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Lighting System

H1 vs H11: How Do They differ & What’s Best for You?

H1 vs H11
Written by Nick Steiner

When choosing a group 1 headlight bulb, the discussion of H1 vs H11 will come up. They have many similarities, but their differences mean they are not interchangeable.

Here we compared the H1 and H11 to help you decide on the bulb you can use.

Group 1 bulbs

The ECE came up with international standards and classifications for auto parts that include headlight bulbs to make it easier on car owners.

There are three groups of bulbs, and we are looking at H1 and H11 in group 1. Group 1 includes headlight and foglight bulbs with different sockets and power ratings. The H1 and H11 are both single filament bulbs.

H1 vs H11: Pros and cons

H1 Pros

  • Produces a high beam light
  • Illuminates in front of the vehicle for a long-distance
  • 1410 lumens of illumination
  • Can be used as foglight or headlamp

H1 Cons

  • Can be blinding to oncoming traffic

H11 Pros

  • Are not blinding to oncoming traffic
  • Perfect for every night driving due to low beam
  • Manufactured to be used as foglights
  • The LED option offers low heat dissipation

H11 Cons

  • Poor visibility in extremely dark situations

H1 vs H11: How Do They Differ?

Take a quick look at key differences and similarities

Comparing points  H1 H11 
Voltage 6 or 12 12
Wattage 55 watt 55 watt
Lumens 1410 1200
Lifespan 2-3 years 5 to 7 years
Type of beam High beam Low beam
Range Long Short
Socket P 14.5 base with a single insert made of flat metal that plugs into a car lamp socket Closed connector plug
Bulb equibalance H1ST/VX H8, H9, and L-shaped H16
Equivalent bulb type HID, Halogen, and LED HID, Halogen, and LED
Uses Foglight and headlight Foglight
Traffic blinding Can be blinding to oncoming traffic Not blinding to oncoming traffic

1. Volts and wattage

Standard headlight bulbs offer 55 watts when used as a low beam. They work on 12 volts of power and draw about 4.58 amps. When purchased in LED, Halogen, and HID, they can give more than 55 watts of illumination.

H1

The H1 offers 6 or 12 volts and 55 watts.

H11

The H11 also provides 12 volts and 55 watts.

2. Lumens

Lumens are how bright of a light the bulb emits. The lumens can change depending on the type of light you choose.

H1

The H1 provides 1410 lumens, more than the H11.

H11

The H11 offers 1200 lumens, 210 less than the H1.

3. Lifespan

A bulb’s life span depends on road conditions (bumps, potholes, etc.), how you use the bulb, like using it for something other than driving, such as illuminating an area, or how long you use the lights– a 6-hour drive in the dark vs. a 45-minute ride in the dark.

H1

The standard H1 bulb lifespan is between 2-3 years.

H11

The standard H11 bulb has a lifespan of 5-7 years as it offers a dimmer light.

4. Type of beam

Headlights are categorized by high beam and low beam. In high beams, there is no angle change. The light is very bright and shines straight ahead of the vehicle at a long distance.

Low beams are what you use for night driving. They are less intense than a high beam but illuminate the road well. Some refer to them as “dipped beams” as the light angles toward the street.

H1

The H1 is a high beam light that is glare-free but intense. When lit, they are bright white to selective yellows.

H11

The H11 is a low beam headlight offering a shorter distance of illumination.

5. Socket

Bulb sockets hold the bulb in place and are the electrical source for the bulb. In Class 1 auto bulbs, the socket and its wiring are different on each bulb.

H1

The H1 has a P 14.5 base with a single insert made of flat metal—the H1 plugs into a car lamp socket.

H11

The H11 has a connector plug that is closed. Its wiring is at the broadest part of the bottom ring. The connecting end of the light assembly goes into an H11 connecting plug.

6. Bulb equivalents

Equivalent bulbs are interchangeable and offer the same illumination.

H1

H1 is equivalent to H1ST/VX in Halogen, HID, and LED.

H11

The H8, H9, and L-shaped H16 are equivalent to the H11 in HID, Halogen, and LED.

7. Uses

H1

H1 is used as foglights and headlamps in most smaller cars (sedans and coupes). Their most common use is emergency vehicles because of their brightness. Their intense illumination offers safety in the dark of night.

H11

Most vehicles use H11 bulbs as foglights due to their nonbeam function.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LED, HID, and Halogen bulbs

LED advantages

  • Extended design choices
  • 80% more efficient than HID and Halogen bulbs when used correctly
  • The most extended lifespan of the three technology options
  • Need very little space
  • Offer a 0.001-second switch-on period creating a shorter braking distance
  • An increased level of reliability
  • Extremely energy efficient

LED disadvantages

  • Limited range of some bulbs due to light illumination

Halogen advantages

  • Not blinding to oncoming traffic
  • The most commonly used bulb technology
  • The most affordable bulbs
  • Made for use in both old and newer model cars
  • Yellow, warm light

Halogen disadvantages

  • Heat created by Halogen lights uses more energy

HID advantages

  • Less expensive than a Halogen bulb
  • Much brighter than a Halogen bulb
  • More powerful in the dark than an LED bulb
  • Offer seven different colors of light, giving various bulb temperature options
  • More affordable than HID and LED bulbs

HID disadvantages

  • Require more maintenance than Halogen and LED bulbs

Does the Color of the Headlamp Bulb Matter?

Yes. The color temperature of bulbs is measured in Kelvin. The temperature of the bulb is directly related to the light’s source. This is true of HID and LED bulbs.

When steel is heated, it goes from red to orange, then yellow, and is white at its hottest.

A match’s flame is about 1700 K. A standard incandescent bulb is around 2400 K, while the sun beating down on you can reach 5000 K. Bulbs that emit yellow light are 3500 K, while a white bulb is 6000 K.

Blue bulbs which are at the highest end of the spectrum give off 9000 K. So, the color of the bulb’s light does make a difference in the longevity of the bulb, primarily if used in a light assembly that holds heat.

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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