LED & HID aftermarket headlight bulbs? Should you?

  • Note: What is being discussed here is relevant in any region and in 2022. This is specifically about car and truck 'oem' headlights (this is not about lights for an atv or bicycle). It must be understood that 'oem' headlights are subject to very precise constraints to mitigate unnecessary glare to other road users. In most countries this is strictly mandated by regional laws.

We often get asked about 'upgrading' standard headlights with LED or HID bulbs. It would seem a logical performance upgrade. HOWEVER...

Read the link attached. If your standard headlight was not either LED or HID to begin with just don't do it. Daniel Stern is a world authority and worth reading anything he shares. If you don't know who he is and his credentials... Google.

Daniel knows more than your best friend, cousin, sales person or online store selling these miracle bulbs. Don't be misled by the ridiculous hype and markups by brands for what is often straight from Alibaba with a bit of rebranding. Don't necessarily fall for it because it's a well known brand either... Rarely are they even ADR or statutory govt body approved. If you want to stay within the law have the reseller or brand provide you the evidence of compliance. If they tell you its ok everyone does it and its offroad use only then walk away. Remember this is your headlight for normal night driving even in your neighbourhood on low beam. This is NOT an auxiliary driving light for high beam use only.

Anyone running these bulbs SHOULD ASK the reseller or brand will they cover liability if you are issued a police fine or insurance liability in the event of an accident linked to illegal modification and light glare?

https://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html In summary. DO not modify your headlight bulb type. If it is halogen stay within that bulb design. If it is LED or HID as from the factory ensure you replace like for like or you may compromise reflector and lens life. If you have a new car and under warranty be VERY CAREFUL as headlight assemblies can cost thousands of dollars! At the very least seek qualified advice. Spend your hard earned money elsewhere on modifications that withstand sound engineering scrutiny and actually deliver real benefit and don't compromise road safety for you, your passengers and other road users.