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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

24 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
351 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best LED headlight conversion kits

Last Updated April 2020

Many people stick with their vehicle’s standard headlights without ever considering that there are other lights out there that are brighter, more cost-effective, and safer than the factory lights. Not to mention the fact that any headlight will burn out eventually, including the ones your car came equipped with. When that happens, it makes sense to examine the available options.

LED headlight conversion kits are a great answer. Most LED headlights can be installed in just a few minutes with handy conversion kits. LED lights are known for being energy-efficient and having longer lifespans than other types of bulbs. That more than offsets the somewhat higher initial cost. But which conversion kit should you get? The type of vehicle you drive has a lot to do with it.

Our buying guide details all you need to know so that you can find the best LED headlight conversion kit for your vehicle. For the fastest shopping, you’ll find our five favorite kits in the matrix above.

LED headlights are notable for their lack of glare compared to regular headlights.

Key considerations

Types of headlights

There are three main types of non-standard headlights.

High-intensity discharge (HID) headlights provide the farthest visibility among the different types of headlights. They emit cool light instead of the warm light of regular headlights and halogen headlights.

Halogen headlights surround the main projector beam with a halo of light that creates the impression the vehicle has glowing eyes. They are distinctly brighter than regular headlights.

LED headlights are the most energy-efficient. They have a much longer lifespan than other headlights. This offsets the higher initial cost for LED headlights.

Vehicle compatibility

Never buy headlights without checking to make sure they’re compatible with your vehicle. The manufacturer usually provides a compatibility chart for this purpose. Be sure to consult it before you make your final decision.

Power output

The power output, measured in lumens, determines how bright and even the headlight’s beam is. It should be bright enough to light up the road without blinding oncoming drivers. A standard 100-watt light bulb puts out 1,600 lumens of brightness. An LED headlight that puts out 8,000 lumens is five times brighter than a regular 100-watt bulb.

Ease of installation

Paying a mechanic to install new headlights for you is usually a waste of money. Installing new headlights is easy. However, the better they’re designed, the easier they are to install. Your best bet is to read what other customers have to say about the installation process.

Color temperature

The color temperature of the light emitted by headlights is measured in kelvins (K). There is an inverse relationship between temperature and color. Higher temperatures create cool light, while lower temperatures create warm light.

Warm light ranges from 2,500 to 4,000 K, and cool light ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 K. Most LED headlights emit a cool color in the range of 5,000 to 6,500 K.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some LED headlights have a blue tint to them, but most are white lights without any blue.

Features

Materials

The body and outer shell of LED headlights, along with the cooling fins on the heat sink, are typically made of aluminum or aluminum alloy. The cooling fans usually have copper and stainless steel parts. If you find LED headlight conversion kits made from other materials, take a close look at what those materials are to ensure you’re not getting a flimsy kit.

Cooling fans

LED headlights create a lot of heat during the normal course of operation. This has led to the necessity of cooling fans. Pay close attention to user comments about the cooling fans that come in LED headlight conversion kits. Some fans are noisy enough to be heard inside the passenger cabin. Others can create electronic interference with the car’s instrument panel. Quiet fans that don’t create interference cost more to produce, so you’ll have to pay a little extra to get those benefits.

Heat sinks

All LED headlights have heat sink cooling fins arranged in a circle around the base of the light. The cooling fan blows air across the fins to cool the light. However, a few conversion kits have advanced heat sinks that don’t require a fan. Interference won’t be a problem with kits that have these fanless heat sinks.

Lifespan

In general, LED headlights have a longer lifespan than regular headlights or halogen headlights. LED headlights range from 10,000 hours of usable life to up to 50,000 hours.

COB LED

Chip on Board (COB) LED headlights use the method of putting the LED chip directly on the circuit board. This leads to fewer components and about 25% less heat emitted from the LED chips. Less heat translates to a longer lifespan for the headlights.

DID YOU KNOW?

Despite being extremely bright, LED headlights are less likely to blind oncoming drivers.

Accessories

Decoder and anti-flicker harnesses: AnyCar LED Headlight Decoder and Anti-Flicker Harness
Some car models may need an additional CAN bus decoder or an anti-flicker harness in order for the LED headlights to work properly. AnyCar offers harnesses in several configurations. Make sure you choose a harness that matches your vehicle.

LED headlight conversion kit prices

The low price range for LED headlight conversion kits is $19 to $30. These headlights have lower lumens, noisier cooling fans, and are compatible with only a few car models.

The mid-range for LED headlight conversion kits is $30 to $70. These headlights have fewer problems with interference and flickering and are compatible with a wider range of automotive models. They also have longer lifespans than lower-priced kits.

The high price range is $70 to $100 for LED headlight conversion kits. Some of these are fanless designs that utilize advanced heat sinks for cooling. High lumens above 10,000 are common as well as longer lifespans of up to 50,000 hours.

DID YOU KNOW?

A few LED headlights emit warmer light, but most emit cool light that better illuminates the road.

Tips

  • LED headlight conversion kits that aren’t waterproof are a waste of money. Install the lights, then test them by spraying a garden hose on the headlights while the car is running and the lights are on. Keep it up for at least five minutes. If water doesn’t get into the assembly, the headlights pass the test.
  • LED headlights generate a lot of heat, which is why they have cooling fans. If they’re too hot to touch after several hours of continuous use, it means the fans aren’t cooling the lights as much as they should. The fans may be defective or inadequate to the task.
  • Adjusting the level and aim of the headlights is easiest to do during the installation process. You’ve already got all the tools you’ll need for both steps, so don’t wait.

Other products we considered

We like the Fahren LED Headlight Conversion Kit. These incredibly bright lights put out 10,000 lumens of cool white light. The bulbs are CAN bus compatible with 98% of all vehicles on the road today. They can be installed in 10 minutes or less with most vehicles. The low beams and high beams are both bright and clean. Plus, they have a long lifespan. Some European vehicles may require an additional decoder or anti-flicker harness.

We also like the HIKARI LED Headlight Conversion Kit. These lights shine at 9,600 lumens, putting out a cool white light that is 220% brighter than standard headlights. The beam is fully adjustable, so it will fit different vehicles. The headlights have been tested in 300°F temperatures for up to seven days, and the fans kept the lights cool and functioning the whole time. However, there are some reports of these LED headlights creating radio interference when they’re turned on.

Many LED headlight conversion kits are “plug and play” in their ease and simplicity of installation.

FAQ

Q. Why do some LED headlights cause radio interference?
A.
High-lumen LED lights require a high current operating at high frequencies. This combination radiates a lot of electrical energy, creating radio and TV interference in the process. Poor shielding or shoddy construction is usually to blame.
 

Q. Are fanless advanced heat sinks better than cooling fans?
A.
Fanless heat sinks need to be bigger to create more surface area, and they are usually made of more expensive materials than the normal cooling fins used in conjunction with cooling fans. That said, one is not better than the other. As long as they keep the headlights from overheating, that’s really all that matters.


Q. What is an anti-flicker harness?
A.
Many vehicles come with a pulse-width modulation (PWM) system, which controls the amplitude of the digital signals used to control many electronic devices. It rapidly turns the power on and off instead of “choking” the power like analog potentiometers used to do. Unfortunately, LED lights flicker when they are receiving power from a PWM system. An anti-flicker harness contains a capacitor that absorbs those rapid on and off pulses and isolates them from the LED lights, thus producing a flicker-free light.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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