Bulbs are used on a vehicle in many different places because of their ability to create extreme amounts of light and last a long time without needing to be replaced. There are four main types of bulbs used in most automobiles today. The bulbs used in these different locations with vary in color, size, and brightness because the purpose of all of these different bulbs is significantly different.
The most common type of bulb found on a vehicle is the one that is used in the headlights. These bulbs are usually the biggest and most powerful out of all of the vehicles bulbs because they are used to illuminate a large amount of surrounding area in front of the vehicle so that the driver can see when driving at night or in bad weather conditions. Most headlights will use a bulb but some may use a sealed beam. The difference between the two is that the bulb only gets swapped out with a new bulb when it burns out while a beam style headlight requires all the glass and metal surrounding the bulb be replaced as well when it goes out.
There are six different categories of headlight bulbs that are commonly found in a vehicle. The most popular out of these six is the standard bulb and it is the best all around performer out of the bunch. The second type of bulb that is commonly found in headlights is the cold blue bulb and it produces a whiter light than a standard bulb which makes it more helpful in rough weather conditions. The third type of bulb that may be used is the xenon bulb which produces 30% more light than a standard bulb. Over the years an innovation to this type of bulb has been made and the xenon ultra which produces 50% more light than a standard bulb was developed. The last two bulbs are the argon and krypton bulbs which are both focused around a longer life-span. These longer lasting bulbs will have an extra 50% or more lifespan than a standard bulb which makes them perfect for commercial vehicles that have much higher voltages.
The second main type of bulb that is used in a car is located in the fog lights. These lights may not be found on every type of vehicle because they are typically an added option that can be equipped by the manufacture or as an aftermarket accessory. The type of bulb that is used in a fog light is called a halogen bulb. This type of bulb is useful in fog because they do not reflect off the fog like a standard bulb would. This ability to not reflect the light is essential because it could create a glare in the driver's eyes which could cause them to lose control.
The third most common type of bulb on a vehicle is the mini bulb. This particular bulb is commonly used in turn signals, cornering lights, running lights, taillights, and stop lights. Some interior dash lights and the courtesy lamps that turn on when you open a door are ran on mini bulbs but many modern vehicles have switched to newer style LED lights that are less likely to burn out over time.
The fourth main type of bulb that is found in an automobile is the specialty bulb. These specialty bulbs are usually found in added features such as turn signals on the mirror or an added break light. Since these bulbs are used in so many different applications, they are available in a wide variety of different colors. Many of these specialty parts use strobe bulbs because they have the ability to blink on and off in things such as a turn signal without decreasing the bulbs life span.