Automotive headlight bulb types and placement

If you are like most, navigating the various bulb names is one of the trickiest parts of the entire purchase and install.   

It's like "I need a 9007 bulb, which is actually the same as a 9004 bulb which also happens to be the equivalent of an HB2 bulb." Where do we begin?? 

As obvious as it sounds, just pick one! If you're purchasing from our website,, Amazon or Ebay we will always include the fitment and compatibility in the item description. Also, always feel free to reach out to the distributor if you need further clarification. 

Another thing to note, is that often the varying bulb classifications are brand specific and things get a bit hairy. To help navigate these murky waters, we have attached a reference guide below:

9007 is the same as 9004

9003 is the same as H4
HB2 is the same as H4

HB1 is the same as 9004

HB3 is the same as 9005*

HB4 is the same as 9006*

HB5 is the same as 9007

9008 is the same as H13

H11 is the same as H8 and H9

9145 and 9140 is the same as H10

800 series bulbs are the same as 880

*9005, 9006, and 9012 all use the same electrical connector, but the bases are different. A 9012 bulb can be modified to fit a 9006 housing and vice versa. A 9005 base has a different diameter and is not cross-compatible.

D2S/D2R/D2C are nearly the same
D4S/D4R/D4C are nearly the same
D2S and D4S use the same base, but they are not cross-compatible**

The 'S' bulbs are for shielded (i.e. projector) housings (not for use in reflector housings).
D2S style HID bulb
The 'R' bulbs are for reflector housings (note the painted area of the glass).
D2R HID bulb
The 'C' bulbs have a base compatible with either but the glass bulb has no painted area like the 'R' style bulbs.

D2S, D2R, D2C, D4S, D4R, D4C bases compared

D1S and D3S bulbs look similar, but are not cross-compatible**
D1 and D3 have an igniter built into the base, whereas D2 and D4 rely on the igniter inside of it’s accompanied ballast.

The biggest difference between the D1/D2 VS D3/D4 bulbs is that these new D3 and D4 bulbs use no mercury and require less energy to turn on! The easiest way to tell the difference between a new No-Mercury bulb and the old style is to look at the part that the wire harness connects to and you will see it is green.
D3C HID bulb

**A few more things you should know:

  • You CANNOT replace a D3 bulb with a D1 bulb (or vice versa)! They will physically fit, but the bulb, ballast or both will be damaged when you turn it on.
  • You CANNOT replace a D4 bulb with a D2 bulb (or vice versa)! They will physically fit, but the bulb, ballast or both will be damaged when you turn it on.
  • D1 and D2 xenon bulbs use Mercury. D3 and D4 xenon bulbs do not.
  • Philips and other OEM producers of xenon lighting for cars DO NOT offer anything besides 4,300K bulbs. Any bulbs listed as Philips or Sylvania in other colors are fakes.

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