How Long Do Car Lights Last - Sunway Autoparts

How Long Do Car Lights Last?

Home How Long Do Car Lights Last?

Auto lamps are used across different vehicles for the same purpose. Illuminating the path the driver has to navigate at night is extremely important because it ensures the safety of both the driver and the passersby. Because auto lamps are so integral to the safety of everyone involved, one cannot resist them going out in the middle of the drive. 

Auto bulbs usually last for a long time but still knowing how long do car lights last will better prepare a driver to handle the replacement in a timely manner. Let us understand the life of car lights, one question at a time.

What Affects the Life of a Car Bulb? 

Car Headlights

It is natural that a product designed by different manufacturers will come with a different design. And it is these different designs that impact the life of a particular car light. Whenever buying an auto lamp, there will be unexpected runtime provided by the manufacturer. 

Even though the run time will be approximately accurate, there are several factors that will impact the run time and can cause it to reduce significantly. If one is trying to understand all the factors that directly impact the life of an auto bulb, it is important to take them one by one. 

Environmental Exposure 

Environmental exposure includes a number of things that can cause the life of car lights to decline. One might argue that car bulbs are entirely covered by glass which protects them from dust and moisture. However, there are other environmental factors coming into play that do not need to penetrate through the glass to impact the car light. 

For instance, both hot and cold weather conditions are equally detrimental to the life of a car light. Apart from the temperature of the environment in which the car is placed, exposure to sunlight is also a big factor in causing faster deterioration. Sunlight often progresses the process of degradation. A lot of exposure to UV rays can also cause the light bulb material to become brittle and liable to breaking. Since the sun can easily filter through the outer covering made of either silicon or glass, there is no way to protect the car light from sun exposure. 

Therefore, suppliers should also pay attention to the warehouse environment where they stock car lights and bulbs. 

Driving Conditions

The way owners drive their cars and the path it is traveling on will also slightly impact the condition of the car light. For instance, if drivers are traveling on a Rocky road and are coming across a lot of bumps, it can cause the bulb to loosen. Potholes and excessive vibrations can also cause damage to the life of halogen bulbs. 

The Amount of Usage

If you think that you can calculate the number of hours in which the car lights are in use, it might be more difficult than you think. As new technology develops and is adopted by car manufacturers, more and more vehicles are coming equipped with an automatic feature for turning on the lights. This feature will come into play as most vehicles have dipped beam headlights that will automatically light up when it is cloudy or overcast. 

Since the car light will now be functioning in the daylight as well as the night, the usage time will go up significantly. Even if they try to extend the life of car lights, one will find that they are running out faster than expected. The process is automatic, most drivers are not even aware that the car lights are running. 

Dirt and Debris

Installing new car lights is a process that needs to be handled carefully because the glass of halogen bulbs is extremely delicate. Any manufacturer for auto lamps China will advise the client to take proper precautions during installing the halogen bulb. This is mainly because any minuscule dirt and grease on the skin can cause the glass to heat up unnecessarily and even crack. Any leftover oil can cause extreme overheating, which will require replacement of the car light sooner than expected. 

Power Output

The wattage of the bulb will decide how much power it requires to function correctly and give adequate illumination. One needs to understand that the more power the bulb consumes, the more quickly it will burn out compared to any bulb of lower wattage. Even if bulbs with higher wattage give better illumination, they will also require frequent replacements. 

However, there is hope that bulbs with the higher wattage can survive longer even with constant use. New technology is constantly being developed, which improves the quality of the filament and helps increase the bulb’s life. Depending on the type of gas being used in the bulb, it can be said that larger bulbs can be modified to last longer than the standard ones. 

What are the Types of Automotive Light Bulbs?

Covered headlights

When we talk about car lights, the mind directly goes to the headlight because that is the brightest source of illumination a car offers. But vehicles have a lot of different types of lights functioning to give a safe driving experience. Let us see the different kinds of car lights and how long headlights last. 


Now we come to the most used car lights in the entire vehicle. Currently, there are three lighting systems used across different cars by different manufacturers. These include halogen headlights, LED headlights, and HID lamps.

How Long do Headlights Last? 

  • Halogen headlights are the most common and can last anywhere between 500 to 1000 hours. This range varies so much because of the average usage and the driving practices of each driver. Halogen lights will last longer if regular checks are done if proper care is taken. 
  • LED headlights are fairly new to the market, and because of this, there is not much data about their lifespan. 
  • HID Lamps are probably the most energy efficient alternative of the three. Due to less consumption of electricity, these lamps can easily survive for nearly 2,000 hours. 

Sidelights and Indicators

Sidelights, indicators, fog lights, and brake lights are some of the less used car lights, which is why they last much longer than headlights. They generally have a greater lifespan because of less usage. But finding an average for how long these last would be difficult because the specifications given by each manufacturer for different types of car lights are different. 

Reversing lightṣ

Reversing lights also fall under the same category mostly because they are not used as often as headlights are. That being said, reversing light is subject to wear and tear based on the application, the usage amount as well as the positioning of a car which makes it more vulnerable to environmental conditions. 

Different types of drivers also have different driving habits for requirements which can cause the usage amount to increase or decline. Typically, one can expect the warranty period of these lights to last anywhere between one to three years. Their life, however, will depend on the exposure to the environment and power usage. 

The Takeaway

We hope that this blog helped in understanding the average lifespan of different types of car lights. One essential thing to take away from this article is that there is no set limit to how long a particular light will last. With good care and maintenance of the vehicle, it is more likely for the car lights to last for a more extended period. When your customers have questions about the performance of headlights, we hope you can provide expertise and high-quality automobile lamps to keep your business thriving. Contact Sunway to get a reliable supply.

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