Replacing auto globes is no longer as straightforward as it once was. Globes used to be fairly standard, for example a H4 headlight globe was suitable for most vehicles. Now, there are many auto globes on the market to fit different makes and models.
Over the life of your vehicle, globes may need to be replaced in interior lights, indicators, parking lights, brake lights, reversing lights, and of course, headlights.
Different headlight options
Your vehicle’s headlights should enable you to see clearly ahead about 100m on the road, but not be so bright (or incorrectly aligned) that they cause vision problems for other motorists. For this and other reasons, there are national standards that govern headlights on road vehicles in Australia.
Types of headlights include:
- Halogens – these have a filament inside the globe made from halogen and tungsten gases, and are the most common type of headlight in Australia.
- Light emitting diode (LED) lamps – LEDs are installed in some new vehicles in Australia, but they cannot be retrofitted on existing vehicles.
- High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps – these use electrodes to charge the gas inside the globe. The gas (xenon) typically gives these lights a blueish colour – which is allowable on road vehicles to a certain degree. Retrofitting HIDs to an existing vehicle is not permitted according to national road regulations.
There is even talk of laser headlights coming at some time in the future!
Replacing your auto globes
When it comes to replacing headlight globes, there’s quite a bit to consider, including:
- Reliability – not all globes are created equal, and the last thing you want after sourcing and replacing an auto globe is to have it blow again because it’s poor quality. At Transgold, we supply globes from CEC, which are durable and have a low fail rate. CEC globes are also compliant with E-Mark Certification which is the EU quality standard in Europe for electronic auto parts and accessories.
- Wattage – regulations do not specify an upper limit for wattage on headlight globes. However, very high-wattage globes may draw excessive power from the vehicle’s electrical system, and may also cause excessive heating in the headlight itself.
- Colour temperature – headlight globes are somewhere in the spectrum between blue and yellow, with white being closer to the mid-range. The colour is unrelated to wattage however, so while white globes are often preferred for their crisp brightness, they don’t necessarily draw more power.
- Beam length – some globes produce a longer beam than others, which may suit people with poorer night vision.
The most important thing is to install globes that are right for the make and model of your particular vehicle. Check out your vehicle handbook for more information, and stick to auto globes from a reputable brand.