Installing a New External Car Light Bulb

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Installing a New External Car Light Bulb

Not only does a new external car light bulb offer increased vision quality, but it can save the car owner money by being more power efficient with a greater lifespan. It is a necessary safety requirement for all cars to have functioning external lights at the front, rear, and side of the car.

External car light bulbs are available from auto parts stores, vehicle service centres, and various online auto stores. Consumers can also buy new light bulbs for a car from eBay. eBay have a wide selection of different types of bulbs at competitive prices from reputable sellers located across the United Kingdom.

Despite what type of new external car light bulb a consumer is looking to purchase, it pays to have some knowledge of how to install a new bulb, the different types of bulbs available and their advantages and disadvantages, and what to consider when looking at buying a new external car light bulb.

Benefits of Installing a New External Car Light Bulb

External car lights are designed for safety while on the road. Front, rear, brake, and indicator lights are a legal requirement for any car driving on the road. When an external car light bulb has blown, it is important it is replaced with a new bulb as soon as possible to avoid any fines and for safety reasons.

Replacing an external car light bulb can be expensive if a consumer chooses to take it to a car mechanic or car service centre. To save money, car owners can change the blown bulb with relative ease, saving time and money.

Equipment Required to Install a New External Car Light Bulb

To change an external car light bulb, a soft cloth, a torch, and appropriately sized screwdriver is required, as well as the chosen replacement bulb with the correct fitting. When installing the bulb, it pays to have good light, ideally bright daylight and dry weather conditions. Be sure to keep all screws together and accounted for while the new external car light bulb gets installed.

Steps to Installing a New External Car Light Bulb

Not all cars are made with the same light and bulb fittings. Some cars, usually older models have external screws, allowing a person to change the light from the outside of the car. However, newer model cars usually give access from internally.

Step 1: Remove the External Light Housing

The first step to installing a new external car light bulb is to remove the external light housing. On older cars, this is usually done by unscrewing the external light housing with a screwdriver. On newer model cars, access may be from behind the light fitting. For rear tail light bulbs,, a person gets access to the lights on the right and left by removing the plastic covering located on each side of the interior boot. These panels may have screws or fasteners. To install front car light bulbs,, one opens the bonnet to access the light housing.

Step 2: Pull Out the Light Bulb Housing

For front and rear external car light bulbs, a car owner next pulls out the light bulb housing. Gently pull on this bulb assembly, taking note not to pull too hard or pull it out too far, as this can damage the wires. Often, the bulb housing can be held in place by a plastic or metal clip that needs to be opened.

Step 3: Remove the Light from the Bulb Housing

At the base of the bulb housing, where the wires join, one gently grasps this casing and either pulls or turns it a quarter to release the bulb. This reveals the actual bulb for replacement.

Step 4: Remove the Old Light Bulb and Insert the New Light Bulb

The majority of light bulbs simply pull straight out of the bulb housing. Some bulbs need to be turned a quarter or so before being pulled out. To insert the new external car light bulb use the soft cloth so that the glass on the bulb does not get touched. Simply insert the bulb into the housing the same way the blown bulb was removed.

Reattach the casings making sure to secure any screws tightly. Before driving anywhere, be sure to check the bulb is working properly.

Types of External Car Light Bulbs

A consumer has the option of purchasing a range of different bulbs. Each range in quality, price, efficiency, and the type of light emitted. The following table provides a list of the different types of external car light bulbs available.

Bulb Type

Bulb Description


Standard, traditional bulb type; emits warm light; bright at the centre and dims towards the outside; least expensive type; short lifespan; not energy efficient


Energy efficient; provides a cool white light easily seen from a long distance and gives better visual quality; light is distributed evenly across the bulb; longer lifespan than other types of bulbs and up to 10 times longer life than incandescent


Type of incandescent bulb but provides brighter white light; more energy efficient and has longer lifespan than normal incandescent bulb; moderately priced


Expensive, energy efficient, and uses gas to produce a very white, bright light; lifespan not as long as LED bulbs

Older model cars are likely to use incandescent bulbs. The age of the car may determine what type of bulb car owners may have to purchase. Some makes and models of cars offer interchangeable bulbs, while others do not. A consumer should always check to see what type of bulb the car can accept before making any purchase decision.

What to Consider When Buying a New External Car Light Bulb

Although external car light bulbs are not an overly expensive item to purchase, it can be frustrating spending the time, effort, and money purchasing a new bulb only to find that it does not comply with the car it was bought for. When purchasing a new external car light bulb, there are a few things to consider in order to buy the right bulb.

Make of the Car

Consumers have the option of purchasing bulbs made from the same manufacturer as the car itself. For example, the owner of a Vauxhall may prefer to purchase a new Vauxhall external car light bulb.. Alternatively, the car owner may prefer to purchase a bulb that is not made from the same car manufacturer. Some popular bulb brands include Osram and Philips.. These can often be less expensive than purchasing bulbs made for a specific make of car.

Bulb Location

External car light bulbs can be divided up into their location on the car. Front and rear lights are often the ones that require replacement. Other common external lights that can blow on the car are the front and rear indicator light bulbs. A H7 bulb is the most common type of bulb used for headlights, while H1 type bulbs are also fairly commonly used for headlights.


When a headlight, tail light, or indicator bulb blows on the car, it is a dangerous safety hazard for the driver and those sharing the road. It is also likely to lead to a costly fine in not replaced quickly. In order to save money and time taking it into a mechanics, many people choose to change the bulb themselves. With a few simple steps, car owners can change the blown bulb and replace it with a brand new one. No matter what type of bulb, whether incandescent, LED, halogen, or xenon, new bulbs can be purchased relatively inexpensively and replaced quickly and efficiently.

Choosing to purchase a new external car light bulb online at eBay can be a cost effective and efficient way to buy. eBay offers reputable sellers, secure payment options, and simple search methods, making it easy for buyers to find the right kind of external light bulb for their car.

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