HID and LED Conversion Kits: Understanding the Differences

If you’re in the market for brighter, longer lasting, and overall, better performing headlights for your car or truck, you’re not alone—many consumers are in the same boat.

Often, the stock Halogen lights that many vehicles come equipped with become dull, dim, and yellowed-out over time, in addition to having a somewhat short lifespan.

Dealing with less-than-stellar brightness on the road doesn’t just look outdated—it poses a safety risk when the road is not properly illuminated for the duration of your drive-in darkened conditions.

The good news is, you can easily upgrade your car or truck’s lighting look with newer, more powerful and, effectively, safer HID (High Intensity Discharge) or LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs on your own, thanks to the impressive selection offered by Underground Lighting.

Why conversion kits?

You may even be wondering why a conversion kit is necessary to make the switch. Well, this all depends on your current car or truck’s make and model, as well as what technology your vehicle is currently equipped with—or lacking.

  • Assessing this information will determine how simple or complicated the conversion kit installation process will be, if such a kit is needed.
  • If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to reach out to a UGL representative for help determining whether or not your car or truck needs a conversion kit in order to replace your older headlights with a newer LED or HID model.
  • Most conversion kits will list the vehicle(s) they are compatible with in the product specifications.
  • If your current vehicle does not have the required technology needed to change the LED or HID headlights, you’ll need to use a conversion kit to ensure proper installation and compatibility.
  • Typically, conversion kits are comprised of ballasts, heat sinks, and wiring adapters. Making sure that the new bulb fits inside the housing can be a challenge, but is necessary for a successful transition.
  • The bottom line is, if you’re making the change from outdated, under performing Halogen bulbs to newer, brighter HID or LED bulbs, you’ll need a conversion kit to ensure the new bulbs fit correctly.

The difference between HID and LED conversion kits 

Knowing the key differences between LED and HID conversion kits will help you make the best decision for your car or truck’s lighting upgrade.

  • HID (also known as Xenon gas) bulbs are usually a bit bulkier than the more compact LED options, which can be a factor in the installation process.
  • Either way, you’re going to be thrilled with the improved brightness, longevity, and performance your new headlights provide when compared to Halogen bulbs.
  • LED bulbs turn on instantly, while HID bulbs take a few seconds to warm up.
  • Although LED headlight bulbs can produce up to 15% more light output than HIDs, HID bulbs provide a more focused, denser light than the LED alternatives.
  • Compatibility is key when it comes to the conversion kit process—you need to know whether or not your vehicle is compatible with one or both types of technology.

Which should I choose—HID or LED?

While both LED and HID headlights offer a major upgrade for your car or truck’s style, performance, and shine output, they are not completely identical in their offerings.

  • HID bulbs are usually brighter, which is great for use in dark or inclement weather driving conditions. Originally designed for luxury vehicles, HID bulbs’ pure, bright light is hard to beat.
  • However, LED bulbs are much longer lasting—up to twice as long as HID bulbs. Although LED bulbs are more expensive, they actually end up saving you money in the long run, since they last longer as well as provide a brilliant light output for the road ahead.
  • LED headlight bulbs are also more energy-efficient, putting less wear and tear on your vehicle.
  • Again, the type of technology you decide on ultimately depends on your car or truck when determining which will work best.
    • For example, you’ll need to know if you have reflector or projector-style headlights.
    • Vehicles that have hybrid projector-reflector headlight assemblies can actually achieve maximum light output by mixing and matching HID and LED technologies.

Tired of dull, dim, yellow-tinted headlights that barely illuminate the road in front of you? If so, it’s time to instantly upgrade your vehicle’s lighting look with a selection of the highest-quality products available from Underground Lighting.

No matter what questions or concerns you have, or advice that you’re seeking, the UGL crew is ready to help! Call, chat live with a customer representative or email and get ready to hit the road in show-stopping style.