Replacing your car's headlight bulbs is not as simple as it may seem. There are different types of bulbs, and each type has its own purpose. In this article, we will be discussing the 1157 and 2057 lamps and their specifications.

Although the 2057 and 1157 tail light bulbs have different numbers of wires, you can still use them interchangeably. They both have two filaments, and the only difference is that the 1157 has a third, center contact while the 2057 doesn't.

So, what's the difference between these two types of bulbs? Well, it all comes down to how they are wired. Let`s find it out!

Socket Consonance

As these two bulbs use absolutely the same socket type, they are compatible with each other. Even though 1157 has an additional third wire in the middle, it doesn't make any difference.

The only thing you should be careful about is the fact that some car models may have a polarity reversal feature. This means that if you put the bulb in upside down, the filaments will still work, but they will be reversed.

For example, if your brake lights are on the left side and turn signals are on the right side, then putting a 2057 bulb in upside down will cause your brake light to work as a turn signal and vice versa.

1157 Lamp Description

Before you purchase the 1157 lamp, here are a few things to keep in mind. The 1157 automotive light bulb, more popularly known as the BA15D double-contact bayonet base, is a type of lamp frequently used in cars. It has two filaments that differ in function and are located at the bottom of the lamp.

The 1157 light bulb is a common choice for both low and high beam headlights. With 26.8W of power and 12V voltage, it's no wonder the dimensions of the 1157 light bulb are 45 mm x 21 mm x 21 mm. Such parameters allow it to fit most headlight assemblies.

If you're looking to buy a lamp for your car, the 1157 bulb is a great option! With 402 Lumens of light output and 6500 Kelvin of color temperature, it's perfect for anyone who wants a bright, white light. The 1157 bulb has two filaments at the bottom of the lamp, made out of tungsten metal. Tungsten is quite strong and these filaments are surrounded by a glass envelope containing argon gas. Once turned on, electricity flows through the filament.

2057 Bulb Explanation

This bulb has a nominal power of 27/6.7 Watts and 12.8/14 volts. It allows drivers to use it as a tail light or as a stop light. These miniature bulbs are perfect for your car or truck's interior and exterior auxiliary lighting needs. You can use them for your back up/reverse, trunk, dome lights, and more.

The 2057 lamp features a light output of 402 / 25 Lumens. Such a brightness level is more than enough to provide clear and visible light. This bulb has 3 wires: two for the filaments and one for the ground. This wiring scheme is perfect when you need to use the bulb as a brake light and a turn signal at the same time.

The 2057 bulb has two filaments, located at the bottom of the lamp. They are made out of tungsten metal and surrounded by a glass envelope containing argon gas. Once turned on, electricity flows through the filament. The difference between 1157 and 2057 is that 1157 has a third, center contact while 2057 doesn't.

Specifications Contrast


Although 1157 bulbs require more power to operate, they also produce more lumens than 2057 bulbs. However, the difference is unnoticeable in normal driving conditions and testing did not reveal any other advantages. It should be noted that the brighter light may cause more strain on the driver's eyes.


The obvious physical difference you'll see between 1157 and 2057 bulbs is in the wiring. Where 1157s use two wires, 2057s have three. Even with this slight variance, they are still completely interchangeable. Wiring schemes affect only the functions performed by the bulbs.

For example, if you're looking for a bulb to use as both brake light and turn signal, 2057 is the better choice. However, if you don't need that extra function, 1157 will work just as well.

Nominal power

2057 bulbs have a higher power output (27 vs. 26.8 Watts) but this difference is negligible and won't affect performance in any way. The importance of any bulb's nominal power is only about matching it to the car's electrical system. As long as you don't mix and match different bulb types, there's no need to worry about whether your 1157 or 2057 is drawing too much power.


2057 bulbs outperform 1157 bulbs when it comes to using in interior applications. They draw less current and the output is more soothing, making them ideal for dome lights, map lights, or other similar purposes.


What is the difference between 1157 and 1157A bulbs?

1157A is amber coated and 1157NA is not coated or natural amber glass. It is often used as a turn signal.

Can you replace a 1157 bulb with LED?

These LED bulbs replace standard 1157 bulbs. These particular ones are 12-Volt with 24 Watts, 100,000-hour lifespan, and have a quicker lighting response for safety. Moreover, they have a 360-degree light output for better, all-around visibility.

How many amps does a 2057 bulb draw?

Those drivers who are looking for more light but don't want to put extra strain on their car's electrical system will appreciate the 2057 bulb. It has a power draw of 0.49 amps, which is significantly lower than that of the 1157 (0.60 amps).

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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