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How to Choose Headlights for Your Automobile

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Automobile headlights serve an important purpose to every driver. They keep you safe and help light the road, making headlights a crucial part of any vehicle. Retailers today offer many types of headlight bulbs that range in price, making it difficult to choose. From different connectors to headlight types, here’s how to choose what’s most applicable to you.

Different Types of Headlight Sockets

Because there are so many types of headlights, it may make choosing a bulb a difficult task. It is important to note that different trim levels of the same vehicle may offer different styles of headlights, such as adaptive lighting. Therefore, you should always check what your vehicle has versus going off of what other models may have. There are mainly three different types of headlights: halogen, xenon, and LED.

Automobiles today come equipped with different styles of connectors for each vehicle. Even though many manufacturers are owned by each other, each manufacturer slightly differs from one another. A vehicle can be equipped with 21 different types of headlight sockets. You can’t choose what style connector you want, at least without some modifications. This is because each connector style typically puts out a different output, which would prematurely ruin your bulbs.

Identifying which style you have can be a seamless process by looking at your headlights. Halogen and xenon headlights have vastly different construction, making them very distinguishable. You can also refer to your owner’s manual, commonly found in your glovebox.

Lumen/Color Temperature Differences

After you have figured out what headlight you have and what type of headlight connector is necessary for your specific vehicle, you need to determine how bright your headlights are. This is where color temperature ranges come into play. Headlight bulbs can range anywhere from 3000k to 12000k, which is how the color temperature is identified.

This categorization was implemented with the intent to make standards for headlight classifications. Keeping the standard in mind, this makes 3000k fall under “warm white,” whereas higher temperature ranges like 6000k bulbs fall under “daylight white.”

The Legality of Bright Headlights

Although many manufacturers have headlights that seem too bright, there are legal measures that need to be followed before putting any headlight bulb on the market. This ensures that oncoming traffic is not blinded by your headlights, measured in candlepower.

As aforementioned, this is how headlights are categorized by color temperature. Most states require headlights to be around 3000 lumens, though each jurisdiction and state will allow for so much candlepower. This is to ensure that oncoming traffic can drive without being blinded.

Choosing the Right Type of Headlight

Because there are a lot of headlight bulbs to choose from, it is always important to check what style connector you have. Each vehicle is different, as are your local jurisdiction laws. It’s best to have properly working headlights, as these components are crucial to driving safely at night.

Remember, it is as important for oncoming traffic to see the road just as you can. Having too bright lights can blind oncoming traffic.

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