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Best Replacement Headlight Bulbs – Expert Review and Guide

By Kencoul

At the most basic level, headlights are one of the most important safety features in any vehicle, especially when driving in the dark or under tricky situations. It's basically impossible to drive in such conditions if the headlight bulb is broken, creating a risk not just for the driver but everyone else on the road.

It's crucial for you to replace a broken headlight bulb, or change it before it's about to fail. However, choosing the right bulb can be tricky, given the long list of replacements out there. With that in mind, we've compiled some of the best replacement headlight bulbs for your safety and convenience.

Philips X-treme Vision +130% Headlight Bulbs (Pack of 2) (H7 55W)

SYLVANIA - 9006 SilverStar Ultra - High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb, High Beam, Low Beam and Fog Replacement Bulb, Brightest Downroad with Whiter Light, Tri-Band Technology (Contains 2 Bulbs)

Philips H11 CrystalVision Ultra Upgrade Bright White Headlight Bulb, 2 Pack

PIAA 15211 H11 Xtreme White Plus High Performance Halogen Bulb, (Pack of 2)

GE Lighting H7-55NHP/BP2 Nighthawk Platinum Replacement Bulb, 2-Pack

Department of Transport compliant

Philips makes some of the best headlight bulbs and their X-tremeVision bulbs are among the brightest you can buy to improve the beam spread and depth for night driving. These bulbs offer a beam of light that's up to 50 yards longer than standard bulbs. But what's even more impressive is the clarity of the beam itself. If you have a halogen setup, you'll probably notice that the tone of light is considerably whiter and that the beam is more evenly spread out. These are certainly a big upgrade when it comes to visibility and the white hue also improves the look at night.

High-quality beam with great contrast

Philips' X-tremeVision headlight bulbs are designed with high-precision filament geometry and contain up to 13 bar high-pressure gas filling to produce increased color temperature. This allows the driver to focus better and perceive contrasts for longer distances when driving at night. If we look at user reviews, it's safe to say that these bulbs produce a whiter shade compared to its rivals.

A lot of new cars come with halogen bulbs in a projector-style setup and the problem with that arrangement is that if the bulbs are yellow and not very powerful, the projector doesn't get enough light density to play with. So, as a result, the spread of the beam is very weak and you end up with a poorly lit road ahead of you. This is where Philips' X-tremeVision high-quality headlight bulbs and their bright white hue come into play. Although these are not LED-like white, the bulbs are powerful enough to offer noticeable improvements in the distance of spread as well as with the intensity and the width of your headlight's beam.

Best Replacement Headlight Bulbs – Expert Review and Guide

The SYLVANIA SilverStar halogen headlight shines whiter light and is the company's brightest bulb. It's claimed to have a long spread down the road, a good amount of width coverage, plus the whiter hue helps in achieving better clarity making night driving more comfortable. According to the brand, these bulbs are so effective because they include a specially designed filament and a special lamp coating that allows for a brighter throw of light and alters the color temperature towards a cooler shade of white.

Color temperature range closer to LEDs

SYLVANIA's 9006 SilverStar Ultra offers a sharper spread of light than OEM bulbs, especially for halogen. LEDs, as we know, are capable of reaching color temperatures beyond 6000K easily and because these bulbs achieve around 5000K, they are closest to LEDs and HIDs for brightness and color temperature. All in all, these bulbs are really effective compared to OEM parts. According to users, they produce a more natural white hue over the drowsy yellow light spread of OEM halogen bulbs.

SYLVANIA is a trusted brand when it comes to aftermarket lighting solutions and their 9006 SilverStar Ultra High performance halogen headlight bulbs offer exceptional bang for your buck. A major upgrade, they're bright and clear without blinding oncoming traffic thanks to their 'downroad' biased design which essentially means most of the concentrated spread of beam lights up the road and not the drivers' eyes in the other lane.

Our second recommendation from Philips is called CrystalVision Ultra and these bulbs are for those who want to upgrade their lights and improve the appearance of their vehicle at the same time. If you're running halogen headlamps and want something that mimics HIDs then this is probably your best bet. In fact, Philips' CrystalVision Ultra headlight bulbs achieve the HID appearance thanks to the blue coating on the glass which emits a bright light that's really white. Additionally, a unique blue cap on the surface of the bulb gives out that blue effect on the reflector that's common in premium cars.

Halogen upgrade to make your headlights look like HIDs

It doesn't matter what vehicle you drive, as long as it's equipped with halogen bulbs. The difference in brightness from your stock setup is going to be incredible when you switch to these HID-like bulbs from Philips, which can achieve some pretty high color temperatures. However, because these bulbs are substantially whiter and brighter, the longevity takes a toll and as a result, they aren't as durable as the longer-lasting OEM bulbs. All said and done, these bulbs work exactly as advertised, providing a wider and denser throw of light and if you're after that premium appearance, you get that as well for a price that's way less than some of the fancy bulbs sold in the market.

Philips' CrystalVision Ultra bulbs are an excellent upgrade if you're looking to add flair to your car, without losing on safety. Although not the brightest replacement bulbs around, they make for a decent upgrade if you think your OEM headlamps have become dim or burned out. These bulbs from Philips are reasonably priced compared to other replacement bulbs.

The Xtreme White Plus range of high-output replacement bulbs by PIAA has all the basics covered. Compared to OEM halogen bulbs, it offers better depth perception in low-lighting conditions and improved contrast while producing a crisp white color output for better road illumination. Like Philips' H11 CrystalVision Ultra, there's also a blue topcoat which adds to the appearance of your vehicle when the bulbs are lit.

Our go-to choice for long-lasting performance

Of all the replacement bulbs we have listed here, PIAA's 15211 H11 Xtreme White Plus bulbs would probably last the longest given that the company has made extra efforts towards improving the durability factor. Aftermarket bulbs are notorious for burning out rather quickly, which is why these bulbs are made of high-quality quartz glass and alloy filaments to stop them from dimming overtime. The alloy filaments, in fact, are better at dispersing heat than regular metals according to the company. Basically what this means is that these bulbs are more likely to perform at a higher output for a longer time than all the other options listed on this page.

Contrary to the Xtreme White branding, these aren't the whitest replacement bulbs you can buy. In fact, there is a hint of the yellow hue in them which you would otherwise find on your OEM halogen bulbs. However, there is no denying that these offer a clean and long enough throw of light that's certainly stronger than OEM bulbs. Better still, these bulbs are known to last long so if you're after durability, look no further.

Rounding up the list, here we have GE Lighting's H7-55NHP/BP2 Nighthawk Platinum Replacement Bulb. Now, these bulbs have proved to be capable replacements over the OEM halogen bulbs that come in most mainstream vehicles. Although they aren't the brightest white bulbs around, the beam spread and throw, according to several users, is farther than a lot of competitor products. Interestingly, most users look for light intensity and distance before beam spread but if you're someone who drives a lot on narrow lanes in the dark, good peripheral coverage is essential to spot moving objects or animals just off the road.

One for maximum visibility in challenging conditions

White beam, as we know, dissipates much faster than yellow which makes it less effective in wet weather conditions since white light reflects off damp/wet roads more, which reduces visibility. Although these bulbs emit a whiter shade than the OEM bulbs, it's still predominantly yellow and while that may not be good for your vehicle's look, the visibility in wet weather conditions is arguably better. So if you're someone who is willing to sacrifice form for function, these are the bulbs for you.

If you happen to drive a relatively older car and don't mind the yellow hue, these would make for a great choice to improve visibility during night time driving. With a color temperature range of around 4000k, these aren't exactly the brightest bulbs with a white beam but if your budget is limited and you just want something to illuminate the road properly in varied driving conditions, these platinum replacements by GE Lighting are more than up for the job.

What are the best replacement headlight bulbs?

Headlamp bulbs wear out as they age, and as a result, they become dim and put out less light over time. Naturally, it means that they're providing you less visibility that you would have with brand new bulbs. Installing a pair of new bulbs, then, is absolutely crucial for maximum safety.

Starting off with our pick of the bunch, Philips' X-treme Vision Bulbs are not only well priced but are also powerful enough to offer huge improvements in the distance of spread as well as the intensity and the width of your headlight's beam. Similarly, you could go with SYLVANIA's 9006 SilverStar Ultra for a more natural white hue over the rather gloomy yellow glow that you get with OEM halogen bulbs. Philips' CrystalVision ultra bulbs , on the other hand, is what you should be getting in case your priority is to spruce up the look of your front-end without compromising on driving safety. There are also other factors to consider when buying a new set of bulbs and if long-lasting performance is your top priority then we would recommend you take a good look at the PIAA High Performance Halogen Bulb . Lastly, there's the GE Lighting Nighthawk Platinum Bulb which is quite versatile as it works well under varied conditions, especially if it rains or snow.

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