LED Headlights to LED Foglights - Compatible Bulb Cross Reference and Replacement Guide
LED headlights, fog lights, and tail lights are rapidly becoming the norm on new cars and trucks. Where once there were dim, warm halogen lights filling the roadways, LEDs now light the way forward. The great news for those that own vehicles not originally equipped with LED headlights and fog lights is that it has never been easier to upgrade!
In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about LED headlight and LED foglight upgrades. This includes the different types of bulbs, what the differences mean and why they matter, and the benefits of upgrading your existing bulbs with LED replacements.
Not familiar with LEDs in general? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too! LEDs are a type of solid-state lighting, meaning they don’t use a heated filament like incandescent bulbs. Instead, current is passed through an LED and depending on how it is constructed it emits visible light of various wavelengths (or colors). This results in a variety of possibilities including the brilliant, cool white often used in vehicle headlights and foglights. Due to the design differences of LEDs and incandescent bulbs, LEDs can emit more light and use less power—a real win-win.
The efficiency, durability, and variety LEDs offer contribute to them being the top choice of manufacturers when designing new cars and are also why they are the best choice for your current vehicle.
Benefits of Using LED Headlights or LED Foglights Over Incandescent and Halogen
In addition to aftermarket upgrades and replacements, LED have also begun to take over as the default for OEM vehicle lighting design as well. Why are LED headlights and LED foglights so popular though? The simple answer is that they are just better than the alternatives. Let’s explore exactly what makes them better than their predecessors.
Lifespan: They Last Longer
One the most universal benefits of using LEDs for your headlights, foglights, or even other locations on your vehicle is longevity. For OEM applications, this means lights designed to last the life of the vehicle. For you, this means replacing your headlights or foglights once and then likely never having to worry about them again. LED headlights are often rated to last up to 25 times as long as their halogen counterparts.
This translates to less labor for you or less cost when you consider paying a technician to service your lights. Aside from those savings, the peace of mind LED headlights can provide knowing your car’s headlights will be shining bright far in to the future is virtually priceless.
Function: They Are Brighter
Even though they use less power by far, a comparable LED headlight or foglight are typically several times brighter than the halogen bulbs they replace. The angle and pattern of the light coming from your vehicle is determined by the headlight housing, but being able to output more light means being able to see further down the road and have others be able to see you easier and sooner.
LED lighting for your vehicle makes driving safer for you and those around you as well. Whether it’s a dark road with deer lurking just out of sight or a busy highway, LED headlights will help you react faster and see more of what is going on around you.
Aesthetic: A More Sophisticated and Modern Look
Appearance is subjective, but brighter, cooler, cleaner looking light is generally viewed as being more modern and up-scale. It’s no surprise that, in the automotive industry, LED lights were first adopted by brands known for their styling like Audi and Lexus. In fact, Audi introduced the first vehicle with an all-LED lighting system almost 15 years ago.
Needless to say most of the cars on the road did not come with LED headlights from the factory. Luckily we offer plug and play kits to upgrade most types of OEM style lights to LED headlights and foglights. Most LED upgrades are a simple plug and play replacement, making it a simple task to perform on most vehicles.
Durability: Vibration and Shock Resistance
Halogen bulbs utilize a heated element to create light. This not only results in them being less efficient, it can also be a potential failure point.
Sudden shocks and bumps and constant vibration are certainly not a preferred part of anyone’s daily commute. Whether because of construction, poorly maintained roads, or simply a stray pothole, these things do happen. In addition to concerns you may have for your suspension or tires, your lights can also pay the price.
Due to the nature of how they work halogen and other incandescent bulbs are prone to being damaged by these types of events. While LEDs are not invincible, they do offer substantially more resistance to vibration and sudden physical impact when compared to their halogen counterparts. This means that they not only last longer under normal circumstances, but often last longer under extreme conditions as well.
Eliminating Confusion: How to Choose the Right Bulb for Your Vehicle
As you may already know, there are many different types of automotive bulbs on the market. Each of them is created to serve specific functions and meet specific needs.
Much like the bulbs in your house, automotive LED bulbs have different bulb configurations such as different bases and connectors, power requirements, light output, and physical size. If your car is designed to use a certain bulb, it will only accept bulbs designed to replace that bulb type.
LED headlights (low and high beam) and foglights utilize the same trade numbers as existing bulbs they replace to help you more easily reference exactly what you need for your vehicle. We also have a vehicle bulb finder as well as a detailed headlight and foglight interchange chart to help you find the exact fitment you need.
Replacing factory bulbs at a parts store can often be a cumbersome process due to the amount of uncertainty involved. Our hope is that with these resources, you won’t ever be confused when it comes to buying replacement LED headlights or foglights. Simply find the light you are trying to replace by application in the bulb finder or by part number using our cross reference tools.
Our goal is to provide you with a high-quality, long-lasting LED headlight conversion kit or foglight conversion kit, all the resources you need to make an informed purchase, and do all of that for equal or less cost when compared to replacing your existing lights with OEM style bulbs.
Different Types of Vehicle Headlight and Foglight Bulbs
Some of the most popular OEM headlight sizes are 9006, 9007, H8, H11, and H13. These numbers are more of a stock number than a traditional part number, meaning each one correlates to a specific bulb with a certain physical profile, mounting flange, wattage, etc. but the part numbers themselves don’t represent specific aspects of the bulb.
Some bulbs have more than one trade number, due to the difference between manufacturing and application as well as region in which it is used. A few common examples of this are a 9006 bulb which is also known as an HB4 bulb and an H4 bulb which is also known as a 9003 or HB2. These numbers are classifications you can use to ensure your LED upgrade is compatible with your existing vehicle. As with any aftermarket replacement, we always recommend examining the physical characteristics of the bulb and housing to ensure the proper fitment before ordering where possible.
What Happens if You Use the Wrong LED Bulb?
If you’ve already purchased an LED upgrade kit or replacement bulb and you’re not positive if it will work in your car, truck or SUV , there are a few easy ways to check for compatibility.
First, you’ll want to make sure the electrical connector fits. It should not require a lot of force, so if it won’t slide together with relative ease, it may be worth examining it further for differences from your original before forcing it. Our bulbs are designed to accommodate installations that require straight or right angle connectors, but checking for clearance for the connector can also be important.
Next, you’ll want to make sure the bulb fits properly into the housing. It should fit into the housing easily and lock into place similarly to the original. If you find it doesn’t, examine the tabs around the front of the bulb’s plastic base and compare them to your original. Some differences may not cause an issue with fitment, but larger tabs or tabs in different places can definitely be a sign that you have a different bulb than what you need.
The best way to ensure you get the correct bulb is to use our detailed headlight and foglight interchange chart and vehicle bulb finder to see all the options and fitment requirements of a bulb before ordering.
Color Selection: Don’t Be Yellow About Checking Local Laws
While the majority of places will have no issue with this type of upgrade, some jurisdictions may have a lot more to say about the color, type, and intensity of your headlights. It’s always best to check beforehand if you are unsure what is legal for on-road use in your area. Your state police or local government should be able to provide you with more information if needed. General nationwide rules and guidelines can also be found on the US Department of Transportation site.
Easy Installation and Help When You Need It
When you buy LEDs from SuperBrightLEDs.com, we want you to not only enjoy the finished product, but also have an easy time getting there. Our LED upgrades and conversion kits are made to be a simple swap, with the correct mounting flanges and connectors being pre-installed. In most cases, the hardest part of the installation is removing a bolt or two to get access to the bulb.
For vehicles and installations that require extra attention, we also offer informative how-to instructions and one on one customer support to ensure you can get the most out of your purchase and any questions you may still have can be answered in a quick, frustration-free setting.
Ready To Upgrade!
Now that you know what you are looking for and have some extra resources to help guide you, shop from our selection at SuperBrightLEDs.com for the bulbs you need to make your vehicle look its best. We have high-quality bulbs and LED conversion kits and offer all the accessories you may want or need to make for a simple and painless installation that will last the life of your vehicle.