I'm aware that headlight bulbs are very sensitive (reduced lifespan) if you touch them with bare hands during install. Does the same apply to lower wattage bulbs like turn signals (and dome lights)? Some of those are ridiculously hard to get even without the encumbrance of gloves (or tissue/paper towel as some recommend in place of gloves).

  • 1
    Use disposable Nitrile mechanics gloves, they are thin and will not interfere when handling the bulb.
    – Moab
    May 18, 2016 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


The reason headlight bulbs are so sensitive is their high wattage, halogen design and therefore high heat. Almost all other bulbs in the car are low-wattage incandescent which makes them easier to deal with.

In your house you can screw in a normal light bulb by hand, but the thin halogen tubes that go in some lamps should also be handled with gloves. Same principle - the halogen tubes, and your halogen headlights operate at a much higher temperature. The oils on your fingers can cause uneven heating of the glass which can lead to premature failure.

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