If you want a quick answer, the best headlight bulbs are the Philips X-tremeVision, which are available as a H1, H4 and H7 bulb. In terms of their performance, they offer up to 130% more light and output 20% whiter light than OEM bulbs. However, if you require a greater selection of bulb sizes and whiter light output, the Osram Night Breaker Laser bulbs are the best alternative that have recently been improved when compared to previous generations of the brand’s bulbs.
To rate the headlight bulbs within this article, we based our recommendations upon testing, research and a number of factors. The factors that we considered included the bulb size selection, colour temperature/light colour output, beam length, build quality, certifications, warranty and value for money.
Best Headlight Bulb Overview
- Best Overall: Philips X-tremeVision
- Best For Night Driving: OSRAM Night Breaker Laser
- Best For Xenon Look: Philips WhiteVision
- Best All-Rounder: Osram Night Breaker Unlimited
- Best OEM Replacement: Bosch Plus 90 Car H7 Bulb
- Best Budget: AmazonBasics Automotive H4 Bulb
most premium cars use adaptive LED headlights, there are still many vehicles using halogen headlight bulbs. Therefore, the market for aftermarket headlights bulbs is still very popular and there is a variety of options available that provide additional performance when compared to an OEM bulb.
Below is a list of the best headlight bulbs that are available in common bulb sizes such as H1, H4, H7 and much more.
The Best Headlight Bulbs
1. Best Overall: Philips X-tremeVision
Philips are a well-known headlight bulb brand in the UK and they produce a range of bulbs to suit all requirements. By far their most rated set are the X-tremeVision headlight bulbs, which are available as a H1, H4 or H7 bulb.
According to the brand, these bulbs offer 130% more light when compared to a standard bulb. They also benefit from a longer light beam of up to 45 metres, which is great for night driving.
The X-tremeVision headlight bulbs by Philips are an excellent all-round option that ticks all the boxes. Not only do they provide excellent performance but they are affordable and meet all the latest regulations for complete peace of mind.
2. Best For Night Driving: OSRAM Night Breaker Laser
Another popular manufacturer of car headlight bulbs in the UK are OSRAM. The Night Breaker Laser is their flagship bulb that offers up to 150% brighter light and up to 150 metres longer beam for improved visibility. In terms of the bulb sizes available, the brand offer H1, H11, H4, H7, H3, H8, HB3 and HB4 bulbs.
Overall, they are the best alternative to the Philips X-treme Vision bulbs and offer excellent performance from a halogen headlight bulb. The higher temperature colour also provides these bulbs with a clearer white light output too.
3. Best For Xenon Look: Philips WhiteVision
Another pair of headlight bulbs by Philips is the WhiteVision set, which are designed to provide the desirable white xenon effect. Unlike other headlight bulbs designed primarily for white light output, these are 100% road legal.
The trade-off for the intense white xenon effect is that they aren’t as bright as the X-tremeVision alternatives by Philips. However, if you are primarily after the desirable white light, these headlight bulbs are the best option.
4. Best All-Rounder: Osram Night Breaker Unlimited
Another popular pair of popular headlight bulbs by the Osram brand is their Night Breaker Unlimited set. They are a H7 bulb that’s designed specifically for drivers requiring extra performance whilst on a budget.
These headlight bulbs provide up to 110% more light, which are 40% whiter and also provide up to 40 metres longer light beam. Although not as high performing as the Laser alternatives above, they are a fraction of the price.
Overall, the Nightbreaker H7 bulb by Osram is an affordable yet high performing headlight bulb that won’t disappoint. It provides excellent performance whilst maintaining an OEM look and feel to the light output.
5. Best OEM Replacement: Bosch Plus 90 Car H7 Bulb
Bosch are well-known for their high quality products and these headlight bulbs follow their great reputation. Compared with standard bulbs, these have a distinctively longer and larger cone of light, which provides improved road visibility.
As with most products manufactured by Bosch, these headlight bulbs also come with an impressive two year warranty.
Overall, the Bosch Plus 90 H7 bulb is an excellent all-round option that acts as a direct OEM replacement. They offer great value for the money and are arguably just as good as the premium Osram and Philips headlight bulbs.
6. Best Budget: AmazonBasics Automotive H4 Bulb
The AmazonBasics H4 bulb is another affordable pair of headlight bulbs that output a bright white light output. In terms of their performance, they output up to 90% more light than standard bulbs for improved night driving visibility.
Unlike similar priced headlight bulbs, these come with a one year limited warranty for complete peace of mind.
Overall, the AmazonBasics headlight bulbs are an excellent mid-range option that offer great value for the money. They are also backed by a one year warranty, which many of the premium alternatives don’t even provide.
How We Rated The Headlight Bulbs
As we own a number of cars and aren’t a fan of the yellow light output of standard bulbs, we often upgrade the headlight bulbs to a white light output alternative.
As you can see in the photo, we switched the standard bulbs in our old MK5 golf to the Philips X-tremeVision bulbs and we were very impressed. Not only did they provide the desirable white light output but they also increased our vision of the road.
Over the years, we have also tested a range of other bulbs by Philips as well as the Osram brand.
As well as testing different bulbs, we also based our recommendations upon plenty of research and a number of factors. The factors that we considered included the bulb size selection, colour temperature/light colour output, beam length, build quality, certifications, warranty and value for money.
Although it may be tempting to install a LED or HID kit instead of a halogen bulb, it may not be road legal. It can also blind oncoming road users as the headlights wouldn’t have any levelling or cleaning devices, which are an MOT requirement. Investing into a quality pair of halogen headlight bulbs that are road legal is a far better option. All of our recommendations are 100% road legal and are direct aftermarket replacements to your older OEM halogen bulbs.
If you have you heart set on a LED or HID kit, you should change the complete headlight unit itself to make it road legal. Although this may cost far greater than a bulb, you’ll have complete peace of mind that it’s road legal and you won’t annoy other road users by blinding them on the road.
Headlight Bulb FAQ's
To find the correct headlight bulb for your car, we highly recommend that you use a “bulb checker” to find the correct size. The “bulb checkers” work by searching your car’s registration against a database to find the exact size that you require.
Some of the websites that we would recommend you use for checking bulb sizes include Amazon, Euro Car Parts, GSF, Halfords and a few others. Once you’ve found the correct bulb (i.e. H7 or H4 bulb), you can begin your search.
However, if you want to know the exact bulb size without relying on an online “bulb checker”, you can simply pull the bulb out of the headlight to check. You’ll then be able to find the size and specification clearly stated upon the bulb’s casing.
Depending upon the headlight bulb’s usage will determine how long they’ll last. On average, the majority of halogen headlight bulbs should last up to 1,000 hours of use. However, if you are replacing xenon bulbs, you can expect up to 10,000 hours of use whereas LED bulbs can last up to 30,000 hours.
In order for your car to pass a MOT, the headlight bulbs must emit a white or yellow light. If they emit any other colour, they won’t be approved for road use in the UK. As a general rule, halogen bulbs with a colour temperature over 4,200K aren’t road legal.