1157 VS 2057 Bulbs | What’s The Difference?

Today, we’ll be looking at the main differences between 1157 and 2057 tail light bulbs.

Of the thousands of bulbs we’ve compared, these two are perhaps the most similar to each other. They are entirely interchangeable and only have a few subtle differences to set them apart.

1157 bulbs are a lumen or two brighter than 2057 bulbs. 2057 bulbs also have three wires instead of two, and their wattage is one watt shy of 1157 bulbs.

If you are confused about which bulb to choose for your car, trailer, or SUV. Allow us to use our experience working with 14 years working with automobiles to help you make the best choice.

Keep reading for more info on the differences between 1157 and 2057 bulbs.

Slightly brighter than 2057 bulbsSlightly dimmer than 1157 bulbs
Draws a bit more currentDraws 30% less current when using the running lights
This bulb has two wiresThis bulb has 3 wires
Not ideal for interior lightingWorks well in interior applications 
More power efficient than 2057 bulbsDraws only nominally more power than 1157 bulbs
High filament wattage is around 8 wattsHigh filament wattage is around 7 watts

1157 And 2057 Compared


Starting off with the wattage of these bulbs, we have 1157 bulbs drawing around eight watts of power compared to 7 watts for 2057 bulbs. Minor differences such as this are a theme with these bulbs.


One noticeable physical difference between 1157 and 2057 bulbs is the wiring. Specifically, 1157 bulbs use two wires instead of the three seen on 2057 bulbs. However, they are still completely interchangeable and can be used in each other’s sockets.


2057 bulbs draw about 30% less current compared to 1157 bulbs. While that’s not the biggest difference, it can cause malfunctioning in certain cars, which is why we always urge readers to use the manufacturer-recommended bulbs.


1157 bulbs draw less power than their 2057 counterparts. However, here again, the difference is not that noticeable and doesn’t really have the biggest impact on usability.


By virtue of drawing slightly more power, 1157 bulbs produce a few more lumens than 2057 bulbs. Again, the difference is not noticeable in day-to-day driving and our testing did not find it to be particularly advantageous.

Use cases

When it comes to use in interior applications, 2057 bulbs perform better than 1157 bulbs, as they draw less current and the output is less harsh. So if you are replacing a dome light, map light, or other similar interior lights, and you need one of these two bulbs, 2057 is the better choice.


Notably, the cost of these two bulbs is also pretty much the same. As such, it is even harder to choose one or the other.

Based on our testing, we can report that there isn’t much of a noticeable difference between these two bulbs as far as brightness and visibility are concerned. That said, 1157 bulbs have the advantage on paper thanks to the higher power rating and efficiency.

Despite that, 2057 bulbs are better for interior applications.

These bulbs are completely interchangeable and we did not face any issues installing one in the other’s socket.

Really though, the differences are so minor that you are better off just going with the bulb that your particular car’s manufacturer recommends using.

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Richard Nickleson is the author and owner behind Headlight Reviews. He first started the site as a hobby to share his insights on car parts and specifically headlight bulbs, but it soon ballooned and now he writes on all topics surrounding headlights bulbs. If you've got a bulb question, contact Richard here.

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