The better bulb: 3057 vs 3157

   Automotive 2 Comments

Car lighting plays an integral part of road and driver safety. Most drivers of today pay good money and pay greater attention when picking out what bulbs they use for their autos. While brightness is the main concern you look into when deciding for bulbs, other factors should be equally looked at.

The 3057 bulbs and 3157 bulbs are the more common choices when it comes to putting lights on your car. Choosing between the two can be pinned down with factors like brightness, lifespan, energy consumption,circumstance and usage, etc. Here is a guide to know which bulb works best for your needs.

Overview of the 3057 bulb

The 3057 is an industrial automotive bulb, so they can be seen in varied instruments for marine technology, railroad equipment, and aircrafts. Built for cars, it’s used as minor or critical option lighting like tail lights, backup lights, brake lights, signal lights, parking switches,  and reflector lights.

The 3057 bulb has a plastic wedge D.F. (dual filament) base , a clear bulb finish and uses halogen technology. It has a wattage of 26.88/6.72, a voltage rating of 12.8/14.0 volts and can emit 2.1/0.48 amp.

The lifespan of a 3057 bulb ranges from 1200 to 5000 average rated-hours, which is affected by the driver’s usage but makes it compatible with city cars. The bulb has a candlepower rating of 32, which is dim for a car’s frontal area so is suggested to be used for the rears.

Overview of the 3157 bulb

Consumers would be right to think that the 3157 bulbs are almost the same as 3057 bulbs. This is because the 3157 has a similar plastic wedge D.F. base, which makes it interchangeable with the 3057. However, the choice still depends on the size of the bulb which is specific to the type of vehicle.

The 3157 bulb has clear bulb finish also, but uses incandescent technology as opposed to halogen. It has a wattage of 26.9/8.3, a voltage rating of 12.8/14.0 volts and can emit 2.1/0.48 amp. The lifespan of these bulbs are 2000 to 10000 average rated-hours, considerably more durable than the 3057 bulb.

What are the big differences between the two?

Brightness.  The foremost characteristic you look at on a bulb is how bright it can be, how much illumination it can give you. While the 3157 has the same use and functionality with the 3057 for parking switches, taillights, signal lights, and reflector lights, according to this post, the 3157 is preferred over the 3057 for daytime running lights, because it is essentially brighter.

Both bulbs have candlepower (cp) ratings of 32 for their bright filaments, but their dim filaments differ with a higher 3cp from the 3157 than the 2cp from the 3057’s dim filament. You can notice this when your vehicle’s parking lights are on; the 3157 bulb is brighter than the 3057 bulb.

In comparison, the 3057 has a low intensity, which makes it great for the rear part of the vehicle than at the frontal area for headlights and fog lights. Plus with the 3057’s halogen technology, it has a sharp beam pattern for more precise light opportunity and the brightness it provides is not something to discount.

Energy consumption and Lifespan. Energy consumption relies on how the bulb is used, and can also be affected by the age of the vehicle. Since the 3157 bulb emits brighter light, it draws more energy. Essentially it pulls more current using the same voltage, therefore uses more watts or energy than the 3057 bulb.

LED technology is fast overtaking the traditional halogens and incandescents. But 3057 and 3157 light bulbs remain the standard light bulbs in the automotive industry, due to their reliability.

Although an incandescent 3157 lasting 2000 to 10000 rated-hours sounds much more preferable to a halogen 3057 lasting only 1000 to 5000 rated-hours

Compatibility. A vehicle’s owner manual can tell you specifically what appropriate parts to use on it, and that includes the bulbs you need. Since the 3057 bulb and the 3157 bulb have the same plastic D.F. base, they are compatible with each other’s sockets.

Both bulbs are a type of “Miniature Bulbs” and are identifiable by a number or numerical/alphabetical code which conforms to International Standards set forth by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and/or the ISO (International Standards Organization). The bulb number indicates the lamp’s/bulb’s power and its type of mounting. Again, you can consult your manual if either bulb is compatible for your vehicle.

Both bulbs often come in S-8 bulb shapes with a C6 class filament. The filament is the metal wire that gets heated inside the lamp which gives off the light. Usually these bulbs come in specific diameters but commonly are 1.0 inch diameters, then they differ in lengths. The 3057 is 2.09 inches which is longer than the 3157 which is only 1.25 inches.

Final thoughts: Which is better?

It is a great investment to devote time and research for choosing the appropriate piece you need for your car lighting needs. You will know more about the specifics of the bulbs you’ll need, and can manage to decide a better option for your needs. The 3057 and 3157 are interchangeable, but they also come with top traits of their own that you can capitalize for a more suited choice.

In summary, there is no clear and definitive choice as to which is the better bulb. Both variants can be used for almost the same parts in your lighting system, but there are a few exceptions. The 3057 is more suitable for rear lighting, and the 3157 almost always chosen for the daytime running lights.

Choosing the 3057 would give you a steadier beam of light at a lower energy consumption, making it more efficient. While choosing the 3157 gives you a brighter light intensity and a longer lifespan, which makes it more durable.

This guide showed you the individual strengths of the two; what situations they excelled in and where they fell flat. With this you can analyse your needs, and define for yourself what bulb benefits your situation.

Because the choice is pretty much preferential and case-to-case, one bulb can make the difference. But the choice that matters the most, is the choice that lets you experience the best and the safest driving experience you can get.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *