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What Is the Difference Between H4 & H7 Headlights?

by Lindsay Pick

A variety of headlight bulbs are on the market, some that are required by a specific vehicle or motorcycle model and some that give drivers the option of customizing their head lamps. H4 and H7 bulbs are high-intensity discharge halogen bulbs, meaning they emit extremely bright light.

H4 Bulbs

H4 bulbs contain two filaments, giving them the option of being either high- or low-beam lights. The bulb has a three-pronged attachment to the wiring harness. Originally developed for European race cars, these bulbs are very bright and can give off white, blue, violet or yellow light.

H7 Bulbs

H7 bulbs contain a single filament. H7 bulbs also come in white, blue, violet or yellow options. The most significant difference between the bulbs is the attachment. H7 bulbs fit different bulb sockets, having a two-pronged plug. Owner's manuals must be checked to determine type of bulb needed.


Check vehicle manuals before installing new head lamp bulbs. Bulbs with too high of a wattage can damage the wiring harness for the bulb and the head lamp reflector. When unsure, contact the bulb manufacturer to ensure vehicle compatibility. HID bulbs are extremely bright and can cause visibility issues for oncoming traffic. When installing the lights, adjust them downward to increase safety for other drivers.

About the Author

Lindsay Pick has been writing professionally since 2010, when she started blogging at Centsible Pets. A former zoo keeper and animal trainer, Pick makes every attempt to keep her pets from training her. She attended Tulane University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

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Photo Credits

  • headlights image by Christopher Hall from