Skip advert
Advertisement

What are LED headlights?

We explain the ins and outs of LED headlights and whether you should specify them on your next car

FOR: Provides excellent visibility, long-lasting
AGAINST: Often an additional cost when new, expensive to replace

LED headlights are quickly becoming the benchmark for headlight technology. While the majority of new cars come with LED daytime running lights, even full LED headlights are now beginning to trickle down into mainstream models such as the Ford Fiesta.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Despite being relatively new technology, LEDs are incredibly simple. Each unit consists of a semiconductor which illuminates when an electrical current passes through. This creates a light much brighter than a traditional halogen bulb - enabling greater visibility on the road. Plus, thanks to their simplicity, there is very little to go wrong on an LED, resulting in a relatively long lifespan.

LED headlights are good for your carbon footprint too; this is because LEDs consume very little energy compared to the equivalent halogen or even xenon bulb. Most manufacturers now fit their cars with LED headlamps for this reason – especially in electric cars where each tiny bit of power consumption is crucial.

We recommend opting for LED headlights if that option is available when ordering your next car as their additional cost over halogens is often outweighed by their safety benefits. Do be careful not to confuse LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and full LED headlights; LED Daytime Running Lights are a completely different type of light and do not contain your dipped and high beams.

There is one caveat; while LEDs are, in principle, very simple, most LED headlight units are not. LED headlights incorporate an array of individual LEDs which makes replacing them at the end of their life difficult and expensive. Whereas a single halogen bulb will cost you less than £10, a new LED headlamp can set you back over £1,000.

Want a car with all the latest safety features? Check out our list of the safest cars that you can buy

Car technology made simple

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?
Ford Puma SUV front tracking
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?

What is Android Auto? Maps, apps and how to connect
Android Auto
Tips and advice
19 Jan 2024

What is Android Auto? Maps, apps and how to connect

Mercedes jumps on AI tech with new MBUX software
Mercedes MBUX dashboard
News
9 Jan 2024

Mercedes jumps on AI tech with new MBUX software

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
1 Dec 2023

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
12 Apr 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?
Ford Puma SUV front tracking
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
best electric cars
Best cars
28 Mar 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024