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Are All Brake Light Bulbs the Same? Answered


Brakes are one of the most critical things in a car, and that is why you need to have brake light bulbs. But are all brake light bulbs the same?

Here’s the short answer;  No, all brake light bulbs are not the same.

This post will explore the different types of brake light bulbs and help you choose the right one for your car.

How Brake Lights Work

Brake light is a red light at the back of a vehicle that lights up when the brakes are applied. The primary purpose of the brake light is to warn drivers behind the car that it is slowing down or stopping.

Brake lights are an essential safety feature, and they can help prevent accidents by giving other drivers advance notice of a vehicle’s intention to stop.

Many countries require brake lights, which are usually integrated into the vehicle’s tail light assembly. A switch is activated when the brakes are applied that illuminates the brake light bulbs.

In some vehicles, the brake light may also activate a warning buzzer or chime to alert the driver that the brakes have been applied.

Difference Between Tail Light and Brake Light

The tail light and brake light are two essential features in a car that help the driver see in low light or darkness.


The main difference between the tail light and brake light is that the tail light is a lamp mounted at the car’s rear end, which remains lit when the headlight is on.

The brake light is mounted at the car’s rear end and starts glowing only when brakes are applied.

Taillights are usually red, while brake lights can be red or amber. It is a legal requirement for brake lights to be red in some countries, while they can be red or amber in others.

Are All Brake Light Bulbs the Same?

No, all brake light bulbs are not the same. Different types of brake light bulbs are available in the market, which vary in terms of their size, shape, function, and they are also categorized by the type of vehicle they are designed for.

The most common type of brake light bulb is the incandescent bulb, which uses a filament that glows when heated by an electric current.

LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are becoming increasingly popular because they last longer than incandescent bulbs and use less energy.

Halogen bulbs are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but they last longer and are significantly brighter.

Some newer vehicles are equipped with brake light bulbs that change color when the brakes are applied, from white to red or amber. These bulbs are typically more expensive than traditional incandescent or LED bulbs.

If you are looking for a bulb that will provide the brightest possible light, an LED bulb is the way to go. However, if you are more concerned about longevity, a halogen bulb may be better.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and what you value most in a brake light bulb.

Whichever type of bulb you choose, make sure to replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule to ensure that your brake lights are continually operating at their best.

How Much is a Brake Light Bulb?

The cost of a brake light bulb can vary depending on the type of vehicle. Incandescent bulbs are typically the least expensive and range between $5 and $10, while LED bulbs are usually more costly.

Brake light bulbs that change color when the brakes are applied may be the most expensive option.

Replacing a brake light bulb is typically a relatively inexpensive and straightforward task that the most do-it-yourselfers can do, but if you want it to change for you, the labor charges between $10 to $20.

How to Change a Brake Light Bulb

To remove a spoiled brake light bulb, follow these steps;

A hand in blue glove holding a car brake light bulb
  • Park the vehicle in a safe and level location.
  • Consult the owner’s manual to locate the brake light assembly and identify which bulb type is used.
  • Use a clean cloth or gloves to avoid touching the glass part of the new bulb with your bare hands.
  • Twist or push the old bulb out of the socket and discard it.
  • Insert the new bulb into the socket and twist or push it until securely in place.
  • Reconnect any wires or harnesses that were disconnected during the bulb replacement process.
  • Test the new brake light bulb by turning on the vehicle’s headlights and activating the brakes.
  • Get out of the vehicle and have someone else check to ensure the brake light is working correctly.

If the new bulb does not work, repeat the process with a new bulb.

Why is My Brake Light not Working?

If your brake light is not working, it could be due to the following reasons; a burned-out bulb, a blown fuse, or a problem with the wiring.

A Burned-out Bulb

There are several reasons why your brake light might not be working. One of the most common causes is a burned-out bulb.

Brake lights are very bright, so other drivers can easily see them. Over time, the bulbs can wear out, causing them to dim or stop working altogether.

In some cases, you may be able to replace the bulbs yourself. However, if the burning is severe, it’s best to have a professional mechanic look at your car.

Faulty Brake Light Switch

A faulty brake light switch can be a common reason your brake lights might not be working.

The brake light switch is a component that is responsible for turning the brake lights on and off.

If it is not working correctly, it can cause the brake lights to stay on or not turn on at all.

A Blown Fuse

Fuses are responsible for providing power to the lights, and if one is blown, the light will no longer work. Replacing a blown fuse is a relatively easy and inexpensive task.

Wiring Problems

If your brake light is not working, it could also be due to a problem with the wiring. Over time, the wires can become loose or frayed, causing an intermittent connection.

In some cases, you may be able to fix the problem yourself by tightening the wires or replacing them altogether. However, if the problem is severe, it’s best to have a professional mechanic look at your car.


In conclusion, not all brake light bulbs are the same. There are many different bulbs, each with its unique benefits and drawbacks.

When choosing a bulb for your vehicle, it is essential to consider your needs and preferences.

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