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LED vs HID Car Headlights: Which One Is Better?

Car headlights bulbs are not the parts many people think of when looking for but they are very critical for your safety.

A couple of decades ago, the vast majority of cars had halogen headlights. This has gradually changed and most vehicles today are installed with Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) and High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights.

It is, therefore, important to pay attention to the LED vs HID car headlights debate to know what these lights are all about.

What Are LEDs Headlights?

LEDs are light-emitting diode lights. They transfer current via semi-conductors. These lights don’t have filaments where current can pass through like halogen bulbs. Electrons move through the semiconductors to produce light.

LEDs lights have been around for quite a long time. They are found in laptops and cell-phones that date back to three decades ago. These lights are small in nature and they use less power compared to other traditional lights. Besides, they release very little heat.


  • Energy efficient – They don’t require a lot of electric currents to light up. Also, they don’t require the initial energy surge needed y HID lights when starting.
  • Dimmable – It is very easy to dim LED headlights because they have semiconductors.
  • Flexible – They are small, making it possible to develop your unique LED design for styling your car.
  • No glares – These lights don’t create a strong glare that can blind oncoming drivers.
  • Durable – LED headlights last longer than HID models (rated over 5,000hrs, others up to 25,000hrs).


  • They are more expensive than most lights.
  • Their installation requires cooling.

What Are HIDs Headlights?

HIDs are high-intensity discharge lights. They are often known as Xenon lights due to the gas that they contain. These lights differ to both LEDs and halogen in that their light comes from electric arcs that occur between tungsten electrodes.

HID lamps are often used to light large places, such as flood lamps in stadiums and street lamps. They offer a whiter light and are more efficient when compared to halogen lights.


  • Whitest and brightest light – These are the brightest and the whitest lights for vehicles.
  • Farther reach – They are able to reach far distance when compared to LED lights, making them perfect for fog lights.
  • Energy efficient – HID headlights requires energy to start but they reduce their consumptions once they light.
  • Cheaper – They are cheaper than LED headlights (but LEDs are also getting cheaper).


  • They produce strong blinding glare.
  • These lights don’t offer color options.
  • They take a while to warm up.

The Bottom Line

LED and HID headlights have their unique pros and cons. So, there is no one light that we can say is better than the other in this LED vs HID car headlights debate. You should consider their unique features and where you intend to use your car.

LED headlights are ideal for normal car lighting where you don’t need a lot of illumination. On the flip side, HID headlights work best in foggy places that will require you to have lots of illumination.

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