Learn Automotive Lighting
SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting FAQs


Q) When is a good time to change my headlights?

A) SYLVANIA recommends evaluating your headlights once a year for optimum performance. This ensures that your headlights will always be their brightest. The end of Daylight Savings Time in the fall results in earlier nightfall and more nighttime driving. It’s the perfect time to upgrade your headlights. When it’s time to change your clocks -- it’s probably time to change your headlights! Remember to always replace your headlights in pairs.

Q) What features should I look for in replacement headlights?

A) Always look for replacement lamps that are street legal and comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 108 and Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) 108.

SYLVANIA offers a range of street legal, compliant replacement headlight bulbs that provide drivers with a variety of distinct safety and style / performance benefits:

SAFETY Products:

• SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA headlights are our brightest downroad headlight, with whiter light and more clarity. A brighter downroad headlight is important because if you see an object sooner, you can make a better decision or react better. Whiter light improves contrast and reflectivity of objects like street signs and road markings. Together they improve clarity down the road and on the side of the road. Improved clarity of an object will also help you make a better decision, when driving at highway speeds, every foot counts when it comes to you, your family, your friends, and everything around you.

• SYLVANIA SilverStar® headlights: Our brighter downroad headlight with whiter light and more clarity for your safety. SilverStar, while not as far downroad as SilverStar Ultra, improves your downroad visibility.

• SYLVANIA XtraVision® headlights: The brighter light when more light is needed on the road.

• SYLVANIA BASIC headlights: Basic performance for when a new light is needed.

STYLE and Performance Products:

zXe® headlights: zXe – The Attitude of HID and Xenon fueled.  Designed for the driver that loves their vehicle and wants it to be a proper representation of their personality.  zXe is designed to more closely match the look of HID headlights, when the car you own has halogen headlights.  You will love the look and how it changes the front of the car at night.

ZEVO® automotive LED lighting: Technology is moving quickly and SYLVANIA’s most premium LED line, ZEVO®, is our most advanced automotive light for many brake, turn, parking, interior and other mini bulb applications.  Our ZEVO line comes with a lifetime limited warranty as LEDs are designed to last for thousands of hours.  A learning point about LEDs, the color spectrum off each light is much smaller than halogen and incandescent lights.  Because of that, we have designed new red bulbs to go behind a red lens and Amber bulbs to go behind an amber lens to replace amber bulbs that are used in turn lights.  With new age thermal management, instant-on LEDs, and superior quality, these LEDs will help to transform the industry.

SYLVANIA LEDs:  The line of LEDs is our category entry for LEDs.  These LEDs outperform the incandescent in many ways, longer life, instant on technology and thermal management.  With instant-on, the lights are at full power instantly, which can result in a trailing car to see your brake lights sooner. 

Q) Are safety and style products available for all vehicles?

A) SilverStar®, SilverStar® ULTRA and zXe® bulbs are available as replacement upgrades for most halogen equipped behicles on the road. We continue to add new products to all of our premium lines to match new product entering the market. Check with your automotive retailer, or look up your vehicle in our Lighting Replacement Guide.

Q) How do I install headlights or other automotive lights?

A) Most vehicles are in the “light DIY” category.  They are designed to be a replaceable part but that is not always the case.  You can review our video for installing headlights or look up your specific vehicle at our partner CarCareKiosk.com.


Q) Can headlights really improve driving safety?

A) Yes. Traffic deaths occur three times more often at night, according to the National Safety Council. Whiter headlights can help improve driver reaction time and make it easier to avoid road hazards, according to the research conducted by the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Q) Is down road illumination important to see better at night?

A) Yes. Both down road and peripheral illumination are important for night driving visibility.

Q) Why is peripheral illumination important?

A) Peripheral illumination helps improve the visibility of signage, pedestrians, wildlife and road hazards. The enhanced peripheral visibility that comes from whiter light output may also result in faster driver reaction time.

Q) Do whiter lights, like SilverStar®, SilverStar® ULTRA and zXE® headlights cause glare?

A) SYLVANIA headlights are fully compliant, street legal products that may help make driving safer. There are many reasons that headlights can cause discomfort among drivers, including: headlamp height, aim, beam pattern and intensity.  Poorly manufactured, knock-off and illegal products can also lead to glare.

Q) Are SilverStar®, SilverStar® ULTRA and zXE® bulbs street legal?

A) Yes. Our products are designed to comply with all industry wattage, color and light output (lumens) standards as set by the government.  SYLVANIA brand automotive headlight bulbs comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 108 and Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) 108 in effect as of the date of manufacture. 


Q) How long do the headlights last?

A)  The life of any halogen bulb varies based on vehicle type, vehicle voltage, amount of time the bulb is on, road conditions, proper installation, and correct application.  SYLVANIA guarantees your complete satisfaction for up to 12 months from the date of purchase. If you are not completely satisfied, return your product to the place of purchase or contact SYLVANIA at 1.800.729.3777. With our SYLVANIA high performance products, the primary goal is to offer the best technology we can to improve driver's safety. Research has shown our headlights improve driver visibility and reaction time. However, since our headlights are brighter and whiter than BASIC, they may have a shorter life span compared to our other products. We offer a wide variety of products to satisfy customer needs including brightness, durability, color options and increased visibility. We recommend evaluating your headlights annually as part of your regular vehicle maintenance.

Q) Are SilverStar® ULTRA or zXE® headlights high intensity discharge (HID) headlights?

A) No. These are street-legal halogen upgrade bulbs that gives off a whiter light than BASIC headlights and are more comparable in color to HID headlights. HID headlights normally cost a few hundred dollars each, while these average $50 USD to $60 USD.