Halogen vs LED vs HID | Which is best for you?

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Halogen vs LED vs HID, always wonders about which is better? OEM halogen headlight, HID, or LED headlight. No need to worry because we gonna compare all three different headlights (halogen, hid, and led headlights) from several dimension.

You might have came across the words like LED , HID , Xenon , Halogen , Laser but wondered about the best one among these or what are there pros and cons or each of them works?. Then you are at the right place because we not only provide there pros and cons but also there working along with the answer which one is best for you.

Tungsten halogen bulb is very popular and widely used in vehicles. whereas HID lamps are quite costly so its equipment in some high-end cars only. LED lamps are quite efficient and new technology so it’s still in the adoption phase of the automobile. Laser is the latest one and still it’s in prototype phase but it’s provided in the BMW i8 Concept.

Before starting our list there are some points or terms which you need to know first :

  • Colour temperature is represented by K ( generally yellowish lights have low colour temperature than whitish lights ).
  • Intensity or brightness is measured in lux (L).
  • W represents wattage of the headlamp means the power consumption of lamp.
  • Glass casing is known as headlight but the bulb used in headlight assembly is known as headlamp.

Halogen Headlights

Halogen vs LED vs HID

Starting from the halogen headlights, tungsten halogen bulb is very popular and widely used in vehicles. Halogen headlights has the original light source technology that is mature and stable. Halogen bulb is by far the oldest and most effective headlight technology. It has been in operation for many years and is still being used a lot.

Working :

Halogen tungsten bulb contains a tungsten filament sealed inside a glass bulb which contains the halogen gas so it’s called tungsten halogen bulb whenever it’s subjected to electric current , tungsten filaments emits light. According to its physical property and halogen helps to maximize the light production while protecting it from the high temperature burn.

Some cars uses the two filament bulb which contains two filament inside single glass bulb.


  • Size of halogen headlights are 100% fitted to the original housing with perfect beam pattern.
  • They can be easily installed with a very low cost that’s why halogen headlights are mounted for most of the vehicles.
  • Works good in Harsh Weather conditions due to its yellowish colour temperature


  • Due to its inefficient energy conversion rate compare to other two it is not safe enough when diving down to a really dark road with no street lights.
  • They consumes a lot of power compared to others.
  • They are not as bright as compared to others.
  • Slow initial startup time , hard to give out a good traffic warning to others.
  • Halogen headlights generate huge amount of heat causing down the shorter lifespan of halogen.
  • Halogen headlights are only able to carry out low temperature yellowish light color.

HID Headlights

Halogen vs LED vs HID
LED DRL’s with HID headlights

HID or High Intensity Discharge (Xenon light) work in a similar way to the halogen light bulbs with some small changes than halogen. The design of HID is close to halogen headlights so there are not much problems on the beam pattern. let’s straightly jump into its working.


HID contains a quartz arc tube which is subjected to a glass bulb with supports. Arc tube contains mercury vapor and halide atoms while the bulb is filled with mixture of gases like argon and sodium. With inside coating of fluorescent material. Arc tube is connected with the tungsten electrodes which ends in the connector of bulb which is used to supply the electricity. When lamp is subjected to electric current, current flows through the arc tube via electrodes. Which excites the halide atoms inside arc tube and due to presence of mercury vapour it emits the ultraviolet rays and coating of fluorescent material converts it to a visible bright light by reducing its frequency and intensity.


  • They are known to produce high light output and be able to reach 3000-4500 lumens each bulb
  • flexible lumens range of HID offers you a great and cool color selections.
  • They consume less power as compared to halogens.
  • More lifespan than halogen.


  • HID headlights require long warm-up time if you try to flash your light to warn other divers HID are not be able to perform well.
  • Overusing these high light brightness might blind other drivers and easily causing traffic accidents.
  • They are expensive as well as not easy to install
  • Due to its high power consuming character HID bulbs generate tremendous heat which might damage the housing.
  • Problems like shortages, wire melting and some damaged components can occur because of the high demand of power in the initial startup.
  • Shorter lifespan than LED.
  • Some states and countries gradually began to restrict the use of HID headlights.

LED Headlights

Halogen vs LED vs HID

LED (Light Emitting Diode) headlights, they have been out to market for couple of years becoming more and more reliable and popular over time. They are quite efficient and new technology so it’s still in the adoption phase of the automobile industry.


LED headlamps are made of many small LEDs fabricated in specific order to achieve maximum and good light possible. Light emitting diode is made of diffused p-type semiconductor and epitaxial n type semiconductor sandwich which counter connected with very thin gold or silver film. When electricity is provided, the positive atoms of n-type material travels to the p-type and this process emits the light due to photon particle exchange. This process uses very less amount of electricity so it is very efficient way of producing light.


  • Firstly It has the most energy conversion rate with the lowest heat generated
  • Brightest among the above two’s
  • LED headlights require low input power which is considered energy-saving and environmentally friendly.
  • LED’s has a small battery load on the vehicles.
  • As for the lifespan, LED has the longest lifespan among others.
  • LED do not require warm-up time they can be light up instantly.
  • It is easily fitted in any type of vehicles or system (projector or reflector)


  • Some LED might have some installation problems for small housing if the LED has a big heat sink or a cooling fan.
  • LED’s are itself cool but there back really gets heated.
  • Meanwhile Expensive in some regions.
  • High power LED’s are relatively costlier than normal powered ones

So Which Do You Think is Best

Before moving further let’s vote

[yop_poll id=”1″]

LASER Headlights:

Halogen vs LED vs HID


Laser type bulb works on very different phenomena. So laser bulb includes the standard laser projector which works on the principle of electromagnetic radiation. After that laser is projected on lens coated with yellow phosphorus. When blue laser impact on the yellow Lance it reflects the bright light which can be used in night application of automobile.

As this is the prototype technology which is under construction. so no pro’s and con’s so far.

Halogen vs LED vs HID

Energy efficiencyMost efficient efficientNot that efficient
Warm upInstantaneousNoticeable warm up timeLess than HID
Distance300 m250 m100 m
Brightness15000 Lumens 2500 – 3900 Lumens 700 Lumens
1200 Lumens 
Energy consumption30 W40 W60 W
Lifespan10000 – 50000 hours approx6000 to 24000 hours approx500 and 1000 hours
Color temperature6000K above3000K-6000K3000K
DurabilityShockproof & vibration resistantFragileFragile

In conclusion each kind of headlight has its own pros and cons. But, as a new generation of lighting technology LED headlights will gradually replace the previous two generations of headlights, but many aspects are still not perfect enough. Advances in chip technology and application are still needed. So, that’s the comparison for Halogen vs LED vs HID.

If you want to know which car provide which headlight under 8 lakhs then click here