How Long Do Headlight Bulbs Last?

How Long Do Headlight Bulbs Last?
Customers sometimes ask us 'How long do headlight bulbs last?' In reality, unfortunately there is no universal answer.

There are a number of factors which affect the longevity of a headlight bulb. These include:-

  • The configuration of the vehicle electrics
  • Excess vibration - for example, on very poor road surfaces or off road
  • Faulty installation - specifically if the glass is damaged when installing
  • Damage in transit
  • Grease and dirt on the glass of the bulb

One of the most common reasons why car bulbs fail is a higher running voltage on the vehicle electrical system. The European standard for this is 13.2V, but many cars in reality run at a higher voltage than this. Manufacturers have done this to power the increasing level of electronics in a vehicle.

As a result, as little as a 5% increase above the recommended running voltage can cause a significant reduction in bulb life.

Unfortunately, as all vehicles have unique and different running voltages, there is no way to provide a universal bulb life. It will inevitably vary from vehicle to vehicle. Thankfully, most vehicles do operate at reasonable running voltages and therefore life expectancy is not compromised too much.

An auto-electrician can assess the running voltage of a vehicle to determine whether this may have been a factor in the premature failure of your bulbs.

3 tips to maximise bulb life expectancy

1. Choose a quality original equipment brand of car bulbs, such as Philips or OSRAM. These headlight bulbs are made using the highest quality materials and to the same standards insisted on by the world's leading car manufacturers.

2. If you drive significantly more at night than an average user, or have a DRL (daytime running lights) system on your vehicle, consider using a product specifically designed for this. For example, Philips LongLife EcoVision is an eco-long life bulb, designed to last 4 times longer than a standard lamp and also delivers 10% more light than standard.

3. If your bulbs are failing regularly then it is recommended to have the electical system checked by an auto-electrican. It could be that a fault is present and this will cause regular bulb failures.

A free warranty

At PowerBulbs, we offer our customers a free warranty on all purchases. The warranty is offered as an extra service to our customers. 

Shop car headlight bulbs here.