LED Headlights Not Bright Enough? 4 Causes (And Solutions)

LED Headlights Not Bright Enough? 4 Causes (And Solutions)

Discovering that your LED headlight bulbs are not as brilliant as expected after you have replaced your original halogen with LED headlight bulb? You’re certainly not alone. Many customers feel confused with the poor performance of their car headlights even if they have replaced with LEDs.

In this article, we’ll show you the 4 main reasons behind your dim LED headlights and why they might not meet your expectations.

Additionally, we’ll provide corresponding solutions on how to choose quality LED headlight kits that can truly enhance brightness and optimize performance. Keep reading to uncover the solutions and make the most of your car LED headlights!

Reason 1: Insufficient Power

In the market, you can find LED car light bulb with power ranging from 15W to 110W. If you feel that the LED headlight bulbs are not bright enough, it is possible that you choose a low-power LED headlight bulb.

In general, the higher the power, the brighter the light. However, it is crucial to consider the light efficiency of the light beads, which is the key factor affecting brightness.

With the development of LED technology, the light efficiency of LEDs has reached 100-120LM/W. 

Considering the advantages of mass production and meeting consumers’ basic needs, 120LM/W has now become the mainstream in the market.

In order to attract the eyeball of customers, some manufacturer will ranked their LED headlight bulb as 20W 6000LM or even 20,000LM. In fact, they are not as good as advertised.


Therefore, for high-brightness LED headlight bulb, it is advisable to give priority to renowned brands like Philips, Osram, NAOEVO, etc. Their products are known to be real and reliable when it comes to power values.

Reason 2: Poor Heat Dissipation

Some high-power LED headlights may exhibit a noticeable decrease in brightness after being lit for about an hour. This is because they cannot effectively dissipate the heat generated by high-power LED bulbs.

Therefore, to prevent automotive LED bulbs from overheating and burning out, LED lights will reduce their power for self-protection.

Even if you buy 100W or even 200W LED bulbs, after working for a period of time, they may only be emitting around 20W of light.


It is best to choose LED headlights that combine multiple heat dissipation methods, such as dual copper tube cooling, fan cooling, aluminum plate cooling, base cooling, and more.

Reason 3: Wrong Color Temperature

In addition to actual power and light efficiency, color temperature is also a crucial factor affecting visual brightness. If you feel that the replaced LED is not bright enough, it might be due to selecting the wrong color temperature.

Color temperature for LED headlight bulbs refers to the appearance of the light emitted by the bulbs and is measured in Kelvin (K). 

Low color temperature (around 3000K) produce a warm, yellowish light similar to traditional halogen bulbs, while higher color temperature (around 5500K to 6500K) emit a cooler, bluish-white light.

The choice of color temperature is a matter of personal preference and can affect visibility and visual comfort while driving.

Warmer color temperatures are often preferred for their resemblance to natural daylight, while cooler color temperatures can provide a more modern and distinct appearance.


When choosing LED headlights, it is better to choose a color temperature of 5500-6500K White, this provides a bright and crisp illumination, enhancing visibility at night and offering a modern look.

Reason 4: Incompatible Headlight Housing

Your headlight housing is designed for the original halogen bulb. Inside the halogen headlight housing there are many reflector bowls, which serves the purpose of reflecting and directing the light emitted by the bulb to better illuminate the front of the vehicle.

Whether it’s a reflector or projector headlight housing, factors such as the focal length, aspect ratio, LED emission position, and rotation angle of the LED bulb will affect the overall lighting performance of the optical system.

In other words, the newly replaced LED car bulbs may NOT necessarily perfectly match the design of the original headlight housing.

If the LED headlight bulbs are slightly longer or shorter and not positioned at the original focal point as the OEM halogen bulb, the light they emit, after being reflected by the reflector/projector bowl, may scatter and lose focus, resulting in reduced clarity or visibility.


In such cases, it is highly recommended to replace the LED bulb with projector lens. The lens is designed to focus light, which can help improve light dispersion to some extent. 

Besides, it is better to choose LED headlight bulb that has a 1:1 design with halogen bulbs.

Why Do LED Bulb Surpass HID Headlight Bulb?

LED bulbs surpass HID headlight bulbs due to the following five main reasons:

1. Energy Efficiency: LED bulbs are more energy-efficient, converting a higher percentage of electrical energy into light output, making them consume less power compared to HID bulbs.

2. Longer Lifespan: LED bulbs have a significantly longer lifespan than HID bulbs, lasting many times more hours before needing replacement, reducing maintenance and replacement costs.

3. Instant Start: LEDs achieve full brightness instantly without any warm-up time, unlike HID bulbs that require a short delay to reach their full illumination after starting or restarting.

4. Precise Beam Control: LED headlights offer better beam control and focus, resulting in more accurate and uniform light distribution on the road, reducing glare and improving overall visibility.

5. Compact Design and Size: LED bulbs are more compact and lightweight, allowing for easier integration into headlight designs and enabling manufacturers to create sleeker and more stylish headlight units.


In conclusion, understanding the factors that contribute to LED headlights’ dimness is crucial for enhancing driving safety and visibility.

We’ve explored four key causes, ranging from bulb quality to compatibility issues.

Armed with this knowledge, you can now take proactive steps to address these challenges and experience the brilliance of LED headlights fully.

Drive confidently with optimal illumination on your journeys ahead!

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