Aston Martin CC100 Speedster

LED Headlights: A Look At Cost

How do you measure the best lights for your car?  Do you look at the luminosity of the bulb, the durability of the bulb, or something else?  For millions of Americans, it all comes down to cost.  So, let’s take a moment to do a benefit analysis of LED headlights in relation to their cost.


Short-Term Cost

The short-term costs of LED headlights are among the highest of any headlights.  They can be found for around $100 a pair for basic lights.  Compare this to the $20 or so cost of Halogens and it makes sense why LED headlights are still considered too expensive for some.  There are also the costs of finding the right supplemental pieces to get the headlights to work.  In this regard, LED headlights require the same attention and will not save you anything more.

Looking at short-term cost only, LED headlights come out as the worst option.  Second place would go to xenon headlights with first place going to halogen lights.  One reason for this is the fact that the cost of LED headlights is higher than alternatives.  Halogen lights are ubiquitous in the industry and have become standardized in their construction.  LED headlights are still quite new and the industry hasn’t entirely settled in yet.


Mid-Term Cost

Mid-term costs over half of the light bulb’s life make LED headlights a better option.  For example, while a single LED headlight may cost more than a single halogen bulb, you will have to buy two halogen bulbs to reach the same length of use as the LED headlight at this point.  With that in mind, the most affordable mid-term cost goes to the xenon headlight.  Less expensive than the LED alternative, it manages to last twice as long as the halogen bulb.


Long-Term Cost

When looking at the overall length of the LED bulb, both the halogen bulb as well as the xenon bulb falls short.  An LED headlight will last roughly 25,000 hours before burning out.  Compare this to the average length of time of a xenon bulb at 10,000 hours and it is easy to see just how much longer an LED bulb will last.  What is even more shocking is when you look at the length of time a halogen bulb will last.  At only 5,000 hours of use, you would need to purchase 5 halogen bulbs to make up for the cost of an LED headlight.


Putting It All Together

What we can see learn looking at the short, mid, and long-term life expectancies?  If you plan to infrequently use your car or your car is towards the end of your use, then halogens are perfect.  If you still have some life out of your car and are interested in bright bulbs with some durability, then xenon is a good choice.  If you expect to have your car for some time and want bulbs that will not only last but also save you the most in the long-run, then consider LED headlights.   Good luck finding the right headlights for your vehicle!