H7 vS H11 Headlight Bulbs | What’s The Difference

In this article, we will be discussing the main differences between H7 vs H11 headlight bulbs.

If you are confused as to the difference between H7 and H11 bulbs, allow us to help you figure out which one you need for your car.

The main differences between H7 and H11 bulbs come down to their mounting hardware and the specific use cases that they fulfil.

H7 bulbs are single filament bulbs. They have double holders similar to traditional electrical plugs we use for household appliances and are used for low-beam applications, whereas H11 bulbs are used for fog lights and have an enclosed connector plug. The method by which these two bulbs are installed on cars also varies.

We have over a decade of experience working with different types of headlight bulbs so we can help you figure out which of these bulbs is best for you.

Keep reading for more information on H7 and H11 headlight bulbs.

Enclosed connector plug that holds wires in placeExposed connector plug similar to regular electrical plugs
Meant to be used as fog light or in similar configurationsMeant to be used as a low beam headlight bulb
Installation involves plugging the headlight bulb into the socketInstallation involves twisting the headlight bulb into the socket
Used by almost all car manufacturersMost notably used by German car manufacturers such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, etc

Hands Down best H7 and H11 Bulbs

Image demonstrating H7 vS H11

H7 vs H11 – Comparison

Connector plug shape

The first and most prominent difference between H11 and H7 headlight bulbs is the shape of their connector plugs. H11 bulbs have an enclosed connector plug that holds the wires in place.

H7 headlight bulbs on the other hand, have an exposed connector plug that resembles the plug used for household appliances such as blenders, coffee makers etc. This difference in connector plug shape sets the two bulbs apart from each other and also makes the installation process a little bit different for each bulb.

Beam type

Another major difference between H7 and H11 headlight bulbs is the type of beam they generate. Specifically, H11 headlight bulbs are mostly used as fog lights or other similar lights fitted to the front of your vehicle. H7 headlights bulbs are low beam bulbs with a single filament meant to be used for regular nighttime driving.

This also means that the two headlight bulbs are not interchangeable as they generate varying levels of brightness and range of illumination. In fact, H11 bulbs can cause temporary blindness for oncoming traffic which is why they are used as fog lights rather than low beam lights.

Installation process

The installation process for both of these headlight bulbs is also quite different. When it comes to H11 bulbs, it is easy to install them by simply plugging them into the socket similar to how you would plug in a household appliance.

When it comes to H7 headlight bulbs however, they need to be twisted into the socket. This is another reason why these two bulbs cannot be fitted into each other’s sockets and are non interchangeable.

Industry adoption

Industry adoption of these bulbs differs greatly. H11 bulbs are a very popular type of bulb that is used by almost all auto manufacturers for many different models and vehicles. H11 bulbs are used all over the world and are one of the most common bulb types out there.

H7 bulbs are also quite popular and are most commonly used by German and other European auto manufacturers. You will find H7 bulbs on cars such as BMWs, Mercedes, Audis, Porsches, Volkswagens, etc. Outside of these brands, it is likely that your car does not use H7 bulbs. That said, there may be a few outliers.


So to sum up, H7 and H11 bulbs have a number of differences between them, ranging from use case, build and design, to the installation process and how many auto manufacturers use each bulb for their vehicles.

The biggest difference is in their intended use case. H7 bulbs are used for low beam applications, whereas H11 bulbs are used as fog lights. If you’re still having issues with headlight installation. Pick an electrician in Sydney.

Now that you have figured out which bulb type best suits your needs, check out our reviews for the various different H11 and H7 bulbs to find the top performing bulb options on the market.

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Hi, I'm Graeme, the author and owner of HeadlightReviews.com. Before I started this hobby site, I used to work alongside my 'Pops', helping out as he worked as a mechanic for over 50 years. Twenty-five of those he was running his own Auto Electrician & Body Shop, where I fell in love with vehicle lighting. I've taken all our experience online (that's not his gig)… so it’s safe to say there are very few people on the internet who can match our expertise and deep understanding of vehicle mechanics, repairs, parts, and especially headlights. If you've got a bulb question, contact me here, and read more about me and headlightreviews.com here.

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