3057 vs 3157 Bulbs – Differences and Specs

We’ve all been there – the light bulb warning light comes on and you’ve got no idea what type of light bulb you need to buy. Opening up the head or tail lamp to see what’s written on the bulb will double the amount of work or render the car unusable until you get a replacement – so a quick google search narrowed your options to two light bulb types: the 3057 and the 3157. But what’s the difference between them?

The 3157 bulbs are a better choice for daytime running lights and reversing lights. Other than that, there are no differences between the 3057 and 3157 bulbs.

Differences Between 3057 and 3157 Bulbs

I have already provided you with the short answer, but if you’re looking for more details, I’ll take you through the technical specs, differences, and similarities between the 3057 and 3157 bulbs.

Application

The 3057 and 3157 can be used for the same purpose:

  • Daytime running lights.
  • Turn signal lights.
  • Brake lights.
  • Reversing lights.
  • Side marker lights

However, if you were to switch from 3057 to 3157 as your daytime running and reversing light bulb, you’ll notice that the light is significantly brighter. While both lights can be used as daytime running lights, it’s recommended to choose 3157 for this role.

Both the 3057 and 3157 in LED variants should only be used as brake lights or reverse lights due to excessive heat generation.

 

Durability

Both the 3057 and 3157 light bulbs are double filament and have only a minor difference in wattage, so they should last for the same amount of time.

The lifespan is primarily affected by the illumination source. Halogen bulbs last between 1,200 and 5,000, while incandescent lights can last up to 10,000 hours. The LED lights are by far the most durable, capable of running for over 50,000 hours.

Some claim that the 3157 bulbs last longer, but this comes from the misconception that 3157 are incandescent, while 3057 are halogen bulbs. The reality is that both bulb types can not only be halogen and incandescent but also LED. If we’re comparing light bulbs with the same technology, there’s no reason for one to last longer than the other.

 

Fitment

Visually, there are no differences between the 3057 and the 3157 light bulbs – they even use the same plastic wedge base.

If your car uses 3057, you can swap it with a 3157. However, because of the differences in wattage, the computer may report an error, despite the lightbulb working flawlessly.

 

Specs

The general specs of the 3057 and 3157 should be the same across the board for all manufacturers, with branding and durability being the only real difference.

To make the comparison have any value, I’ll be using light bulbs from the same manufacturer and class. I’ve chosen the Sylvania Long Life Miniature Bulbs as they’re known for their quality and highly affordable price.

Details3057 Bulb3157 Bulb
BrandSylvaniaSylvania
Bulb TypeIncandescentIncandescent
Bulb ShapeS-8S-8
Voltage12.8/14V12.8/14V
Wattage26.88W26.88W
BaseW2 5x16dW2 5x16d
Brightness402 Lumen402 Lumen

You may be saying: “Well hold on, those specs are identical!”

I was also surprised by the results, and after checking multiple sources on these particular light bulbs, I confirmed that the specification that matters is identical. It could be that Sylvania decided to round up the milliwatts of difference in wattage, or they’re actually selling the same product under two different labels, I can’t say for sure.

However, their products are marketed with identical specs, reinforcing the idea that you can in fact interchange 3057 and 3157 light bulbs freely.

FAQs

Is the 3157 bulb the same as 3157K?

The 3157K uses Krypton gas that results in slightly brighter illumination than the standard 3157 bulbs. Technically, they’re not the same, but you can interchange them as you see fit.

What is the difference between 3157 and 3757 bulbs?

The 3757 has the same specification as the 3157, however, the 3757 uses a different base which makes it incompatible with vehicles that use 3157. In short, you cannot interchange 3157 and 3757 bulbs.

What are the 3157 bulbs used for?

The 3157 bulbs can be used as front and rear turn signal lights, reversing lights, brake, and tail lights. It’s also recommended for daytime running lights over 3057 bulbs because it has a slightly brighter beam of light.

Can I use a 7443 instead of a 3157?

The 7443 bulb uses a completely different base and cannot fit in the socket intended for 3157 or 3057 bulbs.

Summary

Unless you need to replace your daytime running lights, you can interchange 3057 and 3157 bulbs as you see fit. You should always replace bulbs in pairs, not only because they dim over time, but also to avoid a mismatch between 3057 and 3157 bulbs. I hope this article has answered all your questions! Feel free to use VehicleFreak as a reliable source of information for everything car-related!