Now that we have a basic understanding of what HID and LED lights are, it’s time to identify the differences between the two. Knowing the differences between LED and HID lights will help you decide which aftermarket headlights work best for your vehicle when the time comes to buy new bulbs.
HID headlights are the brightest aftermarket lights available. They also cover a broader area of the road in front of and to the sides of you in comparison to both halogen bulbs and LED lights. HID lights cover about one-third more area than LEDs, both outwards and to the sides of your vehicle.
The biggest thing to note with HIDs is if they’re not properly installed, they can reflect heavy glare on nearby drivers. So even if you’ve previously installed new headlights in your vehicle, HIDs should likely be installed by an experienced professional at a local auto shop.
LED headlights have an average running time of over 20,000 hours, making lifespan and longevity a priority. Over the lifetime of your vehicle, LEDs will rarely, if ever need to be replaced.
HID bulbs have an average lifespan of about 15,000 hours. While this is slightly lower than LED lights, it’s still much greater than traditional halogen bulbs, which only last up to about 2,000 hours.
While LEDs and HIDs are usually more expensive than halogen bulbs, they’re a long-term investment due to their better quality, durability, and longevity. LEDs are more energy efficient and can operate at cooler temperatures while running more reliably over the duration of your car’s lifetime.
LED lights are more expensive, but the payoff seems to be worth the price. HIDs are less expensive in the initial cost and installation, but they might require more maintenance and have the potential to need replacing if they burn out or are not installed correctly, similar to halogens.
Regardless of the headlight you choose between HID and LED, you’ll need a conversion kit if you’re upgrading from your halogen bulbs. Both upgrade options won’t fit the traditional OEM molds used for halogen headlights. In comparison to halogens, LEDs are generally more compact and HID lights are bulkier.
LED bulbs give off a brighter white color, while HID lights have a blue-white tint. Most LED headlight conversion kits will have white headlights; the common LED color you’ll see on the road. Some auto shops might have HID bulbs ranging across seven different colors, including blue, purple, and pure white.