GMC Sierra Lighting

GMC Sierra Forward Lighting Information

2018 GMC Sierra Forward Lighting

The 2018 GMC Sierra will be the last year of the Third Generation of production, so we are looking forward to some exciting changes in the new model. Here at XenonDepot, we always recommend the best HID and LED lighting upgrades for your vehicle, so keep an eye on our Vehicle Lighting Guide for 2018 GMC Sierra Lamp Replacement information when it becomes available.

2016-2017 GMC Sierra Forward Lighting

When it comes to the 2016 and 2017 GMC Sierra models, they all have Factory LED forward lighting, so there are no aftermarket replacements available for your Headlights. These Sierra 1500 models also come equipped with LED Fog Lights from the factory, but the Sierra 2500 and Sierra 3500 models are still using the low-wattage 5202 bulbs for their Fogs. 5202 halogen bulbs are fairly dim because of their lower wattage, so you can definitely get some 5202 LED Fog Light Bulbs (available in 5000K or 6000K) to better colour-match against your other upgraded lighting, as well as giving you a bit of a boost in light output over the stock bulbs.

The 2016 Sierra has received some awesome looking updates that carried through to the newer models as well. Most noticeable are "C-shaped" LED Daytime Running Lights and some new Fog Lights.

Looking for other bulb replacement information? Want to swap out some exterior or interior lights for LEDs? Take a look at our vehicle lighting guides for the 2016 and 2017 GMC Sierra models below:

2015 GMC Sierra Forward Lighting

Unlike the 2014 models, GMC decided to equip the 2015 GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 HD, and 3500 HD with the same headlight design. All three 2015 Sierra models use a single 9012 halogen bulb as a High and Low Beam bulb. A 9012 halogen bulb is a single filament bulb, but it uses a moving shield within the headlight housing to control the spread of light to give the High and Low Beam patterns. This is a newer type of headlight setup, because historically vehicles would use dual filament bulbs (like H4, H13, and 9007) to accomplish Low and High Beam functionality from a single bulb. Here is some information about the stock 9012 halogen bulb that the 2015 GMC Sierra uses:

The Sierra’s projector headlight makes it a perfect candidate for a headlight conversion kit. You’re not going to go wrong whether you go with an HID kit or an LED headlight kit. A 9012 HID Kit will get you the brightest possible output (approximately 3200 lumens with a 4300K bulb), but a 9012 LED Headlight Kit will get you 1750 lumens (stable value after the kit is running for about an hour - even more light when first fired up) and is a simple plug and play upgrade. The Sierra’s stock headlights do not produce a large amount of lumens, which means that you’re getting an improvement either way. The nice thing about doing this upgrade is that you’re instantly upgrading your truck’s Low beam and High Beam at the same time, given that the vehicle uses a single bulb for both!

Despite being pretty bright (at least as far as halogen bulbs go), the stock 9012 bulbs simply don't cut it - trust us, you're going to want to look into upgrading your lighting. If you're looking for the best lighting solution for your truck, look no further then XenonDepot's 9012 HID Conversion Kit. We definitely suggest going with a 4300K colour temperature for the brightest, whitest, and most OEM functional headlights you can get with a halogen housing. However, if you want to get a "bluer" look, and don't mind sacrificing some light output, then XenonDepot offers 9012 HID kits in other higher colour temperatures (like 5000K, 6500K, and 8000K) that can meet your needs. Just remember that the higher you go in terms of colour temperature, the less useable light output you're going to get out of your 2016 Sierra's headlights. Any of those options will still give you more raw light output than the stock halogen bulbs, but the 4300K and 5000K bulbs will give you the best upgrade in overall visibility (because after that 6000K threshold, the bluer light starts to become less effective, both in Good weather conditions, but more especially in Bad weather).

Regardless of whether you go with HID (of any colour) or LED, you're going to need to select the "with CANBUS" option for the 2015 Sierra. This gives you a pair of our PWM anti-flicker modules, designed to help regulate the power flow from the signal coming from the vehicle's end, in order to allow your upgraded lighting to function without issues. Without this component, your new HID or LED headlights are going to be flickering and driving you nuts. This component is a modular piece that literally plugs in-line with the other components that come in your HID or LED kit. If you go with HIDs, you are also going to need to install the Relay Harness (a pair of these are included automatically in our Xtreme HID Kits) to get your ballasts hooked right into your battery for power.

The 2015 Sierra uses a low-wattage 5202 bulb to power the Fog Lights. Unfortunately, these bulbs don’t do much by way of lighting up the road, and will definitely stick out like a sore thumb if you’re upgrading your headlights to HID or LED. We no longer carry 5202 HID conversion kits, so we would recommend a 5202 LED Fog Light Bulb for this upgrade. Retrofitting an HID kit in this housing may result in damage to your truck’s stock Fog Lights because of the lower wattage, so while 5202 LED bulbs may not be as bright as a 5202 HID kit, you won’t run the risk of damaging your brand new Sierra’s Fog Lights and/or Fog Light harness.

Need some changes in interior or exterior lighting to brighten up the rest of your 2015 GMC Sierra? Take a look at our model-specific lighting guides below:

2014 GMC Sierra Forward Lighting

We’ve split off the 2014 GMC Sierra model year, because the 1500 model uses different headlight bulbs then the 2500 HD and 3500HD models. If you take a look at our 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Lamp Replacement guide, then you’ll see that this truck uses a single 9012 headlight bulb for both the Low and High Beam headlights (the same design as the 2015 GMC Sierra). This means you have the same sort of options for upgrades:

  • 9012 HID Kit - brightest option, more colour choices (go with 4300K for the brightest output)
  • 9012 LED Kit - crisp white 5500K colour temperature, incredibly long lifespan

Whichever choice you go with, make sure to get the 'with CANBUS' option - you'll need those PWM anti-flicker modules to avoid flickering, error codes, and premature shutoffs of your headlights.

However, if you look at the 2014 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Lighting Guide, and the 2014 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Lighting Guide, you’ll see that they use two separate bulbs for the Low and High beam. The 2014 Sierra HD models use an H11 bulb for the Low Beams and a 9005 bulb for the High Beams. This combination of bulbs is a very popular with many manufacturers - H11s make for serviceable Low Beams, and 9005s are one of the brightest halogen bulb types out there so they make good High Beams. That being said, there is definitely room for improvement with both of these lights!

Low Beams:

  • H11 HID Kit - these offer the biggest overall upgrade in terms of light output (go with 4300K or 5000K for the best boost in visibility)
  • H11 LED Kit - with a crisp white coloured light (5500K), these can give you that 'OEM LED' look, as well as a 40-50% upgrade in output

High Beams: We don't recommend putting HIDs in a High Beam application, because all HID lighting has a warmup period when turned on (roughly 10-30 seconds). If you're looking for an upgrade here, go with a 9005 LED Headlight Kit for a nice boost to output and colour for better visibility.

2007-2013 GMC Sierra Forward Lighting

Although there have been some headlight modifications for these model years, the 2007-2013 GMC Sierra vehicles all use the same bulbs for the Low Beams, High Beams, and Fog Lights. The GMC Sierra 1500, 2500HD, and 3500HD all use an H11LL bulb for the Low Beams, a 9005LL bulb for the High Beams, and a low-wattage 5202 bulb for the Fog Lights. The only exception would be the 2007 Sierra, which also uses a 9006 headlight bulb for some sub-models – double-check with your own vehicle first, to be sure.

You’ve got plenty of options if you’re looking at upgrading the Low Beam lighting on your Sierra, as H11 headlight bulbs are very common bulbs with lots of different replacement options. You’ve pretty much got the following choices to chose from:

If you’re looking for the absolute brightest upgrade, then an H11 HID kit will get you the most effective boost to you light output. When choosing an H11 HID kit, make sure to look at a 4300k HID kit for the brightest possible output. Going with a higher kelvin H11 HID kit will mean that your Sierra will have “bluer” headlights, but less useable light overall.

GMC Sierra H11 LED headlight kit – Going with an Xtreme PRO H11 LED headlight kit will get you a good improvement over your stock headlight bulbs, as XenonDepot’s H11 LED headlight kits produce approximately 1750 lumens as a steady value (after running for about an hour). Your stock H11 halogen bulbs are rated at roughly 1000-1200 lumens, so you are looking at a pretty solid improvement by switching to LED. While LED headlight kits are not as bright as HID kits, they certainly make for an easier installation given that there is no ballast to wire up – they are literally plug and play bulb replacements. What makes XenonDepot’s H11 LED headlight kit unique is that there is no fan on the back of the bulb to cool it. Instead, aluminum heat sink fins are used to dissipate the heat away from the headlight. This is great for the Sierra, as you may not necessarily have a ton of space behind the Low Beam headlight bulb, and a bulky fan may get in the way or make fitment impossible.

If you’re not looking for a huge lighting upgrade for your Sierra’s headlights, then check out our large selection of H11 Halogen bulbs. These performance bulbs are not necessarily that much brighter than your stock bulbs, but they will enhance the light output, and get you a “Whiter” light than your dull yellow H11 bulb. A very popular choice is the Osram H11 Night Breaker Unlimited bulbs. They are designed to get you approximately 20% more light then stock, are street-legal, and operate at the same wattage as your stock headlight bulb.

Now let’s talk about the High Beam bulb that the 2008-2015 Sierras use – the 9005LL bulb. Here is some information about 9005LL halogen bulbs:

  • IEC Base: P20d
  • Color: Clear
  • Volts: 12.8
  • Amps: 5.08
  • Watts:65W

You’re pretty much got the same choices as the Low Beam headlight bulb if you’re looking to change out the High Beam bulb on your truck: 9005 HID Kit, 9005 LED Headlight Kit, or 9005 performance halogen bulbs. We personally suggest looking at a 9005 LED kit for this upgrade, as HID bulbs go through a warm-up period when first ignited, which can pose as an issue in High Beam functionality, since you generally want them to be firing up much more quickly. By comparison, 9005 LED bulbs turn on instantly to max brightness, which is what you’re going to want when turning your Sierra’s High Beams on.

GMC Sierra Fog lights: For some reason, GMC decided it would be best to use a low-wattage 5202 (PSX24W) halogen bulb to act as a Fog Light bulb. Upgrading this bulb requires you to take into consideration the low wattage, as you don’t want to damage your GMC Sierra’s Fog Light harness and/or Fog Light lens. Here is some information about 5202 fog light bulbs:

  • Bulb Number: 5202
  • Corresponding LED kit Kit: 5202 LED Fog Light Bulbs
  • IEC Base: PG20/3
  • Color: Clear
  • 5202 Bulb Length: 3.6cm (1.42")
  • Bulb Width: 1.85cm (0.73")
  • 5202 Bulb Volts: 13.5
  • Amps: 1.78S
  • Watts: 24Watts

As you can see the Sierra fog light bulb is only a 24W bulb, so we don’t recommend installing an HID kit in this situation. Instead, check out our 5202 LED replacement bulbs as an upgrade. They’ll get you more light and awesome color to boot!

If you are looking for more detailed light replacement information for your 2007-2013 GMC Sierra, look no further than our Vehicle Lighting Guides by model year. Each year has many different sub-model listings, so see the GMC listings below and then select your specific model type for more detailed information.

1999-2006 GMC Sierra Forward Lighting

The 1999–2006 GMC Sierra uses a two-headlight system – one bulb for the Low Beams (9006) and one bulb for the High Beams (9005). 9005 and 9006 headlight bulbs are super common, meaning that there are plenty of lighting upgrades available for your Sierra.

The nice thing about 9006 halogen Low Beam bulbs is that they can be upgraded to either HID or LED technology. 9006 halogen bulbs can be easily swapped out with a 9006 HID Kit quite easily. XenonDepot 9006 HID kits come with custom molded 9006 bases and 9006 connectors that will simply plug into your Sierra’s stock headlight harness. While 9006 HID kits are the best choice to get the most light out of your Low Beams, a simpler (and effective) solution would be to look at the 9006 LED headlight kits. They’re going to get you approximately twice as much light as your stock headlight bulb, but they are literally a simple bulb replacement. You won’t need to worry about installing a ballast or running a relay harness. 9006 LED headlights are a simple plug and play upgrade right into the Sierra’s stock headlight harness.

GMC Sierra High Beams: The High Beam bulb used in the 1999-2006 Sierra is a 9005 headlight bulb. 9005 headlight bulbs twist into place and have 3 locking tabs on the based to secure them. They are rated at 65W, which makes them a little brighter than 9006 bulb – which look pretty much identical (slight variance in the base). If you’re looking for an effective High Beam upgrade for your Sierra, we strongly suggest you consider a 9005 LED headlight kit. LED bulbs provide instant-on functionality. This means that the second you turn your High Beams on you get that additional light. There is no warm-up period or lag (which is what you would have with a 9005 HID kit). 9005 LED kits are also simple bulb replacements – they literally plug right in.

If you’re looking to change other bulbs on your 1999-2006 GMC Sierra, Check out our Automotive Lamp Replacement Guide for detailed Sierra bulb information. We’ve got a full listing of the types of bulbs that the Sierra (all model years) use for forward lighting, interior/courtesy lighting, and rear lighting. For 2001-2006 Sierras, select your model from the general GMC listings to find details for your specific vehicle.