How Should Led Headlights Be Positioned: Can LED Headlights Be Installed Upside Down?

You have just swapped your car’s halogen stock lights with LEDs, but when you turn them on, you notice that you can’t see clearly; what could be the problem? You wonder. Well, it could either be that your headlights aren’t aimed properly, or your LED bulbs are upside down.

Whatever the case, fixing the problem in both instances is relatively straightforward. And in this article, we are going to take a look at how should led headlights be positioned and how to install LED bulbs properly.

How Should Led Headlights Be Positioned

Installing and How Should Led Headlights Be Positioned properly

First things first, how to properly install LED bulbs, and Can LED Headlights Be Installed Upside Down? The answer to this question is yes. When installing headlights for 2001 dodge ram or any other vehicle such as Silverado aftermarket headlight, the bulbs should be positioned horizontally. 

In this position, the center tab of the bulb’s mounting collar will be facing upwards, and so will the shield at the front of the bulb. As for the LED chips will be facing left and right, with one at 9 O’ClockO’Clock and the other at 3 O’ClockO’Clock. 

How Should Led Headlights Be Positioned and insatlled

What if you are using dual-beam headlights that use a single bulb for both low and high beams? For such headlights, the bulb used will have two diodes, a low and high beam diode. The low beam diode typically sits slightly above the high beam diode.

When using dual-beam headlight bulbs, the high beam diode should face downwards, with the low beam diode facing upwards.

Can I Put LED Bulbs In Halogen Fittings?

Yes, LED lights and halogen bulbs have the same mounting tab, and thus you can install LED bulbs into the same assembly you had halogen ones. So for example, your car comes with a pair of stock 9012 size halogen headlight bulbs, in that case, if you wish to have brighter light and want to save on energy you can easily install one of the brightest 9012 LED headlights bulbs available in the market.

Dangers of installing headlights upside down: Can LED Headlights Be Installed Upside Down?

When installing LED bulbs, it is important to ensure they are not angled or facing up and down instead of right and left. If the LED bulbs are facing up and down, the light will shine off the headlight assembly chrome finish.

Dangers of installing headlights upside down Can LED Headlights Be Installed Upside Down

As such, the bulb will not reflect off the reflectors on the headlight housing. This will result in a poor beam light pattern, and you cannot see the road. More importantly, since the light is shining off the chrome finish above the low beam reflectors, it will appear noticeably brighter to other drivers.

And since LEDs are significantly brighter than halogens, the light will be bright and blind other drivers and lead to accidents. Studies have shown that it can take a driver up to 5 seconds to recover when blinded by headlights. Within those five seconds, a lot can happen before a driver can recover and react.

In most states, you are not allowed to have your high beam headlights on within 500 meters of another vehicle. Therefore, installing your headlights upside down could land you on the wrong side of the law. 

How to know if my headlights are upside down

There is a test you can do to know if your headlights are positioned correctly or what’s the correct position of led headlights should be. To perform this test, you will need to position your car in front of a flat wall surface. Then, drive the car 8.5 yards or 300 inches from the wall.

How Do I Know That My Headlights Are Upside Down

Then turn your headlights on. Look at the white light pattern cast on the flat surface. If the bulbs are installed upside down, you will notice a messy beam pattern all over the place. Ideally, the beam pattern should be crisp and condensed with a clear cut-off line at the top.

how to know if my headlights are upside down

If your beam pattern is not clear, condensed, and without a cut-off line at the top, then chances are your LED bulbs are not installed correctly. 

What Is The Correct Orientation? Vertical Or Horizontal

So how should the led headlight bulb be positioned, vertical or horizontal? The correct orientation of LED bulbs is horizontal, with the LED chips facing left and right and not up and down.


Aiming your headlights

Now that you have learned how to install LED bulbs properly, it is time to discuss how to aim headlights. If the headlights are not aimed properly, you can end up having a poor light pattern that blinds other drivers.

The proper beam pattern will have a distinct cut-off line, and near the center at the top of the beam will be the hot spot. Headlight alignment is done to ensure that it is under the field of view of oncoming drivers.

Aiming your headlights

If the beam is too high, it will be above other drivers’ field of view, causing them to be blinded by your beam pattern. 

How to aim the beam of your headlights

To properly aim your headlights, you will have to drive your car to about 3 ft from a flat surface such as a wall. Ensure the tires of your car have sufficient pressure, and you have at least half a tank of gas. 

Once your vehicle is aligned, identify its center and mark it with a vertical stripe on the wall. Then identify the center of the headlights and mark it on the wall as well. The center of the headlight is identifiable by the little dot on the headlight housing.

Next, measure from the ground to the center of the headlight. Mark the distance on the wall, and make another mark 2 inches from the first mark. Finally, put a vertical piece of tape between the two markings.

Once this is done, reverse your vehicle 25 ft from the wall. The bottom of the vertical tape marking on the wall should be where the top of your beam pattern is from 25 ft. To adjust the beam pattern up and down, you will need a Phillips screwdriver.

Open the hood of the car and locate the headlight adjustment screw. Use the screwdriver to rotate the adjustment screw and move the beam up and down. Different vehicles have their alignment screws positioned in different locations.

Thus you will have to consult your owner’s manual to locate it. Also, in some vehicles, you may require Torx screws to move the mechanism.

Overall when driving, your headlights light beam should be barely bouncing off the bottom of road signs. This way, the headlights will not be blinding other drivers.


Swapping your vehicle’s stock halogen bulbs for LED headlights is relatively easy. However, if you are not careful, you may end up installing them upside down, which will be bad for you and your other drivers on the road. 

But installing LED bulbs correctly is not the end, as you also need to ensure the headlights are aimed correctly. As stated, the beam of your headlight should always be under other drivers’ fields of view.

Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by Rifen

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