken, you want more visibility or you want a change of color. Halogen bulbs are generally becoming phased out compared to back in the 1990’s where almost all cars used halogen bulbs.

Replacing your headlight bulbs is a simple modification and it can make a huge difference to your visibility on the road. On top of this, they can also improve the appearance of your vehicles and make it look more modern than it really is.

Headlight bulbs can break for a variety of reasons and finding the correct replacement can seem daunting when researching online. However, we have built a buying guide to cover all the factors that you should consider.

Headlight Bulb Size

Not all bulb sizes are the same and they vary from manufacturers. Common sizes are H7, H4 and H1 but some cars may have very odd sizes. A quick search online or using Amazon’s car checker will ensure that you have the correct bulb.

If you pull out the current bulb that you are looking to upgrade, it will usually be stamped onto the metal part of the bulb construction.

led headlights

Color Temperature

To achieve the desirable white color, the color temperature needs to be between 3,000 and 4,000K on the Kelvin chart. Any higher and you will be looking at a purple color and any lower it turns to the halogen yellow color.

The majority of LED’s such as license plate bulbs are between this color temperature and matching all the lights together is highly recommended. If you are wanting to choose a color other than white, you will want to check the law within your states as many colors other than halogen and ice white are not road legal.

Below are some of the different LED headlight colors based from the Kelvin rating that are available to buy:

  • 3000K – Yellow/halogen
  • 5000K – White
  • 8000K – Blue
  • 10,000K – Green
  • 12,000K – Purple
  • … and much more

How To Fit Bulbs to Car

Headlight replacement is a common task of many car owners due to upgrading or fixing a broken bulb. Installation of LED headlights is the exact same as installing a halogen bulb. Complications come where you need to change a OEM xenon headlight or need to install a HID conversion kit.

In most cases, fitting LED headlights can be as simple as the following steps:

  1. Turn all lights off and then open the bonnet
  2. Remove the cover that holds the bulbs in place and stops the water coming in (Not all cars have this)
  3. Remove the bulb from the headlight – this may need you to either turn the bulb holder anti-clockwise, push down on a small leaver or pulling up a leader (car dependent)
  4. Once the bulb is out of the headlight, pull the bulb away from the holder/wires
  5. Fit the new bulb to the bulb holder/wires
  6. BEFORE FITTING BACK IN TEST THAT THE BULB WORKS
  7. If the bulb works, proceed to carry out steps 1 to 5 in reverse

The 7 steps are fairly brief but you will be able to find much more detail within your owners manual. It is a quick and easy DIY task and we highly recommend trying it yourself before paying to have them fitted.

main beam white color bulbs h7 h4

Potential Issues

When upgrading to LED headlights, there are potential issues that may arise with the most common being a Canbus error. This will show as an light error on your dash and even when you try to clear codes with an OBD2 scanner, the lightbulb icon will still remain. The majority of the time, the LED headlights will continue to run perfectly but the error code can be fairly irritating.

We highly recommend that any LED headlights you purchase have “Canbus FREE” stated within the description in order to reduce errors from happening.

Flickering of the light bulb or the light not being illuminated after flickering once is fairly common too. We would highly recommend that you check the connection with the bulb and the bulb holder to ensure it is being held securely.

Conclusion

As there are three headlight bulbs that are highly rated within this article by Philips, its fairly obvious what the best headlight bulb brand is. They tick every box in terms of price, durability, reliability and performance. The X-treme Vision are the best performers but are limited in terms of bulb sizes. Alternatively the Diamond Vision are just as good but have a slight tint of blue to the bulbs.

Upgrading from halogen bulbs to LED headlight bulbs has a range of benefits that goes much further than just the desirable color. For example, the added visibility on the road during the night, less power used to preserve a car battery and much more.

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