How Much Does It Cost To Replace Headlight Bulb? [Headlight Bulb Replacement Cost] [2023 Updated]

how much does it cost to replace headlight bulb

Your car’s headlight is not just an enhancive feature of its exterior appearance, it’s one of the important safety features. It is needed to gain proper visibility of the route and to see obstacles and hurdles in your passage.

However, there are times when one or both bulbs of your car’s headlights burn out, leaving you with paths filled with darkness. The only option you are left with in this context is to replace the headlight bulbs.

It might seem a costly affair to you, but it depends on a lot of factors instead. 

We’ll help you figure out the cost of replacing the headlight bulb of your vehicle. Read this post!

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Headlight Bulb? [Summary]

According to an estimate report in 2022, the average cost of replacing a headlight bulb is based on various factors such as:

  • Cost of the Headlight Bulb – $10-$25
  • Labor Cost – $35-$50
  • Cost of a Professional – $40 – $160
  • DIY Cost – $100

What Is A Headlight Bulb And How Does It Work?

  • Your vehicle is fitted with numerous types of lights and bulbs. One among them is a headlight bulb that is encased in robust housing. The role of a headlight bulb is to release bright light and illuminate your driving route. These lights provide visibility to the drivers and passengers on the road. 
  • Nowadays, a variety of headlight bulbs are available such as halogen bulbs, sealed bulbs, HID or High-Density Discharge bulbs, and LED or Light Emitting Diode bulbs. The type of headlight bulb installed in your car depends on the model and mechanics of your vehicle. 
  • However, one common thing about all these bulbs is that they can stop working at any time. This is because for different reasons and in such situations, you need to replace your headlight bulb. 
  • All headlamps depend on the reflectors in your lamp that focus the headlight bulb. The halogen bulbs use gas to release additional lighting. LED bulbs function at a lower temperature. They release less bright light than the HID bulbs. HID bulbs, on the other hand, use two electrodes in a bulb that use more gas and produce brighter light. 
  • No matter which headlight your car has, the ultimate role is the same as providing proper lighting to the driving path when there is not enough natural sunlight. 

4 Key Factors That Determine The Cost Of Replacement Headlights

1. Type Of Bulb

There are various types of headlight bulbs available. The commonly available bulbs are halogen bulbs, Xenon bulbs, and LED bulbs.

Among the various options available, the Halogen bulbs are the most expensive and brightest. LED lights come in various colors. You can choose a light depending on your preference and the cost will depend on the same. 

2. Labor Cost

Another factor influencing the cost of replacing a headlight bulb is the labor cost. Labor can be expensive or cheap. The overall cost you need to bear depends on the labor you have hired. 

3. Your Vehicle’s Model

The headlight blub varies on the basis of your car’s model. If you have a big car, you need to bear more costs and if your car is small, you can get the bulbs replaced at a lower price. 

4. Your Location 

At some locations, the replacement products and services are available at a higher price than other regions. In this situation, you need to spend more money to get the bulb replaced. 

Why Does The Cost Of Replacing HID And LED Bulbs More Than Replacing Halogens?

In comparison to halogen bulbs, HID and LED bulbs last longer. It is because they are free from a fragile filament, which tends to break often. It is difficult for headlight bulbs to forecast precisely as they receive varying voltage on each trip. This depends on factors such as external air temperature.

It is costly to replace headlight bulbs. This depends on the kind of bulb and from where it is brought. It is best to purchase light bulbs online than from an auto part store. 

The cost also differs because of the life expectancy of both bulbs. 

When Is The Right Time To Replace The Headlight Bulb?

A vehicle’s headlight is designed to offer a well-lit driving experience when there is not enough sunlight. But there can be circumstances when you need to replace the headlight bulb.

  • Bulb Partially Or Fully Burns Out – The most common scenario is burning out of the headlight bulb. This calls for replacement. 
  • Dim Headlight Bulb – There are a few types of bulbs like halogen bulbs that produce less light in comparison to HID and LED lights. But if your bulb has become dim with use, it means you need to replace it. 
  • Failure Of Headlight Circuit – In some situations, the issue is not because of the bulbs but because of other reasons like bulb sockets, terminal connections, wiring issues, and system components. 

5 Steps To Replace Broken Headlights Of A Vehicle

Replacing a new bulb is quite easy if you have the new bulb available with you. It is a 5-step process as follows:

1. Remove The Wire Connector Of A Headlight Bulb

First, you have to remove the wire connector from your headlight bulb. For this, you need a set of needles and nose pliers or a screwdriver. The wire provided at the back of the bulb supplies electricity to it. Remove that wire connector carefully.

2. Take The Worn-Out Headlight Bulb From Headlight Assembly

The next step after removing the wire connector is to remove the old bulb. This can be done using a needle-nose plier.

Twist the bulb in a counterclockwise direction to release the bulb. When the bulb is loosened just pull it out using your hands.

3. Install A New Bulb Into The Assembly

Once you have removed the old bulb from the headlight assembly, you may now proceed with installing a new bulb.

Make sure you avoid touching the bulb while installing it in the assembly as this can damage the bulb. Also, it may leave streaks or marks on the bulb, which we are sure you would not want.

Place the end of the bulb into the headlight assembly. Once the new bulb is inserted into the assembly you may secure it by turning it in a clockwise direction. When the bulb is firmly placed it will make a click sound.

4. Reconnect The Wire Connector To The Bulb

After connecting the headlight bulb in the right place, you can reconnect the wire connector to the end of your headlight bulb. Before you proceed with the final step, test your bulb for its functioning. Make sure that the new bulb works properly and is well-connected. 

5. Check Whether Your New Bulb Is Working Or Not

When everything is fixed in place, you may test the bulb for its working. If there are other pieces left over for reassembling, do that to complete your installation work. 

Average Headlight Bulb Replacement: DIY Cost In 2023

It is very easy to replace the headlight bulb. You require a few tools to get the job done. When you are doing the replacement yourself, you only have to spend for the product. 

Why Is It Beneficial To Replace The Headlight Bulb Of Your Car?

Every feature of your car is incorporated because of a reason. The headlight bulbs are designed to impart safety to you and your car while you are driving in the dark. 

Getting the headlights replaced enhances your safety to drive during heavy rains, in foggy weather, or at night. It makes your car more visible from a far distance and you can have a better view of the road. 

Also, it is important legally as malfunctioned cars are not allowed on the roads. 

How Can I Change An HID Light Bulb At Home?

For those with a little technical knowledge, it is easy to change the HID light bulb at home. Just perform these steps:

  1. First, remove the lamp from your vehicle.
  2. Remove the dust-proof cover.
  3. Take off the plug and screw.
  4. Make sure you remember where the parts of the lamp like the ballast, IV, and HID bulb are positioned while removing them. 
  5. Place the new bulb and assembled the parts again. 

Important Things To Consider While Replacing Headlight Bulb In Your Car

There are some vital aspects you need to consider while replacing the headlight bulb in a vehicle. 

  • It is best to replace the sealed bulbs and halogen bulbs in pairs. This maintains a balanced illumination level on both sides of a car.
  • You can achieve reliable and proper functioning of your headlight only if the bulb sockets, fuses, and ground connections are well-maintained. A mechanic can properly examine these aspects. Hence, ask for help if it is needed.
  • If you are using a bulb without a visible filament, its power has to be tested by a mechanic. It is best to get the bulbs tested, especially if they are HID or LED lighting, as they fail often if the circuit is faulty.
  • Lenses made with plastic have a limited life. You can replace these lenses to restore the lighting system of your vehicle. 

Can I Drive Safely With My Vehicle’s Headlight Problem?

In most nations, driving with a broken or burn-out headlight is considered illegal. You must check with your state and local laws to identify whether driving with a turned-off headlight is lawfully accepted or not. 

If it is not illegal, still, we suggest you avoid driving this way as it is quite dangerous and may pose risk to your safety. This is problematic, especially during the night when it’s dark and barely visible. 

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Q1. How can I save money on replacing a headlight bulb?

A1. You can save money on this project by doing it yourself. Most cars need simple repairs, which you can perform if you have mild technical knowledge. However, if you are not sure about replacing the headlight, you must seek professional support and get a mechanic to do this job for you. 
Also, you can compare the pricing of different mechanics on this service. This can save you a lot of money. 

Q2. Should I replace both pairs of headlight bulbs?

A2. It’s best to replace the headlight bulbs in pairs. It is because the new bulb is always brighter than the old one. This is true no matter which type of bulb it is. 
Replacing the halogen bulbs is cheaper than LED or other bulb replacements. The Xenon bulbs are costlier than LEDs. Mostly, it is the high price that deprives people of changing both bulbs at a time. 

Q3. Are fog lights the same as headlights?

A3. When another vehicle is coming toward you, it is better to turn off the fog lamps. The fog light is different from a headlight as the former ones do not offer enough visibility to the route.

Q4. Do bright headlights have a shorter period?

A4. Each headlight bulb like xenon, halogen, and others has a different life span. You can use OEM bulbs with halogen bulbs as OEM bulbs are brighter. So, it is limited life expectancy is offset by more brightness.

Q5. What can I do if my car’s headlight bulbs are not bright?

A5. A faulty bulb, high voltage, or faded and oxidized lens are the reasons for the limited brightness of the headlight. Other than this, there could be a problem with the lens of the headlamp. It is necessary to check all the aspects and fix the issue to gain proper brightness. 

Q6. How often should I replace the headlight bulb?

A6. The average life of a headlight is 500 to 1,100 hours. But there are a lot of factors that influence the lifespan of headlight bulbs. If you take proper care of your headlight, it can last for up to 30,000 hours.

Q7. Are bulbs of headlights universal?

A7. The H7, H4, and H1 bulbs have universal compatibility. Buy an adequate fitting for your car from a reputed manufacturer.

Q8. Is it possible to drive with a single headlight out?

A8. Usually, as per law, the drivers are required to drive their vehicles with both headlights on. It is also necessary that all vehicles are equipped with two headlight bulbs. Hence, if there is a burned-out headlight, you must stop the car.

Q9. How can I clean the headlights?

A9. The headlight bulbs can be cleaned using a toothpaste-laden cloth. Take that cloth and rub it lightly on the headlight. If required, use more water and toothpaste. Rinse the material with water and allow it to air dry. 

Q10. What is the duration of a headlight bulb?

A10. Halogen lights have a shorter lifespan than HID lights. The usual lifespan of a headlight is between 2,000 – 2,5000 hours. 

Q11. What is the cost of a headlight ticket?

A11. If you are driving your vehicle with damaged headlights, the ticket cost may vary from $120 – $250. There may be some additional fees associated with it that may range from $40 to $80. 

Q12. Is headlight restoration a good choice than headlight replacement?

A12. Headlight restoration is an alternative to headlight replacement. It is better to go for headlight restoration if the headlight suffers from yellowed coloring or oxidation that is caused by high exposure to UV rays, environmental pollution, or the sun. 

Q13. How much time does it take to replace a headlight bulb?

A13. The average time taken to complete the headlight replacement process is 15-30 minutes. The total time taken to replace the bulb depends on how easily it can be accessed and removed.
Might be your vehicle has bars for holding the headlight assembly. Remove these wires to pull out the assembly. 
There are also models available where you need to remove the front bumper for replacing the headlight bulb. It takes a longer time to replace the headlight bulb if you need to remove the front bumper of your vehicle. 


It is necessary to replace the headlight of your car not because to regain visibility of the route but also to maintain safety. It is an important feature of your car and is highly useful when you are driving at night. It imparts safety to not just you but also to other pedestrians and drivers.

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