Should headlamp bulbs be replaced regularly? I have noticed, especially over the last five years or so, a huge variety of shapes and colours. It seems that white light is the current fashion in headlamps, as are wavy strips of light. Can I upgrade my car’s exterior lights to these fanciful and bright bulbs?
Automotive light bulbs, whether exterior or interior, need to be replaced only when they are blown. They do not require periodic replacement.
The current technology in lighting is LED (light-emitting diode). Prior to this, the gas-discharge lamps, commonly known as xenon or HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps, were state-of-the-art.
These gas-discharge units are still popular today, although the LED versions are fast taking over as the top choice.
The main advantage of these two technologies is their higher luminous efficiency. They consume less power compared with the old halogen light bulbs.
There are aftermarket conversion kits for the xenon-gas headlamp units, but they are costly. Also, such modifications are likely to be deemed illegal. Only factory-fitted headlamps are legal in Singapore.
Off-the-shelf LED bulbs as direct replacements for halogen bulbs are available at some accessory shops.
But before you go out and get a set for your car, make sure they are direct replacements that do not require expensive hardware and, more importantly, are not excessively brighter than your vehicle’s original headlight bulbs.