H1 vs. H3 Bulb: Which Is Better?

H1 vs. H3 Bulb: Which Is Better?

When choosing a bulb for your vehicle, the first thing you'll notice is the wide variety of bulb fittings out there. Confusing, right? Among the most common of these fittings are H1 and H3 bulbs.

So - what exactly is the difference between these two types of bulb? Is one better than the other? 

What are H1 and H3 bulbs?

Bfore we get into the differences between H1 and H3 bulbs, let's discuss what exactly these bulbs are and their uses. H1 and H3 bulbs are both a type of halogen bulb. They're both approved for general use in the European Union, US, and Japan. This means that they can be used as headlights as well as for other purposes, such as fog lights, turn signals etc.

What are the differences?

Although H1 and H3 bulbs are relatively similar, there's a few key differences between these two types of bulb. Take a look at them alongside each other:

At first glance, you'll notice that H1 bulbs have a different shape compared to H3. The H1 appears to be longer and thinner, and the bulbs both have different bases. The H1 bulb uses a P14.5 base, whilst the H3 bulb uses a PK22s base and has a wire protruding from the bottom.

The way to decide whether you need a H1 or a H3 depends on which fitting your car needs. Your dipped beam and high beam will need one specific fitting of bulb and only one bulb can fit. You can't simply switch H1 for H3 and you can't plug a H1 bulb into a H3 fitting.

To find out which fitting your car needs, you can either check your vehicle handbook or use our handy Bulb Finder.

Which bulb is better?

If you compare a H1 and H3 bulb from the same range (for example, OSRAM Night Breaker Unlimited H1 and OSRAM Night Breaker Unlimited H3), they'll perform in exactly the same way. They're identical bulbs that simply fit different headlights. Whether you pick the H1 or the H3 in a range, you'll receive the same results in terms of light output and colour temperature.

So - don't worry. If you've got a H1 or a H3 fitting, you're not going to miss out. You can buy from the same range and get the same results!

Shop H1 bulbs here.

Shop H3 bulbs here.