5 Best 9012 LED Headlight Bulb: Brightest LED bulb Review

Half of the fatal car crashes occur at night, and a quarter occurs along poorly lit roads. This goes to show just how important headlights are for nighttime driving. Unfortunately, some of the stock halogen bulbs don’t offer enough lighting to illuminate your path.

On the other hand, LED bulbs offer exceptional brightness and are known to improve nighttime driving vastly. As such, switching from halogen bulbs to LEDs will make your nighttime driving safer. 

However, LED bulbs come in different types and vary in brightness, with the 9012 headlight bulbs being some of the brightest LED bulbs out there. As such, you will want to switch to the best 9012 LED headlight bulb.

But with the numerous options available on the market, finding the best brightest 9012 LED bulb can be challenging. And this is why we have compiled a list of five of the 9012 LED bulbs on the market.

Top on the list is the Fahren 9012/HIR2 LED Headlight Bulbs 10000 Lumens. We found that these bulbs were very practical in terms of how bright they were. They are sufficiently bright to illuminate the road in front of you without being overly bright that they blind oncoming drivers. This is particularly beneficial for daytime driving.

Number two goes to another Fahren product; the Fahren Forenner 9012/HIR2 LED 12000 Lumens Headlight Bulbs. These were noticeably brighter bulbs than halogens bulbs, but they may come off as being a bit too bright for some people’s liking, hence their position.

Best 9012 LED Headlight Bulb

Why Should You Trust This Review

In our reviews, we aim to give you an honest and unbiased look at the performance of each of the six bulbs. This means going over what makes them great and any cons we found about them as well as their top features.

How We Picked These Bulbs

In our selection, we considered two essential things, brightness and how far the light beam was cast. We installed the bulbs into different car models and compared how far they cast their beams. We also considered how easy they were to install and if there were any modifications we had to make.

We picked the bulbs that projected their light beams furthest, which did not require any modifications to install. We also considered how the bulbs interacted with the onboard computer systems of vehicles if there were any errors. 

Why You Should Switch To LEDs From Halogens Stock Bulb

So why should you switch from your stock 9012 halogen bulbs to LEDs?. Well, there are several reasons to make the switch. The main reasons are;

Best Brightest 9012 LED bulb

Last Longer: 

LEDs can offer upwards of 30,000 hours of uninterrupted lighting, while most halogens can only muster 1,000 to 6,000 hours. As such, halogens need to be replaced more frequently compared to LEDs,

Energy-Efficient: 

LEDs are more energy-efficient and do not require as much electricity as halogens. This is good news for your battery and alternator. LEDs will not put a strain on your car’s power, and even if you accidentally leave them on, they are unlikely to drain your battery.

Significantly Brighter: 

Compared to halogens, some of the best 9012 LED bulb for projector headlights are considerably brighter. In some cases, they are 4 times more luminous than halogen bulbs.

However, LEDs are not without their drawbacks.

The two main disadvantages of LED bulbs are;

They are not Omnidirectional: 

Halogen bulbs emit light from the front and sides of the bulb. This means they are able to illuminate the road in front and to the sides. On the other hand, LEDs emit light in a straight line only; therefore, they need to be appropriately aligned to illuminate the road properly.

Changing the height or suspension of your car will require you to re-align the LED bulbs, or they will aim either too high or too low.

Do not get hot enough: 

LEDs produce some heat at the back and usually require a cooling fan. However, the bulbs themselves do not heat up as halogens do. This means they cannot melt snow or freezing rain off the lenses.

9012 LED Bulb Installation Tips

9012 LED Bulb Installation Tips
  • Install the bulbs when the vehicle is turned off
  • Wear gloves when installing the bulbs
  • Do not touch the LED diodes of the bulb with your finger, as this can interfere with the light output
  • Wipe the bulbs with drying alcohol and a clean cloth in case they come in contact with contaminants
  • When installing, ensure the diodes are positioned vertically facing left and right and not up and down.

Are 9005, 9006, And 9012 Bulbs The Same?

The 9005, 9006, and 9012 bulbs have similarities, but they also differ in some areas. In terms of similarities, these bulbs can be replaced with one another. Also, they offer longevity and improved brightness and are also quite costly.

But in terms of brightness, the 9012 are the brightest bulbs, followed by the 9005 and the 9006. Another difference is that 9012 bulbs are the most energy-efficient of the three, followed by 9006.

 Reviews Of The Best 9012 LED Bulbs

best 9012 headlight bulb

Fahren 9012/HIR2 LED Headlight Bulbs 60W 10000: Best 9012 Hir2 Led Bulb

The top spot on the list goes to the Fahren 9012/HIR2 LED headlight bulbs. These are 60 watts, 10000 lumens LEDs that offer three times more brightness than your average halogen bulb. 

As with any other LED bulb, these produce a bright 6500K focused beam of the white light cast pretty far. This ensures you will be able to see more of the road as you drive in low visibility. These bulbs also come with an Allen wrench, cable ties, instructions manual included.

But given how easy it is to install these, you probably don’t need the Allen wrench. However, when installing on a 2013 Ford Taurus SEL, you will need to adjust the locking ring. This will ensure the diodes are facing the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock direction. 

They do come with a 12000 RPM turbo cooling fan similar to the other Fahren bulbs. This ensures a longer lifespan. Also, the fan is hardly noticeable, which is great if you hate the whining noise that some LED bulb fans produce.

These bulbs are known for their reliable design and the good thing is they have a waterproof rating of IP68; which means they will have no problem in the rain. As for their lifespan, it is rated at 50,000 hrs. 

The default layout of the locking ring faces the 4′ O’clock and 10 O’clock directions. Though this is pretty easy thanks to the 360 degrees adjustable locker ring. These bulbs are also CAnbus ready, and you will not experience any errors after installation. They also come with a two-year warranty.

Fahren Forenner 9012/HIR2 LED Headlight Bulbs 12000 Lumens: Best 9012 Hir2 Led Bulb

Second, on our list are the Fahren Forenner 9012/HIR2 LED headlight bulbs. We installed this in a 2014 Ford Volt, and they were a significant upgrade on the default halogen bulbs. For starters, they were incredibly bright.

These bulbs produce a wide beam of 650k white light that stretches out across the road. The result is that you are able to see more of the road at night. At 12000 lumens and 80 watts per bulb, these are 4x brighter than factory stock halogen lights. 

The package includes an Allen wrench, a couple of zip ties, and an instructions manual. But since these are plug-and-play bulbs, we didn’t use the Allen wrench when installing. The bulb housing is made of aluminum and fits perfectly into the socket with all the wires.

It is important to note that you have to flip the power plug on, on both bulbs. This is because the bulbs will not work until you flip the power plug on. However, this is also outlined in the instructions manual. And with its 360 degrees adjustable beam, it is pretty easy to adjust it so that you do not end up blinding oncoming drivers.

In terms of cooling, they feature a 12000 RPM turbo cool fan, which is pretty quiet. These bulbs are also IP68 waterproof rated, making them suitable for use in harsh weather. And the 50,000 hours lifespan means it will be a while before you have to change them.

According to the manufacturer, these bulbs are compatible with 98% of vehicle computer systems. They thus will not have any errors on installation. So if you need brighter headlight bulbs with optimal performance better than halogen headlight bulbs then choose these twin pack Fahren Forenner 12K Lumens headlights bulbs. You will notice a huge difference in terms of lighting range, service life as well as a wide range of road visibility.

Philips 9012CVB2 CrystalVision Ultra Upgrade: Best 9012 Halogen Bulb

Perhaps the best 9012 Halogen bulb out there, the Philips 9012CVB2 Crystalvision headlight bulbs, offer performance closer to LEDs at 55 watts. Also, these produce noticeably whiter light than traditional halogen bulbs.

We fitted these onto a 2014 Ford Taurus and immediately noticed they were brighter than the stock halogens. And while they aren’t as bright as LED bulbs or xenon bulbs, they are a better option than other halogen bulbs.

The beam produced by these bulbs was cast further than other halogen bulbs. One of the best things about these bulbs is they appear whiter without compromising on brightness. In addition, these bulbs have a color temperature of 3640K. 

Halogen bulbs typically get coated with a blue coat to appear whiter but can come at the expense of brightness. These Philips bulbs have a blue cap that creates a cool blue effect during the day.

Overall, these are budget alternatives to 9012 LED bulbs that offer improved brightness compared to other halogen bulbs. Also, these 9006 bulbs are DOT compliant and are street legal, meaning you will not have any legal issues with these bulbs. So if you are looking for replacement halogen bulbs that are better than stock conventional bulbs or somewhat comparable with the original halogen bulbs, no doubt Philips 9012CVB2 is your best bet.  

AUXITO 9012/HIR2 LED Light Bulbs 16000 Lumens

We switched a 2015 GMC Sierra’s stock halogen standard bulb with these Auxito 9012/HIR2 LED bulbs, and the difference was remarkable. Also, they are more energy-efficient than dim stock lights bulb. But that is not all you can expect.

These bulbs are very well built with metal locking tabs and an aluminum housing. Inside there is a copper board, a built-in intelligent temperature control IC, and a 12,000 RPM turbo cooling fan. All these parts combine to give the bulb a long lifespan of 50,000 hours. 

As for the fit, they fit nicely, and we did not have to make any modifications. The installation process took about 15 minutes, with the passenger side bulb taking most of the time.

The beam pattern of these bulbs is fantastic. At 16,000 lumens and 80 watts, they are 4 times brighter than stock 9012 halogen bulbs. Also, they cast out light further than the stock halogen bulbs of the Sierra. There are no distortions, shadows, or dead spots with the bulbs. The 6500K color temperature is pretty standard among the most top-rated LED bulbs. 

These bulbs are also Canbus ready and will be compatible with the other systems of your vehicle. As such, there are no errors to deal with after installation. In addition, the L-shaped tool that comes with the package and the 360-degree adjustable locker ring makes it easy to adjust the beam. 

Fahren 9012/HIR2 LED Headlight Bulbs 20000 Lumens

Another set of fahren 9012/hir2 led headlight bulbs you should consider are the Fahren 9012/HIR2 LED headlight bulbs. Similar to other Fahren bulbs, these are incredibly bright and will be a significant improvement over your stock halogens. 

In regards to installation, we found these bulbs to be easy to install. It took about 10 minutes to install these with no modifications required. They also did not throw any errors from the 2011 Ford Edge computer system we installed.

But how bright are they? These bulbs are incredibly bright at 120 watts and 20000 lumens and project a 6500K cool white light further than the stock 9012 halogens. The beam is also cast at a wider angle giving you a clearer view of the road surroundings.

Thanks to them being waterproof with an IP68 rating, they should perform optimally in any weather condition. Furthermore, with a 50,000 hours lifespan, they should last you for a long time.

These bulbs will work with 98% of vehicle computer systems without throwing any errors. However, according to the manufacturer, you will be required to install a Canbus decoder for some vehicle models. 

Techmax 9012 LED Bulb

If you are on a tight budget, the TECHMAX 9012 LED bulbs will be an excellent fit for you. These are priced at almost half the price of the Farhan. However, they are still capable of delivering exceptional brightness at night.

Despite their price, these LEDs will light up the road better than any halogen bulb can. They produce a focused beam of 6500K white light that is unlikely to blind oncoming drivers. We installed them on a 2012 Chevy volt.

As for how bright they are, they offer 12000 lumens at 72 watts putting them at the same level as the Fahren Forenner bulbs. Furthermore, they are equipped with a double ball-bearing fan and aluminum housing to increase their lifespan.

This gives them a lifespan of 30,000 hours, slightly lower than that of other top-rated bulbs but still well above the lifespan of 9012 halogen bulbs.  

And they fit perfectly and had enough room to install the cap, and there was no interference with the car’s computer system. This was quite a surprise given how most aftermarket LEDs are hard to install onto Chevy Volts.

After installation, the bulbs did not have any error codes and did not produce any fan noise, which is always a plus. 

Things To Consider To Pick The Best 9012 LED Headlight Bulb

What should you consider when shopping for the best brightest 9012 LED bulb? There are several things to consider, the main ones are;

Things to consider before getting the best 9012 hir2 led bulb

Legal or Not

Overly bright headlights can blind oncoming drivers or drivers on the other side of the road. To avoid this, states have different laws on what kind of headlights are legal to use. Typically headlights that cast a beam for up to 50 to 100 meters are acceptable.

Nonetheless, it is essential to check your area’s laws on headlights to see what is legal and what is not.

Vehicle Compatibility

Different vehicles have different bulb sockets and housing. As such, the one bulb model may fit into your car, but it may not fit into mine. For example, the Philips 9012 LED bulb may be compatible with one vehicle model but be incompatible with another.

Thus before purchasing a bulb set, check whether it is compatible with your car. Check your original bulb part number to make sure what type of bulb and bulb sizes you need. If you face a problem with finding the part number of the factory bulb type and bulb sizes you should consult with the manufacturer or service center to know more about the types of bulbs your vehicle need.

 In some cases, you may be able to fit a bulb after making some modifications. However, this can often take time and be costly. Thus you are better off sticking with bulbs designed to fit your specific vehicle model.

Build Quality

LED bulbs are designed to last for a long, and as such, the build quality matters. Ideally, you want bulbs with an aluminum housing. Aluminum is a lightweight yet tough metal that will last for a long.

Light Output

How far LED bulbs can project a beam depends on their lumens. If you want the best 9012 hir2 led bulb, you need to get one with at least 8,000 lumens to project light up to 700m. Also, you should consider the light colors the headlight bulb produces.

However, some of the best bulbs produce upwards of 10,000 lumens and will project a white bright light making you feel like you are driving during the day.

Ease of Installation

Not all bulbs are easy to install. Thus this is another essential factor to consider, especially if you plan on installing the bulbs yourself. Remember, the ease of installation will depend on what tools you need and how the bulbs are designed.

Easy-to-install bulbs will typically feature an Allen wrench in the package. Also, they come in an instructions manual. Remember not to touch the glass surface of the bulb during installation process.

Visibility At Night: Bulb Brightness

visibility At Night Bulb Brightness

Bulb brightness is measured in Kelvins. Bulbs used in cars need to have a Kelvin scale of between 3500 and 5000; this will be sufficient brightness to illuminate the road at night as well as provide comfortable vision during the nighttime drive. For example, the best SYLVANIA 9012 led bulb will produce over 5,000 Kelvins.

This is the right brightness for nighttime driving and is recommended. Thus check for the kelvin rating of a bulb. Ideally, you want one with a rating of 5000 Kelvins and over. 

Can-Bus Ready

Check whether a bulb is Can-bus compatible. This ensures it does not interfere with the vehicle’s electrical system. Any interference can lead to flickering and errors after the installation of the bulbs.

Cooling

LED bulbs are usually more energy-efficient than halogens. However, a dedicated cooling fan will be necessary to guarantee the bulb’s long lifespan. Check for the type of cooling fan that a bulb has. It is also essential to check whether it produces any fan noise, which can be annoying.

Change In Pair:

Always try to buy LED headlights in pairs for having better road visibility. If you just replace a single headlight bulb then there is a high chance of having the other light dimmed than the newer ones. So always try to buy pair of bulbs for having clearer visibility and field of vision. If you wish to change the entire headlight light kit then that’s another issue. You better refer to these reviews to know which one to buy. We covered these recently such as top aftermarket headlights for Silverado and 6 aftermarket headlights for 2001 Dodge Ram. If you own any of these vehicles you can check them out.

Price

Typically, LED bulbs are pricier than halogens. The extra cost guarantees brighter and safer driving at night. Nonetheless, LEDs are priced differently, and you can find LEDs to fit your budget. The costliest tend to offer more than those that are more affordable.

Warranty

In most cases, LED bulbs come with a 2-year warranty. Therefore, it is important to check the warranty of the bulbs when buying them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many lumens is a 9012 bulb?

On average, a 9012 bulb will have 12000 lumens. 

Do I Need to Replace Both Headlight Bulbs at the Same Time?

No, however, in most cases, headlight bulbs have the same life expectancy. As such, if one bulb goes out, chances are the other will soon follow if it hasn’t already. Thus, it is standard practice and recommended to replace both headlight bulbs at the same time.

Can I Upgrade to LED Headlights from Halogen Headlights?

Yes, the same sockets used by halogen bulbs will be compatible with LED bulbs; this makes switching from halogens to LEDs easier.

What bulb is the same as a 9012?

In terms of similarities, the 9012 is more similar to the 9011 bulbs than the 9005 and 9006.

Conclusion

The decision to switch from halogens to the best 9012 led headlight bulb is squarely with you. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended, as the white light projected by LEDs is closer to natural daylight than the yellow light projected by halogens. 

Furthermore, LEDs will have a longer lifespan and not require frequent bulb replacement like their halogen counterparts.

Last Updated on October 29, 2021 by Rifen

Last update on 2022-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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