Last updated on May 2nd, 2021 at 03:32 pm

In This Article: We'll review our best pick HID upgrade and factory replacement headlights along with best pick LED headlight conversions with photos, quick reviews and price comparisons to help you save money.

Automobile manufacturers world-wide began to phase out halogen headlights in the 1990’s. Emerging technology called HID lighting provides a brighter, more focused beam of light than halogen bulbs. Then, in the 2000’s, LED light bulbs began to appear in new cars. These bulbs provide instantaneous, bright light while using far less power than halogen or HID bulbs. As is the case with most things in the automotive world, it wasn’t long before aftermarket companies began selling kits to retrofit HID and LED headlights into older cars factory-equipped with halogen bulbs.

Many people quickly realized that these new bulbs have the potential to increase driving safety, but many of the products on the market are not reliably safe. Lots of marketing hype using technical words that are poorly explained has left many people confused about what the best replacement bulb for their car is, how to install the bulbs, and which bulbs are the best for their vehicle. Poor quality or inappropriate bulbs for your vehicle not only make nighttime driving more dangerous for you, but the bulbs can also scatter light and blind oncoming drivers, potentially leading to head-on collisions.

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Choosing the Right Bulb for Your Car

The key thing you need to know about the difference between LED and HID bulbs is that LED bulbs are best for use in projector-style lights, while HID bulbs work well in either projector or reflector designs. You can tell which bulb is best for your vehicle by looking at the headlights. If your light housing has a bright, reflective surface and a bulb, your car is using reflector technology. Projector lights place the bulb inside a round housing that focuses the intense light forward. You may also find your vehicle uses a combination of the two, not an uncommon situation these days as auto manufacturers search for ways to one-up each other.

Retrofitting LED Bulbs to Reflector Headlights

Here is the deal – LED lighting produces a bright light, but one that also dissipates quickly. In order for LED bulbs to work correctly, you’ll need to project the light into the appropriate area. What this means is that you are most likely going to need to replace the entire headlight assembly in order to take advantage of LED lighting. Depending on the style of your headlight, this may be a simple plug-and-play operation, or it may require some creative modifications to make the system work. Further, LED lighting operates at a very low amperage. You need to install relays if your vehicle doesn’t have them to prevent premature bulb failure.

Best HID Headlight Kits

Swapping from removable halogen bulbs to HID bulbs is a straight-forward modification you can easily make on your reflector-style headlights. These kits do not replace the headlight housing, but rather only the bulb. These kits include ballasts to prevent electrical damage, so you won’t need to modify wiring by adding relays.

Key Features

  • Includes two bulbs, ballasts, and wiring
  • Available in numerous color spectrums and wattages
  • Easy to install in virtually any removable-bulb application
  • Zinc-alloy ballast, IP65+ rating

Latest Prices

Buy on eBay.com $28.99
Buy on Amazon.com $38.99
Last Amazon price update was: May 5, 2021 3:10 pm

Xentec 9006 (HB4) Quick Review

This is an excellent and economical upgrade for lots of modern cars that use removable halogen bulbs. The kit includes the ballasts and wiring necessary to add HID lights to your car or truck, regardless of make or model. Xentec offers these bulbs for a wide range of factory bulb styles to fit a broad group of headlights.

Some of the features that are available using these bulbs are pretty interesting. For example, you can select from different color spectrums to give your ride that tinted look in blue, green, purple, pink, and amber. You can also choose between 35 watt, 45 watt, and 55 watt sets for increased light output all the way up to 4000 lumens on the low beam.

Pros
  • Easy to install HID kit
  • Color and wattage choices make customization simple
Cons
  • Connectors are not universal-fit and require adapters
  • Color spectrum isn’t as bright in reality as it seems in pictures

Key Features

  • Pair of HID bulbs, ballasts, and wiring
  • Available in 35 watt, 45 watt, and 55 watt varieties
  • Choose your favorite color spectrum including several blue shades, white, pink, green, and purple
  • Ballast is IP68-rated

Latest Prices

Buy on eBay.com $44.09
Buy on Amazon.com $48.99
Last Amazon price update was: May 4, 2021 6:10 am

Innovited AC55W Xenon Quick Review

Stepping up from halogen headlights by swapping in HID bulbs couldn’t be any easier than using this bundle from Innovited. Available to match with a wide variety of factory bulb types and in several different color spectrums means this is a one-stop modification you can make in about half an hour on almost any vehicle.

The bundle includes two bulbs with heavy-duty ballasts and wiring so you don’t have to search for extra parts to install. The ballast carries an IP68-rating for water and dust resistance that prevents premature failure. Color spectrum lets you select the ideal tint of lighting for your driving style and preferences.

Pros
  • Excellent way to improve the lighting in many vehicles without modification
  • Lots of color spectrum options and wattages
  • Advertised 5,500 hours of bulb life
  • Includes 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
Cons
  • Some users experience bulb flicker and long warm-up times
  • Ballasts can be hard to safely position when installing in some vehicles

Key Features

  • HID Headlight Conversion Kit
  • 35 Watt System
  • 2,500 hr Lifespan

Latest Prices

Buy on eBay.com $175.00
Buy on Amazon.com $182.50
Last Amazon price update was: May 4, 2021 4:09 am

H11 Morimoto Elite HID Kit Quick Review

Of all the HID aftermarket kits reviewed here, Morimoto impresses us most with its worldwide shipping policy. The H11 Morimoto Elite HID Kit System (and other Morimoto products) perform exceedingly well. Just make sure that when you are buying from this US-based brand, it is from an authorized dealer as there are fake Morimoto products, usually from China.

The H11 Elite falls under one of our best HID headlights because of the following features:

  • High quality bulbs
  • Headlight is either projector or reflector
  • Ballast input from 9 to 32 volts
  • Available in 35 and 50 watts
  • Heavy duty harness
  • 5-year warranty for the 35 watts and 3-year warranty for 50 watts

The 35-watt bulb has a lifespan of 2,500 hours, while the 50-watt bulb has a lifespan of 2000 hours with 20% more intensity. The bulbs range from 3000 to 6500K.

Another thing to consider is that the kit system does not automatically fit on all cars and may need additional work. For instance, the harness may be too short for some models. Once the system is installed, expect zero flickering and a high-quality output.

Best Factory Replacement Options

Many new vehicles use headlights that are unconventionally shaped. This makes upgrading the bulbs a bit of a challenge, particularly if you are wanting to add LED lights to a reflector-type headlight. You aren’t stuck with HID or factory bulbs anymore. Today, you can buy entire headlight assemblies specific for your vehicle that add LED lighting without modification to your vehicle.

Morimoto Factory Replacementsmorimoto factory replacements

These products from Morimoto certainly aren’t cheap, but this is the best way to replace dull factory lighting with brilliant LED or HID lighting. Kits are available for numerous Ford, Chevrolet/GMC, Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep, and Toyota vehicles.

The obvious advantage to using Morimoto headlights over modifying your existing system is the simplicity of installation. Just unbolt the old housing and bolt the new one in place. Depending on the vehicle, you’ll have the option of selecting kits in LED or HID lighting, with or without daytime lighting, and a variety of color spectrum options.

Key Features

  • Easy way to upgrade sub-par factory equipment
  • Simple to install
  • Fits numerous popular cars and trucks
  • Pair with matching taillights for a fully custom look

Best LED Headlight Conversion Kits

These kits focus on the best way to replace your standard halogen headlights with LED products. Many companies out there sell LED bulbs that can retrofit into existing housings. You won’t see those products on this list for one simple reason- most of these bulbs don’t work well in standard housings. Instead, you’ll want to replace the entire assembly with LED headlights.

Key Features

  • Pair of LED projector-style headlights to replace 7” round halogen bulbs
  • 3200/4500 low/high lumen output
  • Built-in EMC to prevent bulb flicker
  • Diecast aluminum housing with moisture venting
  • IP67-rated for dust and moisture resistance

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $90.00
Buy on eBay.com $114.63
Last Amazon price update was: May 5, 2021 2:10 pm

LX-Lights 7″ Round LED Quick Review

This is a basic upgrade for any vehicle that uses 7” round headlights. That includes most pre-1970 American cars with combined high and low beam headlights, many popular motorcycles, and dozens of other applications, though these are specifically marketed to Jeep owners.

This kit includes two headlight housings with LED bulbs that fully replaces your sealed-beam headlights. The included LED bulb produces a bright white 6k color spectrum and up to 3200 lumens on the low beam. That’s more than twice the light output of halogen headlights. Installation is simple since you won’t have to modify your factory headlight bucket retainers.

Pros
  • Low-cost option for replacing dim halogen bulbs
  • Easy installation with fully self-contained housings
Cons
  • Some installers noted difficulty orienting and adjusting the light beam
  • Many users note limited functionality of high-beam due to light dissipation

Key Features

  • Pair of 7” projector-style LED headlights
  • 3200/3600 low/high output
  • Diecast aluminum housing and heat sink with built-in moisture ventilation
  • IP69-rated for dust and waterproofing
  • DOT and ECE approved for use

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $699.95
Buy on eBay.com $918.95
Last Amazon price update was: May 5, 2021 3:10 pm

J.W. Speaker Evolution J3 Quick Review

Widely regarded as the best LED lights on the market, the J.W. Speaker headlights pack tons of features into these 7” round headlights. Though they are primarily designed for use by Jeep owners, these headlights can fit any vehicle using round, 7” headlights, though some modification may be required for proper fitment.

This pair of headlights is available with heated or unheated lenses and is even available for Canadian cars and trucks. Light output is rated at 3600/3200 high/low and features a unique “dual-burn” high beam that provides additional light for better visibility. J.W. Speaker designs these headlights to be multi-function- they provide high and low beam, daytime driving lights, and turn signals. You can also control the lights using the J-Link app to unlock off-road lighting and other features.

This kit includes two headlight housings with LED bulbs that fully replaces your sealed-beam headlights. The included LED bulb produces a bright white 6k color spectrum and up to 3200 lumens on the low beam. That’s more than twice the light output of halogen headlights. Installation is simple since you won’t have to modify your factory headlight bucket retainers.

Pros
  • Excellent way to add multi-functionality to headlights
  • Unique look improves your vehicle's appearance
  • Made in America
Cons
  • Expensive upgrade
  • May require some modification to install

Key Features

  • Single 5.75” LED projector headlight
  • 2800/4000 lumen output low/high
  • Designed for specific Harley-Davidson motorcycles, may require modification for other applications
  • 6k-6.5k color spectrum
  • Diecast aluminum housing and heatsink

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $39.99
Buy on eBay.com $48.49
Last Amazon price update was: May 5, 2021 3:10 pm

Wisamic 5.75″ LED Headlight Quick Review

This light is an ideal upgrade for many motorcycles using a single dual function headlight. It makes a lot of sense to upgrade your bike’s headlight, and this is an affordable way to get better lighting easily.

The Wisamic headlight is sold individually and produces 2800/4000 lumens on low/high settings. They are IP65-rated for dust and moisture resistance and include a drain valve to prevent moisture accumulation in the lens.

Pros
  • Inexpensive way to upgrade your headlight
  • Looks and functions as well as H-D LED replacement at a lower cost
  • Good low beam light focus
Cons
  •  Lacks distance on high beam
  • Not a universal design

Key Features

  • Set of four 5.75” headlights including 2 low beam and 2 high beam units
  • Adds daytime driving light function to older vehicles
  • 3800/ 5200 lumens low/high
  • IP68-rated water and dust resistance
  • Works on cars and trucks with separate high and low beam lights

Latest Prices

Buy on Amazon.com $169.99
Last Amazon price update was: May 5, 2021 3:10 pm

Uni-Shine M004 LED Headlight Quick Review

Many cars from the 1950’s and 60’s use four 5.75” headlights. For these older cars, halogen lights are not easily available anymore and never made very good light anyway. Uni-Shine makes it simple to swap out your H4-style quad lights with LED headlights for better night vision.

This is an excellent and affordable way to upgrade all of your lighting without a bunch of wiring modifications. You get headlights with 3800 lumens on the low beam and 5200 lumens on the highs. You can also wire it up for daytime driving lights for added visibility to other drivers.

Pros
  • Affordable and attractive way to ditch outdated original lighting
  • Adds daytime driving light functionality
  • Easy to install with minor modifications necessary for many vehicles
Cons
  • Low beam output isn’t dramatically different than halogen lighting

  • Most vehicles will require trimming of headlight bucket to properly orient the bulbs

Conclusion

Upgrading dim headlights is one of the smartest safety choices you’ll make, and it’s particularly important if you drive an older vehicle with factory halogen sealed-beam headlights. Upgrading headlights typically is an easy DIY project that doesn’t typically require you to dismantle your vehicle very much, won’t take a long time to install, and is straight-forward to troubleshoot.

Any of the options we provide today make for a safer, longer-lasting solution over factory lighting. If you take the time to ensure the kit is compatible with your headlights, you’ll be rewarded with increased vision, longer operating life, and an upgraded appearance.

Tips and Tricks

There are a few considerations you should make when buying an upgrade headlight option. The most important thing is that you correctly match the bulb type to the housing type. LED lights won’t provide good lighting in reflector housings and will blind oncoming drivers, potentially causing a head-on collision. HID lights produce lots of heat, make noise when on, and take time to reach full brightness. Picking between the two is often easiest when you are not replacing the entire assembly.

Some jurisdictions have laws preventing on-road use of certain light spectrums. It’s important for you to understand your local laws before installation. You may even find that any modification to the factory headlights is illegal in your area.

Both LED and HID bulbs can suffer from light flicker. There are numerous causes of light flicker, and it almost never is a problem with the bulb. Inferior HID kits use cheap ballasts that don’t provide the correct voltage. Similarly, LED lighting requires a very small amperage and overloading the bulb shortens its life and can cause flicker. If your new lights are flickering, you may need to add a filter inline that streamlines the amperage for proper operation.

Best HID Headlight Conversion Kits: What to Look For

HID headlights use different kinds of bulbs. If you look at the HID headlamp, you will see markings (D1R, D2R, D1S, D2S, D2C, D3S, and D4S) referring to bulb type. These markings refer to the various types: S stands for “Shielded,” R stands for “Reflection,” and C stands for “Colored”. The numberings D1-D4 refer to other features such as differences in use of mercury, the base shape/size, and other factors. While they may look like they're interchangeable, it is important use the correct bulb or you may risk damaging your headlight kit.

When you're choosing headlights for your car, you should consider the following:

  • Temperature – Temperature is typically measured in Kelvin degrees. The higher the temperature, the whiter the color is. Temperature can go as high as 35,000 Kelvin degrees but high temps are not for vehicle use. Lower temperatures, like 3000K, will give you get yellowish lights. Which may be effective as fog lights, but not necessarily as headlights. As a general rule, anything over 6000K is discouraged. In fact, it may be (illegal in some places) by the Department of Transportation.
  • Lumens – Lumens refers to the brightness of your headlights. It works inversely to temperature. This means that if the temperature is high, the lumens is low and vice versa.
  • Wattage –Wattage passes through the bulb after warming up. When the bulb is new, the bulb tends to shine brighter. This is because the length of the passage is short. However, as the end electrodes start to erode, the passage gets longer. This affects brightness. The common choices in wattage are either 35 or 55 watts. The 35-watt bulb lasts 5000 hours, which means you may never need to change the bulb. The 55-watt varriant has an average life span of 1000 hours, but is brighter by 20%. Beware, there are issues on “melting” headlights with the 55 watts but this happens if you use the wrong housing.
  • Ballast – Ballast provides the 20,000 volts needed to turn on the headlights. HID headlights operate with Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC). A HID conversion kit with a DC ballast ages faster but is cheaper.
  • Beam – Some cars have dual beam. If you want to switch to HID and keep the dual beam, get the Bi Xenon bulb, not the single beam or Low HID/high halogen bulbs.

HID headlight kits typically come as a complete package: HID bulbs, wiring, ballasts, and manual.