Choosing the correct bulbs for your vehicles

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Whether it is to get the premium look of upgraded bulbs or finally admitting your eyes don’t work as good as they used to, you’ve come to the decision to upgrade your vehicle’s lighting system. Either way, better vision while driving is invaluable.

The road taken from here gets a little confusing with all the different options, so we are going to try and shed some light on which technology will work best for your driving habits and climate. The first questions to ask yourself are:

  • Why do you need to upgrade your vehicle's lighting?
  • What type of upgrades are there to choose from?
  • The light with the most lumens is the brightest and best right?
  • What does PIAA offer for me needs?
  • What do I get for the higher quality PIAA brand?

Why you need to upgrade?

    Stock headlights are made to last long and that’s about it.

    • Dim yellowish light output
    • Not enough distance and width
    • Dead space in the beam pattern from the headlights

    Already upgraded with competitors’ products and are still left longing for more light?

    • Not bright enough
    • Poor beam patterns
    • Not a great color output

    What type of bulbs are right for me?


    Even with the takeover of LED headlights on newer vehicles, halogen bulbs still are the most common type of headlights on the road today. The technology has been around for years but PIAA has redefined the performance you can achieve from the older technology. By using top of line filaments and a proprietary gas mixture, we have been able to produce never seen before light output from halogen bulbs. Although this technology doesn’t add up to LED, the redeeming factors are the simplicity in installation and the low cost for the increase in output over stock bulbs.

    • Most affordable type of light upgrade
    • Increased light output for low cost compared to other technologies
    • Can aid in defrosting the headlights is colder climates

    LED (Light Emitting Diode)

    LEDs produce a brilliant, bright light that is easily visible during day or night. They use a minimal amount of power, which means that they are the energy-efficient choice and even run on electric cars. LEDs give off a highly concentrated light from the combination of several small light systems working together, so they are easy to manipulate into all kinds of shapes and assemblies. And, since they don’t use the same filament technology as halogen bulbs, they are less susceptible to damage during installation. Replacement is typically easy since most LEDs are direct replacement plug-and-play installation, however there are some extra considerations that need to be taken into account. First, most LED bulbs have an external driver or control box that needs to be installed. While not large, often this controller cannot be tucked inside the housing. Second, LED bulbs do draw less power than halogen and certain vehicles will give a warning indicator that a bulb is out. This is usually solved with an appropriately rated resistor. Lastly, the cooling features of LED bulbs can make the dimensional size of the bulb larger than the outgoing halogen so extra attention must be made to ensure there is enough room for installation...

    • Highly efficient which results in a low amp draw with a very bright light
    • Very long lasting, with increased durability over halogen counterparts
    • Instant on function, meaning no warm up time
    • Great value between performance and cost


    The benefits of increasing the brightness of your vehicle’s headlights will be instantly noticeable. The amplified brightness will give you more down road and side to side visibility, which in turn makes driving much safer due to how much earlier you will be able to recognize upcoming hazards.


    Through extensive research we were able to choose the correct color temperature with each lighting technology to give you the whitest light output possible. This pure white light beam make definition and clarity for road signs and hazards easily recognizable at farther distances compared to standard vehicle lighting. Along with increased safety benefits, this vivid white light also gives your vehicle the look of luxury vehicles with expensive upgraded lighting options.

    The light with the most lumens is the best right?

    That’s not necessarily the case, lumens is a metric used to specify the total possible light from a given source. In the case the source is the LED chips. To maximize the power of the LED chips and properly direct it in an area that is the most effective for the driver, we have hundreds of hours of testing to ensure the perfect light pattern. Chip placement on the bulb column and orientation of the chips when the bulbs are installed are the most important qualities when creating a usable beam pattern.

    Especially when looking at LED lights, many specify raw lumen ratings. This is simply the theoretical maximum potential, which comes from the rating of each individual LED chip being multiplied by the total number of chips. The actual measured output or effective lumens of light may be much less than the raw lumen count given. It’s for this reason that we place more emphasis on measuring effective light output using lux and candela.

    So, what bulb is best for me?

    First choice, is LED or Performance halogen upgrades? Depending on which technology you choose there are a few options from PIAA on both halogen and LED. Below is an easy diagram to point you in the right direction:

    Solutions from PIAA


    Xtreme White Plus

    The Xtreme White Series of halogen bulbs have a cool white light output that gives the driver better color recognition on depth perception and better contrast than stock halogen lamps. The blue top coat on this series of bulbs adds a slight blue tint to a lamp with no loss of performance. Xtreme White Plus is PIAA’s bestselling technology. These bulbs will provide a brilliant Xtreme cool white light that will light up road hazards and street signs long before a normal halogen bulb. Starting at $69.00

    Xtreme White Hybrid

    The Xtreme White Hybrid Bulbs provide the best possible balance between performance and bulb life. Constructed utilizing features from the Xtreme White Plus and Night Tech lines, These Hybrid bulbs provide high output and reliability that today’s drivers demand. Engineered with newly-developed bulb coatings to provide a much brighter and whiter beam than stock bulbs. Hybrid bulbs give more contrast and brighter down road illumination allowing you to see farther for greater safety and comfort. MSRP $49.95

    PIAA Platinum LED

    PIAA Platinum LED bulbs are engineered with a brilliant cut-line and anti-glare technology to direct the light to where you need it most. High power Lumiled Luxeon Z ES LEDs provide extreme luminance in a micro footprint package for precise beam angle control. In addition to the dual alloy heatsink, these LEDs have excellent thermal resistance that allows for consistent operating temperatures and longer life. MSRP $149.95


    The new line of G3 LED bulbs brings performance and quality not seen before on the automotive market. The G3 LED bulbs use the new, higher output CREE XP-L chips that have a wider viewing angle than the current Performance LED bulbs. In addition, the LED chips sit on a thinner board that places the light source more toward the center of the column to replicate the precise location of a standard halogen filament. The combination of these two innovative designs, allows the G3 LEDs to increase beam intensity and provide continuous light distribution throughout the beam. A newer controller addresses Pulse Width Modulation to prevent flickering or hyper flashing for most vehicles. Starting at $229.00

    If you are looking for a bulb with further reach, whiter color, and more clarity over your stock bulb at a fair price then you are looking for halogens. If you want the ultimate light output paired with incredible durability and lifespan, then look no further in the Platinum and G3 LED lines.

    Build quality and warranty

    We know our bulbs are a big investment, but for the gains in light output and safety, we think it’s well worth it. You can find bulbs all day long online that are cheap cheap cheap!! The way those other manufacturers can get prices that low is to cut corners on manufacturing process combined with cheap parts. Tens of thousand of hours go into testing our bulbs not only for beam output and pattern, but also for vibration ratings, heat ratings, amperage fluctuation testing, and much more. Combine the testing with the use of only the top-quality parts that pass our strict Japanese testing procedures, and you get bulb products that you can purchase knowing it is the best quality on the market. If that doesn’t do it for you, we also have a top-notch warranty program with unmatched customer service.

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