The Difference Between H16 and 5202 Bulbs

If you go to the website store and look at their H16 replacement halogen light bulbs for cars and trucks you will see this picture. PIAA, an automotive lighting superpower in the aftermarket world, is one of the few replacement light bulb companies out there who has gotten this right!

According to H16 is not the same as 5202!

According to H16 is not the same as 5202!

The H16 automotive light bulb is part of the H9/H11 bulb family and it is very similar to H8, H9, H11 and H15. It is characterized by having a traditional right-angled style connector input base, a large rubber o-ring below the metal tabs and 3 metal tabs spaced evenly apart around the base to lock it in place. The biggest difference between H8, H9, H11 and H16 are both the wattage levels that they run at and whether or not they have a painted on reflector cap at the top of the glass tube. H16 is most commonly used in fog lights, whereas the H11 is most commonly used in headlights. Therefore, you’ll see H11 bulbs that look almost identical to H16 bulbs but have higher wattages than H16 and they will also have a slightly different pin configuration, but with some manipulation you could swap an H16 and H11 around if you really wanted to.

So where did the confusion for H16 and 5202 bulbs come from? Well, first of all until very recently there were hardly any vehicles out there that used an H16 bulb in America. Then, I’m guessing some uninformed light bulb manufacturer in Asia somewhere one day decided that they didn’t know what a real H16 bulb was and there was some confusion. One thing led to another and they started classifying 5202 light bulbs as H16, 5202, 9009, etc… This is wrong!! You will never see a Sylvania or Philips or other OEM bulb labeled as H16 that looks like a 5202. Here are some popular LED versions of these different bulbs:

5202 LED Bulbs from GTR Lighting:


H11 / H16 LED Bulbs from GTR Lighting:

I hope you learned something new about different types of replacement automotive bulbs from this article and really the goal here is to educate people on different lighting products so you can make the right decision next time you spend your hard earned money. From an enthusiast standpoint, the last thing you need is to order a part for your vehicle, it shows up and it’s the wrong thing…. ugh.

So if you have a 2014 Toyota Tundra and you’re trying to find some cool LED fog lights for your stock H16 fog light bulbs, try one of these!

Is LED superior to HID?

When trying to decide which auxiliary off-road lighting or headlights for your vehicle, nowadays it’s a tough choice whether or not to go with HID or LED. For HID there are some reasonable options that are cost-effective when comparing to LED. However, HID cannot hold a candle to LED’s power consumption and lifespan. For headlights, it all depends on the application and your desired effect.

If you have a Jeep Wrangler, semi truck or an older vehicle that uses sealed beam headlights, then you can use LED headlights, or several different HID options. Starr HID makes vehicle specific projector HID headlights that are very high quality or you can just use a GTR Lighting HID conversion kit. If you have a 7″ round, 6″ Round, 4×6″ Rectangular or 5×7″ Rectangular sealed beam setup then you can use a full LED headlight from a company like Truck-Lite, JW Speaker or GTR Lighting. The differences will be this:

  • HID Headlights will Be Brighter, by about double
  • HID Headlights will not last as long. LED Headlights last 10x longer than HID
  • LED Headlights are the new technology, they look cooler and draw 1/10 the energy to operate
  • Some LED Headlights are brighter than stock
  • HID Headlights are available in a range of different colors
  • HID Headlights can be used in any application
  • LED Headlights have a narrow application range
  • Most LED Headlight Bulb replacements are not bright enough yet to be safe (hard to know which ones can be used safely)
JW Speaker makes some of the world's best LED headlight and LED off-road products.

JW Speaker makes some of the world’s best LED headlight and LED off-road products.

When looking at off-road lighting and comparing HID to LED it’s not quite as difficult of a choice but here are some things to keep in mind:

  • HID Headlights will be much cheaper. A 6″ 35w HID off-road light will run anywhere from $150 – $500
  • 35w HID will produce 3,000 – 3,600 Lumens of output. 55w HID will produce 4,500 – 5,500 Lumens of output.
  • LED is available in many configurations running from 900 Lumens (a single 10w LED product) all the way up to 35,000 Lumens (Vixion X XIL-PX7240)
  • LEDs will traditionally draw less energy than HID
  • HID and LED can both be found in long-range configurations

Overall, in terms of which is better for headlights, it’s a toss-up because the LED technology has not been developed far enough to be a universal application. But I predict in the future LED headlights will take over the world – they are the future.

In terms of LED off-road lighting, hands-down LED takes the cake, compared to LED off-road lighting, HID is old news. You will never find a viable HID option that will make over 40,000 Lumens (even that is stretching the imagination) and with LED it’s already easy to put 100,000 Lumens on the front of your truck.

Dodge Ram HID Lights

This 2010 Dodge Ram has a total of 9 HID lights on the front end! Talk about creating a wall of light! A total of 31,500 Lumens of light output!

Truck-Lite Versus JW Speaker – A Comparison of LED Headlights

Here is a motorcycle sporting the Truck-Lite 27270C LED headlights and the matching #80275 LED fog lights!

Here is a motorcycle sporting the Truck-Lite 27270C LED headlights and the matching #80275 LED fog lights!







In the Jeep and Harley communities, one of the latest hot topics are replacement LED headlights. The two most popular items being the JW Speaker 8700 and the Truck-Lite 27270CC 7″ round replacement LED headlight housings.

Watch this video review of the Truck-Lite headlights I did where I compare it to the JW Speaker variant. You’ll get a good idea about this new headlight and if you think the JW Speaker 8700 is worth the money when compared to the Trucklite product: