How Much Does A Headlight Cost

In this article, we’re going to have a look at how much headlights cost.

Headlights are one aspect of automotive maintenance we often don’t pay enough attention to. Yet, they’re crucial for nighttime safety, and visibility in acrimonious weather.

Taking care of a failing headlight is crucial to keep your vehicle both safe and legal, and that is what we’re going to help you with, in this article.

There are various types of headlights you could consider, whether you’re looking to replace a failing headlight, or replace it altogether. The most common are Xenon or HID, Laser, and LED headlights.

To take the murkiness out of the process, we’ve compiled this quick and easy guide for you to select, repair, and/or replace your headlights.

The Different Types Of Headlights Explained

First up, we’re going to take a moment to explain the four most popular types of headlights. Each has pros and cons, and we’ll briefly look at those too.

Halogen

This type of headlight is designed around a filament pair and a single bulb. This single bulb is responsible for both the bright and dim functions of the headlight, and the glass envelope is filled with compressed halogen gas instead of just having a vacuum inside.

The biggest advantage of halogen headlight bulbs is the cost. They’re cheap to manufacture, and retail for around $20 per bulb. They’re easy to replace too.

On the downside, they often burn with a yellow hue. A brighter white hue has substantially more reach.

Xenon/HID

Xenon is also known as High-Intensity Discharge, hence the HID abbreviation. One commonly finds HID headlights on high-end vehicles. They usually contain a mixture of Argon and Xenon gasses, that is mixed with other vaporized materials.

Xenon headlights emit an exceptionally bright light.

LED

LED is an abbreviation for Light-Emitting Diode. It works on the principle of electroluminescence. In this process, electrons are fired at holes in a semiconductor and they end up releasing photons, which are nothing more than particles of light.

This is the kind of technology in your car’s dashboard lights, or screens and consoles.

How Much Do Headlights Cost

The cost of headlight replacement depends on various factors.

  • Your car’s model and make
  • Are you going to DIY, or take it to a professional?
  • What kind of headlight assembly and bulb will you use? 

If your headlight assembly is intact, but the bulb has blown, a replacement bulb should cost you in the region of $15 to $20.

HID bulbs are more expensive – they will run to around $100 per bulb, and the labor cost to install one (if you opt to use a professional) will be around $50.

If you want to replace your entire headlight assembly, the parts will set you back between $75 and $200, depending on your car’s model and make, and the kind of unit you’re replacing with. Taking it to a workshop will cost you an additional $300 to $700.

Expensive v. Cheap Headlights

Every purchase decision has its own set of parameters. To help you with your decision, we’ll list the types of headlights, along with what you get for the money you pay. And, we’ll also include some need-to-know issues with the different types of headlight technology.

Xenon

These headlight bulbs burn hot. That means they don’t last as long as LED or HID headlights.

You should comfortably get between 500 and 1000 working hours out of a bulb, though, and they cost somewhere between $10 and $20 per bulb and as little as $100 if you need a pair of headlight assemblies. So, the cost factor is a major advantage here.

LED

LED technology relies on small semiconductors to do their job. They are bright, don’t disturb oncoming traffic, and last longer than anything else on the market – you could actually get as many as 30 000 hours of joy out of one of these.

Their cost is substantially higher – as much as $100 per bulb. And if you need to get an assembly too, you’ll probably be in for around $1,300 per pair.

Should You Buy Expensive Or Cheap Headlights?

Buying headlights can be a balancing act. Like with most items, buying for cheap may cause problems in the medium or long term. However, many cost-effective products on the market nailed the price/quality equation, and these are the ones to look for.

Above all, remember, cheaper headlights are generally not bad. It’s just that more expensive ones are sometimes better. So, allow yourself to be guided by your budget, and keep your expectations in line with that.

A parting shot

Your headlight system is the one piece of gear on your car you really want to pay attention to. It’s not only driving comfort that is at stake – it is safety too. And not only yours – that of your family and loved ones too.

Considering that it is by far not the costliest maintenance item on your vehicle and that they tend to last for a long time, it would stand you in good stead to inspect your headlights, decided whether they are still in optimal functioning order, and if not, replace them.


Check out our most popular pages to find the best headlight bulbs.

Check out the brightest headlight bulbs as well.

Photo of author
Author

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.