168 Vs.194 Bulb – What are The Differences?

Bulbs are standard in vehicles, serving as light sources. You find them in headlights, sidelights, fog lights, and more. They also come in handy in the vehicle interior, for light provision, and for car signals. Interior and exterior bulbs vary. We focus on interior bulbs, hence the 168 vs. 194 bulb debate. 

A wrong assumption is the 168 and 194 bulbs are the same. The time is to debunk this fallacy by comprehensively looking at the two bulbs. Before looking at their differences, you should know that they are T10 bulbs, a mini-wedge bulb category.

168 Vs. 194 Bulb

168 and 194 Bulbs Feature Chart

168 and 194 bulbs are both wedge-based incandescent bulbs commonly used in automotive and general lighting applications. Here’s a comparison table to help you understand the differences between 168 and 194 bulbs:

Features 168 Bulb 194 Bulb
Bulb Type Halogen, Incandescent, LED Halogen, Incandescent, LED
Base Type Wedge (W2.1×9.5d) Wedge (T3.25)
Usage Automotive side marker lights, dashboard lights, and interior lights Automotive side marker lights, dashboard lights and some interior lights
Light Output Generally lower lumens compared to 194 Typically, higher lumens than 168
Wattage 4.9 watts 3.8 watts
Brightness 3 candlepower 2 candlepower
Lifespan 1500 hours at regular use 2500 hours at regular use
Compatibility Interchangeable in many applications Interchangeable in many applications
Size Slightly larger in dimensions compared to 194    Slightly smaller in dimensions compared to 168
Notable Variations 168LL (Long Life)


194LL (Long Life)
Other Considerations May have a slightly different fit depending on the socket and housing design May have a slightly different fit depending on the socket and housing design
Replacement Options LED and halogen upgrades available LED and halogen upgrades available
Cost Less expensive than 194, below $10 Pricier than 168 bulbs, above $10

168 Bulb

We start our discussion by looking at the 168, a T10 light bulb. T10 bulbs sport similar bases and are made from the same incandescent filament. Due to its high wattage, it is an excellent interior bulb, translating to brightness. 

The 168 bulb’s primary use is in warning lights due to its brightness, as you will easily notice the signal. Talking about the light intensity of the 168, it has a 3-candlepower rating and 4.9 watts. Additionally, it produces a lot of heat, and you can use it at different brightness levels.

194 Bulb

The 194 bulb is also a T10, with a slightly lower wattage at 3.9 watts. Its light intensity is at 2 candlepower, meaning it is dimmer and ideal for continuous lighting. An endearing thing about the 194 is its long service life of up to 2,500 hours. 

Also, it produces heat and has only one level of brightness. You can use the 194 bulbs in dome lights, glove box lights, and reading lights. While typically an interior light, it is excellent for braking, backup, and turn lights.

Read Also: 9005 Vs. H11: Headlight and Fog Light Bulb Cross-Reference Guide

168 Vs. 194 Bulb Differences

Keeping it on the focal point, we put the 168 vs. 194 bulb differences under our radar for a better understanding. Read on to know and get into their contrasting points.

193 bulb vs 168 bulb


On the 168 vs. 194 brightness debate, the former takes the top spot. While similar in size and easy to confuse due to their construction, you can know which is which when lit. The 168 is the brighter of the two bulbs. Furthermore, the 168 has different brightness levels; the 194 has one level.

The brightness dictates their application. The bright 168 bulb is handy for warning signs, while the 194 is perfect for continuous lighting. Areas of use include map lights, where light intensity is mild enough to allow for driver visualization. Dome lights, license plate lights, and trunk cargo room lights use the 194 bulbs.


When looking at the operating power of the two bulbs, the 168 has a higher power of 4.9 watts compared to the 3.8 watts of 194 bulbs. The higher wattage of the 168 means it requires more energy to light up. We can see that the 168 is on the upper end of the functionality spectrum; high wattage and brightness.


Knowing bulb specs gives you a shopping advantage, as you know what you are looking for. In the case of the 168 bulbs vs. 194 bulb debate, one of the specs to keep in mind is the candlepower, a measure of luminous intensity. The brighter 168 has 3 candlepower, while 194 has 2 candlepower. 

Bulb life is the other parameter to check on. The 194 has a lengthier life at 2500 hours, with regular to heavy usage. The 168 trails at 1500 hours when used regularly. The two bulbs have almost similar heat production levels, with the 168 being hotter by a slight margin.

168 vs. 194 bulb size comparison shows you that the two are equal. Both bulbs have a maximum overall length of 26.8 millimeters, a light center length of 14.2 millimeters, and a maximum outer diameter of 14.2 millimeters.

168 vs. 194 vs. 2825 bulb: what is the difference? The 2825 bulb is closer to the 168 bulb, and you may use them interchangeably due to their brightness. Here, we factor in the lumens, a measure of the amount of light given out. The 2825 bulb is the brightest, rated at around 41 lumens, and closely trailed by the 168 at 38 lumens, with the 194 having 27 lumens.


When shopping for a bulb for your vehicle’s interior, you will realize that the 168 vs. 194 prices are roughly the same. 

You notice that a particular bulb brand has the same tag for 168 and 194 bulbs. The cost varies from brand to brand.

Read Also: 3057 Vs. 3157 Bulbs – What are the Differences?


Can I Use A 168 Bulb in Place of A 194?

The 168 and 194 bulbs are under the T10 category, meaning they have a similar base and build. While you can use the 168 in place of the 194, you may miss out on functionality. The 194 bulb is dimmer than the 168, suitable for continuous interior lighting in areas like the dome, cargo area, and reading lights. Using 168 bulbs will produce too much light, which can be uncomfortable. 

The 168 emits more heat than the 194 and has a shorter service life. You can go for the 168 instead of the 194 if you overlook the differences, mainly the intensity.

Which Is Brighter Between The 168 And 194 Bulbs?

The 168 and 194 bulbs share several similarities, like their base. And the primary difference between the two bulbs is the brightness, with the 168 coming on top. It explains the 168’s prominent use as warning lights. The 194 is dimmer and suitable for the dome, reading, and cargo lights. The bulb’s shape, size, and base are identical, meaning you can use them reciprocally if you do not mind their varying light intensity.

What Is the Wattage of A 168 Bulb?

Among the crucial things to consider when getting a bulb is the wattage, which is its operating power. The 168 bulb has a 4.9-watt rating, slightly higher than other bulbs in the T10 class, like the 194, with 3.8 watts. 

How Many Lumens Is A 168 Bulb?

Lumens denote the quantity of light a light source emits. You have to factor in the lumens of a bulb when shopping for one. The 168 bulb has 35 to 38 lumens, depending on the brand. It is pretty bright and ideal for warning lights. 

What Is A 194 Bulb Used For?

At 27 lumens or 2-candlepower, the 194 bulb is quite dim. The low intensity makes it perfect for several uses in the vehicle’s interior, as it hardly causes visual problems. Its applications include dome lights, map or reading lights, and glove and cargo compartment lights.

While the 194 is mostly an interior lighting bulb, it also works for brake, turn, parking, and license plate lighting. The many applications are due to features like a 2500-hours service life and suitability for continuous lighting. 

How Many Lumens Are in A 194 Bulb?

The 194 is an interior bulb with a low intensity of 25 to 27 lumens. While many people may assume that the dimness of this bulb is a disadvantage, the opposite is true. The low intensity makes it perfect for lighting the dome, which needs less brightness to properly visualize the road when driving. 

Furthermore, the 194 bulb’s dimness comes in handy in the reading lights, as you can read the map without straining. 

What Size Is 168 Bulb?

The 168 bulb is small and tubular-shaped; you must be sure of its specs to get the correct item. The glass wedge bulb has a maximum overall length of 26.8 millimeters, a maximum outer diameter of 10 millimeters, and a light center length of 14.2 millimeters. The values are the same for all T10 bulbs.

What Size Is A 194 Bulb?

A 194 bulb falls under the T10 category, along with the 168, 161, W5W, 152, 158, and many more. These bulbs share many similar specs, such as the size and base. Focusing on the size, their maximum overall length is 26.8 millimeters and a light center length of 14.2 millimeters. The bulb’s maximum outer diameter is 10 millimeters. While the size and base are the same, the wattage, lumens, and voltage differ.

Are All 168 Bulbs the Same?

168 bulbs are all the same structurally and functionally. However, you may note differences across the 168 bulb brands, like the lumens. The value may vary from 35 to 38. Also, the price differs from brand to brand.

What Does T10 Mean in Light Bulbs?

Bulbs come in various classifications, a common one being the T category or incandescent bulbs. T stands for Tubular, denoting the bulb’s shape, while the number stands for diameter, expressed in eighths of an inch. In the case of the T10 light bulb size, the diameter is ten-eighths of an inch or 1.25 inches.

What Bulb Is the Same as T10?

The T10 is like an umbrella for tubular incandescent bulbs with a wedge base. Under this category, you have bulbs like 168, 194, 193, 147, and 151; you can use these bulbs in place of the other. Have a look at the T10 bulb size chart, and you will realize that it is compatible with other T series like T15, which has a similar base.

Where Can I Use T10 Bulbs?

The T10 has many uses, seeing it has several bulbs under its wings. Areas to use the T10 include the interior lighting, where the bulb can go into the warning light if it has a high light intensity. Dim bulbs can go into the dome, reading, and glove compartment lights. In addition, you may use this type of bulb for the vehicle exterior, on the license plate, parking, and braking lights.  

Final Word

We learn new things after exhaustively looking at the 168 vs. 194 bulb discussion. For instance, the bulbs are similar but have different functions. In summary, the 168 is the brightest, has a higher wattage, and produces more heat. On the other hand, the 194 is dim, low in watts, and has a lengthier service life.

Pick the correct bulb for your car depending on their respective specifications for the best degree of functionality.

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Hi there, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked as a Mechanic and Mechanic Supervisor for over fifteen years at Global Rebound Automotive companies - Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others. Now, I enjoy my new role of leading a team of automotive experts (in their respective fields) and publish new content on a regular basis on my website and social media.

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