Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. At no cost to you, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

H11 vs 9005 Headlight Bulbs | What’s The Difference?

H11 vs 9005 Headlight Bulbs | What’s The Difference?

Headlight bulbs are an essential component of any vehicle’s lighting system. If you are a car enthusiast, you have probably encountered the ongoing H11 vs. 9005 arguments. You must understand the differences between H11 and 9005 before making your purchase. These two bulb types vary significantly in their technical specifications and can be used interchangeably depending on your vehicle’s function and design requirements.

These two bulbs are widely used for low and high-beam lighting, respectively. The 9005 bulb boasts a high capacity of illumination and extremely luminous high-beam lights, while the H11 bulb is a dependable low-beam single light.

Some cars use both bulbs in dual-beam setups, such as the Ford F-150 for 2015-2022 models, which utilizes the H11 in its low and 9005 in its high beams. All in all, choosing between the H11 and 9005 bulbs for your vehicle’s headlights can be a daunting task.

In this blog post, we will comprehensively compare H11 against 9005 so that you are armed with all of the essential data needed to make an informed decision when selecting headlight bulbs.

What Is The 9005 LED Bulb?

The 9005 LED bulb embodies an unequaled luster that enables it to illuminate expansive areas. It is the first bulb that comes to mind when looking for a high-beam light to install in your headlight. It’s unrivaled in ensuring easy visibility and can be used when driving in bad weather conditions or highly dark areas.

You can also leverage the high-intensity light of the 9005 bulbs as a reliable fog light. However, it’s crucial to ensure that it falls within the legal regulations that govern the use of high-beam bulbs in your area, as jurisdictions may differ in their light regulation policies.

H11 vs 9005 Headlight Bulbs

The 9005 high beam bulb is unmatched in brightness, putting out an impressive 1,700 lumens. However, this power comes at a cost, consuming a significant amount of energy – 65 watts, to be exact. Don’t fret; incorporating it into your setup is a breeze with compatibility for other bulbs such as the 9040, 9055, 9145, 9150, H10, and HB3. While these bulbs can also be used for fog lights, the 9005 is popular among most drivers.

-Pros Of The 9005 Bulbs

  • Most standard bulbs are less bright than they are, making them suitable for environments with poor visibility, such as dust, fog, and darkness.
  • When turned on, the car’s aesthetics can be enhanced by the 9005 lights.
  • The durability of the 9005 lights is indicated by the fact that they generally have a long lifespan, with some lasting beyond 50000 hours of operation.
  • Due to the configuration of their base, even though they are high-beam lights, they can fit into some low-beam bulb sockets.
  • Directional lighting is provided by 9005 LED bulbs while also producing low heat.


  • Compared to typical bulbs, the 9005 bulb requires more power. Leaving it on while idle can drain your car battery, so some experts advise modifying your car’s wiring to accommodate high-wattage bulbs.
  • The high level of illumination this bulb produces can be hazardous to other road users, as it can blind them.

The H11 LED Bulbs

The H11 LED bulb is a common choice for drivers who want reliable low-beam lights. One of the reasons it’s so popular is because it’s angled to face the ground, making it legal almost everywhere and less likely to blind oncoming drivers.

H11 vs 9005 Headlight Bulbs

Plus, it’s versatile – you can use it in multiple directions! It’s a single-beam bulb with a great lifespan, so you can count on it to last long as a headlight and fog light. Despite its many benefits, it’s important to note that the L-shaped design of the H11 LED bulb makes it incompatible with the 9005 LED bulb.

The H11 bulb outshines its counterpart, the 9005, by consuming less energy while delivering a 55-watt power output and producing 1,200 lumens.

Although it falls short of the 9005’s brightness, it makes up for its energy efficiency.

Moreover, this nonfilament low bulb is compatible with other bulbs, such as the H8, H9, and H16 bulbs, making it a convenient choice for replacement.

-Pros of the H11 LED Bulb

  • Especially on city roads, the low beam of this light is suitable for typical driving.
  • Both headlamps and fog lights can utilize this light.
  • Low-intensity illumination prevents dazzling.
  • H11 LED bulbs are durable, thanks to their ability to dissipate low heat.
  • It is compatible with H8, H9, and H16 bulbs.
  • With a 55-watt power consumption, this bulb is relatively low.


  • They cannot be used in very dark conditions because they are dim.

Is H11 the same as 9005 headlight bulbs?

No, H11 and 9005 headlight bulbs are not the same. H11 and 9005 (HB3) bulbs are commonly used on road vehicles. However, it is essential to note that they are not interchangeable. While they share similarities, such as their L-shape and appearance on the same or similar vehicles, a closer look reveals distinct differences. A discussion of these critical differences is provided in the following section for a more in-depth understanding.

H11 vs. 9005 (HB3) Connectors (Plugs)

Connectors (plugs) are essential components of any electrical product. The power can’t correctly fit without connecting, turning the product into useless scrap.

The same stands true for Headlight bulbs. But what’s the difference between the H11 and 9005 (HB3)bulbs

Observing closely, you’ll notice that the H11 connector, smaller than the 9005, has two narrow set pins separated by a plastic tab and small plastic tabs on either end of the plug casing.

In contrast, the 9005 (HB3) connector has two wide-set pins but no plastic tabs. Though both share an oval plug casing shape, this style is not unique.

By considering the connector differences, you can make the best choice for a perfect fit and keep your electrical products and bulbs running smoothly.

9005 (HB3) vs. H11 Comparison Summary Table

To thoroughly compare H11 and 9005, evaluate the similarities and differences in a side-by-side analysis. This approach will provide greater insight and engagement to your analysis.

H119005 (HB3)
BrightnessUp to 9,000 lmUp to 9,000 lm
LifespanUp to 45,000 hoursUp to 45,000 hours
Total Height58 mm78 mm
MOL43 mm55 mm
LCL25 mm32 mm
Bulb Diam.12 mm16 mm
Total Diam.19 mm31 mm
Plug Width24 mm46 mm
Plugh Height15 mm15 mm
Plug Type2 narrow pins2 wide pins
Locking TabsMetalPlastic
Beam(s)Low BeamLow Beam, High Beam
ColorsYellow, White, Blue, PurpleYellow, White, Blue, Purple
Available inHalogen, HID, LEDHalogen, HID, LED

Upgrading Your H11 & 9005 Bulbs to LED or HID (Popular!)

As headlights are a vital safety feature of any car, you want to ensure they produce the best performance and provide maximum visibility. Here at Headlight Revolution, we offer upgrades for H11 and 9005 bulbs as an LED or HID conversion kit.

LEDs are more durable than standard halogen lights, as they can last up to 50,000 hours and draw significantly less power from your vehicle’s battery. Plus, you don’t have to worry about replacing bulbs often!

HIDs provide even brighter light output than LEDs due to their higher wattage. However, this makes them more power-hungry than LEDs and other halogen bulbs.

With a design identical to the previous bulbs and a simple plug-and-play installation, you’ll benefit from an improved light output of up to 300%.

LED and HID conversions offer an attractive upgrade for your car’s lighting system, so it comes down to personal preference.

Understanding the difference between 9005 and H11 bulb

Let’s use the analogy of a TV remote and household batteries to distinguish between 9005 and H11, two standard automotive bulb sizes like AA and AAA batteries. We’ve all heard of AA and AAA batteries.

H11 vs 9005 Headlight Bulbs

You know AA and AAA batteries are different because they come in different sizes – AA batteries are bigger than AAA batteries. Similarly, you can’t fit an AA battery in a device that requires AAA batteries. They just won’t fit!

The same applies to automotive bulbs. H11 bulbs won’t fit in a 9005 slot, and vice versa. They have different plugs, and the bulb won’t lock into place. Plus, it won’t connect to your vehicle’s harness even if you somehow make it fit.

That’s why it’s essential to know the correct bulb size for your car and to pick the one that’s the best match. This way, you’ll save time and money on bulbs that won’t fit or work in your vehicle.

Comparing 9005 (HB3) and H11 Headlight Bulbs

-Durability (Lifespan)

Misinformation is prevalent when it comes to bulbs and their lifespan. While there is a belief that 9005 bulbs outlast H11 bulbs, it’s simply a myth. The truth is bulbs of the same quality have nearly equal lifespans.

Measured in lighting hours, standard replacement halogen bulbs last anywhere between 180 and 500 hours, whereas premium LED or HID bulb upgrades can go well over 10,000 hours.

Another vital factor that affects the bulb’s lifespan is the beam in which it’s used. If you use H11 for the low beams (dims) and 9005 for the high beams (brights), it’s logical that the 9005 will last longer than the H11.

Not because it’s superior or has a longer lifespan, but because drivers seldom use their brights. In fact, according to the IIHS, only 9-18% of vehicles use high beams. Therefore, perspective matters!

Note: It is not about picking the bulb with the most extended lifespan but the one that suits your needs and driving habits efficiently.

-Technology (Halogen, LED & HID)

The lighting technologies are available in both H11 and 9005 bulbs. The factory package includes standard halogen, although LED or HID conversion kits can be used. Upgrading the lighting system can drastically enhance your driving experience.


The brightness of a bulb depends on its quality and wattage, but wait, does size matter? If two bulbs have identical specs and quality, like an H11 and a 9005 (HB3), they’ll emit the same light. Sure, the 9005 has a higher default wattage, but the difference will be barely noticeable.

H11 vs 9005 Headlight Bulbs

Here’s another factor to consider – the position of the bulb. Assuming they have the same quality, technology, and wattage – a bulb positioned in the high beams (brights) will appear to produce more light. Not because it is brighter but rather because of the direction of the bulb’s angle.

To maintain optimal brightness and performance over time, choosing high-quality bulbs and staying within recommended wattage limits is crucial.


The difference between standard H11 and 9005 (HB3) bulbs may seem minuscule, but it’s more significant than you might think. While H11 bulbs emit 55 watts, 9005 bulbs pack an extra punch with 65 watts.

They’re commonly used as dual-beam and high beams bulbs, which require more output. Therefore, the 9005 bulbs are a top choice for drivers looking for the brightest lighting.


Most automotive headlights and fog light bulbs are rated 12 volts, including H11 and 9005 (HB3).

To precisely choose the correct bulb for your vehicle, it’s essential to know the technical specs of different bulb types.


While some may claim that the 9005 and H11 bulbs can swap roles, the truth is less convenient. You can add 9005 bulbs to H11 sockets with some tinkering. However, the reverse is different: adding H11 bulbs to 9005 sockets is impossible.

But even if your wheels boast an H11 bulb socket, we don’t recommend converting to the 9005 option. It can be a tempting way to achieve perfect lighting, but it’ll dazzle your fellow road users because the 9005 bulbs should only be used for high beams.

-Beam type

When selecting bulbs for your vehicle, remember that H11 bulbs are suited explicitly for low-beam configurations, while 9005 bulbs are intended for high-beam configurations.

How to make a 9005 (HB3) fit in an H11 headlight?

As previously mentioned, the 9005 (HB3) and H11 headlight bulbs can’t be mixed and matched due to their unique locking tabs, plugs, and size.

To reiterate, inserting a 9005 (HB3) bulb into an H11 headlight or vice versa is futile.

It’s crucial to note that the compatibility of headlight bulbs is paramount to prevent harm or damage to the vehicle’s wiring system.

H11 vs. 9005 (HB3) LED Headlight Bulbs

As you already know, the difference between upgrading your H11 and 9005 (HB3) halogen bulbs to LED lies in the locking tabs, plugs, and bulb dimensions. However, fear not; whichever bulb size you choose will only alter your experience slightly.

H11 vs 9005 Headlight Bulbs

The wattage and color options are identical, and the installation process is the same.

We provide both bulb sizes in 25-, 35,- and 45-watt options with up to four different color options (white, yellow, blue, and purple).

H11 vs. 9005 (HB3) Xenon HID Headlight Bulbs

When upgrading your H11 and 9005 (HB3) bulbs from halogen to HID, you might think there is little difference, just like LEDs.

H11 vs 9005 Headlight Bulbs

But hear us out! We offer both sizes of bulbs with wattage ranging from 35 to 55 watts and in seven color options, from sunny yellow to pure white and mystic purple. Trust us; you’ll see the difference.

Should I Choose The 9005 or H11?

When deciding between 9005 and H11 LED bulbs, it can take time to determine which is better. Each has its specific advantages and disadvantages depending on the road conditions. The 9005 bulbs are often used as headlights for their high illumination power, perfect for extreme conditions such as fog or extra bright beams for safe stopping.

However, when driving under normal conditions, the 9005 bulbs’ high illumination power can be blinding to oncoming traffic, putting drivers at risk. On the other hand, H11 bulbs are ideal for regular driving conditions, producing low illumination power that is perfect for city roads or foggy conditions. These bulbs won’t blind oncoming traffic, reducing the risk of accidents.

That being said, H11 bulbs are not recommended for extreme darkness; they do not produce enough light to guide you, unlike 9005 bulbs. When choosing between the two, it’s essential to consider what road conditions you’ll be driving in and whether 9005 bulbs are legal in your state. So, weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each to select the right bulb for you!

FAQs About H11 vs 9005

H11 is the same as what bulb?

The H11 bulb is an automotive headlight bulb used in many vehicles. It emits 55 watts and is commonly found in low-beam configurations.

Is 9005 (HB3) brighter than H11?

The 9005 (HB3) bulbs are usually brighter since they emit 65 watts compared to the H11’s 55-watt output. However, the brightness difference is barely noticeable.

9005 is the same as what bulb?

The 9005 (HB3) bulb is an automotive headlight bulb that emits 65 watts and is commonly found in high-beam configurations. It is sometimes used as a dual-beam bulb.

Which cars use H11?

The H11 bulbs are found in many vehicles, such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and more.

Which cars use 9005 (HB3)?

The 9005 (HB3) bulbs are also found in many vehicles, such as the Ford F-150, Toyota Camry, and Honda Accord.

Can I use 9005 (HB3) instead of H11?

The 9005 (HB3) and H11 bulbs are not interchangeable, as the plugs, locking tabs, and sizes differ. You can add 9005 bulbs to H11 sockets with some tinkering, but it’s impossible to add H11 bulbs to 9005 sockets.

H11 vs 9005 Headlight Bulbs

We don’t recommend converting to the 9005 option due to its high illumination power. Additionally, the 9005 bulbs are not legal for road use in some states.

Can I use H11 instead of 9005 (HB3)?

The 9005 (HB3) and H11 bulbs are not interchangeable, as the plugs, locking tabs, and sizes differ. You cannot add H11 bulbs to 9005 sockets. We don’t recommend converting to the H11 option due to its lower illumination power than the 9005 (HB3).

Is 9005 (HB3) Brighter than H11?

The 9005 (HB3) bulbs are usually brighter since they emit 65 watts compared to the H11’s 55-watt output. However, the brightness difference is barely noticeable. Additionally, it’s important to note that using a 9005 bulb in a low beam configuration can be risky for oncoming traffic since the illumination power of these bulbs can be blinding.

Is H11 Brighter than 9005 (HB3)?

The H11 bulbs are usually not brighter than the 9005 (HB3) bulbs since they only emit 55 watts, compared to the 9005’s 65-watt output. In some states, using a low-wattage bulb like an H11 for a high-beam configuration is illegal.

Is H11 Better than 9005 (HB3)?

It all depends on your road conditions, as each bulb has advantages and disadvantages. For example, 9005 bulbs have a higher wattage output that is perfect for extreme conditions like fog or darkness. On the other hand, H11 bulbs produce less illumination power, which is ideal for regular driving conditions, such as city roads or foggy conditions.

Do LED bulbs have cooling?

Yes, LED bulbs have cooling mechanisms to ensure a longer lifespan. This is done using an aluminum heat sink that dissipates the heat from the light source.

How to change a LED lightbulb?

Changing a LED lightbulb is fairly simple; follow these steps:

1. Switch off the power source.

2. Carefully unscrew the old bulb from its socket.

3. Carefully insert the new bulb into the socket, ensuring it’s properly aligned and secured.

4. Switch on the power source and test the bulb.

5. If all is working correctly, you’re done!

It’s important to note that using LED bulbs with compatible wattage and voltage as your current lightbulb is essential.

Can I use a regular bulb in an LED fixture?

No, you cannot use regular bulbs in an LED fixture. The wattage and voltage of the regular bulb are incompatible with the LED fixtures, which may cause damage to the lighting system.

This can be a safety hazard since regular bulbs don’t have cooling mechanisms like LED lightbulbs.

Do I need additional wiring for LED bulbs?

No, LED bulbs do not require additional wiring or fixtures. However, it’s essential to check that the wattage and voltage of LED lightbulbs are compatible with your existing setup.

How do I dispose of LED bulbs?

LED bulbs should not be thrown into the regular waste. Instead, they should be recycled according to your local waste management regulations. LED lightbulbs can often be reused for other applications, so consider donating or selling them before removing them.

Final Word: what is the difference between h11 and 9005

The argument of 9005 vs. H11 bulbs can be pretty puzzling. Both have their unique characteristics, applications, and benefits. So, how do you decide which one is right for your car?

First, let’s talk about durability. Both bulbs can run for hours without burning out. Moreover, both are designed to withstand diverse weather conditions, ensuring optimal functionality. But that’s not all. You might require a certain type of bulb based on where you’re driving.

H11 bulbs are perfect for use as low beams, thanks to their low power output and better adaptability to extreme heat. Meanwhile, 9005 bulbs provide brighter illumination and can be used as high beams. Plus, they tend to last longer than their counterparts.

But there’s a catch. Although it is possible to substitute H11 bulbs with 9005 bulbs, it is not recommended due to their extreme brightness. Not only can it blind oncoming traffic, but it can also be hazardous. Also, you cannot fit an H11 bulb into a 9005 socket.

So, which one should you choose? Well, it depends on your specific needs and requirements. Whether driving through foggy weather, on a busy city road, or in the dead of night, it is worthwhile to check your surroundings and choose the one that best meets your needs.

Leave a Comment