Be it your vehicle’s automatic interior lights or the ones that shine your license plates – LED is your best option even as we enter 2021. They are extremely energy-efficient, highly rated, and most importantly, their light energy output does not weaken compared to the regular halogens and CFLs. Here we’ll rank and review the best led interior car and license plate lights.
5 Best LED Interior Car & License Plate Lights:
They are, however, slightly expensive than their counterparts, which nulls itself out if you consider the long-term relief that they provide. Just buy, plug, and forget about lighting issues for years and years to come.
Here are our picks of the best LED interior car lights. Grabbing one or two of these for your vehicle, your spouse’s vehicle, and even your kid’s upcoming birthday gift will make your life a lot easier and greener, if you know what we mean.
If you look at our choice of the best car interior LED lights, the Dutch consumer electronics company Philips is at the top, with the Californian JDM ASTAR mentioned twice. Chinese manufacturer LUYED are known for their best LED dome lights and are regarded as the pioneers in cost-effective designing. MicTuning is a local Chinese brand which was founded in 2013, but has found its way up in many of our lists in the past three years.
The above-listed models were selected based on a number of factors such as color temperature and energy emitting quotient (measured in Kelvin), intensity of white light (lumens), color variations (whiter the better), cost, ease of use and installation, rating, material longevity, guarantee offered by the manufacturer, and other technical specifications. Please note that although we have tested these bulbs in our own vehicles, we recommend our readers to consider the make and model of their cars before choosing. Manufacturers often list out the compatible models in their websites and e-tailing sites like Amazon.
Detailed Reviews of the Top 5 LED Interior Car Lights
Available in different sizes (43 mm, 38mm, T10 etc.) depending upon where you install it in your vehicle, this one is the best white light you can use to give the interior of your car the illumination you are looking for.
With a manufacturer’s guarantee of 12 years, its 6000K color temperature is appropriate for both interior as well as exterior lighting. Philips Vision series is most known for their design, filament position, and the ability to withstand shock and moisture. Its 360° spread allows it be used even in your number plate section.
- 6000K light temperature
- 5 watts, 12 volts input
- Sizes: 194 LED, T10, 30mm, 38mm, 43mm
- 3 ounces (for 43MM)
- Pure white light with no trace of blue/amber
- Fast response time/instant-on feature for external use
- Street-legal, so that you don’t get pulled over for being stylishly flashy
- Heat and vibration resistant
- Shock- and moisture-proof
- The color temperature is not 6000K as advertised. We reckon it to be around 5000K, but still there is no visible blue in the emission
- Unsuitable for dark areas like the trunk
- Fitting issues have been reported by many users. So, it is important that buyers double-check the sizes and compatibilities
- It has only one LED, which may limit the emission on all areas
- If you are used to super bright stock lights, these may seem dimmer
Cost and Warranty
- The price range is $8 to $12 depending upon the size and usage (internal/external)
- 12 years’ manufacturer’s guarantee
Philips has been in the lights business for decades and they know their stuff. So, if you are looking for the best LED map lights (or for exterior purposes like for the license plate or taillights), then Philips Vision series is the best that money can buy.
In the many options that we have in array lights, the ones produced by LUYED are considered to be the best LED dome lights for your car. With four strips of 48 tiny LEDs that discharge high-quality Xenon white light, you will never fumble in dark. Be it your keys or a safety pin that has fallen down in your car floor, the LUYED 3014 series will help you find it in seconds flat.
- 48-SMD LED festoon bulbs
- 5500/6000L color temperature
- 180° lighting
- 12 to 24 volts input
- 3 ounces in weight
- Approximate size: 42-44mm
- Pure Xenon white bright light
- Illumination is often compared to sunlight by users
- Array light for extra illumination
- Suitable for trunks and cargo areas as well
- Cooler than most other brands
- Good quality materials
- No blue/purple tints
- Available in a single size
- Can be loose fitting in some vehicles as it has flat design. May require users to tighten the edge tabs
- Not recommended for license plates
Cost and Warranty
- A pack of two retails at $11
- Three months’ “no reason” returns program by LUYED
If you are looking for array lights that are super bright, then LUYED 3014 is a solid choice. It is the best LED map lights out there.
JDM ASTAR is one of the best-reviewed LED brands in the States. Both its models featured in this list are known for their Xenon white light with 6000K color temperature. The brand is so popular in the country that it is also one of the most counterfeited product. Hence, we request our readers to use our affiliate links to buy original JDM products.
- 6000K color temperature
- Surface-mount device (SMD) technology chipsets
- 6-LED flat chipsets
- 5 watts input
- 2835 SMD-type chips that are used by companies like Samsung
- Perfect replacement item for yellow halogen bulbs in dome/map lights
- Pure white with no hint of blue/purple
- Easy on the eyes
- Solution for low-light areas
- Consists of a large heat sink on the back
- Does not fit properly and often needs custom bending of the tabs for proper connection. This can cause flickers
- No consistency in batches (e.g.: if you buy two sets of these, both batches will have slightly different sizes). This is a big no-no when it comes to car lights
- The heat sinks in these can cause short circuit in some car models (Honda, Mazda)
Cost and Warranty
- $10 for a pack of two
- One year limited warranty
If you are looking for interior lighting that is most suitable for sedans and hatchbacks, then this series from JSD ASTAR is the one you should be buying. Due to their neutral design (of six LED bulbs), they are considered to be the best LED door lights in the market.
A lesser known brand, MicTuning first came to prominence when it started selling directional lights for automobiles. Since then, it is often cited as one of the foremost LED light bulb manufacturers which gives equal attention to design and efficacy. The 12-SMD 3582 series are suitable for 180° lighting i.e. interior dome, map, and trunk; and exterior backlights and front floodlights. They are plug-and-play and have greater shock resistance, which makes them suitable even for ATVs and other adventure vehicles.
- SMD-3528/1210 series with 12-volt DC input
- Bright white light of 6000K emission and 181-degree light output
- Rated for 50,000 hours of operation, with faster ON/OFF response time
- 31mm standard size
- Pure white light
- Known to give out 6000/6500 color
- Fast ON/OFF response time makes it well-suited for external and internal use
- Longer lasting than its immediate competition
- Built-in Canbus LED support
- Polarity insensitive
- Low-cost. They are the least priced LED bulb in this list
- Cool emission
- Fitting issues as only one size is available
- Thin metal wire internal connections which can cause the whole assembly connection to go kaput
- Not suitable for signal lamps (indicators)
- Slight bluish hue may put off some users
Cost and Warranty
- $8 for a pack of ten 31mm pieces
- No clarity from manufacturer about any warranty, but Amazon provides 30-day free returns
Our experts tried it on different parts of our car, and they fit perfectly as license plate lamps, interior navigation dome lamp, map lamp, glove box, and front DRL shoots. Although we didn’t try it on our doors, their 180-degree output makes them perfect. If you are looking for an economical way to go green and forget about the lighting of your cars for years, then MicTuning has all the answers.
As you already know, JDM ASTAR is one of the best brands out there. With the High Power 5630, they now claim to produce the best-valued LED bulbs in the market. The major difference in this set is that the LEDs are fit vertically on the stem, so they might require a special socket. Other than this minor issue, they provide great value for money, emit bright white light, and are perfect for all applications – from tail lights to high-mount brakes, parking lights to AC system lights, dashboard to map lights – everything. No wonder JSD ASTAR is considered the best LED interior car lights manufacturer.
- Set of 10 bulbs that are 0.43 inches in diameter and 0.94 inches in length
- Fits 147, 152, 158, 159, 161, 168, 175, 184, 192, 193, 194 2825 2827 and W5W panels
- 6000k HID emission
- Very bright considering their small size
- 3x brighter than other JSD models
- Brighter than and perfect replacement of stock bulbs
- Suitable for all applications
- Size may be an issue. A lot of customers have complained about fitting problems
- Due to the fitting issues, they may give out flickers
- Thinner base, which can easily wear off in few months if not handled properly
- Parts of the bulbs are made of low-quality material
Cost and Warranty
- $12 for a pack of 10 pieces
- One year limited warranty
As one Amazon customer puts it, “JSD is no joke”, the brand is deservedly known for their LED products. If you are looking for a single solution to all your car’s lighting problems, then the 5630 series will be the wisest choice. It is cost-effective, efficient, and long-lasting – the three most important parameters that all car owners consider.
Benefits of LED Lights vs Halogens
One must understand why LED lights are currently the best option for lighting purposes. Incandescent lamps are a thing of the past now, so much that some of their variations are banned in certain parts of the world. In this new age of technology where “going green” is considered a virtue, one should understand the merits of investing in and using different types of bulbs that are both long-lasting and efficient. That brings us to the trending topic of LED (short for light emitting diode) that you see almost everywhere these days – from Christmas lights used by your neighbors to beacons used in airport runways and naval bases.
Technically speaking, LED is a small electronic device made of semiconductor materials (usually juxtaposed Silicon, Gallium, and Arsenic) that produce light when direct current (DC) is passed through it. It has been around since the 80s, and the best example of its use that you may have missed is that tiny red-colored light that you see on your TV when you switch it off using the remote controller. That tiny object which changes from green to red and vice versa is a light emitting diode. Decades later, we understood its real potential and started using it in everything commercial. Including cars.
These are the five best LED interior car lights that should be on the top of your list as you go accessory shopping this year. They are not only a perfect replacement for your old halogen stock lights, but will also help you stand out from the crowd. The world is changing at a faster pace thanks to global warming, and getting an LED bulb installed in your car is your own way of helping in the cause.
We hope that this list will aid in your online research and that you have already added your choice in the cart. If you have any queries, feel free to get in touch or let us know in the comments.
Photos/Images: Ashery Design, Amazon