What is Better? Reflector VS Projector Headlight

Aug 30,2019    Lilian Carson

What is reflector LED headlight and what is projector LED headlight? First let’s take a look at the pictures.

Reflector LED headlight comes to the market first, but in recent years, most new cars equipped with projector headlight. Why projector headlight is becoming more and more popular?

Keeping this in mind, we analyzed each headlight design in detail.

How Does a Reflector Headlight Work?

Reflector headlight’s design is quite simple. It consists of a light source (headlight bulb) situated in the middle of the reflector cup. Here is a cross section of that design:

Pros & Cons of Reflector Headlight


  • Simple design. Lower cost to manufacture.


  • Light output is less controlled and the low beam cutoff for oncoming traffic is less distinct.
  • Because the light output is a less controlled, high output light sources are not used with this design. Most reflector headlights use a halogen bulb which puts out less light than an HID. If use HID or LED, it may caused glare and influence other drivers.
  • The beam often has intense and weak spots in the beam.

How Projector Headlights Work

Projector headlight’ design is a little bit complicated than the reflector one. At its most basic form, there are three parts:

  • Reflector
  • Lens
  • Light source (halogen bulb, HID or LED)

Pros & Cons of Projector Headlights


  • Even distribution of light with little to no “hot spots” or intense and weak spots.
  • Distinct cutoff of low beams, which keeps oncoming traffic from being blinded. Because of the distinct cutoff, projectors can handle a brighter headlight bulb, namely high intensity discharge (HID) bulbs. A brighter headlight bulb provides a better night driving experience.
  • Projectors look awesome.


  • The cost is higher than reflector headlight

In conclusion, projector headlight is the trend, because it is brighter and safer, which bring us better driving experience. So how should we choose the right LED bulbs for projector headlight? See next passage, CARSON LED Headlight factory will give some suggestions.

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