Which is better HID vs LED headlights

Almost about 90% of the cars are equipped with halogen headlights. They are very popular with car manufacturers because of their simplicity and low-cost. For the last two decades, they have been replaced by HID (High-Intensity Discharge) bulbs which are more efficient than the halogens. But in the recent past, LED headlights are getting more popularity. If you want to replace your halogen headlights, you may be confused about choosing HID or LED. That's why today I am here with HID vs LED headlights in detail. If you read the whole article carefully, you will be able to take the right decision without any hesitation.

HID Headlight

The HID light was introduced in 1991. They are sometimes labeled as xenon lights. Xenon gas is passed over an electrical charge to create an intense light. After introducing, many car owners start to like them because of their lumens. While halogen headlights produce 1400 lumens, the HIDs can produce 3000 lumens output. That's why they were brighter, and bluer than the standard halogen headlight bulbs. But after a period, the HIDs earned a pretty bad review. When they were improperly installed, they made blind oncoming traffic and they became illegal in some states. But the inventors of the HID claim that if we can install them properly, they will not do any harm to the people from the opposite side.

LED Headlight

LED stands for light-emitted diode. The LED headlight is getting popularity nowadays. It is brighter than the standard halogen but not as the HID. Unlike halogen, it doesn't have a filament that current is passed through. It passes current through a semi-conductor and the movement of electrons generates light.

The LED lights are very popular for decades and they are common in the cellphone, laptop, and other electric devices. The manufacturers of these devices love LED for small nature and low power consumption. It is good in the low current applications because it generates minimal heat.

In the recent past, the auto manufacturers are trying to apply LED in their car. We can see the LED headlights in 2006 which was introduced by Lexus. But it wasn't a complete implementation. In the next year, Audi revealed it in the V10 model of their R8 sports car with a complete structure.

The advantages and disadvantages of HID headlights


  • Affordable: If you are using halogen headlights and want to replace them, then the HID can be a good option considering its price. The price of HID headlights is not so high. They are available at an affordable price like the halogens while the LED headlights are very pricey.
  • Brightness: The HID headlights can be a smart choice for nighttime driving considering its brightness. If you are using halogen headlights and not satisfied with its brightness, then you should think about it. While the lumens of halogens are around 1500, the HID is available at 3000.
  • Technology: Technically, the HID headlights are more mature than the LEDs. HID headlights were first introduced over two decades but the LEDs are newer in this scene. LEDs are upgrading while HIDs are already upgraded.
  • Distance: The HID headlights are very well-known for a bright light to a greater distance. It can remove darkness very clearly. If you love to drive fast, then it should be your choice rather than LEDs. It is also considered as the ideal one for the foggy condition.
  • Energy Consumption: It reduces energy consumption. The energy it uses is minimal. It needs much energy only when you are starting it up.


  • High brightness: Some HID headlights are very bright that can cause strong glare. This can be disturbing for the people from the opposite side. It can cause a problem when you drive behind another vehicle. For this reason, it is not legal on the street in all states. So, before choosing it, you should consider this fact. You can't cause a problem for other drivers.
  • Take time to remove darkness: It can't remove brightness immediately because it runs in a slow process. If you turn on the headlight, it will take up to 30 seconds to ensure full brightness.
  • Limited color: The HID headlights are available with limited colors. If the color of the headlights is a major issue to you, then you can face problems with HID headlights.
  • Lifespan: If you want to compare it with halogen, then the lifespan is quite better. But if you compare it with LED, then you should not go for HID.

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Advantages and disadvantages of LED Headlights


  • Energy: The LED headlights are energy efficient comparatively the HIDs. They do not use as much energy as the halogen and HID bulbs. They don't need much electricity to work properly. The HID headlights need an extra energy boost at the time of starting them up but the LEDs don't.
  • Perfect in traffic: The LED headlights pass current through a semi-conductor. Because of the semi-conductor, you will be able to dim the headlights when you want. When you are in traffic, you can control the flow of the electric current to dim the lights.
  • Glare: It is comparatively better than the HID because it doesn't cause glare. So, it will not be dangerous for the surrounding traffic.
  • Design: The design of the LED headlights is flexible than the HID headlights. The size of the headlights is likable to most of the users. So, you can tailor the design of your headlights to suit your style.
  • Heat output: They don't produce as much heat as the halogen headlights. If you touch halogen headlights unconsciously, there is a chance of burning your fingers but the LEDs are safer in this respect.
  • Lifespan: Many of the car owners don't want to but LED headlights because it is not budget free. They are  about 10x pricier than the standard halogens and HIDs. But if you compare the lifespan, they are quite better than those two. While the lifespan halogen and HID are about 1000 hours and 3000 hours, the LEDs can be efficient for about 20000 hours or more.


  • Price: I have told you earlier that the LED headlights are available at a very high price. Though it is cost-efficient considering its lifespan, not everyone has the ability to spend a lot amount of money initially.
  • Legality: The LED headlights are not always street legal because of their brightness. It may cause a problem for people from the opposite side. So, you should consider this fact also.

So, these were all about the HID vs LED headlights. I have tried to tell everything that you should know before replacing your halogen headlights to HID or LED. I hope you will be benefited with this article.