Can You Put High Beam Bulbs in Low Beam?

by Chris Lewis.

Both the high beam and the low beam bulbs have their special uses. Almost all motorized vehicles come with both the options, whether they use one bulb or two for the purpose.

However, many people experience issues with lower lighting levels when using their low beam lights. While this issue can be solved by getting HIR bulbs, they tend to be very expensive for a lot of people.

So, one question that’s asked by motorists frequently is, “Can you put high beam bulbs in low beam?”. Here, we will discuss how these different types of bulbs function to give a detailed answer to that question.

High Beam and Low Beam Bulbs

High Beam and Low Beam Bulbs
High Beam and Low Beam Bulbs

Generally, low beam bulbs are used while driving at night in dimly or well-lit places to get a better view of the road. Low beam bulbs point downward to the road, as to not cause any glaring for oncoming drivers.

High beam bulbs are used when driving through pitch-black areas, such as – long winding rural roads. And high beam bulbs reflect through the entire reflector panel in your headlight, causing a wider beam of more intense light that travels farther and stays higher.

Differences between High Beam and Low Beam Bulbs

Differences between High Beam and Low Beam Bulbs
Differences between High Beam and Low Beam Bulbs

To get a better understanding, we have to discuss the differences between these two types of bulbs.

  • High beam bulbs are much brighter than low beam bulbs
  • High beam bulbs can cause glaring and disturb other drivers in front of you, or oncoming drivers
  • High beam lights are only for use in special circumstances, while low beams are for everyday use
  • During risky weather conditions like fog, rain, snow, excess dust, etc. that can reduce visibility, low beam lights work better
  • Low beam bulbs can be a little bit on the dimmer side for many motorists
  • High beams are known as 9005 bulbs, and low beams are 9006
  • The two types of bulbs use different sockets
  • Low beams bulbs are around 1000 lumens, where High beam bulbs give about 1700 lumens

Is It Possible to Put High Beam Bulbs in Low Beam Socket?

Is It Possible to Put High Beam Bulbs in Low Beam Socket?
Is It Possible to Put High Beam Bulbs in Low Beam Socket?

As the problem of lower luminosity exists with low beam bulbs, many motorists want to achieve a brighter light with their low beam settings.

The best option is to get HIR or HID bulbs, which use much newer technology to achieve greater luminosity. But they can be quite costly.

While it is not advisable or recommended at all that you do this, but with a little tinkering, it is possible to insert a high beam bulb in the low beam socket of your headlights.

Step-by-Step Process to Follow

  • Wear protective goggles and gloves
  • Take your 9005 bulbs and locate the plastic disk shape below the glass bulb
  • On the disk, there should be three protruding bits of plastics
  • Locate the centerpiece of plastic and measure it in millimeters (mm)
  • With the socket facing down, file the center bit from the left side, so about 5 to 6 millimeters of plastic remain
  • Look inside the socket to find two small plastic tabs that come down from the top for guiding the fit
  • Use a blade or a filer to completely remove the 2 tabs
  • Get two O rings and fit them on your modified bulb
  • Now the modified 9005 bulbs should fit into the 9006 socket
  • Take your motor vehicle and face it in front of a wall
  • Turn on your lights and check for glaring and over brightness
  • Use duct tape around the corner of the lights as necessary to prevent excess light



Even though it is possible to do this procedure, we strongly suggest that you don’t go through with it. Even if it seems excessive, do try to get HIR or HID bulbs to be installed in your low beam socket.

Installing a high beam bulb in your low beam socket can lead to numerous issues. Most significant of that is it will make the roads more dangerous for other drivers and for yourself too.

You should never use this method if you are living in an urban area or even a town with moderate traffic. And you should only try this if you live in an area that does not see much traffic at all and has no streetlamps or other light sources on the road.

Moreover, you can get into serious trouble with the police if you use your high beam instead of your low beam. You can also cause electrical and wiring issues for your car and damage the internal circuitry severely. The last thing you need is your lights dying in the middle of a drive.


Can you put high beam bulbs in the low beam?

You’ve got the answer that you can put high beam bulbs into low beam sockets and the risks associated with the process.

Don’t engage in this unless you are absolutely sure that you won harm others. Again, we strongly advise that you follow the proper procedures and maintain all the possible road safety rules.

About Chris Lewis.

Chris Lewis is a passionate individual with a deep affinity for the world of automobiles. From a tender age, his fascination with cars was nurtured by his father, a seasoned mechanic based in the vibrant city of San Francisco. Growing up under the watchful guidance of his skilled father, Chris developed an early aptitude for all things automotive.

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