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Motoring Advice

Car Headlights, Shine Bright this Winter!

Car Headlights - Winter

Of course, when driving conditions take a turn for the worse you can do a lot to ensure your safety and the safety of others such as taking your time on the roads and making sure that your windscreen wipers are working well. However, what some people fail to forget is just how important your headlights really are.

At this time of year, you may be thinking about your tyres and other areas of your vehicle but you could also consider your headlights.

Do they need to be changed?

Am I using the best bulbs?

At this point I just want to say that I am corrected left right and centre for using the term bulb when the correct terminology is lamp, but honestly in the main most people use the term bulb so that is the term I will be using.

Are your car headlights bright enough?

The bulbs that come with most vehicles are obviously adequate enough to use during most conditions but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the road is lit up as much as it could be.  First of all, you need to ensure that your headlights and full beams are working correctly. Heading down a poorly lit road with only one headlight working is a recipe for disaster as it will mean that one side of the road is not lit up and that could cause potential problems for you and on coming traffic.

If you are looking to improve the amount of light that your headlights offer, then there are a wide range of bulbs available to suit all budgets but it is the brightness of the bulb that really matters as well as the length of the beam.

The length of the beam will enable you to see further ahead down the road, enhancing your safety.

When driving at night you want maximum brightness and so, selecting bulbs that offer more light is the right choice. There are bulbs that claim to offer up to 90% more light than traditional bulbs while there are many different styles on the market.

The bulb that you choose all depends on your preference, there are halogen bulbs, LED bulbs, HID and even laser headlights and all offer different light and beam distances.

Car headlights using LED

car headlights

LED bulbs are great for producing a light that is close to that of daylight and they offer less glare than other bulbs which means that they do not dazzle oncoming drivers.

They look really good and they require less electricity to run which means that they reduce the energy consumption of the vehicle and the drain on the battery. However, as they do not produce a lot of heat they can have problems with frost during the winter which can reduce the amount of light given off.

The price of LED bulbs can vary depending on your vehicle and whether a conversion kit is required.

If your car already has LED bulbs then they can be purchased for less than ten pounds but if a conversion kit is required then it can cost a few hundred pounds.

Halogen bulbs in your car headlights

Over 40 % of UK cars use the H7 bulb size, Halogen’s will dim over time due to switching on and off which erodes the filament.

Because the Halogen bulb is so widely used the price of one is pretty low costing a few pounds, however if you decide to upgrade your bulbs you can pay up to as much as £50 depending of course on what you decide is best for you and who the manufacturer is.

Car headlights with HID or Xenon

HID or Xenon bulbs are commonly found on family cars although they can be fitted as an aftermarket upgrade. 

The conversion kits can be purchased cheaply but the units need to be self-levelling and self-cleaning in order to be road legal in the UK. They offer an excellent amount of light and can last up to ten years.

The cost is dependent on the vehicle and so a bulb can cost as little as £5 right up to £90.


There are a wide range of manufacturers that produce these bulbs and this means that they vary in quality. There are quality manufacturers such as Bosch, Phillips and GE and then there are the lower priced manufacturers such as Twenty20 and ABD. This ensures that there are bulbs to fit every budget.

The winter months can prove challenging for any driver, regardless of their experience. Headlights are not only a legal requirement but they are there to serve a purpose and so, you have to ensure that they are operating correctly.

It is also advisable to keep a set of spare bulbs in your car because you never know when one of your bulbs will fail.


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