LED LIGHTING

What is the Best H11 LED Bulb for my Car?

What is the Best H11 LED Bulb for my Car?

In this test, we are looking to find the best H11 bulb for your vehicle. These bulbs are most commonly going to be used in a fog light or low beam application, the latter of which is what we are testing here. We have a variety of brands and bulbs here to test. Many are good, some are okay, but only a few are great.

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To make the test well-rounded and helpful to you, they have included bulbs from several different brands and price points. We want to help you find the most reliable, brightest, and most well-built bulb regardless of your budget.

DISCLAIMER: In the United States, lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment are regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). Even though these types of LED lights can be used in place of an original halogen light bulb, it is not legal to use on vehicles registered for on-street use. This type of modification can only be done when used in a fog lamp application, dedicated off-road application, or in jurisdiction outside the USA where this is allowed. For more information on how to determine if this type of product is safe to use, and legal to use on public roadways in the USA, Click Here for a more detailed breakdown of compliance.

ABOUT THE TEST

These tests are done by setting the bulbs up 25 feet away from the wall and turning them on to measure their Lux ratings. The ratings themselves are not as important as the percent increase from the standard OEM halogen bulb to the aftermarket bulb we test. This will tell you how much brighter the aftermarket bulb is than the OEM bulb.

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Also, take note of the beam pattern differences as well. Specifically, where the hot spots are, how big the hot spots are, and the distribution of the light intensity. Ideally, you want a beam pattern with a defined shape and hot spot, that also has a relatively even distribution of light across it.

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The lights will be tested in both a projector-style headlight from a 2014-2021 Toyota 4Runner and a reflector-style headlight from a 2019-2021 Ram 1500. Regardless of the car, you should see the same result for that housing. If you are wondering what style headlight you have, check out this video here on how to determine this.

Toyota 4Runner Projector Headlight Ram 1500 Reflector Headlight
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Before getting into it all, it is important to consider that some of these bulbs will perform better in a projector than they do in a reflector housing, and vice versa.

THE TEST: PROJECTOR OUTPUT

The OEM halogen bulb we tested in the projector housing came in at 190 max Lux. This is a modest score, but there is so much more room for improvement with very little cost to upgrade.

We have to start with the best there is and that is the GTR Lighting Ultra 2. This was rated at 950 max. Lux, which is 389 percent brighter than the stock halogen lights.

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The next brightest bulb in the lineup is the S-V.4. This one came in at 850 max. Lux, 347 percent brighter than stock. This is a crowd favorite for a reason.

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Next on the list is the F3 bulb that can be purchased from several brands that likely all originate from the same factory in China. This may be one of the brightest bulbs out there (tested at 790 max. Lux, 315 percent brighter than stock), but as they say: the light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long. With the tiny heat sink on this bulb, we would not trust this one to not do damage to your headlight housing.

In the small amount of time we had this bulb running, it had burnt the anodizing off the bulb. NOT GOOD!

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From here the increase in brightness drops significantly. XenonDepot’s Xtreme LED Pro comes in at 221 percent brighter than stock, or a rating of 610 max. Lux. These lights are a great middle-ground between the top-of-the-line GTR Lighting Ultra 2 and the other lower-priced bulbs on this list.

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Next is the Diode Dynamics SL1 LED bulb. This one comes in at 210 percent brighter than stock and is super high-quality. Something else to note about these is that it is the only bulb we tested that is assembled in the United States. This and the Xenon Depot Xtreme LED Pro are great inexpensive options that produce a good amount of light while remaining reliable bulbs.

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Everything else we tested in the projector housing was far less bright than the ones above. Regardless, check out a few other options we tested for the projector housings below.

We tested the Auxbeam T1 at a maximum Lux of 420, making it 121 percent brighter than stock.

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The Headlight Experts bulb produces a strange beam pattern at 370 max. Lux. That is a 94 percent increase over the stock bulb.

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There are two Opt7 Fluxbeams on our list. Their V2 version improves over the Opt7 Fluxbeam Core model. The V2 was tested at 270 max. Lux; and the Fluxbeam Core was tested at 160 max. Lux. That is a 42 percent increase and 16 percent decrease compared to the stock bulb, respectively.

Opt7 Fluxbeam V2 Opt7 Fluxbeam Core
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Lightening Dark’s bulb is rated at 250 max. Lux, a 31 percent increase, but the brightness is all concentrated on one tiny strip of light. We are not sure what their goal was with this one. Frankly, Lightening Dark is not an apt name for this bulb.

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With the Auxbeam F-S6, you are only getting a 5 percent DECREASE in brightness with the projector housings. The dismal 180 max. Lux is nothing to take note of. The beam pattern is at least something to like about it, but it just is not bright enough to make it worth the upgrade.

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The Putco Nitrolux is a popular option, but we tested it at 170 max. Lux. That is 10 percent LESS BRIGHT than the stock bulb. Please do not waste your money on this.

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While the beam pattern of the Stark Luuxx ES Series is well done, the 170 max. Lux rating, which is a 10 percent decrease from stock, is no good.

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THE TEST: REFLECTOR OUTPUT

As we mentioned before, you want to pay attention to the percent increase of brightness from the OEM bulb to the aftermarket LED bulb. Regardless of the environment, you will see the same difference in brightness.

As a benchmark, the OEM halogen bulb we tested, this time in the reflector housing, came in at 320 max Lux.

Coming in first again is the GTR Lighting Ultra 2. This was rated at 2,590 max. Lux, which is 709 percent brighter than the stock halogen lights. These are absolutely insane. The Ultra 2 is a stellar combination of an LED chip, heat extracting fan, reliable wiring, and out-of-this-world performance.

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Unsurprisingly, the next brightest bulb was the F3 bulb. It was rated at 2,070 max. Lux, 546 percent brighter than the OEM bulb. But if you remember from before, this bulb has no protection from itself. The poor heat sink quality dampers this bulb’s longevity tremendously.

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Next is the classic S-V.4. This one came in at 1,920 max. Lux, a 500 percent increase. This one was in second place during the projector headlight test. However, it is far more stable than the F3 bulb we just showed you.

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The fourth brightest bulb is the SNGL bulb. We bought what we thought was the best from the company and while it is not quite as good as the top three entries, this one came in at 1,720 max. Lux, a 434 percent increase. Generally speaking, this seems like a well-built bulb, and it has similar characteristics to the GTR Lighting Ultra 2 product.

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Coming in a close fifth place is the Diode Dynamics SL1 LED headlight bulb. We tested this one at 1,590 max. Lux, a 396 percent increase over the stock bulb.

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While the following bulbs present a massive drop in brightness from the last entry, these bulbs all performed better in the reflector housings than the projector housing.

In the reflector housing, the Putcho Nitrolux jumps ahead with a rating of 1,090 max. Lux. That is 240 percent bright than stock and far brighter than it was in the projector housing.

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Then we have Headlight Experts’ bulb. This one tested at 940 max. Lux, a 193 percent increase over the stock bulb. This one’s beam pattern is not as clean as it was in the projector housing.

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Next is the Auxbeam T1, this one was tested at 880 max. Lux, that is 175 percent brighter than stock. Auxbeam’s F-S6 bulb follows closely behind with a rating of 740 max. Lux, 131 percent brighter.

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Opt7’s Fluxbeam Core bulb performs at 580 max. Lux, as does the Opt7 Fluxbeam V2. These present an 81 percent increase over the stock bulb.

 
Opt7 Fluxbeam V2 Opt7 Fluxbeam Core
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TOP 10 BULBS

To cut to the chase, we averaged the bulb performances from both housings, projector and reflector, to find the best possible LED bulbs. There are two bulbs on this list we would NEVER recommend to anyone: the F3 and the NOVSight. The former practically burns itself to death and the other has horrendous build quality.

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While you could buy four or five of the cheap ones for the price of the high-quality lights, you will be constantly ordering new bulbs and having to reinstall them. Not to mention, Sheriff Buford T. may get tired of issuing your “headlight out” tickets after the second time your bulbs melt themselves to death.

These we are about to recommend will make your life, and driving, easier.

  1. GTR Lighting Ultra 2

This one came in first on both tests and averaged 1,770 max. Lux. The Ultra 2 has been consistently the brightest bulb on the market, so this is no surprise.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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  1. F3

We mentioned this before, while it averages 1,430 max. Lux, the heat sink is not strong enough to keep the bulb cool. If replacing bulbs all the time is your thing, then maybe this is your bulb.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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  1. S-V.4.

This one came in at 1,385 max. Lux and placed in the top three for the projector and reflector headlights. The S-V.4. has always been a fan favorite of the show for a reason. It provides a great beam pattern and excellent brightness levels, all at a great price point.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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  1. SNGL

The SNGL LED bulb was a surprise to us, and it presents a good alternative to some of the bigger name brands. This one came in at an average brightness of 1,110 max. Lux.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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  1. Diode Dynamics SL1

Next up, is the United States-produced SL1 that averaged a maximum Lux rating of 1,090. This is another crowd favorite and for good reason.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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  1. Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0

Averaging a 1,060 max. Lux, the Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0 is one of the most famous bulbs in the world.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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  1. NOVSight

Coming in at an average of 885 max. Lux, the NOVSight bulb is bright but the build quality is very poor. The biggest thing is that it just cannot handle the amount of light it puts out.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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  1. XenonDepot Xtreme LED Pro

This one averaged 810 max. Lux and it is a really well-built bulb. It is honestly an affordable way to give your lights a huge boost in brightness while also having the reliability of the top brands we tested here.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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  1. VLEDs Micro Evolution

While this may not be the brightest bulb out there, the style and construction are top-notch. We averaged this bulb out at 790 max. Lux.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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  1. GTR Lighting CSP Mini

And finally, we have the famed CSP Mini. This is a great bulb for when you are looking for something small with a decent punch and good price, the CSP Mini is your bulb. We averaged this one at 770 max. Lux.

Projector Housing Reflector Housing
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Conclusion

If you buy anything from our list above, baring the F3 and NOVSight of course, you will be in a great position. The likes of the S-V.4. and the GTR Lighting Ultra 2 consistently show up in our tests and that is for good reason. These bulbs are built extremely well, are long-lasting, and produce crazy levels of brightness. Not to mention, the Ultra 2 comes with a lifetime warranty.

The XenonDepot Xtreme LED Pro is the best of the least bright. It has a great beam pattern, and it presents a great product at a more affordable level than that of the more premium bulbs in our test.


If you enjoyed this breakdown of HeadlightRevolution's test, check out their YouTube channel and the full video below for more information.

Stay tuned to BAL for all the latest in the automotive lighting space.