LED vs HID is a common debate among people who are looking to upgrade their vehicle's OEM halogen headlight bulbs for improving their visibility at night.
With common plug and play conversion kits, many drivers do this from their home but recently even car manufacturers are installing them when making new cars.
Both bulbs are very similar, but they are certainly different as far as brightness and durability is concerned.
What Are LED and HID Headlights?
LED and HID headlights are the bulbs and equipment for cars that help drivers see at night. Until recently, most car manufacturers installed halogen lights in their cars that use nitrogen and argon gases to heat a filament and produce light.
HID headlights, or high-intensity discharge headlights, are headlights that use a combination of gas and metals to produce a bright blue-white light when the filament receives heat. Some HID lights don't use filament and instead charge xenon through electrodes with high voltage. HID headlights are premium headlights used for their brightness and ability to last a long time. This type of headlight is ideal for driving at night.
HID Headlight bulbs:
LED headlights are light-emitting diode headlights. They use semiconductors to transmit energy-emitting photons that create light. These headlights can get hot, so some require additional fans or heat sinks to control the temperature.
LED Headlight bulbs:
Brightness: LED lights can have a brightness of 9,000-10,000 lumens while HID might have 8,000 lumens. Both, however, are brighter than traditional halogen lights.
Technology: LED lights use electricity while HID uses gas (typically xenon).
Energy use: Both have high energy use compared to halogen, but LEDs are more energy-efficient.
Life span: LED lights might last up to 45,000 hours while HIDs have a life span of around 15,000 hours.
Bulb design: LED lights often have bulbs with diodes, locking tabs, and heat sinks. HID headlights can have outer bulbs, inner chambers, electrodes, and locking tabs.
Price: Price can vary based on brand, but HID headlights are typically cheaper than LED headlights.
Startup time: LED lights start instantly while the heating filament in HID could take a short time to light.
Color: Both LED and HID lights can offer a range of colors.
Distance: Both LED and HID lights have good range, usually up to 300 meters (about 985 feet).
So which one is better?
Well, it depends.
If you want to have a balance of great brightness, durability and easy installation then LED's are the best option for you. LED's are also more energy efficient in the long run avoiding permanent damages to your vehicle's battery or other electrical components. HID ballasts are pretty much obsolete at this point in the market which is why they are cheaper to aquire and they may go out far quickly as well.
If you want to have a more colurfull headlight with maximum brightness then HID's are the option for you. You must take in consideration that they may be only work for justa few weeks or days depending on how much you use them. Ballast usually don't last long and it's the main reason why most healdight bulb suppliers are not ofering them anymore.
So in conclusion you may choose according to your prefference but in our personal experiencie and recommendation, LED's provide the best comnination of light output effiency as well as longer durability so if you ask us, LEDs are the best option to go with.