Can You Put LED Bulbs In An Old Car? & 6 Things To Consider

Is It Possible To Put LED Bulbs In An Old Car?

Have you been seeing and hearing about all the good stuff LED lights have to offer and you’re wondering if you can be able to switch from what you have on to LED lights installation, then this is the article I walk you through a couple of factors to consider before making any move!

So, is it possible to put LED bulbs in an old car? Yes, although your car may have an old system, you will be able to put LED bulbs in it. Carmakers have made so many improvements with the LED light technology which makes it very easy for car owners to switch from halogen bulbs to LED lights.

While it’s possible to put LED bulbs in an old car, there are a couple of important factors you need to consider before you decide to fix LED light. 

These important factors include power supply, heat dissipation system, wiring system, brightness, resistance problems, and of course cost.

For the remaining parts of this article, I’m going to explain these factors so that you will be able to make your switch to LED bulbs a reality. 

Power Supply

LED light provides just about the required electricity for the best performance, unlike halogen bulbs.

It’s an obvious truth that the way older cars are assembled is totally totally different from the modern ones. 

One typical example is that the power supply from old cars can be either too high or low to support the functionality LED lights to have to offer.

Also, a power supply ranging from 60watts to 400watts might cause the LED bulb to overheat and then burn.

One big problem with older cars is how to change the container in which the LED light will be held. 

Usually, older cars would have a container that is generally not the same as the once modern cars have. 

So if you can fix your LED light without changing it then there is a possibility the LED light may not function or will not supply the wanted electricity into the LED light.

Heat Dissipation System

In another way, the heat dissipation system structure is also important to be put into consideration simply because it will impact the LED light brightness.

So for most older cars, it has its own heat sink structure for which is very important to take into consideration. 

if ignored, it can cause some damage such as serious temperature to increase.

Also, there are two types of heat sink: the fanless split and the integrated heat dissipation

The fanless are much smaller in size, produce low energy with low brightness, while the fan LED has simple and stable but will not be able to withstand the heat of power is over the roof. 

So make sure that the size of the heat sink is the same as your heat sink size in your old car. 


It’s a common fact that LED lights will consume much much less power, will not heat up, and will take up less space when compared to its counterparts. 

So if a car is manufactured to use halogen bulbs and you decided to change it to LED light then you need to consider the fact that most halogen bulbs will have optics that do not work with LED lights.

Most old vehicles are likely to have halogen bulbs designed to generate low output meaning when you make the switch to LED the amount of output pattern obviously will change and some parts will become dimmer which is going to cause some problems instead of a solution. 

One safe way around this is to check with a professional and explore your options. If you will, however, not contact a professional, but instead would like to DIY is, then chances are the amount of light you will produce will be scattered like that of a halogen bulb. 

And you wouldn’t want this to happen because you will be blinding other road users at night which can cause accidents. 

Wiring System

If you make a comparison between an old and a modern car then you’re going to see that the wiring system you will often find in an older car is more complicated than that of the latest cars.  

Due to the complex nature of the wiring systems found in older cars extra time and attention are needed for the LED light to properly function.

As cars get old, it’s electrical wire installations get dirty and brittle and will ultimately cause it to lose conductivity.  

If the wiring systems are more than 10 years and have seen little to no replacements over the years then it is so obvious it’s not going to last long and also cannot work efficiently. 

This is because the bulbs will not get the full voltage they are required 

Bulb Fitting

It is important to make sure that the LED illumination points are at the same location as the filaments on the original halogen bulbs since the size of the bulb will likely not be the same.

There’s also another possibility of both old and modern cars fitting light not being the same.

If the entire fitting off location then there is a chance for an LED light to run into a lower voltage since fitting might affect the flow of electricity.

An old car’s structure will usually be totally different from that of modern cars as we have said in the past couple of points above. 

And not to sound like a broken record, if the bulb does not fit either the size or wiring, it might cause some damage inside the LED light. 

For instance, if it’s the wiring which is not a good fit then, there is a chance that it won’t produce the wanted light – either producing higher or lesser amounts of voltage.

So before you fix the LED light to an older car it is better to run a quick test to see if the light fits by size, temperature, and voltage. 


Last but not least, is to check the resistance.  In many cases, an older car will draw less electricity simply because of the common use of incandescent bulbs which generates or uses less electricity – usually around 2 to 3 amps.

So it’s very important for you before deciding to make the switch ensure your technician so that he can approve or disapprove.


Making little bits of adjustments and tweaks here and there on my car is definitely something I love to play around with. And as fun, as it can be, it further enhances the function of every car I drive.

The key thing though is to ensure the best practices and take into consideration important factors that will help you to safely tweak your car into full functionality. 

I hope this article was able to help you and equip you with the knowledge of some tips to bear in mind when you want to switch to LED lights in your car.

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