Your Questions Answered: Styling vs. Performance bulbs

Your Questions Answered: Styling vs. Performance bulbs

Are you looking to upgrade your headlight bulbs but aren’t sure what to go for? Ever wondered what a Kelvin rating is? Don’t know which bulbs are the brightest?

You asked, we answered! This handy post gathers together your questions from social media and email to help you decipher the tricky world of Styling vs. Performance.

What’s the difference between a performance product and a styling product?

Performance bulbs are intended to offer lots of light on the road, maximising the light output to help you see the road ahead better. Styling products focus on the colour of the light beam – they will usually be crisper and whiter in colour in comparison to performance bulbs.

Unsure which to go for? If you’re upgrading for aesthetic reasons, go for a styling product. If you’re not concerned about the colour of your headlight bulbs, we would recommend you choose a performance product instead, as these focus on giving you a better view of the road ahead.

What is a Kelvin rating?

Kelvin is a unit of measurement used to describe the colour temperature of a bulb. The lower the number, the more yellow in colour the light will be. A Kelvin rating of 1600 can be compared to candlelight, whereas a crisp white light will be around 5000K. Natural daylight is usually measured at a similar rating to crisp white light. This is why some bulbs claim to help keep you more alert whilst driving: as the Kelvin rating is close to natural daylight, your body responds to this as if it were natural daylight and therefore helps to keep you more awake.

The Kelvin rating of a bulb has nothing to do with the amount of light produced, which is measured in lumens. The higher the lumen rating, the brighter the bulb will be, regardless of colour.

Is a whiter light better in bad weather?

Car bulbs are better when they have a warmer (yellower) tint, rather than cooler (whiter), as the yellow tint of the light provides a greater contrast and helps to penetrate rain and fog better. To get technical, the wavelength of yellow light reflects more easily than a white one.

Which product is brightest?

The brightest halogen we sell is the Philips RacingVision. It produces up to 150% more light on the road, giving you a super strong beam.

OSRAM’s new Night Breaker Laser has a slightly higher Kelvin rating to the RacingVision (depending on which fitting you require), and produces up to 130% more light on the road. 

Shop maximum performance bulbs here.

Which product will give me the closest look to Xenon HID?

If you’re after a crisp, white light, there are two roads you can go down (pun definitely intended). Firstly, you can achieve the closest colour match to Xenon HID with a non-road legal bulb. The Philips Diamond Vision offers an ice-white light for a Xenon-style beam. These bulbs are suitable for off-road use only due to the fact that a crisp white/blue halogen light can be distracting to other drivers.

If you want an even stronger white-blue light, check out PIAA Stratos Blue. A colour temperature of 6000K delivers a strong and stylish look on the road.

Alternatively, if you’re after a road legal option, the Philips WhiteVision has a colour temperature of up to 4300K, and has been described as ‘the first road legal intense white light’. Whilst the WhiteVision may not have the intensity of the Diamond Vision, it does emulate that distinctive Xenon effect, but won’t be potentially off-putting to others on the road.

Shop styling bulbs here.