LED vs. HID: The Battle of the Headlamps

LED vs hid headlightsMost cars come fitted with halogen headlamps. However, evolving technology has given rise to brighter and more efficient lighting options for your car. If you are looking to upgrade your headlamps, you’ll have to choose between LED vs HID lights.
In this article, we compare the two types of lights to help you decide which ones are best for your vehicle.

LED LightsLED vs hid

LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. Unlike the halogen gas lights, these bulbs emit light by charging electrons, which then flow through a semiconductor material, emitting light photons which illuminate the bulb.


LED lights are a popular upgrade from standard halogen lamps because they are:

  • Brighter- These bulbs provide warm, white light beams that illuminate farther distances than halogen lamps.
  • Durable- LED lights are heavy duty, shock resistant, vibration resistant and weatherproof.
  • Long Lasting- The average LED bulb has a lifetime of 50,000 hours with a warranty of 5 years.
  • Energy efficient- LED bulbs to use less energy, making them highly effective for your car’s headlamps.
  • High Performance- LED lights turn on instantly with no flickering.
  • Easy to install: LED light kits are plug and play- easy to install and replace.


The disadvantages of LED headlamps include:

  • Expense- the initial startup costs for LED headlamps may be restrictive.
  • Aging- LED bulbs can change color due to temperature and aging.

HID Lights

HID stands for High-Intensity Discharge. These lights work by transmitting an electrical current between an ionized gas and two electrodes. Light is emitted when the charged electrons interact with the gas.


HID headlamps have some advantages over halogen lamps including:

  • Brighter illumination- HID lights are significantly brighter than halogen lights.
  • Cost- HID lights offer a cheap upgrade option for your headlamps.
  • Energy efficiency- These lights use less energy than halogen lamps.
  • Cold tolerance- HID lights can tolerate temperatures of up to –40F.


The disadvantages of HID headlamps are:

  • Fragility- These lights have too many fragile moving parts making them less durable.
  • Performance- HID lights require some time to warm up and do not turn on instantly.
  • Maintenance costs: Though they are cheaper to buy, they need frequent replacement.
  • Environmental hazard- HID lights contain mercury, making them toxic to the environment.
  • Color quality- These lights cannot be dimmed and change color quality as they age.

LED vs HID HeadlightsLED vs HID Headlights

While HID headlamps are a more affordable option than LED lamps, they cost more over time because of their shorter life span and fragility.

LED vs HID:Brightness, and EfficiencyLED vs hid headlights

HID lights are brighter than LED lights, but the light from LEDs is more focused and can see further than HID headlights, which spread light in all directions.
LED lamps use less power to produce light than HID lamps, making them more fuel efficient.

LED lights turn on instantly while HID lights require some time to warm up and flicker when turned on. However, HID lights can tolerate colder temperatures than LED lights.

LED lamps are eco-friendly, compared to HID lamps which contain mercury.
From the above LED vs HID headlights comparison, it is clear that LED lights are more durable, energy efficient, and provide better visibility on the road. However, HID lights provide a more affordable solution if you are on a tight budget.