Car Lights Types - Everything You Need to Know

Car lights are of different types and the bulbs for this come in all shapes and sizes, and the sheer number of options available on the market could overwhelm anyone. Not only does each car take a different type of car light bulbs, but there are also too many choices to go into the purchasing process unprepared. Learning as much as you can about this important aspect of your car is the first step to making the best and most informed decision.

A car comes with many lights, as mentioned below, which can get confusing to those who aren’t car enthusiasts in particular. Whether you are an enthusiast or not, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the different types of lights on your vehicle, and the best bulbs for them. As you well know, your lights make all the difference in your driving experience and driving safety.

Let’s take a look at what type of lights are on your car, and what bulbs you should know the most about.

Different Car Lights Types and The Right Bulbs for It

To choose the right car light bulbs, first you need more information on the type of lights you have on your car. Once you’re aware of the lights that require your attention from time to time, it’ll be easier to determine the type of bulb you would need based on your car make and model. Remember, not all bulbs are created equal, which makes this all that much more important.

Also Read, How to Find the Right Bulb Compatible with Your Car?


Every driver is familiar with headlights–the light given off by the lamps attached at the front end of the vehicle. They are placed on either side of the vehicle and when turned on, help illuminate the road in front of you in case of darkness or poor visibility. These are the lights newer cars turn on automatically nowadays, but they are also the most commonly used.

Headlights come in all shapes and sizes. These are some headlights available on the market:

Halo lights are considered the most aesthetically pleasing, the HID are the bright blue lights which some consider blinding, and LED is the most energy efficient. Of course, plenty of cars still use the standard headlights we’ve been used to seeing on cars.

Also Read, Choosing the Right Headlight Bulb: Everything You Need to Know

Tail Lights

The lights in the back, tail lights turn on when you turn on your headlights in order to illuminate the back of the car to other drivers. Not to be confused with brake lights, they are a little dimmer and will only consist of two lights, one on each side of the back bumper. Again, the most popular is the LED, but there are other options out there even if they are not as energy efficient.

Brake Lights

Another one of the most used lights on the car since they engage anytime you place your foot on the brake pedal. Brake Lights turn brighter than the taillights, which are on when the headlights are turned on, and will include a third light in the middle, usually toward the top of the car. The external cover of the light gives it the color, but the bulb is separate from the tail lights since it shines brighter. They are colorless small bulbs which need replacing, just like any other bulb every once in a while.

Also Read, Third Brake Light: The Quintessential Safety Feature in Your Vehicle

Signal Lights

As mentioned above, the signal light uses a small amber LED bulb, though they are not created equal between cars, or even in the same car. When you’re researching which bulb to purchase, it’s important to remember you need to look for a bulb specific to where it is located on the car, since they each work on a separate system, which allows them to blink independently of one another.

Fog Lights

Fog lights are located in the front of the vehicle below the headlight. When they are turned on, the car emits a wide beam of light which is shaped almost like a bar which has a sharp cutoff hoping to prevent the light from reflecting off the fog. Of course, you do not want to use these lights when there is no fog and other drives are present because of the intense brightness. Typically, halogen lights are used in fog lights, though some vehicles use LED and the bulb can be changed out to whatever you prefer.

Also Read, Yellow VS. White Fog Lights: Make a Better Decision for Brighter Light

Driving Lamps

These lights are specifically installed in the front of the car and work alongside the high beams to give as much light as possible. Since they give off so much light, they should not get used as a replacement for headlights, or with any low beam setting. There are also plenty of options for replacement bulbs such as:
  • LED
  • Halogen
  • Laser
  • Standard

Daytime Running Lights

Daytime Running Lights are the car's low beam lights, which are typically on during the day when the car is driving. They cannot replace the use of a regular headlight during the night, but provide more visibility during regular driving. These bulbs are ultimately the same as the headlights, but will be turned on at a lower power, giving off a dimmer light. LEDs are popular for this since they are the most energy efficient.

Also Read, Why do Cars Have Daytime Running LEDS

Hazard Lights

Typically used in an emergency, hazard lights are turned on through the use of a triangle button on the inside of the car. They make all the signal lights turn on at the same time to let other drivers know to beware of your car. They’ve been known to get used when cars pull over on the side of the road as a way to indicate the car will not be moving so long as they’re on. Since they use the signal lights system, ultimately, the bulb is a small amber LED bulb.

Underground Lighting–A Complete Online Automotive Lighting Store

When it comes to buying car lighting accessories like replacement bulbs, HID conversion kits, LED headlight bulbs and all your other lighting needs, you can trust the Underground Lighting. We have a great collection of all types of car light bulbs like LED fog lights, headlights, HID bulbs & ballasts, strobe lights, truck lighting accessories, off-road lighting options, and more.
Underground Lighting is your one-stop-shop for any of your bulb needs. Whether you have a truck, sedan, luxury, or everyday vehicle, we are here to provide you with the guidance necessary to make the best choice for you and your driving experience. Call, email, or chat with one of our skilled professionals and we will help you find the right bulb compatible with your vehicle.