Difference Between Projector Headlights and Reflector Headlights

If you’re having difficulties to decide which headlights are best in terms of technology, reliability and great visibility then no need to panic because I’ll give you a brief explanation to clear your doubts.

Today we’re gonna take a look at the difference between Projector Headlights and Reflector Headlights. We’re gonna deep dive into both of this technology and will take a look at how it works and how well they are for our cars and bikes.

Let’s get started.

Reflector Headlight

Reflector Headlight | allautobuzz.com


What is Reflector Headlights?

To start with since the invention of electric headlights they have been featured as standard headlights on so many vehicles. Reflector headlights consists a bulb in the middle of a steel cased bowl.

Within a steel cased bowl mirrors are placed to reflect the light out on the road.

Back in the day in the older reflector headlights, the light beam shape was determined from the lens to the front headlights. In this type, which is known as a sealed beam headlights casing cannot be removed or replaced if the bulb has been burned or damage.

Then in the 1980’s the technology got better and improvements were made in the reflector headlights which they used mirrors inside within the headlight housing to give a guide to the beam.

After this upgrade was made there was no need to the lens or the headlight housing itself to be sealed.

And the bulbs could be easily removed or can be changed without worried that if anything might get broken during the process.

Now we’ll take a look at the pros and cons about the reflector headlights :

Reflector HeadlightsProsCons
Price Factor
The light cannot be controlled
A lot more cheaper to manufacturedCannot be optimized to a certain level
The bulbs can be easily change or removedThe lights get spread out
Need smaller spaceVisibility becomes less to the oncoming traffic
The beam has intense and weak spots
Projector Headlights

Projector Headlights | alltuobuzz.com


What is the Projector Headlights?

The invention of the Projector Headlights was newer in the world of headlights technology. In the 1980’s they were used first time on a large scale on the luxury cars. From then on Projector Headlights are become a popular choice for the Automobile manufacturer.

Well to begin with Projector Headlights has a simple design layout and comes with three parts.

  • Light Source
  • Reflector
  • Lens

Light Source

There are many types of light source that can be used in the Projector Headlights. You can use Halogen Lamps, HID Lamps (high-intensity discharge) or LED Lamps (light emitting diodes)  it depends on you what you want.


What you see in the flashlight is similar to the reflector portion in the Projector Headlights. The light source throws the light in a reflective half-sphere manners to a specific direction.


To concentrate or spread, the lens bends the light from the light source. Then the lens is used to throw the light in a very precise, constant and even manner. The lens acts as a magnifying glass for increasing the brightness of the light beam.

To make sure that the light beam produced by the headlights are angled properly there’s also a cutoff shield in it. The cutoff shield helps the direct light beam project towards the road and makes a very visible sharp view on the road.

Projector HeadlightsProsCons
Projector Headlights are brighterVery expensive compare to Reflector Headlights
Less likely to blind the oncoming trafficAre expensive to manufacture
Distinct cutoff low beamsAre more expensive to replace
Give off a more even lightTakes more space than the Reflector Headlights
Can be use with HID lamps
There are not hot spots

What do we learn then?

Well to begin with we all want that our car’s headlights should be brighter to have a more visibility during our night driving without creating any problems whatsoever for the other drivers.

It clearly shows that the Projector Headlights are superior compared to the Reflector Headlights for low especially.

The even beam manner and the ability to handle the HID lamps and its appearance which also makes worth mentioning.

And if your car is equipped with the Reflector Headlights then you can replace it with the Projector Headlights in the aftermarket or even some car manufacturers also provide the upgrade.

All in all the Projector Headlights are a much better option than the Reflector Headlights.

Thanks for reading.


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