What’s the difference: Hybrid vs halogen vs HID vs LED driving lights

Wed, Jun 07, 2023

In the last decade, aftermarket driving lights have become better, brighter and more efficient than ever before. With so many options available, from Halogen to LED, how do you know which one to pick? 

It’s important to get the right set of spotties for your 4x4 to keep you safe on the road and offroad. That’s why we’ve lined up the different driving light technologies on the market to find out which one is best. 


Halogen driving lights


Up first is the oldest in 4x4 driving lights tech: the halogen. 

Halogen bulbs produce heat inside a filament (or bulb) to generate light. They work in a similar way to traditional incandescent light bulbs but are made to shine longer and brighter. While generally they’re the least powerful of the 4x4 driving light technologies and produce a warmer output, they are easily serviceable and bulbs are easy to replace. 

If you’re looking for an affordable 4x4 driving light, we recommend a pair of halogens – like our Striker or Blitz series. Drivers from around the globe have spent years navigating our highways and off-roading with success, thanks to the dependable halogen. They’re particularly popular on commercial vehicles in the freight industry.

If you’re planning a long-distance trip or you’re just frequenting the tracks or road at night, we recommend carrying a spare set of globes. With a range of different wattages available, most 4x4 driving enthusiasts opt for 55W or 100W. 


Whilst Halogen Technology has been around for well 50 years, it’s still a simple reliable technology. Lightforce is one of the few manufacturers that utilize  Xenophot bulb Technology instead of standard Halogen bulbs that are filled with a mixture of gasses including Krypton gas.


Our GLO2 Xenophot Bulbs utilize Xenon gas with-in the mix which allows for higher filament temperature giving you 20% brighter output and Longer Life (2000 Hrs at 12 Volts).


Choose halogen for... Affordable driving lights for medium light conditions



HID driving lights


After several decades of the halogen dominating the driving-light market, a new contender finally arrived: the HID. 


HIDs are an electronically driven technology and are filled with a mixture of gases including Xenon gas, but instead of a filament, it utilizes a gas-filled chamber and an external Electrode, Ballast and a Starter.


When switched on, the Starter generates a 25000 volt Pulse through the electrode to create a Plasma Arc within the bulb chamber, once fired up! the ballast takes over controlling the somewhat more efficient lower wattage bulb.

So, how does a HID driving light, like our Striker – compare to the halogen? 

Not only are they typically more robust and powerful, producing an output that can be up to three times brighter, they also have a lower power draw. This superior efficiency means that you can expect your globes to last around 2,000 hours! HID driving lights also have a longer beam distance and the light tends to be more neutral, which reduces eye fatigue and adds clarity to your night-driving experience. 

Unfortunately, HID driving lights do not run directly on low-voltage DC current. Instead, they require an ignitor and ballast to generate a sufficient level of brightness and power.
They also require slightly longer to warm-up, before turning on completely.

Choose HID for... Long-distance driving in low light conditions.


LED driving lights


If you’re an avid off-road enthusiast, or you’re looking for the most reliable set of driving lights you can find, you can’t go past LED. An excellent example of LED technology is our Genesis driving light

While they are usually the most expensive to purchase up-front, LEDs boast many benefits – including an incredibly long service life and depending on the use, a lower current draw compared to Halogen Lights. Many users report that their LEDs last for more than 50,000 hours! They’re also resistant to shock and vibration in demanding conditions, and their use of individual diodes can create a wider beam than other technologies.

If you’re concerned about hitting a lone kangaroo or running into an unexpected road hazard at night, LEDs are your best friend. 


Lightforce LED Driving Lights can run up to 37 individual LEDs, giving our engineers the ability to individually fine-tune each LED, utilizing both Reflector and Directional Aiming Technology! Combining spread and long-distance driving light patterns, LED driving lights gives you the best of both worlds.