Are you curious about the difference between a 3057 bulb and a 3157 bulb? Well, you're in luck! This article will compare the two types of bulbs, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

The 3057 bulb is compatible with the 3157, and they can act as replacements for each other. The zigzag pattern on their plastic wedge base is what makes them compatible. Although you CAN use either of these bulbs in daytime running lights, do not replace a 3157with a 3057. So, These bulbs are not really interchangeable.

Let`s dive deeper into the theme and you will see why.

The Compatibility Of The Sockets

These two belong to the miniature bulb type and have an S-8 shape. The difference comes in their length, where the 3157 seems smaller at 1.25 inches, compared to the 3057's 2.09 inches. They also have a similar diameter of 1-inch which means that they can both fit in the 3157 sockets.

You can say that two different bulbs are compatible with the same base type if:

  • The wedge base is the same
  • The number of contact points on the base is the same
  • The voltage and amperage draw is the same
  • The dimensions of the bulb (length, width, height) are within a close range

Contact points and wedge base are probably the most significant aspects of this question. The 3057 has two contacts while the 3157 has three. The third contact in a 3157 allows for ground connection to the vehicle's chassis through the socket. This extra contact also helps to dissipate heat, which extends the life of the bulb. The third contact is not necessary for functionality, but it does improve performance and longevity.

3057 Bulb Explanation

These lamps are usually more expensive than the 3157. The 3057 has a dual filament which means that it has two sets of coils wound around common support. These provide low and high beam functions in the headlight.

The 3057 bulb is ideal for use as a backup light, brake light, parking light, taillight or turn signal. It is compatible with many different types of car lights. It means that the usability of this lamp is very wide. They feature such nominal power that allows them to be used in many applications. The 3057 uses 27 watts on the low beam and has an output of 12.8 volts. On the other hand, the high beam uses 65 watts and has an output of 12.8 volts.

The advantages of this lamp:

  • This lamp has a wide field of view
  • This lamp is very energy efficient

The disadvantages of this lamp:

  • This lamp is not as bright as some other lamps

3157 Bulb Explanation

The 3157 bulb is slightly longer than the 3057 and has three contacts instead of two. The third contact is ground. It helps to dissipate heat and extends the life of the bulb. The 3157 is ideal for use as a brake light, turn signal or taillight. It is also compatible with many different types of car lights.

They have a lifespan of up to 10,000 hours on average. That is because these lamps are designed to dissipate heat more effectively. Still, these bulbs use more power and that means they are not as energy-efficient as the 3057.

The 3157N is a typical filament light bulb with an amber coating. The 3157A, however, was a high-output clear light bulb that according to Amazon's product information has since been discontinued. Usually, these lamps are more expensive than the 3057.

The advantages of this lamp are:

  • This lamp dissipates heat well
  • Have longer lifespan

The drawbacks include:

  • This lamp uses more power
  • Higher price

Characteristics Comparison


Compared to 3057 bulbs, 3157 bulbs emit a much brighter and clearer beam of light. In our tests, we found that they were more visible in less-than-ideal weather conditions such as rain or fog. Such results were achieved due to the fact that 3157 bulbs have a higher lumen output. Besides, whenever we turned on the high beams, 3157 bulbs showed us a much wider and brighter beam of light.


Although both types of bulbs can be used for brake lights, turn signals, and so on, 3157 bulbs are brighter and can also be utilized as daytime running lights that are visible even in direct sunlight or other high ambient light settings.

On the other hand, 3057 bulbs aren't nearly bright enough to work well outdoors during the day. Furthermore, 3157 bulbs have much better cooling, allowing them higher performance for hours of continuous use. Thusly, we can state that 3157 bulbs are better for daytime running lights.

Power Consumption

As for power consumption, 3157 bulbs require more electricity to function. That is due to the fact that they need to produce a brighter and wider beam of light. In our tests, we found that 3157 bulbs required about 2 watts more power than 3057 bulbs.


What bulbs are compatible with 3057?

You can use a 3057 as a tail light bulb, a reverse light bulb, a brake light bulb, or a turn signal. The 3057 is also compatible with 4057 lamps than other similar bulbs.

Can you put a 3157 bulb in backwards?

No, you can't. The reason is that 3157 bulbs have a ground contact on the base of the bulb. If you were to put the bulb in backward, the circuit would be incomplete and the bulb wouldn't work.

What is brighter 3157 or 1157?

The 1157 is brighter than the 3157. However, the 1157 uses more power and produces more heat. That makes it less efficient overall.

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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