How Long Should Headlights Last?

How Long Should Headlights Last?

Replacing headlight bulbs can be annoying and expensive, even if you do it yourself. Short-lived bulbs that burn out too soon are frustrating for drivers and a waste of money. But most drivers aren’t sure how long their headlights should really last. That’s because the answer depends on many factors.

Read on to find out how long you should expect your headlight bulbs to last.

Types of bulbs

If you’re trying to guess how long your headlights should last, you’ll first need to consider the type of bulbs in your headlights. There are three common bulb types on the market today—halogen, HID, and LED bulbs. Each has their benefits, but we’ll focus on longevity for now.

Out of all three types of bulb, halogens rank the worst in terms of longevity. Estimates for the lifespan of a halogen bulb range from 500 to 1,000 hours, depending on the exact bulb used. You can choose maximum performance bulbs, which will give you brighter light but a shorter lifespan. More budget-conscious or eco-friendly drivers might opt for an eco or long life bulb. Halogen bulbs in this category last two or three times longer than standard bulbs, though you may notice they aren’t quite as bright.

Next up are HID bulbs. These bulbs last much longer than halogen bulbs, but still fall short of the impressive longevity offered by LED bulb. An HID bulb should last anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 hours. That’s up to six times longer than the shortest-lived halogen bulbs. With an HID bulb, you should get several years’ worth of use before the bulb needs to be replaced. Of course, this will depend on your driving habits.

Finally, LED bulbs last the longest of all three headlight bulb types we’ve discussed. LED bulbs can last as long as 30,000 hours. That’s enough to make it through the entire lifespan of many vehicles, meaning you may never have to replace LED bulbs. However, not all LED headlight bulbs are street legal, so be sure to check before installing LED headlights.

Getting the most life out of your headlight bulbs

If you’re interested in squeezing every last hour out of your headlight bulbs, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your bulbs won’t need to be replaced anytime soon.

For one, consider upgrading your headlights. As we said before, HID bulbs last much longer than halogen bulbs. If your vehicle currently uses halogen headlight bulbs, you can purchase an HID conversion kit. This will allow you to use HID bulbs instead, and you’ll find yourself changing out your bulbs much less often. HID bulbs have many other advantages. They give off a brighter light and have a higher colour temperature, which many drivers prefer.

If upgrading your entire headlight doesn’t sound appealing or isn’t in the budget right now, there are steps you can take to get the most life out of your halogen bulbs. The most obvious, of course, is to use your headlights less frequently. You only need your headlights at night or during inclement weather. On sunny days, turn your headlights off to help them last longer.

Switching to an eco or long-life halogen bulb can also improve longevity. As we mentioned earlier, these specially-designed bulbs can last anywhere from two to six times longer than standard halogen bulbs.

Does longevity matter?

It’s also important to consider how much longevity really matters to you. Some drivers hate the idea of going to the mechanic to have their bulbs changed. But changing out your headlight bulbs should be a simple process that you can do at home in just a few minutes.

Another concern for many drivers is the cost of buying new headlight bulbs. Keep in mind that while HID or LED bulbs last longer, they cost more upfront. Halogen bulbs, on the other hand, are relatively inexpensive, so changing them more frequently shouldn’t cost a fortune.

Shop car headlight bulbs at PowerBulbs.