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HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

HID vs. LED – Which is brighter?


Everybody wants to know what's brighter. Can an LED headlight bulb be brighter than HID? In this test, we're taking the benchmark of automotive lighting with an HID kit and testing it against five popular LED headlight bulbs.

 

Usually, with these kinds of tests, I'll spend a bunch of time doing the testing beforehand, so I know the results. That's not the case this time. I wanted to be just as surprised as you are.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

I've got a projector headlight and a reflector headlight. I've also got the original halogen bulb; a Morimoto 35-Watt HID kit, a 55-Watt HID kit, the SV4 LED headlight bulbs, the GTR Lighting Ultra 2 LED headlight bulbs, the OPT7 FluxBeam V2, the Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0, and the Diode Dynamics SL1. (Click here for our full line of complete HID Systems)

We're going to test them all. Using a digital lux meter, we'll show you which one's brighter. Generally speaking, most people believe that an HID conversion kit will be the brightest option, especially a 55-Watt.

Projector Headlight

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

REFLECTOR Headlight

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

Morimoto 35w HID System

HID vs LED – Which is brighter? - SV4

HID vs LED – Which is brighter? - Morimoto 35-watt HID Kit

SV4 LED headlight bulbs

HID vs LED – Which is brighter? - GTR Lighting Ultra 2

GTR Lighting Ultra 2 LED headlight bulbs

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

OPT7 FluxBeam V2

HID vs LED – Which is brighter? - Opt7 Fluxbeam V2

Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0

HID vs LED – Which is brighter? - Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0

Diode Dynamics SL1

HID vs LED – Which is brighter? - Diode Dynamics SL1

Until today, I have never tested an LED headlight bulb that's brighter than a 55- Watt HID. We still don't know if one of these will be brighter, so let's find out.

Color

For color, we went with a 6,500 K. That's kind of a cool, blue/white color. We went with that color because, generally speaking, everybody makes their LED bulbs in that color. I didn't want to give the HID an unfair advantage by going with a warmer color like 5,000 K.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

If you watch our other video about HID colors, you'll see that a 5,000 K 55-Watt HID is the brightest HID option. So for this test, I want to keep it all on a level playing field. They're all on the same color temperature, just different bulb types. Before we start the test, let's talk about lux.

Lux Ratings

I didn't talk about the different lumen ratings of the various products because, realistically, we're not really sure who's telling the truth and who's lying. Some will be 3,000 lumens; others will be 12,000 lumens, and it's anybody's guess which ones brighter. Instead of talking about the manufacturer's rated specs, we're going to start with the control.

REFLECTOR HOUSING - HALOGEN BULB

The first bulb we're going to test is the halogen headlight bulb. This tells us how bright your headlights are now, and lux is the actual real-world brightness at a certain point. We're going to use a digital lux meter at the same distance between our headlight and the wall for every product. You're going to be able to see how much brighter the HID and the LED bulbs are to stock and each other.

The OEM halogen bulb comes in at 407 maximum lux at 25 feet. Now let's try the other bulbs without changing a thing. 

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

The 6,500 K 35-Watt Morimoto HID kit comes in at 1,254 maximum lux. The Morimoto 55-Watt HID kit comes in at 2,000 maximum lux.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

Reflector Housing - LED Bulb Test

The first LED headlight bulb to test is the SV4. This very popular option comes in at 1,425 maximum lux. 

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

The GTR Lighting Ultra Two LED bulbs come in at 1,867 maximum lux.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

OPT7 FluxBeam V2 is 831 maximum lux. 

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0 LED headlight bulb comes in at 940 maximum lux.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

Diode Dynamics SL1 is at 1,238 maximum lux.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

Here is an overview:

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

Projector Housing

Now, let's do the same test in a projector headlight. Here we have the beam from a 2018 Toyota Tacoma, and it's pretty typical for a projector-style headlight.

With the original halogen headlight bulb, we measured 481 maximum lux.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

The Morimoto 35-Watt HID comes in at only 484 maximum lux.

Such a tiny increase. You can fix that by going with a warmer color. 

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

Now, we're talking the Morimoto 55-Watt HID kit comes in at 825 maximum lux.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

Projector Housing - HID BULB

Here's the first LED bulb we're testing in this projector-type headlight. The SV4 is coming in at 1,001 maximum lux. 

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

The GTR Lighting Ultra 2 LED headlight bulb comes in at 1,140 maximum lux, 

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

OPT7 FluxBeam V2 comes in at 261 maximum lux, 

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

The Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0 comes in at 366 lux.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

The Diode Dynamics SL1 comes in at 633 maximum lux.

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

HID vs LED – Which is brighter?

The Verdict

That is not what I was expecting. What a weird test. What did you think about the difference between the reflector and the projector? How crazy is it that you will get different results on other lighting technology just with the different types of headlight housing?

If you want my recommendation, it's pretty simple. The results speak for themselves: the GTR Lighting Ultra 2, the SV4, and the 55-Watt HID kit were the brightest. You can't just go with one-size-fits-all type products, and that's why at Headlight Revolution, we test.

If you want to see the other testing videos that we do, go check out our channel and subscribe, so you don't miss the next video we come out with for LED or HID headlight bulbs.