LED vs HID Headlights: Which is Brighter?

​Headlights are an absolute necessity, and there are a lot of choices, as with everything else. The two most popular kinds are LED and HID headlights, and that’s not without a reason. But the question is, which is better? Which is capable of illuminating your way better?

It seems like a complicated question to answer due to the qualities both of these possess, but everything becomes crystal clear after you’ve read this helpful article!

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​A ​Brief ​Comparison of LED vs HID Headlights


​LED lights

​HID lights

Energy efficiency

​-have high energy efficiency, at the expected 100+ Lumens per Watt (which is still improving).

​-are only rated average on the energy efficiency scale, and even though they’re also advertised at 100+ Lumens per Watt, you can expect less.


-have a high durability rate due to the fact that there are no moving parts. They’re heavy duty and also shock resistant.

​-on the other hand, these have proven to be somewhat fragile due to all the moving parts like glass bulbs and filaments.


-are said to last for around 25,000 hours (and if you splurge for top quality- 50,000 hours)

​-seem average compared to LED lights, lasting up to 5,000 hours.

Cold tolerant

​-are able to tolerate cold temperature down to -40 F

​-are a close second, being able to tolerate down to -30 F

Power draw

​-have scored low on the power draw scale which is good

​-waste the average amount of power

Heat Emission

​-won’t emit heat a lot or at all, as the rating for this feature is low.

​-on the other side, have a tendency to emit high amounts of heat.

​Installation time

​-will take around half an hour to be installed correctly.

​-will take up to an hour to install properly.

​Lumen depreciation

​-will last longer, but the light will be less bright over time.

​-have a moderately high lumen depreciation.

​What are LED lights, exactly?

car led headlight

​Though fairly similar to HID lights, LED lights tend to provide clearer and brighter lighting, as well as higher durability. In fact, it’s estimated that we’ll only use LED lights in the future of headlights.

​Speaking of that durability, due to the strong build, these lights are said to last for decades, which means you won’t have to worry about getting new lights every few years.

​They use better technology, which lets them use light emitting diodes which use your car’s electricity and convert it into light. This process is more energy efficient and saves you a lot of energy and money.

​Let’s not forget how easy LED headlights are to install. You can take them to a professional, but you can even mount them yourself and be done in no time.

You’ll know everything was done right when you turn them on and receive a warm, white light which will make the road easy to navigate.

LED lights are perfect for anyone who doesn’t want a lot of hassle during installations, dreams of high energy efficiency, and wants to stay with just one type of light for a long time.

You can get them for your car, and now that they’re so widely available, you can even get them for your motorcycle.

​What are HID lights, exactly?

car HID headlight

​HID stands for high intensity discharge and these lights are a very common alternative to those pesky halogen lights. Though, instead of halogen, HID lights mainly use xenon. Thanks to this little element, the lights are able to burn really bright. This brings them efficiency and visual improvements.

Though they are significantly brighter than other kinds of lights, including LEDs, they’re not as solidly constructed and have proven to be far more fragile. This is due to the moving parts they have, and of course the filaments and glass bulbs. They’ll have to be replaced often and can even burn out faster than halogen lights.

That being said, they are a step in the right direction as they’ve come to be one of the most improved lights out there. Here, even color temperature is a preference and you can choose the best light quality for you according to that.

Though, you should be aware that it’s possible for the lights to start burning at higher or lower temperatures over time. If this happens, it’s a clear sign that they’re about to burn out.

If you’re looking just for bright lights, and don’t care that you’ll have to replace them more in the long run, then HID lights were definitely made for you.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution for your car, then you shouldn’t get HID lights as they will require frequent replacement and as they aren’t as durable as LED lights.

Yes, they are brighter and warmer, but you’ll have to decide if it’s worth replacing them all the time when you can buy one pair of LED lights and be happy with them for ages.

​Should you upgrade to LED lights?

led vs hid


​This definitely depends on what you hope to achieve and get from your headlights. If you’re aiming for high efficiency mixed with impeccable durability, then you should definitely upgrade to LED lights.

You can do this ​easily due to the simplicity of the installation, and if you’re having trouble, you can always visit a professional.

LED lights offer stable and constant visibility, which is important for all road and weather conditions. What’s more, they’ll help you save the money you would’ve spent on fixing your HID lights constantly.

​Final Verdict

​It was a wild ride from the start but now you’re finally at the end destination. It shouldn’t have been too complicated; after all, you’ve got to types of marvelous lights illuminating your way to the finish line!

Soon, that will be said for real life, too.

As you can see, both of the headlights offer spectacular service, but if you’ve paid attention to the article, you can conclude for yourself which one is brighter.

But remember that brighter doesn’t necessarily mean better, as LED lights won’t require nearly as much attention or fixing as the HID ones.

Good luck and enjoy the ride!

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