What's the difference between bi-LED versus bi-xenon headlights?

Are bi-directional lights a separate feature regardless?

Gil N.G., Harpers Ferry, W.V.

“Bi” means that headlights use the same bulb for low- and high-beam lighting, as opposed to having separate bulbs for each.


With bi-xenon headlights, a shutter or shade covers part of the bulb during low-beam use. The shutter automatically moves out of the way when the high-beam switch is activated. Some vehicles are equipped with xenon bulbs only for the low-beam headlight and have a halogen bulb for the high beam. Using the same bulb for both functions saves money and space, giving designers more freedom.

Xenon headlights are brighter than halogen lights and typically have a bluish tint. LED lights are brighter still and create light that is closer to daylight than other types.

LEDs use less energy than halogen or xenon bulbs, generally last longer and take up less space because of their compact size. LEDs, however, are more expensive than xenon bulbs, which are more expensive than the halogen type.

Learn more

Answered by Rick Popely on December 16, 2012 in I'm Just Wondering | Permalink

Search Results

Ask.cars.com Search Results for


See if your question has already been asked and answered

Thank You!

Your question has been successfully submitted to Ask.cars.com. It will now be reviewed by our editors and we'll answer it soon if we think it's a useful question. You will be notified via e-mail when the answer is posted. Ask.cars.com tackles your questions about new cars and the car-buying process. Unfortunately we can't answer questions regarding:

  • Used cars.
  • Most aftermarket products.
  • Mechanical issues. You can visit our friends at Car Talk to discuss your mechanical problems.
Thanks for your interest.


Have our experts answer any of your questions about new cars.

Email us at tips@cars.com

Maintenance Advice
Get answers from the
Car Talk Community