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What do I Need to Know About Installing LED Bulbs into my Car?

We discuss the importance of choosing LED bulbs with resistors that prevent a false low voltage “bulb out” warning, and selecting the correct LED bulb color for clear lenses.

LED Lights Are The Future Of Lighting

With more and more automakers fitting LED (Light Emitting Diode) light bulbs in new vehicles as standard equipment, it’s easy to see that LEDs are the future of automotive lighting. And for good reason.

LEDs are transistors coated with a substrate that emit light when current is applied. Because of design dynamics, LEDs create more light output per watt than traditional incandescent bulbs while using only a fraction of the electrical draw. LEDs don’t waste power creating unnecessary heat energy, so they are relatively cool to the touch. And unlike traditional bulbs, there’s no filament to get consumed during use.

Because LEDs are extremely resistant to vibration and come sealed in moisture-proof casings, they typically last up to 50,000 hours instead of approximately 2,000 hours we’ve come to accept as normal lifespan. That means LEDs can easily last a lifetime once they’re installed. Eliminated are hassles of frequent bulb replacements and tickets from police for non-working lights. It's hard to make a smarter purchase than this when it comes to car parts that add extreme levels of style AND function.

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and upgrade to LED light bulbs, we’ve made it easy to get bulbs for every lighting position. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

Most LED Light Bulbs Are ‘Plug-and-Play’

We offer LED replacement bulbs for almost every exterior light on your vehicle: headlights, taillights, brake lights, side marker lights, turn signal lights, fog lights, daytime running lights (DRL), reverse lights, and more. And don’t forget your interior: dome lights, door lights, courtesy lights, map lights, glove box lights, and instrument cluster lights all can be upgraded to LED bulbs.

Aside from choosing which bulb locations to start with, you need to know the correct bulb ‘size’ or number. Thankfully, the lighting industry has standardized this, so it’s safe to say that for the majority of cars and trucks built in the last 50 years, we have the bulbs. .

At CARiD’s website, we take it one step further and make it super simple for you. All you need to do is plug in your year, make, and model, and the list of bulbs that fit your car will be shown in the product results. Keep in mind that in a very small percentage of cases, the factory may have used one of two different size bulbs, and we call that out. If that’s the case, simply remove the bulb in question (you need to do that to replace it anyway) and make note of its size. .

Most bulbs are sold individually. If you intend to replace them as a pair, be sure to change the quantity to “2” in the shopping cart..

LED Bulbs Are Available In Different Colors

The next decision you will need to make is what color to get, since LEDs are available in a variety of colors. For an exterior colored lens, you have a choice between a white bulb, or a bulb that’s the same color as the lens. If you have a clear lens, you must use the proper bulb color as required by law (for example, red for brake and tail lights).

LED Bulbs Different Color Options

As always, we work hard to simplify the process for you. You’ll see this menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Select the color (or colors) of your choice, and the displayed products will be delivered in the results.

Amber Turn Signal LED Bulb
Red Brake Lights LED Bulb

LED Turn Signals May Need Resistors

If you are replacing front and rear turn signal bulbs to LED, be aware that many vehicles use a flasher unit that is designed to work with incandescent bulbs. An issue may arise when the incandescents are replaced with LEDs: the turn signal lights flash too rapidly, a condition known as “hyperflashing”.

The LED bulbs have a lower resistance that the flasher unit interprets as a “bulb out” problem. Should this occur, the solution is simple and readily available: obtain a set of easily installed resistors. The resistors fool the flasher unit by recreating the proper amount of resistance, and once installed, the turn signal bulbs flash at the correct rate.

LED Turn Signal Resistors
LED Turn Signal Resistors.

In our Product Options field, you will often be presented with the option of purchasing a resistor that matches the bulb. In other cases, the bulb may include a resistor with the purchase.

We Have The Widest Variety Of Brands

Once you’ve inserted the year, make, and model of your ride on the website, you’ll find LED bulbs from all the top manufacturers, including but not limited to Lumen, Putco, XKGlow, Oracle Lighting, Philips, and Sylvania, among others. Whichever you choose, you’re assured of the highest quality, the brightest light, and the best fit.

LED Bulbs Variety Banner

Yes, switching LED bulbs into your factory light assemblies is easy. However, if you’re interested in seeing some stylish custom-design lighting assemblies that also include LEDs, we invite you to read our related articles which take a more in-depth look at LED headlight assemblies, headlight conversion bulbs, tail lights, and underbody lights. And if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call seven days a week!

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All manufacturer names, symbols, and descriptions, used in our images and text are used solely for identification purposes only. It is neither inferred nor implied that any item sold by is a product authorized by or in any way connected with any vehicle manufacturers displayed on this page.