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Projector Vs. Reflector Headlights: Which one is the Best?

A few months back, cars were designed with same old styled headlight housing. With advancement of technology cars started coming with two types of headlights :- projector and reflector. Reflector headlights are old style lights found in old cars or in the base model of the car whereas Projector headlights is a new technology which is not yet found in every car

Reflector Headlights:

These headlights are being used in vehicles since the electric headlights have been invented . It consists of a bulb encased in steel bowl. Mirrors are placed in the bowl to reflect the light on the road. In previous reflector headlights, the front lens of the headlight determined the shape of the light beam. This is also known as a sealed-beam headlight but in this combination the casing cannot be removed to replace a burnt-out bulb.

With improvements of technology, in the 1980s a new type of reflector headlights were introduced that used mirrors inside the headlight housing itself to guide the beams. Thus it was no longer necessary for the lens and the headlight housing to be sealed together, this led for the bulbs to be easily removed or replaced.

Nowadays mostly base version of the cars consists of reflector headlights but there are some advantages to it that most manufactures are sticking on using them.
  • These are cheaper to make. Thus in budget friendly cars, manufacturers use reflector headlights as they're less expensive.
  • These are smaller. Projector headlights are deeper and take more space within the vehicle.

Projector headlights:

This is new invention in world of headlight technology. When these were introduced in 1980s  they were too costly and were only used in some luxury vehicles. Slowly with time these became popular in all type of vehicles.

Projector headlights are similar to reflector headlights. These also contain a bulb in a steel bowl with mirrors to act as reflectors. But, a projector headlight also contains a lens which act as a magnifying glass, thus help in increasing the brightness of the light beam. The light produced by projector headlights is not angled properly, so to properly angle the light beam there is also a cutoff shield. This helps to direct the light down towards the road. Due to this shield, projector headlights have a very sharp cutoff.

Projector headlights have been growing in popularity since their launch as they have many advantages:
  • These are brighter than reflector headlights.
  • These are less likely to blind other drivers because light beam is directed downwards to the road.
  • Projector headlights don’t have darker spots unlike reflector headlights.
  • Xenon HID bulbs can only be used with projector headlights. HID bulbs are too bright when used in reflector headlights, where the light they emit can blind other drivers.

Which is the best among two?

While searching for the best headlights, most drivers want the brightest headlights possible without creating problems for other drivers. Unlike reflector headlights, projector headlights are more bright and they do not blind oncoming traffic. Also projector headlights allow drivers to use xenon HID bulbs. Thus it's clear that projector headlights are better than reflector headlights.


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