Do upgrade car bulbs generate more heat?

Do upgrade car bulbs generate more heat?

Do upgrade car bulbs generate more heat?

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For those without factory-fitted Xenon HID lighting, upgrade performance car bulbs are the only legal way to realise lighting gains. First time buyers of upgrade headlight bulbs often ask if they will generate more heat. The perception is that more light equals more heat, which can be the case with certain types of bulbs.

The two most common methods of lighting gains are explained below:

Higher wattage

It is possible to achieve a greater light output by increasing the electrical power demanded by the bulb. This is referred to as wattage. The standard UK wattage for vehicle lighting is 55W. To achieve a light gain, this wattage can be pushed in excess of 100W by some manufacturers.

There are many problems associated with this high power demand.  As UK standard wattage is 55W, your vehicle will be manufactured to this specification and will only cope with small tolerances in demand.

If higher wattage bulbs are fitted, the power demand would most probably overcome your system, causing wires to ‘burn out’. Furthermore, these bulbs are not designed for road use and are not legal on UK roads.

Although these types of bulb will give a significant light gain, they use a rudimentary and inefficient design. The bulb is filled with a halogen gas and the filament is made to burn hotter to achieve extra light. This WILL generate more heat, which may cause problems for vehicles with plastic headlight lenses.

Which bulb should I buy?

Halogen bulbs fall into 3 main markets: Maximum Performance, Styling and Long Life. The bulbs in these categories do not have an increased wattage and therefore do not generate any extra heat.

Maximum Performance

Halogen upgrade products such as OSRAM Night Breaker Unlimited and Philips X-Treme Vision +130 will offer you light increases of up to 130% along with a much greater projection on the road. You'll be able to spot potential hazards on the road ahead more quickly and easily.

Shop Maximum Performance bulbs here.


Road legal styling bulbs OSRAM Cool Blue Intense will offer you higher colour temperatures to give a whiter light on the road. If you're after a very close colour match to factory-fitted Xenon HID bulbs, Philips Diamond Vision is the perfect choice for you. Please note that due to the colour temperature of 5000K, Philips Diamond Vision is not road legal.

Shop Styling bulbs here.


Long Life

Our range of long life bulbs are designed to go the distance. The Philips Longlife EcoVision range lasts up to 100,000km, meaning that you don't have to worry about changing your bulbs as often.

Shop Long Life bulbs here.