Do Laser Headlight Bulbs Work?
Regardless if you have a reflector headlight, a projector headlight, or a reflector fog light, chances are your vehicle uses a regular old halogen bulb. If you wanted brighter headlight bulbs, you can either upgrade it to a brighter halogen bulb, an HID conversion kit, an LED headlight bulb, or lasers.
Having already been put to use in high beam lights in Mercedes’, BMWs, and other luxury cars, laser plug ‘n play technology has hit the consumer market for retrofitting your vehicle. But, is it worth the upgrade to say that your car is fitted with laser headlight bulbs? Today we find out the highs and lows of using laser headlight bulbs.
ABOUT LASER Plug n' Play Bulbs
This is the laser headlight bulb replacement. The first thing you will notice is its compact nature. Halogen bulbs, HID bulbs, and LED bulbs all have a long construction to them with the bulb extending out from the main housing. The laser bulbs are much shorter and packs a similar punch.
Unfortunately, the packaging and advertising on this project will not tell us how bright it is. All we know is that it is a Nichia Laser Tube that emits the light. Essentially, down in the bottom, there is a tube where the laser gets powered up and sent through. The laser then hits some phosphor which then illuminates in a similar way that an LED chip does.
The major difference between LED and laser bulbs is that a laser bulb is exceptionally directional. This is due to the lack of mirrors and other facets to split the light.
Those selling the light imply that it is practical for aux lighting or fog lights. But, what applications does it work on, is it useful for driving, and is it safe when pointed at oncoming traffic?
DO THEY WORK? HIGH Versus LOW BEAM
To begin with, we will be testing the laser in a low beam halogen beam reflector. After removing the original bulb and inserting the laser one, we can see that the glare cover meant to reflect the halogen bulb onto the headlight housing, blocks the laser. So, it is not suitable for a reflector halogen light on a low beam.
To compare, the H-11 halogen headlight from a 2018 Toyota Tacoma comes in at 570 maximum Lux for the low beam. An S-V.4 LED bulb emits 930 maximum Lux and retains the factory beam pattern.
With a laser bulb, it emits 210 maximum Lux with a super focused beam pattern with a blue/white center diffusing into a yellow color. The laser is improperly being used in this low beam, reflector housing setup.
This is not good...
When testing in a high beam, the S-V.4 LED bulb emits 1700 maximum Lux, which is four times brighter than the stock high beams. As for the laser, it emits 2160 maximum Lux. Way brighter than the other two, but the beam pattern is focused, just like its pattern for the low beam.
While powerful, laser light is not at all useful for regular road use. As a spotlight? Sure. But when you are going out for an evening and need to see the road, these laser lights are not what you want.
DO THEY WORK? FOG LIGHTS
For S-V.4 LED fog lights, it bests the halogen light in the Lux rating and it maintains the beam pattern almost to perfection. Fog lights are incredibly wide with a minor hotspot. They do not have any distinguished intensity and are not very tall.
Laser bulbs do not compete with halogen and especially the LED bulbs. Just as seen in the low and high beam test, the laser light projects a super-focused light. Not useful for fog lights at all.
The closest application we could establish is using it as a spotlight, off-road light, or auxiliary light. Using these would allow you to see incredibly far down the road, but as a result, would blind oncoming drivers.
Laser lights are an impressive technology, but definitely have a ways to go before being applied to a retrofit situation. Let us know in the comments if you would buy this light and how you would use it.
If you enjoyed this blog and would like to see the laser light in action, be sure to check out our video on the matter below. While you are there, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel for the latest lighting upgrades for your vehicle. Also, be sure to check out our range of options on HeadlightRevolution.com.