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Lighting System

9006 vs H11: How Do They Compare?

9006 vs H11
Written by Nick Steiner

When replacing headlights, most people are looking for the most economical choice. The question of compatibility in the 9006 vs an H11 comes into play.

Here we will look at 9006 vs H11, comparing the different aspects of the bulbs, advantages, and disadvantages, and identify headlights compatible with the 9006 and the H11.

About the bulbs

H11

The H11 offers one illumination angle and is used as a low beam headlight and foglight. Used under normal driving conditions on urban roads, they do not get as hot and offer a long bulb life.

9006

This single filament headlight works as a high and low beam headlight. It is the most commonly used headlight because of its dual uses. While more expensive than an H11, its long life makes it comparable in price in the long run.

9006 vs H11: How They Compare

9006 vs H11

A quick look

Comparing factors  9006 H11 
Type of beam Both high and low beam Low beam only
Lumens 1200 1000
Best uses Dark or poorly lit roads Highways, regular streets, and city driving
Foglight Can’t be used as foglight Can be used as foglight
Watts 60 watt 55 watt
Range Bigger smaller
Base Pins are spaced further Pins are spaced closer
Compatibility Compatible without modification Compatible with modification
Lifespan Longer Shorter
Heat production Low High
Effects on other drivers Have blinding effect No blinding effect
Bulb efficiency Low High
Price Expensive (9006 Sylvania bulb sells for $15 plus tax) Cheaper (H11 Sylvania bulb retails for $10 plus tax)
  • Type of Beam

9006

The illumination of a 9006 makes it the perfect high-beam bulb, though there are cars that use the 9006 as a low beam option.

H11

The lack of illumination makes the H11 much less distracting. Low light makes the H11 the ideal low beam bulb.

  • Lumens

The bulbs’ brightness difference is so small (100 lumens) that most people can’t tell the difference.

9006

The 9006 offers brightness at 1200 lumens.

H11

The H11 outputs 1000 lumens.

  • Bulb uses

9006

Due to the vast illumination of a 9006 bulb, its use is on dark, poorly lit roads. It also illuminates well in poor weather conditions like rain and snow.

H11

The H11 bulb is great for highways, regular streets, and city driving due to its dimmer illumination. In addition, the combination of street lights and the H11 bulb offers a well-lit roadway.

  • Number of Watts

9006

A 9006 bulb casts a longer light beam, and the light illuminates a wider area, so it makes sense that it would use 60 watts to do the job.

H11

An H11 bulb illuminates a shorter distance and smaller roadway area, using 55 watts.

  • Type of base

Both the H11 and the 9006 have an L-shaped base. The difference between the two is the tabs on the connectors. The pins are spaced further apart on the 9006 opposed to the H11.

  • Connectors

9006

When the connectors are modified, you can use a 9006 bulb for an H11.

H11

Despite the similarity in the connectors of the 9006 vs. the H11, the connectors on an H11 keep it from being compatible with the 9006.

  • Bulb life

9006

9006 bulbs don’t get as hot as an H11, resulting in longer bulb life. Manufacturers suggest that the 9006 lasts about 50,000 hours.

H11

An H11 gets warmer than a 9006, affecting the bulb life. While H11 bulbs last pretty long, they do not last as long as a 9006.

  • Cost per single bulb

Price comparison on Sylvania basic bulb, single package on Amazon.

9006

A single 9006 Sylvania bulb sells for $15 plus tax.

H11

An H11 Sylvania bulb retails for $10 plus tax.

  • Bulb efficiency

9006

A 9006 pulls more watts than an H11, making it the less efficient bulb option.

H11

Lower wattage and a dimmer light make the H11 a more efficient bulb and let your car use the extra watts for other car electronics.

Compatibility

The compatibility of these bulbs is one-sided. The H11 bulb won’t fit in a 9006 lamp socket unless modified. You can do this by locating the plastic tabs in the bulb capsule and cutting 1/8 of an inch off the tab using a wire snip.

No modification is needed to use a 9006 bulb in an H11 socket. So you could swap in a 9006 bulb for the H11, but the high beam can cause blinding for some drivers, making the choice dangerous.

Advantages

9006

  • Efficiency of design offers low heat dissipation
  • Offers vast compatibility with most headlights
  • Has dual use as a high beam and low beam headlight
  • Good reliability as an LED bulb
  • Used in both the 9006 sockets and H11 sockets without modification

H11

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Dual usage as a headlight and foglight
  • L-shaped design is unique to the bulb
  • Low heat output makes it very efficient
  • Offers multiple color temperatures, can be switched easily for a different color
  • Lower light illumination makes them a standard bulb in urban areas
  • Consume less power, less likely to run down your battery

Disadvantages

9006

  • Cannot be used a foglight
  • Blinding to oncoming traffic
  • Use of more power can run down the battery

H11

  • Shorter life span vs. a 9006
  • Not used on very dark roads and too dim compared to 9006

Are there compatible bulbs for the 9006 and the H11?

9006

When looking for replacement bulbs, there are several options comparable to a 9006 bulb: the 9012 dual beams and the HB4 dual beam. Both are available in Halogen, HID (high-intensity discharge), and LED (light-emitting diode).

H11

Replacement bulbs for the H11 also come in LED, HID, and Halogen. In addition, the H8, H9, and H16, which are L-shaped, are all compatible with the H11.

How do the 9006 HID, Halogen, and LED compare?

9006 Halogen

The halogen version of the 9006 is the least energy-efficient of the three. Halogens are used with reflector housing and projector housing.

While simple to replace, they burn out quickly and are not very bright. However, they are the most affordable of the headlights. Unfortunately, it is the worst bulb out of the three.

9006 LED

The 9006 LED is the most energy-efficient of the three bulbs. It can be used with reflector housing but works best with projector housing. It lasts long and gives off a bright illumination.

Replacement is simple but it is the most expensive bulb of the three. LED bulbs are more costly than HID and halogen bulbs.

9006 HID

It is more efficient than a halogen bulb but not as efficient as a LED bulb.

A 9006 HID works best with projector housing, but you should never use it with reflector housing.

While they are less expensive than LED bulbs, they are difficult to replace. HID bulbs offer the highest illumination and an average life span.

About the author

Nick Steiner

Nick has been a car nut for his whole life as far as he can remember. His father was a car dealer who used to change and repair his cars himself. As a result, Nick had the opportunity to get around all sorts of cars and learned to get his hands dirty repairing vehicles from an early age.

Nick is a great fan of Japanese quality and German preciosity. His deep passion lies in older models that he believes have a flair that takes him back to his childhood. He also loves their durability and reliability when compared to the modern models.

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