3057 vs 3157 bulb: Which bulb is better?

Headlights are important vehicle components. These lights light up your way at night and communicate to other drivers that you are braking or making a turn. As such, it is wise to pay close attention to the condition of your headlights, in particular the bulbs. 

The bulbs used in vehicle headlights come in many sizes, with the two most common being the 3057 and 3157 bulbs. These two types of bulbs are very similar, but they do have their differences. And in this article, we will look at both their similarities and differences. 

Also, we will consider which is the better bulb of the two. 

3057 Vs 3157 Bulb

What Is The 3057 Bulb Used For

When it comes to illumination, the 3057 bulb is not the brightest. In fact, these bulbs are considered low-intensity bulbs. As such, they are typically used as minor or critical options bulbs. 

This means you will find them being used as backup light bulbs, parking light bulbs, brake light bulbs, taillight, and reflector lights. Overall, the 3057 bulbs tend to be dimmer in the frontal area compared to fog lights.

One of the best things about these bulbs is their extended lifespan. These bulbs can offer an extended lifespan of up to 5000 hours. This makes them some of the best aftermarket headlights for silverado.

These bulbs are also very versatile and can be used in aircraft and railroad equipment. 

3057 bulb features and specs

  • Dual filament
  • 2.1 inches length by 1-inch diameter
  • 1200 to 5000 hours rated lifespan
  • S-8 bulb shape
  • Plastic wedge DF base
  • 32/2 candle power

The 3157 bulbs are used for?

In terms of functionality, these two bulbs are very similar and used for the same applications. As such, the 3157 bulb is also used as a backup light bulb, reflector lights, DRL lights, parking lights, and signal light bulbs. Additionally, these bulbs also offer an extended lifespan of up to 5000 hours. 

Thus they can be the best aftermarket headlights for 2001 dodge ram, especially if you want brake lights, turn signal lights, or tail light bulbs. 

3157 bulb features and specs

  • 32/3 candle power
  • Dual filament
  • S-8 bulb shape with plastic wedge DF base
  • 2.1 inches long by 1-inch diameter
  • Incandescent bulb technology
  • 12.8/14 volts

3057 Vs 3157 Bulb: The differences

So what are some of the differences between these two bulbs? While they are similar in some areas, they also do have their differences. The major differences between the two are;

3057 vs. 3157 Differences

Brightness level: The most noticeable difference between these two is their brightness. The 3157 bulb is noticeably brighter than its counterpart. This is one of the reasons why this bulb is ideally suited to being used as a Daylight Running light or DRL. [Reference]

Energy consumption: As you would expect, these two bulbs also differ in their energy consumption. The 3157 bulb consumes more energy than the 3057, hence why it’s able to output more brightness. The 3157 has a consumption rate of 27.8 watts; this is higher than the 26.5-watt consumption rate of the 3057.

Lifespan: The 3157 bulb also tends to have a longer lifespan. However, both will typically have a lifespan of between 1200 and 5000 hours. Thus the difference here is minimal and may come down to the condition of the headlights. 

The cost: So how do the two compare when it comes to cost? On average, the 3157 bulb can cost anywhere from $4.99 to $5.22. On the other hand, the 3057 can cost between $5.29 to $7.22.

3057 vs. 3157 similarities

From the differences, let’s look at some of the main similarities of these two bulbs;

Shape: The number one similarity is in shape. It is hard to distinguish them by shape when looking at the two as they have a similar S-8 bulb shape.

Dual filament: The two are dual filament bulbs with bright and dim filament. As such, they can be used interchangeably and will fit into the same headlight housing.

Voltage: When it comes to voltage, the two are also similar and feature a voltage rate of 12.8/4 volts.

Mounting wedge: Another reason they can be used interchangeably is the similar mounting plastic wedge base, which in both is a plastic DF wedge base.

Incandescent bulbs vs. LED bulbs

Both bulbs are considered incandescent bulbs. So how do they differ from LED bulbs? Incandescent bulbs are the conventional bulbs we all know and have used. They feature a metal wire inside a translucent glass bulb. This wire is known as a filament, and it produces light when it gets heated.

The glass bulb, which houses the filament, is usually filled with inert gas or no gas. 

On the other hand, LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes comprise of two electrodes, an anode, and a cathode. These two electrodes are typically made from special semi-conductive materials such as silicon and selenium. Some of the quality LED headlight bulbs sizes are H11, 9007, 9005, and 9012 LED Bulbs.

When electricity passes through the two electrodes, they emit visible light. When compared to incandescent bulbs, LEDs are relatively pricier. However, they are more energy-efficient and last longer and also offer brighter light.

Which bulb is better: 3057 or 3157?

Now to the all-important question: which bulb should you use for your car lights, 3057 or 3157? If we had to choose, we would pick the 3157. The latter is more versatile and brighter than the 3057.

Furthermore, this bulb can be used as a Daylight Running light. The only advantage the 3057 has over the 3157 is that it consumes less energy. Overall, though, the 3157 seems to be a better bulb in most applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are 3157 And 4157 Bulbs Interchangeable?

Yes, these two bulbs are of the same size. However, the 4157 is noticeably brighter. Also, the 4000 series are new bulbs that contain krypton gases and offer improved longevity over the 3000 series bulbs.

What bulb is brighter than 3157

Within the same 3000 series, the 3457 bulb is brighter. It has a candle power of 40, compared to the 32/2 candle power of the 3157.

What Is The Difference Between 3156 And 3157 Bulbs?

The main difference between these two bulbs is the number of filaments they have. The 3156 has a single filament, while the 3157 has dual filaments.


While the 3157 is the better of the two, the 3057 is still a usable bulb. Overall, both miniature bulbs are pretty similar in their usability. As such, you can decide to use either of the two on your vehicle.

Last Updated on May 31, 2024 by Rifen

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