One of the most important parts of any vehicle is the headlight.
This is especially true for low visibility driving conditions such as driving during the night, a heavy downpour, or even heavy snowfall.
In some parts of the world, headlights are needed even in broad daylight because of the thick smog that has clearly made driving a lot more dangerous.
The automotive industry has been at the leading edge of technology designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art headlight bulbs, creating the best white headlight bulbs including halogen, xenon, laser, LED, and conversion kits for today’s cars, SUVs, trucks, and other vehicles to address the growing need for safer driving.
The Need for White Headlight Bulbs
The headlights of old – those containing tungsten filaments or those that are acetylene lamps – simply don’t work anymore.
With driving conditions getting worse every day, it would really be nearly impossible to drive safely in near-zero visibility conditions. Couple this with ultra-fast cars and the increasing population of drunk drivers, you’re as most likely to meet an accident if you drive with an old and dim headlight bulb.
In fact, studies show that a great proportion of nighttime vehicular accidents are caused in part by inferior headlights that reduce overall visibility.
Almost half of all fatal crashes occur at night and more than 54 percent of these fatal nighttime crashes are alcohol-related. All of these occur despite the fact that roads at night typically have less traffic, about 40 percent less than daytime traffic.
And while there are no statistics to show just how much of these fatal crashes involve the use of low performance headlight bulbs, it should be readily apparent that a reduction in road visibility is a major factor in these crashes.
One of the most obvious reasons why you would need a white headlight bulb is to increase overall visibility in any driving condition, more specifically during nighttime. While most modern cars today already come with high performance and energy-efficient white headlights, some may need replacement after they have reached their lifespan.
You may still opt to use the same OEM headlight bulb but a better option will be to replace it entirely with a more energy-efficient yet more powerful white headlight bulb. As such, it is important to understand the different types of white headlight bulbs for your car.
Understanding the Different Types of White Headlight Bulbs
Headlights serve one specific purpose: to illuminate or light the road right in front of your car so you’ll have an excellent view of where you’re going and what you need to avoid. While all headlights are unified in purpose, they nevertheless, vary in build or design.
Currently, there are 4 different types of headlights that either come fully built into modern cars or are available as aftermarket options. These include halogen lamps, HID lights or xenon lights, LED, and laser.
- Halogen – These are the earliest forms of white headlight bulbs that utilized the same tungsten filament used in incandescent bulbs. By the mid-1960s, tungsten filaments were already encased in a halogen bubble to produce white light. These emit bright light that appear white to the naked eye. They have a long lifespan and are relatively inexpensive. Regrettably, they generate excessive heat which increases energy wastage. Replacement will also require extra care as the gas is very reactive to other substances.
- HID or Xenon – High intensity discharge headlights provide excellent illumination while addressing the energy-inefficiency of halogen lamps. It uses less power while exhibiting a much longer lifespan than halogen. Sadly, it is quite expensive and may be troublesome to oncoming traffic as the brightness of the HID can temporarily blind drivers of oncoming vehicles.
- LED – Light emitting diode headlights have one very appealing feature: they require very little power to operate. They are also easily manipulated or configured because of their relatively diminutive size. This allows headlight assembly manufacturers to design an infinite number of shapes and assemblies which is perfect for different car models. Unfortunately, it’s also expensive. One major concern is the heat generated at the bottom of the LED emitter. The lamp itself does not emit heat, only the area below the emitter. This can be risky for adjacent assemblies as well as connectivity cables. That’s why automakers typically use LEDs in other automotive lighting assemblies like brake lamps, turn signals, and daytime running lights.
- Laser – These types of headlights are relatively new and have the capability to increase front road visibility up to 600 meters whereas the LED can only manage, at most, half that. If the extent of the laser’s illumination is more than half a kilometer, then this will greatly improve driving safety at night. Additionally, laser headlights are known to be the most energy-efficient of all types of headlights. They are very compact, too. Unfortunately, because laser headlights are a relatively new technology and are only available in high-end hybrid super-vehicles as upgrade options, they remain very expensive.
Many headlight manufacturers today use a combination of LEDs and HIDs to marry the best of both worlds. If you require some aftermarket upgrades for your car, SUV, truck, or any other vehicle, you can take a look at our list of the top 5 white headlight bulbs for your car.
Our 5 Best White Headlight Bulbs for Your Car
1. HID Xenon Low Beam Headlight Replacement Bulbs by Kensun
What We Like
- Easy installation
- Superb brightness
- Thousands of happy customers
Kensun is known for designing and producing top-of-the-line HID headlights coupled with excellent customer service.
Their HID Xenon Low Beam Headlight Replacement Bulb is guaranteed to be 3 times brighter than a conventional halogen while consuming 80 percent less power to give you superior road visibility that you need.
Part of this illuminating power is due to its fused-quartz xenon headlight bulb, giving it ultra-brightness. The Kensun HID is also very easy to install as it mimics the same plug-and-play mechanism in computer systems.
2. LED Headlight Bulbs with Clear-Arc Beam Kit by OPT7
What We Like
- Can be installed on just about any car
If you’re looking for LED headlights for your car that is constantly drenched in rain, then you’ll find OPT7’s LED Headlight Bulbs very interesting.
It comes with an all-improved MHC heat control complete with a TurboCool fan and a RedLine driver which gives it more than 50,000 hours of continuous bright light. Best of all, it can be used underwater. Now, if you have an amphibious vehicle, this is the one to install.
Its patented Arc-Beam technology guarantees the perfect pattern of light beam every time and all the time without having to worry about foggy lights nor dark spots. It’s also CanBUS-ready which makes it easy to connect to any vehicle without fear of the lights not working.
3. Xtreme White Plus High Performance Halogen Bulb by PIAA
What We Like
- Fully DOT/SAE-compliant
- Alloy filament
- Quartz enclosure
Halogen headlight bulbs remain a favorite among car owners because of a good combination of illumination and price.
As for the concern on energy wastage, PIAA has managed to solve that with its Xtreme White Plus High Performance Halogen Bulb that features an aerospace alloy filament instead of the typical tungsten. The glass enclosure is also made of heat resistant quartz which effectively increases its illuminating power as well as lifespan.
The Xtreme White is designed to provide light in the 4,000K color spectrum giving you superb visibility as well as styling.
4. Night Breaker Unlimited H4 Super White Halogen by OSRAM
What We Like
- Added brightness and whiteness
- Long lifespan
Boasting of 110 percent brighter and 20 percent whiter light than standard halogen headlight bulbs, OSRAM’s Night Breaker Unlimited H4 Super White Halogen features a robust coil design to give it superbly longer lifespan.
Compared to standard halogens, the Night Breaker increases the road visibility by an additional 35 meters. This can greatly help improve overall nighttime driving safety as it gives you an extra distance to react to traffic and driving conditions.
5. CrystalVision Ultra Upgrade Headlight Bulb by Philips
What We Like
- Philips is a trusted brand
- OEM quality
If you’re after an OEM but with the advanced features of an aftermarket option, then the H11 CrystalVision Ultra Upgrade Headlight is your best bet.
Each of these bulbs are designed to give you the best HID experience for your car at 4,000K, giving you superbly bright white light. The bulb features a unique blue cap which serves to create a cool blue effect in your headlight’s reflector during daytime.
The Bottom Line
The importance of visibility in night driving can never be stressed enough. Don’t tempt fate by using sub-par or inferior bulbs in your car’s headlights. With these 5 amazing, powerful, and very innovative white headlight bulbs you can now drive a lot safer even in poor driving conditions. If you hate nighttime surprises like we do, upgrade to any one of these brighter headlight bulbs.