How Long Do Car LED Headlights Last? [Factors To Know]

LED headlights by design can last as long as 50,000 hours. This amount of time can be great only in ideal conditions, but there are a few things affecting how long the LED headlights would last. 

Some of the things that can affect the durability of LED headlights include the brand, heat sink efficiency, and temperature. 

The manufacturer is quite an important part of buying LED lights. You need to always buy from a top brand such as Philips, Morimoto, and others for quality LED headlights. 

Of course, you cannot expect cheaper LEDs to behave the same as expensive kits. As much as you should not always buy the most expensive kit, but also do not settle for the cheapest knockoffs. 

How Heat Affects LED Bulbs 

Heat is a problem created by LEDs being too complex. This complex circuitry also means that there is a need for proper cooling. 

We have noted that some cheap kits would not have enough cooling capacity and thus LED headlights would fail a lot sooner before reaching the 50,000-hour mark. 

One thing with LED headlights, they degrade in terms of brightness output compared to halogen bulbs which would just stop working. 

In this case, LED lights would start by dropping in terms of the amount of brightness it can output. Then, after a while, you now start noticing that the headlights are dimmer than before. That is your notice to replace them. 

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Heat is the biggest reason you find that your LED headlights are degrading. Thus, there is a need for proper planning if you have to upgrade from halogen headlights. 

Start by having a high-quality LED kit for your vehicle. You may get new cars having headlight housing that would accommodate the LED bulbs. This includes the LED bulbs plus the heat sinks. 

LED Lights vs. Halogen vs. HID

LED Lights vs. Halogen vs. HID

When buying headlights, you may also have the option of getting halogen or HID lights. So, should you also consider these others? And what is their longevity?

Halogen lights are the most common in many cars around and they can last for 500  to 1000 hours. They might not be the most durable, but they are the cheapest and easily available. 

The HID lights on the other hand would last up to 2,000 hours. That is four times what you get with halogen lights. It is more reason for people to consider them. 

HID lights also produce a good amount of lumens making them a good competitor against LED lights. At some point, it often feels like it is a personal preference picking between the two. 

Here is a video showing more about the difference between these three headlights.

YouTube video

Should You Upgrade to an LED Headlight System?

For most people, this might be a consideration since it may be hard for you to drive at night without proper lighting. 

So, it would depend a lot on the conversion kit you can get. Make sure that the heat sink is also positioned correctly so that the LED lights do not end up with a lot of heat damaging them too fast. 

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If the LED lights are not installed properly, sometimes they can blind other road users. That is why some states may have limitations on how bright the headlights can be. So, do not buy the brightest LEDs and also have them installed incorrectly. 

Other Factors Influencing the Durability of LED Headlights 

Another reason you may have to think about LED headlights’ durability would be vibration exposure. If you keep exposing the headlights to too much vibration, then it might not last as long. 

Another thing would be dirt accumulation. In case you are always driving in areas that lead to dirt and grime accumulating on the headlights, you need to consider wiping them more often. That helps improve durability. 

It is vital for you to always have the LED lights correctly wired by a professional. The last thing you need is over-voltage which can easily decrease the LED headlight lifespan by half. 

In case you are experiencing a faster battery drain, check the alternator and the connection from the battery to the headlights. That is vital to ensure the best working conditions for the LED headlights. 

Here are more tips for finding the best-LED headlights

YouTube video


Can LED headlights burn out?

No. This is because they do not work the same as halogen bulbs. In LED headlights there is the use of a microchip compared to gases in halogen bulbs that need heating to illuminate. 

How often do you need to replace LED lights?

Most LED lights boast of having 50,000 hours of performance, but you can expect them to last mostly 8,000. 

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Are there downsides to using LED headlights?

One of the biggest problems would be compatibility. You may have to change a few things to accommodate the LED headlights. Also, they are not the cheapest option.

Do LED headlights start to dim over time?

Yes. they will not burn out like halogen lights but can dim over time. You will notice a reduction in brightness after a couple of years.

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