The Ultimate Xenon Bulbs of 2023

May 23, 2023

It's been a while since we've talked about Xenon or Xenarc HID bulbs, and I'm excited to share with you some of the latest products that have taken over as our top recommendations.

We've been busy testing a variety of bulbs from well-known brands like OSRAM and Philips, as well as premium options from Morimoto, DDM Tuning, and Diode Dynamics. And of course, we didn't forget about the budget-friendly options on Amazon - we've found a few gems there too.

If you want to learn more about how we test these products, be sure to check it out here. But in a nutshell, we use 3 unique OEM Xenon projectors to ensure consistency and accuracy, and we consider factors like total output or lumens and color temperature.

And don't forget - we'll always keep our top recommended products page up to date as we continue testing, so be sure to bookmark that link in the description for future reference. Now, let's dive into the results!


Our Test Projectors, all OEM

Our first recommended Xenon kit is the OSRAM Cool Blue Intense Next Gen (CBI NextGen). In comparison to a brand new OEM OSRAM Original, the CBI produced remarkable low and high beam performance, with an additional 24% low beam distance, 15% high beam output, and 4% more lumens. Although there were other products with higher low beam performance, their high beam performance couldn't match the CBI. The CBI's color temperature came out to be 5300k, which is as close to a pure white as you can get. The next closest option is the OSRAM Cool Blue Boost at 5450k, but they have less lumen output and high beam performance.

OSRAM Cool Blue Intense NextGen

The CBI Next Gens are available in the major sizes, but it's important to be careful where you purchase OSRAM and Philips Xenon bulbs, as there are many knock-offs out there. We have provided a link in this review to a reliable source to ensure that you get a genuine set of bulbs.

If you prefer a warmer white color that is still whiter than OEM, consider the OSRAM Night Breaker Laser NextGens. Their performance is similar to the CBI NextGens, with 25% additional low beam output, 6% high beam output, and 2% more lumens. The color temperature of these bulbs is 4750k, compared to OEM at around 4300k, so they are a bit whiter but without any blue tones like the CBI NextGens.

OSRAM Night Breaker Laser NextGen

One reason to choose an OSRAM or Philips product is the high-quality materials they use, which strikes a fine balance between performance and efficiency. They utilize state-of-the-art, resilient quartz glass filled with xenon gas and metallic salts, which allow the arc to glow brightly and last a long time. While we don't yet have the lifespan results for these products, we do have them running on our test bench 24/7 to see how they perform in the long run. Once the results are complete, you can find them listed on our website, and we will continue to test more samples over time. 


DDM Tuning Ultra

If you find that the cost of OSRAM bulbs is a bit too steep for your budget, it may be worthwhile to consider a high-quality 3rd party alternative. In this category, our top recommendation is the DDM Tuning Ultra series Xenon bulbs in the 5500k variance. These bulbs boast a range of color temperatures, including 3000k, 4500k, 5500k, and 6500k, with the 5500k variant offering an actual color temperature output of 5800k.

Through our comprehensive testing, we have found that the Ultra xenon bulbs outperform even the top OSRAM pick when it comes to low-beam performance. With an output of 583 lux at 25’ or a 42% additional distance, these bulbs deliver precision and clarity that is truly exceptional. While high-beam performance showed only a slight improvement of 3% additional, lumens were down 10% due to the higher color temperature. However, we believe that this variance in output is largely attributable to the unique design of the bulb, which is engineered to provide a stronger low beam overall. We also tested the other color temperature options from DDM as well as Morimoto and Diode Dynamics.

We have compiled all of our findings into a comprehensive chart here on our website, so be sure to take a look to determine which product best meets your specific needs. 



If the DDM bulbs are beyond your budget, and you require a more economical option to replace your old xenon bulbs, we recommend taking a look at the DMEX brand bulbs, which are available on Amazon. Specifically, we suggest the 4300k variant, which is intended to produce a "warm white" light. However, in our testing, we found that the actual color output was a near-perfect white at 5100k. This is in contrast to most other Xenon bulbs available on Amazon, which tend to have color temperatures of 6000k or higher, potentially affecting their performance.

While the DMEX Xenon bulbs fell short by -6% on high-beam performance and -3% on lumens, they provided a 26% additional low-beam distance. This is impressive, considering their affordable price point for a set. It's worth noting that we cannot determine the longevity of these bulbs in your vehicle, but we will provide updates on our website as time passes. It's unlikely that they will match the longevity of high-end brands like OSRAM or Philips, but they may be an excellent budget-friendly option for those on a tight budget.

Purchase the DMEX Xenons on Amazon:


If you are thinking of switching from Xenon bulbs to LED replacements, there are a few things to consider before making the switch. One important factor to keep in mind is the connection conversion process. Since the vehicle has a ballast system in place, a typical LED will not work properly at the much higher voltage push and will require a special adapter. Alternatively, you may have to bypass the ballast and find the actual 12V output, which would involve splicing or adapting the wiring to get them connected. There are some LED kits available that include all the necessary conversion components, but we have yet to receive any in our lab for testing.

In addition to the connection issue, performance is also a critical factor to consider when considering an LED replacement. Based on our tests of various top-tier LED products, we found that they just can’t match the performance of even an OEM xenon bulb, especially in terms of lumens and high-beam output. This is because the design of an LED emits light from two sides, which can cause issues with any high-beam output that requires the light to travel upwards.

If you are set on converting to LED, be sure to keep these factors in mind, and instead consider upgrading to one of the upgraded Xenon bulbs that we have already mentioned. They offer superior performance and are more compatible with the vehicle's ballast system, resulting in a better overall driving experience.


Ultimately, selecting the right set of Xenon bulbs can make a significant difference in your driving experience. Our goal is to keep people safe on the roads by providing unbiased and accurate testing, and with our testing and research, we hope to provide you with the knowledge to make an informed decision and find the perfect set of bulbs for your vehicle. If you do decide to purchase a product that we have reviewed, we kindly ask that you use our affiliate links. This helps us continue to improve and expand our testing capabilities, as well as enables us to test new products. Thank you for your support!

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