LED projector headlights are high-performance headlights that can improve visibility when driving at night or in challenging weather conditions. Using expert sources, we put together this guide to help you decide what kind of LED projector headlight is right for you.

What Are LED Projector Headlights

LED projector headlights are headlights that project a focused beam of light to illuminate more road surface at greater distances than reflector headlights. They improve visibility by casting light directly ahead of the vehicle, minimizing the amount of light that spills over into areas where the driver doesn’t need it.

The key to their effectiveness is in their design, which differs from that of traditional reflector headlights. Using a specially shaped reflector, shutter, and lens, LED projector headlights focus light into a tightly controlled beam that provides well-organized light distribution. Other projector headlights use a similar design, but LED lights are more energy-efficient and last longer than other projector headlight options.

Types of Projector Headlights

Different projector headlights can meet the needs of different kinds of drivers. We’ve put together a list of these different types to help you compare the options.

Halogen

A halogen bulb is the same type of bulb that reflector headlights use, but they can also work in the projector headlight design. These headlights provide a more even light beam than reflectors, but more recent developments in modern bulbs have made halogen bulbs less common for projector designs.

HID

HID bulbs are brighter and last longer than halogen bulbs. Many cars use this kind of bulb today, but car owners should be careful to avoid installing HID bulbs in projector headlights designed for halogen bulbs. Since HID bulbs are brighter than halogen bulbs, they can make it hard for oncoming drivers to see when they’re installed in a halogen projector headlight.

LED

LED projector headlights are among the most common type of projector headlights for modern vehicles. They’re more energy-efficient than other types of bulbs and they last longer than both halogen and HID headlights. LED lights last so long that they can even outlive the operational lifespan of a standard vehicle.

How to Choose LED in Projector Headlights

When choosing projector headlights, HID and LED are the most common options. Here are some considerations for choosing between these types of headlights:

  • Efficiency: If you’re concerned about energy efficiency, LED bulbs provide better efficiency than HID bulbs.
  • Longevity: LED bulbs also last longer than HID bulbs, and often outlive the functionality of the cars in which they’re installed. The lifespan of LED bulbs is unmatched by any other type of commercially available headlight today.
  • Your Vehicle: Not all vehicles have the hardware to operate LED bulbs. LED bulbs require a heat sink, which many older vehicles do not have. If you’re choosing projector headlights for an older vehicle without a heat sink, HID bulbs may be the better option because they’re easier to install.

    SEALIGHT 9005/HB3 9006/HB4 LED Bulbs Combo Package CSP Chips 14000LM 6000K Cool White

    SEALIGHT
    amazon.com

    $69.99

    How to Replace/Install LED in Projector Headlights

    Disclaimer: The guidelines listed here are general and not meant to replace instructions for your specific vehicle. Please consult your owner’s manual or repair guide before attempting installations/repairs.

    Replacing your car’s current headlight system with LED projector headlights may take some time and skill, but buying a conversion kit can help you do the replacement at home.

    Steps for installing LED projector headlights

    1. Identify your current headlight type. You can find this information in your car’s owner’s manual, by contacting the manufacturer, or by removing one headlight to read the bulb information.

    2. Purchase a conversion kit based on your car’s headlight type. The steps and equipment needed to convert your car’s headlights to LEDs can vary by its model and current setup. Buying a conversion kit specific to your car ensures you have the needed equipment and step-by-step instructions to install your new headlights.

    Cougar Motor H11/H8/H9 LED Bulb, 12000LM 6500K, X-Small All-in-One Conversion Kit – Cool White Halogen Replacement – Pack of 2

    Cougar Motor
    amazon.com

    $39.99

    3. Once your kit arrives, unbox it and make sure it contains all the right equipment and instructions.

    4. Read the conversion instructions carefully. It’s important to read the instructions before starting so you can familiarize yourself with the steps and equipment and feel prepared to begin.

    5. Prepare your vehicle. Make sure you have the engine off, remove the keys from the ignition, and have the parking brake on. For your safety, be sure there is no electricity running through the vehicle. Also, make sure the headlights are cool before you start to work on them.

    6. Open the hood and identify your headlight bulbs. After locating them, unplug the plastic wiring from the bulb. If you have difficulty removing the plug, you can gently use a flathead screwdriver to separate the clip.

    7. Remove the old bulb. This step depends on the type of headlight your car has. In some cases, you might need to remove a metal clip and then twist the bulb to remove it. Once you’ve removed them, store them in a safe place in case you want to revert to them later.

    8. Install the LED bulb. The steps to install the LED bulb can depend on your headlight model. Following the instructions in your conversion kit can provide additional instruction for how to install LED projector headlights for your car’s system.

    9. Connect the wiring. To finish installing your LED bulbs, connect the wiring from the new bulb to the original wiring harness.

    10. Secure the wiring. You can use double-sided tape or zip ties to secure your wiring. Secure the wiring in a place away from excessive heat sources or where your car’s vibrations may loosen the wires.

    11. Test the system. Finally, close the hood and start your car so you can test out your new headlights. Make sure they work and meet your expectations for brightness and positioning.

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