Do I Need Resistors for Led Headlights (Find Out)

Are you thinking about spicing up your old ride with a little modern lighting? Well then, LED headlights are the easiest way to go about it.

But now you’re thinking, do I need resistors for LED headlights?

No. You don’t need resistors for LED headlights. Installing LED headlights is a very simple process. All you need to do is take out the existing halogen bulbs first. And then put in the LED bulbs. Your choice of LED will depend on your existing bulbs. But whichever type you use you won’t need a resistor. 

That covers the gist of the answer. However, there’s still a little more to it. Stay with us as we explore the entire topic. 

Let’s get right to it. 

Why LED Headlights?

They are brighter, last longer, and function at a fraction of a halogen’s power draw. Most LED headlights are rated for 50,000 hours of use.

In addition, LEDs come in moisture-proof casings making them resistant to water damage as well. 

These bulbs are also more resistant to vibrations. All of that taken together means that any LED headlight will easily outlast halogen bulbs. That’s the reason enough to make the shift. 

Which LED to Choose?

Choosing your LED headlight is easy. You just need to check if your current headlight is a single-beam or a dual-beam. 

Look up your car’s model online. Or, look up the headlight information in the car owner’s manual. If neither of those work, look up your local dealer and get the information from them. 

You have the information. Now what? Well, now you can purchase an LED headlight to replace your halogen one. If you’re confused about which to purchase, here are a few suggestions from us. 

These are our suggestions for dual-beam LED headlights. 

These are tried and tested products and will deliver the best bang for the buck. You can also purchase one of these if your car uses single-beam headlights.

Either of the products will serve you well and serve you long. 

Do I Need Resistors for LED Headlights?

Now comes the ultimate question. Do you need resistors for your LED headlights? No. You won’t need resistors for LED headlights. These headlights are Plug-n-Play. And are actually quite easy to install. 

They also eliminate the hassle of constant replacements. 

Are LED Lights for Cars Plug-n-Play?

No. While your LED headlights might not need resistors, your turn signals will. If you choose to upgrade your turn signals too, you’ll need to research a bit more.

Many vehicles have what is called a flasher unit. It controls the turn signals. And is usually adjusted to higher resistance incandescent bulbs. So, when a lower resistance LED bulb is used the system reads it as a bulb-out. 

Or, the turn signal suffers from hyper flashing. Hyper flashing is when the turn signal flashes too rapidly.

If your vehicle has a flasher unit then you’ll need resistors with your LEDs. But that only adds a few more steps to the installation process. 

Here’s how you go about it.

Installing LED Turn Signals

We’re covering the process step by step so that you have an easier time following along.

Step 1: Taking Out the Existing Bulbs

You’ll need to lift the hood first. Now, don’t be intimidated by this. You won’t need to get too technical. Just locate your turn signals. Then, disconnect the wires to the bulbs. 

Once you’ve disconnected the wires, take the lights out. If you’ve changed the lights before they’ll come right out. Otherwise, you’ll need to nudge the clips holding them with a flathead screwdriver. 

Open the trunk of your car to access the taillights and then repeat the process.

Step 2: Putting in Your LEDs and Resistors

Simply connect the wires from the LED turn signals to the wires in your car. This step is easy and straightforward as all the wires are color-coded. The black wire is the ground wire.

When the LEDs are in place, turn on the blinker to check whether they’re functioning properly. If they are, you move on to the next part. 

You’ll need to install a load resistor for every LED turn signal. If you’re new to load resistors, here are a few suggestions from us. 

With the load resistors purchased, you can move to install them. Get 8 quick splices to make the job easier. Put the resistor wire in the top slot in the splicer. Next, place the LED wire into the groove of the splicer. 

Once you’ve set that up, squeeze down on the splicer with a pair of pliers. Once the metal piece on the splicer is flush with the rest, lock the splicer in. 

Repeat this process on the turn signal wire. Follow this to attach resistors to all the LED turn signals.

That will fix the bulb-out warnings and the hyper-blinking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Where should I mount the resistors?

Answer: Mount the resistors to the body of the car. Load resistors get really hot. So they can easily melt any plastic parts or wires. Therefore, make sure the resistors are kept away from any plastic parts.

Question: Do LED headlights come in multiple colors?

Answer: Yes. LED headlights can come in a variety of colors. You can purchase whichever color you prefer. However, it’s better if you choose a warmer color for snow-covered terrains. 

Question: Are LED headlights road legal?

Answer: The legality of LED headlights is subject to your local regulations. Check-in with your dealer. Or, look up your local road-safety regulations to see if your replacement bulbs are legal.


Hope we answered your question- Do I need resistors for LED headlights? LED headlights don’t need any resistors.

They are plug-n-play and provide great performance for the price. They get a lot brighter and require a lot less power.

But if you’re replacing your turn signals, you’ll need resistors. That covers everything from us.

Rob Dahm

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