Car Halogen Light Bulb Lumens [Things to Know & Chart]

Even with improvements in technology, we still find that majority of the cars still use halogen light bulbs. This might be because they are cheap and would still make it safer for other road users. 

The biggest question someone would have will be just how many light lumens the halogen light has. 

Before all that, let us first understand what lumen means. 

Lumens are the measure of how bright a light source is. So, it can be applied to other types of lights too such as HID and LED lights. 

Another important term to consider is Kelvin. People often confuse the two, but Kelvin is simply the measure of the color temperature of the bulb. Expect the value of Kelvin for a halogen bulb to be lower than LED and HID.

The lower the value of Kelvin, the yellow the color. 

Back to our question, halogen bulbs will have an average of 700 to 1,200 lumens for low beams and high beams respectively. The values depend mostly on the type of halogen bulb. Some are designed for only high beams. Such might have a high output of up to 1,700 lumens. 

Looking at the price, you can easily note how halogen bulbs are cheaper than the other options. They can still last a relatively long time for the price. Thus, they can be a good deal even for those on a budget. 


  • Affordable headlights 
  • Easily available 
  • Easy to replace
  • No extra parts are needed for installation 
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  • Tends to draw more power 
  • Not the brightest compared to LED or HID bulbs 

Here is a video on halogen lighting

YouTube video

HID Light Bulbs Lumens 

You may also find them being referred to as Xenon headlights

These lights are most popular because how they consume less power than halogen lights and still produce more brightness in the end. 

The color temperature or Kelvin of these bulbs is rated at 3000K. They can reach up to 12000K for the brightest models. This means that you can have adjustable light color based on your needs. 

As for brightness, the bulbs can offer up to around 3000 lumens in terms of output. This is twice the performance of the halogen lights. 

HID lights are still available in different configurations. That is how you can get some delivering up to 5,000 lumens. This is mostly the brightest HID you can buy. 

As much as such lights will be good for your car headlights, they are expensive to buy. The cheapest kits are likely to start at $50. Also, you need additional modifications such as changing the reflector housing to project the light correctly. 


  • They are brighter than halogens 
  • They look great even for light output 
  • HIDs will last longer than halogen light bulbs


  • Needs additional parts to work 
  • Can be expensive for most people 
  • Needs modifying reflector housing 

LED Light Bulbs Lumens 

Things get more exciting when you look into the lumens LED lights can produce. Expect most of them to give you an output of 2,000 to 6,000 lumens. This will depend on many factors such as how many LEDs per bulb. 

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Be careful of some brands that might claim to offer 10,000 lumens per headlight. It might not always get there if you do proper research. 

The wattage of the bulbs also determines how bright the light bulbs can get even in LEDs. Of course, having more wattage makes it brighter, but it also means using more power. 

You may have noticed that the LED lights may have similar lumens output as HIDs. However, the LEDs might be brighter in the end. 


  • Brighter than HID and halogens 
  • Customizable light output 
  • Can be more durable than the halogen lights 


  • Might not always be safe for other road users
  • It will need additional parts for installation 
  • Expensive than halogen lights 

Here is more information on using LED lights for trucks and cars

YouTube video

As much as you might be interested in the brightest bulbs to see better at night, that is not always recommended. This is because some states have banned bright lights. 

There is no specific amount listed in the law of how bright the headlights should be, but if an officer of the law deems them too dangerous, then you may be requested to remove them. 

Understand the local laws on bright headlights before swapping out the stock version of headlights. 

Lumens To Watts Conversion Chart

Brightness In Lumens


Are 6000 lumens too bright?

You are likely to get this with LED lights. We can say for road use, this will be quite bright to a point of blinding other drivers on the road. 

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How long do car halogen lights last?

These lights can last an average of 450 to 1000 hours. It all depends on how they are used. Heat, grime, and efficiency are some of the factors that might affect durability. 

When should you change your halogen lights?

The most obvious would be the light no longer works. Periodically check your lights to find out if they are still working or not. Another sign is when the headlights keep flickering. They might simply be old and it is time to change them. 

Do halogen lights burn out?

Yes. Once the useful life is over, they can burn out. They mostly do not dim with time as LED lights but rather simply stop working. At this point, have them replaced. 

Why do my halogen light bulbs keep burning out fast?

The chances are you are touching the bulbs each time you install them or there is a bad wiring connection along the line of the headlights that may be leading to a short circuit. 

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