These two lamps are the most popular choices for accent lighting, but what are the differences between them?

The 2825 bulb is a bit longer than the 194, which makes it a better choice for applications where more focused light is needed. The 194 bulb has a wider beam pattern, making it ideal for general-purpose lighting. Both bulbs emit a cool white light, so they'll give your car's interior a modern look. If you're not sure which one to choose, go with the 2825 – it's the more versatile option.

The 168, 194, and 2825 models share a common base type so they can be used for the same purpose. These bulbs may be interchangeable in some applications, but it's best to check with your car's manufacturer to be sure.

Socket Compatibility

Even though we will tell you that these two bulbs are interchangeable and can be used in each other’s sockets, there are a number of clear performance differences between the two.

2825 bulbs use more current, but they are brighter than 194 bulbs. However, 194 bulbs last much longer even though they can only be used indoors. Although both types of bulbs have many similarities, it is crucial to understand the distinction between them so that you can make an informed decision.

If you’re looking for an LED replacement for your car’s dome light, map light, or license plate light, the 2825 bulb is the way to go. If you need a replacement for your backup lights or side marker lights, the 194 bulb is the better option.

The 2825 Bulb Characteristics

These lamps provide ample light to be used for license plate lights. They are usually brighter than the 194 and 168 bulbs. They also use more current, which can be an issue for some cars.

To be more specific, 2825 bulbs usually last for about 300 hours. You may think that it`s not very much and probably it`s better to replace them more often. But it`s not a big deal because they are very cheap.

You can use 2825 lamps in many situations. For example, if your car has a sunroof, you can use these bulbs to provide light in the cabin when the sun is too bright. Moreover, when your car`s dome light is not enough, you can use 2825 bulbs as a map light.

This bulb`s characteristics may vary depending on the manufacturer. So, it`s better to check before you buy them. The pros of this bulb include:

  • Can be used for various purposes
  • Inexpensive
  • Bright

The cons of this bulb include:

  • Shorter lifespan than the 194 bulb
  • Uses more current which can be an issue for some cars

The 194 Bulb Characteristics

The 194 is wider than 2825, so it provides better general lighting. It`s not as bright as 2825, but it lasts much longer. In fact, these bulbs can last up to 2,000 hours. However, they can only be used indoors because they are not as durable as 2825.

The 194 bulbs generate around 25 lumens, providing good interior lighting. Such light output is especially important when you need to see the cabin at night. So, if you want to use this type of lamp for the map light, you should know that it will be dimmer than 2825. But on the other hand, the 194 bulbs won`t draw as much current from your car`s battery.

The pros of this bulb include:

  • Longer lifespan than 2825
  • Wider beam pattern for better general lighting

The cons of this bulb include:

  • Not as bright as 2825
  • Can only be used indoors

Specs Contrast


A clear difference is visible when you compare these two types of bulbs side-by-side. 194 bulbs generate approximately 25 lumens for decent interior lighting, while 2825 bulbs produce approximately 50 lumens—twice as much light as the 194 bulbs.


Upon testing multiple options for both bulbs, we found that 2825 bulbs not only provide more light, but the light throw is wider and covers more interior space. 194 bulbs are still bright to a degree, though they cannot compare in illuminating power to 2825 bulbs.

Use cases

These two light bulbs are both great for the interior of your car. But if you're willing to sacrifice lifespan for brightness, 2825 bulbs might also be a good choice for exterior applications like license plate lights.


2825 bulbs last for around 300 hours, whereas 194 bulbs can be used for 2500 hours. If you're looking for an interior light bulb, 2825 is a good option. However, if you want something that will last longer, go with the 194 bulb. Besides, 194 bulbs can be used in a wider range of applications. The lifespan of 2825 bulbs is significantly shorter than that of 194 bulbs.


What is a 2825 bulb used for?

These long life light bulbs are perfect for your car's back up/reverse, trunk, dome lights, and more. No need to worry about durability or maintenance–these bulbs were designed with safety in mind.

Are W5W and 2825 the same?

The correct bulb you are looking for is the W5W, otherwise known as 2825. The 168 & 194 bulbs will also work as substitutes. Moreover, as you can see, 2825 is just a slightly longer version of the W5W.

Can you use a 194 bulb instead of 168?

194 and 168 light bulbs are switchable, but the 168 produces more lumens and is, therefore, brighter. So the A194B can be used as a replacement for your 168 bulb. Moreover, it is more energy-efficient and has a longer lifespan.

Reviewed by Brent Ordway

Brent Ordway is an ASE-certified car technician. He has been working on cars since he was a teenager and loved helping people keep their vehicles running smoothly. Brent's skills as a mechanic are unrivaled. In 2022, he earned his place on the list of winners for the ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year award.

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