What are the best headlights for a car: Reflected headlights vs projector headlights

Most of us enjoy night drives, but the shortcomings of headlights and the use of high beams in unwanted situations can cause major problems on night drives.

Every automotive manufacturer takes special care and studies to improve the efficiency of their vehicle's headlights like other parts. In the early stages, halogen bulbs were used in headlights, but now we can see high-performance bulbs like HID(High-intensity discharge lamps), LED, and even lasers are used in headlights.


Will the use of efficient bulbs alone increase the performance of the headlight? Never, the whole headlight assembly is responsible for it. We can see two types of headlight housings in automobiles, reflected headlights, and projector headlights.

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How do the reflected and the projected headlights differ

Reflected headlights 

Reflected headlights are the simplest type of headlights present in entry-level and standard vehicles. Here the bulb is encased in a steel bowl, and the mirrors are placed within the bowl to allow the light to pass through it.

When the bulb glows, the light that comes out is reflected off the steel bowl and comes out through the mirror.

Advantages of reflected headlights

   Less expensive.
   Cheaper to make.
   Only consumes a small area to accommodate the whole assembly compared to the projector type.

Drawbacks of reflected headlights 

   less efficient compared to the projector headlights.
   The light emitted from the headlight spreads all around, this creates a visual barrier for other drivers.
   High-performance bulbs such as the HID cannot be used because the light emitted from the reflector headlight is not focused compared to the projector type. 

Projector headlights

In the early days, projected headlights were a type of headlight housing used only on luxury vehicles. But now we can see such headlights even in ordinary vehicles.

The working of a projector headlight is almost the same as the reflector type headlights, here the headlight bulb is placed in the center of a steel bowl. The light reflected from the steel bowl is transmitted through a lens, thus the light can be focused where it is needed.

It also uses a cutoff shield, which prevents light from hitting the steel bowl and reflecting upwards, this gives good visibility on the road and does not disturb the vision of other drivers.

Additionally, this cutoff shield helps to build both high and low beams using a single beam bulb.

Advantages of projector headlights

   projector headlights provide good visibility on the road.
   The light emitted from it focuses only on the road and does not cause problems for other drivers' vision.
   Projector headlights are capable of using high-performance bulbs.
   Compared to the reflector headlight, it is more beautiful in appearance.


Drawbacks of projector headlights 

   More expensive than reflected headlights.
   Projector headlights consume more space than reflector headlights.

The automotive world today is shifting to the concept of adaptive headlights, but the high construction and maintenance costs keep them away from ordinary vehicles.

In that sense, the projector and reflector types are two types of headlight housings that are suitable for ordinary vehicles. Comparing the two, we can see that the projector headlights are one step ahead.

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