3057 VS 3157 Bulbs | What’s The Difference?

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the main differences between 3057 and 3157 bulbs.

Both of these bulbs are interchangeable and are often used in similar applications. That said, there are a number of differences that make them better suited for different uses.

3057 bulbs are rated to work at lower wattage and less bright than 3157 bulbs. Moreover, 3157 bulbs have a better lifespan and cost less than 3057 bulbs.

If you’re still unsure which bulb to pick, we have tested the vast majority of options and can help you make a better choice.

Keep reading for more information on the differences between 3157 and 3057 bulbs.

A bit less bright Brighter light output
Not bright enough to be used as daytime running lights Can be used as daytime running bulbs
Shorter lifespan of around 1200-5000 hours with regular use Longer lifespan estimated around 2000-10,000 hours with regular use
More power efficient than 3057Uses more power than 3157 bulbs
More expensive optionCosts less than 3057 bulbs
Not designed for ‘always-on’ useCan stay turned on for longer periods at a time
Prone to heat damageCan be mounted closer to hot parts of the car such as the engine bay, exhaust system, etc

3057 and 3157 Bulbs Compared


3057 bulbs have a lot of advantages over their 3157 counterparts. 3057 bulbs use less energy and are more power efficient than 3157 bulbs.

One downside is that 3057 generates a slightly dimmer light than 3157 bulbs. However, if you’re looking for a more energy efficient option, 3057 bulbs are the obvious choice.


3157 bulbs generate a brighter, clearer, more visible beam of light thanks to their higher power rating

In testing, we noticed that 3157 bulbs were more visible and easy to spot even in non-ideal conditions such as rain, fog, and dust than 3057 bulbs.


3157 bulbs boast a lifespan between 2000 and 10,000 hours, far outshining that of 3057 bulbs which get between 1200 and 5000 hours. For the driver who is tired of constantly changing out the bulbs. 3157 bulbs offer far better longevity.

Use case

Because of the variation in power ratings and brightness levels, these two bulbs are suited for different uses.

While both bulbs can be used in reversing lights, brake lights, turn signals, etc. 3157 bulbs take the win as they are bright enough also to be used as daytime running lights that are visible in direct sunlight and other high ambient light scenarios.

3057 bulbs, on the other hand, are not nearly bright enough to work well outdoors during the day. Moreover, 3157 bulbs have significantly better cooling, allowing them to offer high performance even after hours of continuous use.

They are more resistant to heat damage and can be used near hotter parts of the car, such as the engine bay and exhaust system.


The nail in 3057 bulbs’ coffin is price. 3057’s lose out to the 3157s in terms of performance, but they are also priced higher.

Some manufacturers have these bulbs listed at two times the price of similar or better-performing 3157 bulbs.


If it isn’t painfully obvious yet, allow us to put it simply: 3157 bulbs offer much better performance, value, and versatility than 3057 bulbs, making them the better bulb.

Not only do you get a better performing bulb with the 3157, but you also get it for significantly less money and with better longevity.

The only advantage 3057 bulbs have over 3157 bulbs is that they are slightly more power efficient. That said, we would still recommend 3157 bulbs for the vast majority of use cases that value performance over efficiency.

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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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