9005 vs. H11: A Guide to Headlight and Fog Light Bulbs

The 9005 vs. H11 headlights have long caused many debates without reaching a consensus. If you are into cars and love to know every tiny detail about your car and driving experience, you are probably familiar with the ambiguity surrounding the two headlights. 

This guide is all about clearing out these ambiguities and bringing more clarity to the advantages and disadvantages of each bulb. 

To understand the difference, you first must know the difference and benefits between a low-beam and a high-beam light. Low-beams are the standard in most vehicles and, as the name suggests, come with lower luminosity and beam intensity. 

On the other hand, high-beam light is more intense and can project longer distances. In most cases, switching from low-beam to high-beam can give you twice as much coverage. This single difference gives rise to all kinds of debates and makes decision-making harder for the beginner looking to settle on a new pair of headlights. 

9005 LED Bulbs

The 9005 LED bulb is a widely recommended bulb for most headlights, and its wide availability makes it an affordable option for a quick change. Being high-beam, the bulb offers excellent brightness and sharp beams. 

These make it much more appropriate for drives at night or under-lit, dark routes. It also makes a better fog light with its sharper beams that cut through the mist, fog, and rain to improve visibility. 

While this sounds like a perfect all-rounder, some countries and states can have restrictive laws regarding its usage. High beam lights, in general, have less favorable laws as they can be blinding to oncoming cars.

Pros and Cons of 9005 Bulbs


  • 9005 lights are widely available under reputable brand names and last longer than other alternatives.
  • Most 9005 kits are highly accommodative and can also house low-beam bulb sockets. 
  • These use up less heat, and better match internally mounted headlights as they don’t carry the risk of melting components. 


  • Because they are more powerful, they tend to consume more energy every second compared to less powerful bulbs. 
  • In some cases, you may need to modify your car wiring to make room for the higher wattage. 
  • When used on a narrow track, they can fill up the area with too much light, blinding for both the driver and oncoming traffic. 

H11 LED Bulbs

H11 are the more ‘normal’ type of bulbs and are perfect for daily use. While not as bright as the high beam, they project enough light to help a driver maintain visibility on a dark route. The bulb is also perfectly suitable as a fog light because it angles on the car. Compared to high-beam bulbs, these are legal in all countries as they are not blinding to other vehicles. 

However, H11 bulbs are only compatible with other low-beam bulbs, which means you won’t be able to install any high-beam bulb sockets. If you plan to use a low-beam bulb, H11 also has its more powerful alternatives with better projection and coverage. The H9 bulb has the same qualities as the H11 and comes with superior visibility but uses up more energy. 

Pros and Cons to the H11 LED Bulb


  • The bulb consumes relatively less energy at only 55 watts. 
  • These are safer for both the driver and the oncoming traffic.
  • These can be used as both fog lights and headlamps. 
  • The low heat dissipation gives them a longer life.


  • These don’t work as well with poorly lit routes at night.
  • They have less cutting-through power making them less appropriate for some weather conditions. 
  • All H11 bulbs come with limited compatibility and are only compatible with H8, H9, H10, and other similar L-shaped, Low-beam bulbs.