Our Automotive Bulb Finder application can help you identify the replacement bulbs and lamps right for your vehicle. We carry auto light bulbs to fit most vehicle makes and models.
The most common types of light bulbs are halogen bulbs, LEDs and HIDs. Certain types of bulbs are recommended for certain types of fixtures.
Maintaining your car’s headlights is essential for your safety on the roads in the night and twilight. To stay secured and keep your passengers safe, you have to make sure other drivers can see your vehicle and clearly understand your intentions. In return, you expect them to do the same. So, keeping your headlights and other lighting signals up and running is your input into road safety that is as crucial as always wearing a seat belt or never breaking a red signal.
Moreover, there are official US requirements concerning the use of headlights in the darkness. Though these rules may vary from state to state, some general guidelines still apply. These involve keeping your headlights on when the visibility is low. The exact numbers may range from 400 feet to 1,000 feet, and the punishment may go up to $200.
Just like you regularly check the braking system, air conditioner, oil, and other fluids, you should maintain your car's lights working and replace the burnt-out bulbs ASAP. To help you understand, which bulb size and model you will need, we have gathered the information in our guide below.
If you want to replace the factory lights with the same type of bulbs, you will most probably need to get halogen bulb lights. These bulbs boast a several decades history and cost less than their 'competitors' - HID (xenon) and LED lights. Halogen lights give you warm colors and will serve you quite well. In contrast to HID and LED bulbs, which may have different wire connections, you do not need to check the compatibility for halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs include the filament similar to that in our household lamps, but the halogen gas allows the filament to be brighter and work for a longer time.
One of the ways to know the exact fittings for your vehicle's lights is to look them up in your owner's manual. Download the digital version if you cannot find your paper copy and find the part related to the bulb replacement in the contents table. You need to find the ANSI code - the three small letters and numbers marked on each bulb. This code is issued by the American National Standards Institute and determines lamp specifications that include its beam spread, base type, wattage, voltage, color temperature, light output, bulb shape, and others.
Light bulbs with the same ANSI code will be similar to each other irrespective of the producing brand. But to be sure you got the correct or full code, you are welcome to use our tables. Whether you want to double-check or find relevant bulb details, use our resources to save time and spare nerves. The other option is to remove the bulb and find its number on the back.
It's important to note that ANSI codes are not the only factor to consider when choosing a light bulb. There are other factors such as wattage, brightness, color temperature, and lifespan that may also be important to you. Additionally, different types of light bulbs, such as incandescent, fluorescent, LED, and halogen, have their own unique characteristics and may be better suited for certain applications. It's always a good idea to do your research and choose the light bulb that best meets your needs and preferences.
Halogen bulb lights are marked with the letter H and vary across the filaments, nominal power, and base. H1, H3, H7, H11 bulbs have a single filament, while H4 has two. You can use one H4 bulb with each of the two-filament dedicated for your low and high beams if your car has only one headlight bulb. Otherwise, you will need to replace two single-filament bulbs, and each one will serve the main beam and dipped beam separately.
It's important to note that halogen bulbs are not the only type of light bulb used in vehicles. Many newer cars use LED or xenon bulbs, which have their own unique characteristics and may require different replacement procedures. It's always a good idea to refer to your vehicle's owner's manual or consult with a professional mechanic when replacing any light bulbs in your car. It's also important to use the correct wattage and type of bulb as specified by the manufacturer to ensure proper operation and to avoid damaging the vehicle's electrical system.
The nominal power of a bulb defines how many volts such a bulb requires and the number of volts it generates. While the light produced by halogen bulbs is more or less the same, their nominal power varies. And, to distinguish this parameter, nominal power ratings are introduced. It may harm your vehicle if you occasionally switch, for example, an H1 bulb into an H7 fitting. Like plugging an American electrical device into a European outlet may result in its overheating. And, to avoid confusion, the bottom of the bulb fitting connected to the socket (called the base) is unique and hardly can be mixed up.
Single and double-filament H1, H3, H4, and H7 type of bulbs are used for headlights. The H8, H9, and H11 are used for fog lights as they are self-sealing. Usually, halogen bulb life does not exceed 1,000 hours but sometimes can be as short as 400 hours. Obviously, it’s not possible to clearly convert this number into days, as it really depends on the climate, daylight hours, official requirements, and your preferences to drive at night. But, if we assume you have to always keep the low beams on as you drive to work and back for three hours a day (five days a week), plus driving on weekends for, say, ten hours total, you will have 25 hours a week. With 100 hours a month, your new halogen bulbs can serve you for approximately from 4 to 10 months.
If you are among the DIYers when it comes to replacing bulbs in your car, the first thing you have to check is whether your headlight is an integral unit. Older models have a reflector, lighting filament, and lens sealed together, while new vehicles allow for twisting the bulb out. Normally, bulbs are removed by turning them counterclockwise and installed back with clockwise turning. Please note that access to the bulbs in the right headlight may differ from that on the driver’s side as there may be placed additional tanks or battery.
Usually, you will consider buying aftermarket bulbs when only one of your headlights (or other paired signal lights) fails. However, professionals recommend replacing both symmetrical headlight bulbs in your car. Actually, you should change the bulbs when you notice that even one of them is only dim, which may be some time before it finally stops working. The reason behind this advice is that when the headlight dims, it will pretty soon fail. And, once one bulb burns out, the other is not too far behind.
Knowing the lighting system of your car is not very complicated, and replacing light bulbs is not very hard. We wish you luck in your incentives and welcome you to share your experience in the comments below!