Even the slightest scratch might require you to replace your car’s headlight assembly. Driving with a broken headlight is illegal in some places, primarily if it affects the light level.
Therefore, it’s in your best interest to replace your headlight assembly before hitting the road at night.
Fortunately, putting in a headlight assembly isn’t absurdly expensive. Depending on the type of assembly, you can often do it yourself.
However, if you do have to hire a mechanic, the cost of labor isn’t unreasonable. The average cost to replace a headlight assembly is $674. With the cost of labor included, the average price to replace a headlight assembly is $722.
- The Average Cost to Replace a Headlight Assembly
- The Average Cost to Replace a Headlight Assembly Plus the Cost of Installation
- Types of Headlight Assemblies
- The cost to replace a Halogen Headlight Assembly
- Halo Headlight Assembly
- Albeit not always legal for street use, many halo lights can change color with the click of a button. If you want your lights the change colors, you’ll need to get a CCFL kit.
- The standard street-legal colors are amber and white. Unfortunately, these unique headlight assemblies aren’t compatible with every vehicle type.
- Halo headlight assemblies work best with trucks and SUVs, such as the Jeep Wrangler. You can also find them on various sports cars, including the Nissan 370Z, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang.
- Switchback Headlight Assembly
- Projector Headlight Assembly
- Projector headlight assemblies don’t have a specific type of bulb. While many come with LED bulbs, they can also support halogen and HID lightbulbs. Unlike other assemblies, projector headlights minimize dark spots on the road.
- Projector lights are notably bright, but thanks to their design, they don’t distract other drivers. And no matter what type of vehicle you drive, you can easily find a compatible projector assembly.
- Reflector Headlight Assemblies
- At this point, you probably think that a reflector headlight sounds almost identical to a projector headlight. What’s the main difference?
- A standard reflector headlight’s light covers more area, but it’s not as focused as a projector headlight. This extra light created doesn’t add value – it can actually distract nearby drivers. For this reason, more drivers tend to prefer projector headlights.
- Sealed Beam Headlight Assemblies
- Today, most cars don’t have sealed beam headlights. However, there’s still demand them, especially amongst those that own vintage cars. The sealed beam produces focused light and still does a good job when it comes to lighting up a dark road.
- And although you may have to replace them more often, sealed beam headlights are very affordable compared to the more advanced options on the marketplace.
- Laser Headlights Assemblies
- Currently, you can only find these innovative headlights in a handful of Audi and BMW models. Even though they’re new, laser headlights are very effective. The beam can reach 600 meters, illuminating a large area of the road in front. Car manufacturers are starting to use laser headlight assemblies because they’re more energy-efficient and they do not take up as much space as reflector and projector headlight assemblies.
- A notable downside is that these headlights cost a little bit more to replace since they’re relatively new.
- The Cost to Pay Someone to Replace Your Headlight Assembly
- A Final Glance at the Cost to Replace a Headlight Assembly
The Average Cost to Replace a Headlight Assembly
The below prices reflect the cost to replace a headlight assembly and install it yourself. We did not add in the cost of hiring a mechanic.
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You should keep in mind that the cost to replace a headlight assembly varies depending on the model of the headlight.
A sealed headlight assembly will only set you back $52.50. On the other hand, a laser headlight assembly can cost up to $1,448.
The Average Cost to Replace a Headlight Assembly Plus the Cost of Installation
If you don’t have the tools to install a headlight yourself, here’s what you can expect to pay for the headlight assembly plus the cost of labor:
Here’s a look at the high- and low-end estimate and the average cost of each type of headlight assembly.
Types of Headlight Assemblies
Want to learn more about the most popular headlight assemblies and their respective cost? Keep reading our in-depth guide that covers all you need to know.
With advancing technology, drivers can choose various types of headlight assemblies to complement their vehicles. Although Halogen assemblies are the most popular for affordability, many people swap them out for sleeker, trendy headlights.
Let’s take a closer look at the type of headlight assemblies available on the market, the cost to replace each type of headlight assembly, and their key features.
As mentioned, Halogen headlight assemblies are the most popular. These are often the stock assemblies – what you’ll find in a brand-new vehicle.
Halogen headlights contain incandescent bulbs – the type of bulb that has a wire filament that heats up and glows.
The cost to replace a Halogen Headlight Assembly
The average Halogen headlight will last for around 850 hours. So, if you drive at an average speed of 30 mph, you’ll need to replace your headlights around every 25,500 miles.
However, you don’t have to replace the entire assembly when the bulb runs out. If you notice scuffs or cracks in your headlight assembly, then you need to replace it. Halogen headlight assemblies are easily accessible; you can buy them at various online retailers.
Key Features of Halogen Headlight Assemblies
- Bright, yellow light
- Bulbs last for 850 hours
- Easy to assemble
- Functional and versatile
- Suitable for driving on dimly light roads
Halo Headlight Assembly
Also called “Angel Eyes,” halo headlight assemblies are a popular choice for car enthusiasts who want a customized look.
Drivers can salvage their factory headlights and install halo rings or completely replace their stock assembly for an assembly featuring these angelic lights.
Halo headlights come pre-wired, making them a breeze to install. You can buy halo headlight assemblies on Amazon and at numerous auto parts stores.
The cost to replace a Halo Headlight Assembly
Key Features of a Halo Headlight Assembly
- Color-changing capabilities
- It contains bright lights, making it easier to drive at night
- Most come with LED bulbs
Switchback Headlight Assembly
Switch headlights are unique because you can alternate between white and amber – the two street-legal headlight colors. Most switchback headlights come with LED bulbs.
Far superior to standard incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs can last around 45,000 hours, meaning you’ll probably never need to replace them.
And unlike halo lights that only fit a few types of cars, switchback headlights are available for trucks, SUVs, sedans, and even motorhomes.
The cost to replace a Switchback Headlight Assembly
After you make a turn, the headlights will turn back to white. Other motorists can easily spot you at night with the amber color, making for an all-around safer driving experience. A switchback headlight has a dual filament socket. One filament lights up white and the other amber. In most cases, the light will change to amber when you trigger your turn signal.
Key Features of a Switchback Headlight Assembly
- Comes with LED lights that can last up to 45,000 hours
- Supports two colors: white and amber
- Boasts an easy-to-install design
- Makes for safer driving at night
- The LED bulbs have dual filament sockets
Projector Headlight Assembly
To preface, a projector headlight assembly is a broader term that can also include halo and DRL bar headlight assemblies. So, what sets apart projector headlight assemblies from stock?
Once available in only luxury vehicles, projector headlight assemblies have a steel interior and built-in mirrors that reflect the light.
Moreover, a shield acts as a mechanism to point the light towards the road, making it easier to see at night. Have you ever been blinded at night by the driver behind you? That won’t happen with projector headlight assemblies.
The cost to replace a Projector Headlight Assembly
Key Features of a Projector Headlight Assembly
- Has a shield that directs light on the road
- Boasts reflectors that make the light brighter
- Versatile design that’s easy-to-install
- Sleek appearance
- Supports multiple bulb types – LED, HID, halogen, and incandescent
Reflector Headlight Assemblies
Common in many new vehicles, reflector headlight assemblies are cheaper to install than alternative options. Also, reflector headlights tend to extend deeper into the fender compared to other assemblies.
Like projector headlights, reflectors have a steel interior and interior mirrors. Some of the older reflector headlight assemblies are sealed, making it impossible to replace a bulb.
The cost to replace a Reflector Headlight Assembly
Key Features of a Reflector Headlight Assembly
- More light, but less focus
- Steel interior
- Versatile design
- Deeper than alternative assemblies
- Easy to remove and replace the bulb
Sealed Beam Headlight Assemblies
Much more compact than other lights, sealed beam headlight assemblies were the required headlights for over 40 years in the United States. The design is simple – everything is housed in a small unit.
Because these headlights have a seal, you can’t just replace the bulb. Instead, you have to buy a new headlight assembly. Most of these headlights range from five to seven inches in diameter.
The cost to replace a Sealed Beam Headlight Assembly
Key Features of a Sealed Beam Headlight Assembly
- Has a compact design
- Boasts a diameter that ranges from five to seven inches
- Helps maintain a vintage look for classic cars
- Easy to install
- Supports various types of lights – LED, halogen, HID, and xenon
Laser Headlights Assemblies
Laser headlight assemblies are new to the scene, so you probably haven’t seen many of them yet. And no, these don’t have infrared lasers that shoot the car in front of you.
Instead of using a traditional lightbulb, these headlight assemblies have a mounted solid-state laser. The lasers function similarly to LED bulbs and create a vibrant bream.
The cost to replace a Laser Headlight Assembly
Key Features of a Laser Headlight Assembly
- Produces a vibrant light
- Doesn’t take up much space
- Has interior reflectors
- The light can cover up to 600 meters of road
The Cost to Pay Someone to Replace Your Headlight Assembly
Those who don’t have the correct tools or aren’t the best with cars should pay a mechanic to replace their headlight assembly. Fortunately, the cost of labor is very affordable.
The average price to pay someone to replace your headlight assembly is $47.50. If you buy the headlight from the mechanic, you’ll end up paying a markup. We recommend purchasing the part on your own and paying the mechanic to install it to save money.
Depending on the vehicle you own, the mechanic may be able to finish the job in as little as 25 minutes.
Steps to Replace a Headlight Assembly
Don’t want to pay a mechanic to replace your headlight assembly? If you’re good with your hands and have basic knowledge about cars, it’s not hard to do. Follow the below steps:
- Take off your car’s grill
- Unscrew the bolts connecting your existing headlight assembly to the car
- Disconnect all the electrical wiring from the old headlight assembly
- Put the new headlight assembly in the spot where you just removed the old one
- Connect the wiring to the new assembly
- Put on the grill
A Final Glance at the Cost to Replace a Headlight Assembly
Replacing a headlight assembly is affordable and quick. The most challenging part of the process is deciding what type of headlight assembly suits your car best.
You want a headlight assembly that not only looks great but also one that has sufficient light. Before buying a headlight assembly, you should shop around a little bit to ensure you get the best price.
Unless you want something more glamorous, don’t expect to pay more than $674 to replace a headlight assembly.