What Headlight Bulb Do I Need?

First time changing the headlight bulbs on your car?

Don’t worry, switching to LED headlights is not as hard as it seems when you follow these simple directions.

The first thing you need to find out to change headlight bulbs on a car is what kind of headlight bulbs your car uses. Getting the wrong kind of light bulb automatically means that the lights will not work.

There are many different models for headlight bulbs. Each one matching a specific car model, type and even year so don’t just pick out a set of headlights at random.

Read through our quick guide on which LED headlight bulbs you need, so you will know what it all means.

What Headlight Bulb Do I Need?

What Headlight Bulb Do I Need?

Looking up the headlight bulb size fitting you need for your car should only take a few minutes. There are three simple ways to find out which kind of headlight bulb you need, these are:

1. By Checking Your Car Manual

Do you still have your car manual lying around somewhere? Good, because this is one of the quickest ways to find the correct headlight bulb number for your car.

Check the contents page for where you can find the information on headlight replacement. Usually, this is either in the vehicle care section or the lighting and electronics sections.

Check The Cars Manual

Find the table that shows an overview of all the different bulb replacement numbers. The headlight bulbs might also be called the high/low beam headlamp.

Simply read off the number and search online for LED headlight bulbs with the same fitting. No calculations or conversions needed.

Do you not have the physical car manual? Most car manuals are available online, now.

Do a quick online search for your car model’s manual. In most cases, you will be able to find it on the website of the car manufacturer or the dealership.

2. Finding the Number on the Old Headlight Bulbs

The more DIY handyman option is to find the bulb replacement number on the actual headlight bulbs. This option takes a bit more effort but you can be 100% sure that the bulb type is correct.

The headlight bulb fitting is usually engraved into the base of the bulb. Keep the above bulb reference number overview with you so you can recognize the number sequences.

Where To Find The Headlight Bulb Number on Headlights

The good news is that there is no difference in fitting models between different types of LED headlights. Halogen headlights and most LED headlights bulbs are labeled following the same reference numbers.

This means that you can easily switch out your halogen headlights for LED headlights. Most LED headlight bulb manufacturers have simple conversion kits that are as easy as a plug-and-go.

3. Using an Online Headlight Bulb Number Database

Nowadays, you can reference an online directory for the correct headlight bulb number. There are several free online directories, some more complete than others.

We recommend using the Philips Automotive Bulb Finder. Simply type in your car model, make and manufacturing year and the directory will present you with all the bulb numbers you need to know for your vehicle.

Car Headlight Bulb Finder

Yes, you are likely to be recommended a Phillips brand headlight bulb through this search engine. However, that isn’t a bad thing as Philips Vision headlight bulbs are considered some of the best on the market.

The Philips LED bulbs have more focused lighting compared to other brands lighting technologies. The bulbs are also moisture proof, shockproof and can handle sudden voltage changes.

Either way, as you can see, finding the right headlight bulb replacement number is easy. It really is a matter of reading off the number from either the online or physical manual, via a bulb fitting directory or from the headlight bulb themselves.

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Different Headlight Fittings

Here’s a quick overview of main headlight bulb fittings you’ll likely find in your car:

USA BULB TYPE TRADE NUMBER
HB1 9004
HB2 9003
HB3 9005
HB3A 9005XS
HB4 9006
HB4A 9006XS
HB5 9007
H13 9008

Aside from the US standardized headlight bulb reference numbers, there are also international standardization types that are allowed in the US and are much more common in modern vehicles.

Below is an overview of the international standards that are legal in the United States, too.

INTERNATIONAL BULB TYPE US APPROVED
H1 Yes
H3 Yes
H7 Yes
H8 Yes
H8B Yes
H9 Yes
H9B Yes
H10 Yes
H11 Yes
H11B Yes
H12 Yes
H13 Yes
H13A Yes
H15 Yes
H27W/1 Yes
H27W/2 Yes
HB3 Yes
HB3A Yes
HB4 Yes
HB4A Yes
HIR1 Yes
HIR2 Yes

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