How To Tell If My Car Has Xenon, Bi-Xenon, Or Halogen Lights


Your car headlight decides if your car is safe or unsafe for all driving conditions. Different cars come with different headlight types. But, there are three most popular ones: xenon, bi-xenon, and halogen lights.

Telling one apart from the other isn’t easy, so car owners always ask which headlight their car comes with. If you have a similar problem, then you should read this article to the end.

How To Tell If My Car Has Xenon, Bi-xenon, or Halogen Lights

You can tell if your car has xenon, bi-xenon, or halogen lights by the color of light it produces, the number of bulbs, and by checking the bulb number to identify the headlight type. Many cars use halogen headlights, but that does not make the others less popular. 

This article will detail and explain these three headlight types, how to identify them, and their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dive right into it. 

Headlight Types and How To Identify Them | Xenon, Bi-Xenon Or Halogen Lights

You can identify your car headlight by checking the light output, light color, number of bulbs, and the identification number on the bulb plate. Here are some features per light type to look out for to determine the light type your car comes with.


Xenon lights are also known as high-intensity discharge lamps. They have a stylish and premium look, usually, come with high-end luxury cars, and have become popular in the last ten years. You can identify it by its bright white-blue light.

Xenon headlights have approximately 2,500 hours of light capacity and are energy-saving. The lamp produces neon-looking light. Xenon headlamps use two pairs of fixed bulbs. One team aims high, and the other aims low. 


Bi-xenon headlamps are an improved version of xenon lights because they use the same bulb type and produce the same light color. However, instead of two pairs of bulbs, it uses one pair for illumination. 

Unlike xenon light, bi-xenon headlight uses a mechanical system for beam setting. It lights up immediately after you turn on the switch with no delay, like the xenon light. It is also cheaper than xenon headlights. 


Halogen lights are seen in almost 80 percent of cars on the road, so there is a high possibility that your vehicle has a halogen headlight. You can confirm this by checking for the light color. Halogen headlight gives off a yellowish light. The light generates heat you can feel when you touch the headlamp glass. 

You can also check for the light code on or near the main beam. The code for halogen is an H. Halogen headlight can last up to 1000 hours of usage. It is cheap but has the disadvantage of its lack of energy conservation. 

Differences Between Xenon, Bi-xenon, and Halogen Headlights




2,500 light hours 2,000 light hours  1000, light hours. 
Produces white-blue beam Produces white beam Produces yellow light beams.
Code is DSG Code is D Code is H
It uses four bulbs in two pairs It uses two bulbs in a pair Uses one bulb
Very expensive  Less expensive than xenon  Cheaper than xenon and bi-xenon. 
energy saving efficient  Energy saving efficient  It has no energy-saving efficiency 

What Cars Have Xenon, Bi-Xenon, Or Halogen Lights?

Different cars come with varying types of light but often within the category of either xenon, bi-xenon, or halogen. You should know that this list is incomplete, but you will be able to identify your car light type at the end of this article. Here are a list of car and their light types;


The cars with xenon light are Ford Escape, Subaru Legacy, Ford F-150, Toyota Avalon, Audi A3, Subaru Outback, Lexus Is, Genesis G80, Volvo S60, Volkswagen Tiguan, Volkswagen Jetta, Mercedes, Kia, Dacia. If you’re driving any of these, there’s a high chance it has xenon headlights.



It is difficult to determine the exact model of cars that use bi-xenon lights since they’re so similar to xenon lights. However, most latest models of Ford, Mercedes, Kia, Subaru, and other luxury cars use bi-xenon light. Bi-xenon light can turn with the car wheels, giving off better visibility. 

Halogen Light

About 80 percent of vehicles on the road use halogen lights. Halogen light is the most ordinary and cheapest car headlight available. There are tons of cars with halogen headlights, and yours could be one.

Does It Matter If I Have Xenon, Bi-Xenon, Or Halogen Lights? What Is The Difference?

Your headlights can be the difference between you and an accident. Headlights give you visibility while driving at night, making them very important. So, yes, it matters if you have xenon, bi-xenon, or halogen lights, and there are a lot of differences between them. 


Xenon car headlights are also called HID lights and are best for night use. It produces very bright beams that can almost dazzle oncoming drivers. Its white color spectrum makes for clear road visibility without any chance of missing any bumps or obstacles. 

Xenon lights have high durability than halogen lights. It does not use a wire filament like in the halogen bulb, so there is no tendency for its damaging easily. It produces almost 2,500 hours of light and has energy-saving efficiency of 3,000 lumens. The greater the lumen rating, the brighter the lamp.

The disadvantage of xenon headlights is that they are expensive. Depending on the car model and labor, replacing your headlight might cost up to $1000. Also, there is a delay problem before the bulb reaches its highest beam brightness.


  • Increased Visibility

The bulb brightness is very powerful and increases visibility and clear view while driving at night. You can see sharp curves and edges far ahead while driving with extra visibility. 

  • Appealing Low Beam Light

Xenon has a low white beam that is very appealing and helps the driver have a wide range of surroundings. The beam is enough to give show your surroundings in their right color. 

  • Easy Installation

Xenon headlight Installation is very easy and simple. You do not need special skills to install them though you might need a manual. A mechanic might not be necessary. Anyone with fair knowledge of car tools can replace a xenon headlight. 

  • High Beam Safety

Xenon headlight offers safety for oncoming drivers. Its high-beam halogen bulb has no chance of blinding other drivers. Xenon high beam bulb is a halogen bulb, and so has no risk of impairing the sight of oncoming drivers. 

  • Low Mechanical Failure

There is less chance of mechanical failure because they are no chances for wear and tear due to switches. Xenon does not use mechanisms to control its low and high beams. Instead, it has two pairs of bulbs. One for low beam, the other for high beam. 


  • Bulb Failure

Xenon has more prone to bulb failure due to multiple bulbs. A single bulb failure means a full assembly change. While there may be no chance for mechanical failure, the higher the number of bulbs, the more possibility one will fail or burn out. 

  • High Cost

Xenon headlights are expensive. The expense is a result of multiple bulbs. Xenon has four bulbs. The more bulbs, the higher the cost. Xenon headlight must operate with all bulbs functioning. Thus, once a bulb is damaged, you must change all the bulbs. That can be expensive. 

  • Use Of Halogen Bulb

Some xenon headlights use halogen bulbs for their high beam. Halogen bulbs have filaments that are prone to cutting and failure. Halogen light is not as appealing as the yellowish light of a halogen bulb.


The difference between bi-xenon and xenon headlights is very little. Bi-xenon is an improvement of xenon light. It also uses a pair of bulbs, unlike the two pairs necessary for xenon lamps, but it does not delay in reaching its brightest beam.

Bi-xenon is energy efficient and produces white-blue light that gives outstanding visibility. The best aspect of bi-xenon light is flexibility. It uses a mechanical system to control the rotation of the headlights depending on the speed and wheel turn. 

The disadvantage of bi-xenon headlights includes the possibility of mechanical failure. The mechanism can develop wear and tear over time, which will require an overhaul of the headlight components. However, bi-xenon lights are cheaper than xenon and better too. 


  • One Bulb System

Bi-xenon headlight uses one xenon bulb, so they are fewer chances of failure. The bulb services both high and low beams. This mechanism reduces failure due to bulb damage and makes replacement easier.  

  • Visibility

Bi-xenon has a very high beam made greater using a single xenon bulb and no halogen bulb. They are no yellow halogen bulb lights to reduce or nullify the bright white xenon bulb light. 

  • Great Night Performance

Bi-xenon has high visibility and is great for night driving. Using a bi-xenon headlight increases confidence while driving at night. You can be sure of a clear and long line of sight. 

  • Cost

Bi-xenon headlight costs lesser than xenon bulb and lasts longer than halogen and xenon headlights. It is less expensive due to the use of one bulb. It is cheaper to replace only one than four. 


  • Risks Of Failure

Bi-xenon headlights are prone to mechanical failure due to their switching mechanism. Since the headlight has a one-bulb system, it uses a mechanism to move the bulb to a low or high beam position. This mechanism is susceptible to wear and tear. 

  • Excessive Brightness

The bi-xenon beam’s brightness can be so powerful that it inhibits the oncoming drivers. It is not suitable for a headlight to impair the ability of others to drive properly at night. This impairment can result in accidents. 

  • Fog Inefficiency

Bi-xenon is not efficient in the fog. The white light reflects a lot and reduces visibility. Getting an extra pair of fog lights is necessary while using bi-xenon headlights. Halogen bulbs work better in the fog than xenon and bi-xenon.


Halogen headlights are the most popular car headlights due to their cheap nature. You can replace your halogen headlight for about $20 to $50. It generates only 1,400 lumens, hence, does not produce a glaring light, and has a production capacity of 1000 hours. The simplicity of the halogen headlight makes it a popular choice. 

However, it uses a tungsten filament to receive light from the car battery. This filament tends to stretch and cut, leading to no light production. This defect is the highest disadvantage of halogen light.

Halogen light is not energy-saving efficient. It produces heat you can feel when you place your hand over the headlamp. This heat makes it a lesser choice for most car owners due to energy waste.  

So far, the bi-xenon headlight has more advantages than other headlight types. It has energy conservation, mechanical control, and a long life span. Although it is expensive, it is worth every penny you spend. 


  • Yellow Soothing Light

Halogen light produces a warm yellow light that is quite soothing to most people. The yellow light is great for driving in the fog. It also throws an amber feeling that makes night leisure driving enjoyable. It does not have the chance of blinding other drivers with high-beam white light.

  • Cost

Halogen headlight is the cheapest type of headlight. That is why it is the most widely used headlight type. The cost to replace or install a halogen headlight is as low as $50. Installation is also very simple and does not always require a technician. You can install it using a manual.  


  • No Energy Conservation

Halogen headlights do not conserve energy. It is not energy-saving and efficient. Halogen bulbs require higher power to light than xenon and bi-xenon. Its heat emits out heavily that you can feel it while standing close to the headlights. 

  • Prone To Failure

Halogen bulb uses the help of a filament to produce light. This filament is a very thin wire and often tends to snap. Once the filament snaps, there will be no light production, and the bulb will need a replacement.

Can I Replace My Xenon Headlights With Bi-Xenon Or Halogen Lights?

You can replace xenon headlights with bi-xenon, but you cannot replace Xenon headlights with halogen lights because they are not interchangeable. Their body mechanism is not the same such that one won’t fit into the slot made for another. 

Halogen lights can be installed directly into a car, but the gas discharge technology used in Xenon HIDs requires that the bulb’s base be constructed differently. This explains why halogen and xenon bulbs are so different. However, with an HID conversion kit, you can convert and adjust your xenon headlight slot to fit a halogen bulb.


Different headlights produce different intensities of light rays but prominent among them are xenon, bi-xenon, and halogen headlights. Knowing what headlights your car has, helps you decide if it’s safe to drive at night or if you need an upgrade. You can tell which headlight type your car uses by checking the light color, code, and the number of bulbs. 

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