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The history of car headlights development is quite interesting. In the United States of America, car makers were obliged to produce only sealed beam... How Do the Sealed Beam Headlights Develop?

The history of car headlights development is quite interesting. In the United States of America, car makers were obliged to produce only sealed beam headlights for 42 years. That is from the year 1941 until 1984. The painful part of it was that these headlamps had only four styles in which they should exist. Anything outside of that was regarded as illegal.

Nevertheless, these simple headlights needed not much expertise in replacing them. They were cheap to buy and they were available in almost every auto shop you would visit at that time. After the liberalization of such tough legislation, the auto industry later became free to design car headlights of any style they would prefer. These helped them to compete on the market. That is why you see today, many types of car headlights are available for purchase on the market. Let us find out more about those different types of headlights you can find available on the market today.

Sealed Beam Headlights

sealed beam headlightsComing as a single piece design, this type of lamb is covered by glass lenses in front of it. It cannot be divided into different parts as all its components are attached to each other. That is the cover houses both the bulb and the lens. So, once the sealed beam headlights fail to work properly or has been blown up completely, the only solution available is to find a replacement. Before 1978, the sealed beam headlights existed in only two sizes. The smaller one had a 5.75 inch diameter and 7 inch for the larger. Motor manufacturers would only use different covers for their vehicles just to beautify the sealed beam headlights.

Later, after the U.S government had changed its legislation on car headlights production, the rectangular shaped lights came into being. These had a better look compared to their predecessors. Therefore many car makers adopted the sealed beam headlights as quickly as possible. Nonetheless, that was not enough as there were still some legal impediments for those companies to fully exhaust their efforts in the production of the best headlights which could match their car designs. Such freedom was only realized after 1983 when the government later scrapped all laws in relation to car headlights production.

Composite Headlights

car headlightsJust as to deal with the difficulties which were associated by the sealed beam headlights, this style of the headlight was later introduced. It contained a loose bulb inside, which could be easily replaced in case of being blown up. The bulb had halogen gas inside, and many people referred to it as halogen headlight’ instead of its exact known name. The lenses used on this headlamp were plastic –made in most cases. Also, their design style gave cars makers the ability to incorporate some features which were once not possible in the beam headlight style. For example, the light could be made with fog lamps and turn signals inside them. However, the use of plastic lenses in this light brought with it some shortcomings. The lenses could be overheated by the bulb and eventually become yellow or they will end up losing contact from the entire light.

High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlights

Commonly known as Xenon Headlights, the HID headlights use xenon gas to emit light. They were first made by BMW for its 7-series but they are now used on various car models. These lights are much more durable than any of their predecessors. More so, they consume less power, while still providing the best lighting service for the car. Above all, cars which use the HID headlights look more beautiful than those with older styles. But the headlights don’t come cheap.

Whether you need to replace them or upgrade to them from older versions, the cost is still twice more than that of the composite headlight. Another thing, these two different headlights cannot interchangeably fit on a car without making some necessary modifications. Again, due to their nature of having more components compared to other former types, chances of failure are very high. Lastly, HID lights require accurate positioning lest they will blind up oncoming traffics.

car headlightsLED Headlights

This is the latest car headlights technology on the market. Unlike the previous versions which relied upon filament bulbs and gas, this one uses the smartest technology of light emitting diodes. Despite that this light works the same as HIDs in terms of lighting; its energy consumption levels are way too low. The LED headlights are commonly used on latest luxury vehicles like Lexus, Audi, and Mercedes Benz.

Nevertheless, cars with older headlights versions can be easily replaced with LED headlights. But making such replacements is very expensive, as you will be adopting the latest car lighting technology. So you should be prepared to spend at least 50 bucks for just a single LED headlight. One additional thing you have to know about these lights is that they require a heat sink. Therefore you should find a position to place them so that they can do their work effectively and properly.

Differences Between Car Headlights

Sealed Beam Headlights Composite Headlights
All components are connected The bulb can be separated from lenses
The bulb uses a filament to emit light The light uses halogen gas to produce light
Was introduced before 1983 Became available in 1983
Uses glass lenses/ plastic lenses Have plastic –made lenses
It is durable Don’t last any longer
Doesn’t allow any feature adjustments Can incorporate other features e.g. turn signals


sealed beam headlights comparisonDespite being overshadowed by many latest car headlights’ styles, the sealed beam headlights have remained dominant in the market. The old type of sealed beam headlights may not be so practical and durable, as they were designed to use halogen bulbs. Nowadays, the sealed beam headlights are upgraded with the LED bulbs and designed with the projector lens. Also, some sealed beam has not only the hi-lo beam function but also the daytime running light—DRL function. Nevertheless, the composite headlights may be convenient as they can only replace the bulbs inside. Yet the waterproof function may be not that good compare to the sealed beam headlights. The fascinating features of the sealed beam headlights have not disappointed both car makers and users.

So, we at AUXBEAM have understood the demands of our customers in this market, and we have started working tirelessly in order to deliver your expectations. We have in our stock the best sealed beam headlights from which you can choose to fulfill your preferences. Products including 7×6, 6×4 and some 7 inch round headlights are available for most types of vehicles.

All our car lighting products are at an affordable price and are of high quality that you will never regret buying from us. Auxbeam makes sure that our customers will not pay over $200 dollars for a single headlight set no matter the quality and quality that is contained within that set. So don’t hesitate to visit our site today!

If you want to go straight to the page with our beam headlights, click here! Read on to know more about Auxbeam lights.

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Renee editorrenee

I'm an editor of auxbeam lighting.com. Here in this blog, I will introduce some new products that Auxbeam released and I will also tell you something really hot related to the LED lighting.