LED vs. Halogen vs. Xenon: Which is Better for You?

Jerry Wilson
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Halogen Headlights

Halogen headlights, also known as incandescent headlights, are the most energy-inefficient and least focused type of headlights for cars. There are two filaments in each bulb: one for the low beam and one for the high beam. Each filament gives off a yellowish light. This is why halogen headlights are also known as “yellow lights.”

Halogen lights also get very hot. If your car is parked in the sun or on concrete, you’re likely to end up with a burn mark on your hood.

Some halogen bulbs last for only a year. They are also the most expensive to purchase.

Xenon Headlights

When it comes to choosing the right light bulb, there are two basic types to consider: LED or halogen. There are also some other types of options, such as CFLs and incandescents, but you may want to consider getting LED bulbs instead because they use much less energy and last much longer than other types of bulbs.

If you’re in the market for LED light bulbs, there are a few more decisions you’ll need to make. Should you buy bulbs designed for your car? Should you equip your home with them? Should you buy the outdoor versions or the indoor versions? And should you buy the ones designed for outdoor security?

Your options are endless when it comes to LED lighting. What type is right for you?

One of the more common uses of LED lights is outdoor lighting. What’s wrong with the flickering and turning on and off of traditional lights?

LED light bulbs don’t get warm, so they are safe for outdoor use, and they turn on and off instantly, rather than flickering. They are also designed to be used in security lighting, so you can be sure that they are going to be able to stay focused and powerful, unlike the lights on your mobile home or old-style house.

LED Headlights

The Popular Choice among Automotive Headlights

Drivers have been installing aftermarket automotive headlights since they first hit the market. Over the decades, you can see that headlights have undergone changes from simple incandescent to halogen to high intensity discharge (HID) to light emitting diode (LED).

More recently, you can purchase factory replacement LED headlights that are the solution of choice for many drivers.

The average driver who may have chosen halogen in the past may find the difference is not worth considering to trade up to LED when looking at the four options side by side.

This post will focus on the top 4 parts of buying LED headlights and help you make the best choice.

The first thing we’ll look at is the cost. This may seem like a factor to quickly dismiss, but it’s important to remember that better performance often comes with a steeper price tag. It’s a one-time outlay with the intention of getting better lighting with virtually no upkeep required (unless you need to replace the bulbs or your car has a complicated electrical system), which can save you money in the long run.

Making the Right Choice

There is no one kind of lighting that is better than the others for all purposes because they each have their own set of significant benefits and drawbacks. So what is it that makes one a better choice than another?

LED: LED bulbs are up to 30 percent more efficient than traditional bulbs. They also last longer, don’t contain UV radiation, and don’t have a filament that can break and fall into the food. LED lights don’t get hot, so they’re less likely to burn you or damage your eyes than halogen or xenon alternatives. Like halogen bulbs, LED bulbs produce bright, cool light and are ideal for task lighting in places such as stairways and closets.

Halogen: Halogen bulbs are often more affordable than other options. They last about 1.5 times as long as incandescent bulbs. Halogen bulbs generate a bright, warm light and are good for general lighting in rooms like a family room or kitchen. As with traditional bulbs, halogen bulbs don’t last long in cold temperatures. That’s because the tungsten filament is liable to break if the temperature drops below freezing, so you should not use them in outdoor fixtures or in the garage.