Do Whiter Bulbs Use A Higher Wattage?

Do Whiter Bulbs Use A Higher Wattage?

When searching for the perfect light bulb, most drivers want something that's both white and bright. But, energy use is also a major concern for drivers. Bulbs that use a higher wattage can drag down your gas mileage and burn out more quickly in comparison to others. So, many drivers want to know - do whiter bulbs use a higher wattage?

Measuring whiteness

First of all, it's important to understand what is meant by 'whiteness' in a bulb. Although headlight bulbs are white, most aren't perfectly white. They're on a spectrum between blue and yellow, with the whitest bulbs somewhere in the middle.

This is referred to as the colour temperature of the bulb. Bulbs on the blue end are cooler and have a higher colour temperature. Yellow bulbs have a lower colour temperature and are referred to as 'warmer'.

The whitest bulbs are those in the middle of the spectrum. For halogen bulbs, this usually means a colour temperature around 3000K or 4000K. For xenon HID bulbs, this could be up to 5000K and beyond.

Bulb wattage

The wattage of the bulb doesn't tell you anything about the colour. Instead, the wattage measures how much energy a bulb uses. Higher wattage bulbs are brighter than those with a lower wattage.

This is why some drivers may have the misconception that whiter bulbs must use a higher wattage. Whiter bulbs tend to appear brighter than yellow or blue bulbs. That's because the light from a whiter bulb is crisp and clear without any colour. However, whiter bulbs do not use a higher wattage.

Most vehicles use 55-Watt bulbs in their headlights. This should provide more than enough brightness, especially when using high-performance white headlight bulbs.

However, it is possible to use higher wattage bulbs in your car. This may require you to upgrade the wiring in your car in order to support these bulbs. There are other drawbacks to using higher wattage bulbs, too. They can overheat more easily and are often not road legal, thanks to their extreme brightness.

Finding the best white bulbs

If you're interested in equipping your vehicle with the whitest bulbs, check out our styling ranges. These bulbs use their power to produce a whiter light than standard on the road.

Shop styling bulbs here.

If you prefer brightness over colour, check out our maximum performance ranges. You'll benefit from extra brightness on the road in comparison to a standard bulb.

Shop maximum performance bulbs here.