Though Halogen bulbs are currently the most common found in cars today, there are other options that have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few of the most common types of bulbs used in automobiles:
Halogen: Low in cost when compared with Xenon and LED bulbs, these are still the most common bulbs used in cars today. With a gas-filled design these bulbs do not last very long compared to Xenon or LEDs.
It should also be noted some HID bulbs also utilize halogen gas but are not intended for non-HID setups. Be sure to check the application before purchasing any bulbs.
Xenon/HID: Referring to the type of gas used, Xenon bulbs are available for both HID(high intensity discharge) and standard setups. Xenon bulbs that are HID-specific are more efficient and brighter than Halogen bulbs, as well as much more expensive. Also, HID setups should be factory installed on your Mustang and modifying your car with an aftermarket conversion kit requires a projection headlight meant to focus HID bulbs. It should also be mentioned HIDs take a moment to reach full luminosity, unlike LED and halogen lighting.
Bulbs labeled “Xenon” that are actually halogen merely have a blue tint added to the glass or a blue coating on the glass. These bulbs have nothing to do with Xenon except for producing light that appears to be a color similar to that of a true HID setup but produces no additional light. Bulbs like this can be used interchangeably with halogen bulbs and do not offer any of the advantages of a true HID Xenon setup.
LED: LEDs(Light-Emitting Diodes) need very little power to run but also tend to produce less light than an HID setup. LEDs reach full luminosity instantly, much like halogen bulbs. LED lighting is also much harder to focus, contributing being less bight than their HID counterpart. The major downfall of LEDs are their cost. Conversion kits can be purchased to convert from standard halogen bulbs to longer lasting and brighter LED lights.
Note: Some 2010 Mustangs came equipped with HID lighting from Ford and need to utilize HID bulbs and lenses. Using an HID conversion kit with projectors/reflectors not intended with an HID setup, or that is not a factory setup, can be illegal due to the glare caused by an improper combination of light emissions and poorly controlled projection. Another issue, though uncommon, has been shortages in the wiring due to a voltage imbalance. If you purchase an HID kit for your Mustang, be sure to follow all instructions for setup and installation. HID setups need a HID-specific headlamp in addition to HID bulbs to properly focus the extra light that is emitted. Otherwise, your setup runs the risk of glaring and blinding other drivers.