H8 vs H11 Headlight Bulbs | What’s The Difference

This article focuses on the differences between H8 vs H11 headlight bulbs. Many people believe that these two headlight bulbs are exactly the same and can be used interchangeably. However, the fact is that there are some very minute differences between the two that are worth looking into before you buy a pair for your car.

To the untrained eye, the H8 and H11 headlight bulbs will look exactly the same. However, there is a slight difference in the mounting for both bulbs. They are also rated for different wattages.

We have been working with cars and headlights for over a decade and know exactly what makes each headlight different from the next.

Keep reading for more information about the differences between H8 and H11 headlight bulbs.

1250 lumens of brightness712 lumens of brightness
Can be fitted into socket for H8 bulbs with slight modificationsCannot be fitted into socket for H11 bulbs
One tab on the base is widerOne tab on the base is narrower
Slightly whiter color profileYellow tinged color profile
Image of H8 vs H11

Hands Down best H8 and H11 Bulbs

H8 vs H11 Bulbs – Comparison

Power rating

One of the biggest differences between H11 bulbs and H8 bulbs is the power rating or wattage of these balls. H11 bulbs have a wattage of 55 watts, which is more powerful and consumes more energy than the H8 bulbs with their wattage of 35 watts.

However, this does allow H11 bulbs to have a slightly longer throw and better road coverage for nighttime driving. Both headlight bulbs work really well as fog lights for your car, but the H11 benefits from having noticeably better and more powerful light output.


Much like the power rating, brightness is another distinct difference between the H11 bulbs and H8 bulbs. H11 bulbs boast a brightness output of 1250 lumens per bulb which is a significant upgrade over H8 bulbs and their paltry 712 lumens per bulb. If you’re looking for the bulb with the highest brightness, H11 fog light bulbs are the obvious choice.


It is very hard to tell H11 bulbs apart from H8 bulbs. That said there are some minor differences between the two which cause some compatibility issues.

Specifically, H11 bulbs can be fitted into the socket for an H8 bulb with some slight modifications to their base and connector. However H8 bulbs cannot be fitted into the sockets for H11 bulbs, even with modifications.

Connectors/base design

When it comes to the actual shape of the connector or base of the two bulbs, the difference between H11 bulbs and H8 bulbs is in the shape of one of the tabs on that connector on the base of the bulb. In H11 bulbs, that tab is wider and slightly longer. On H8 bulbs that same tab is narrower.

That means you can tweak the size of the H11 fog light bulb’s base to fit into the socket for an H8 fog light bulb but not the other way around.

Colour profile

Another noticeable difference between H11 headlight bulbs and H8 fog light bulbs is the colour profiles of these two bulbs. H11 bulbs sport a cooler, more visually appealing, and more useful white colour profile. H8 fog light bulbs, on the other hand, have a slight yellow tinge to them that is not as attractive or functional.

The cooler color profile of the H11 bulbs aids visibility, especially in rainy or foggy conditions. That is why many people prefer to modify their H11 bulbs to fit into the H8 sockets of their cars.


In summation, H11 and H8 bulbs are quite similar in size, shape, and look. So much so that you can easily mistake one for the other. However, there are some noticeable differences in terms of performance, and compatibility of these two bulbs.

H8 bulbs are not as bright as H11 bulbs and they also lack the cool white color profile. The base of the two bulbs differs in that it has a tab that is wider on H11 bulbs and narrower on H8 bulbs. This means you can modify H11 bulbs to fit H8 sockets, but not the other way around. If you have decided on a bulb size for your car, check out some of our reviews of top H8 and H11 bulbs.

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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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