Your headlights play an important safety role on the road. They light the road ahead of you and alert other drivers to your presence.

Keeping your headlights clean and replacing them when necessary will help ensure that you have the best view possible when you are behind the wheel.

Below are some of the different types of headlights that are available.

Incandescent–This contains a tungsten filament inside a glass bulb (like a regular lightbulb). The yellow glow you see is created when the filament gets hot. Lifespan is approximately 25,000 miles.

Halogen–The tungsten filament is inside a smaller quartz bulb that is filled with halogen gas, which causes the evaporated tungsten to condense back onto the filament. As a result, the filament is not worn down as quickly and the bulb lasts longer. This bulb emits a whiter light and generates more light because it burns hotter. Bulbs last approximately 60,000 miles.

High-Intensity Discharge (HID)–These are also known as xenon bulbs. They emit a bluish light. There is no filament. Electricity is applied to high-pressure xenon gas. The result is a higher light output, with less electricity used and less drain on the vehicle’s battery. Bulbs last approximately 200,000 miles.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED)–These are the tiniest of the bulbs. There are no filaments or gas. Light is created by the movement of electricity across an electronic chip. Bulbs require very little electricity and stay cool, so they can be housed in plastic cases instead of glass. They are more moisture and vibration-resistant than other bulbs and are built to last the lifetime of your vehicle.

How to Restore Your Vehicle’s Headlights

Lights Tech Center

Automotive Lights Guide

Changing a Headlight-DMV

Types of Car Headlights