Get correct LED lights for your Chevrolet Avalanche with my list of front / rear bulbs for DRL, reverse, parking, markers, turn signals, brake, tail, etc.
Avalanche LED Light Bulbs: CK or Standard? Polarity and Hyperflashing? Body Cladding?
First of all, let's get the most important question out of the way and also address a few others...
Do I buy "CK" type bulbs or do I buy "STANDARD" bulbs?
The Chevy Avalanche uses all STANDARD bulbs. This refers to how the LED bulb is wired internally and if you install the wrong type of bulb, you can easily burn out the bulb and possibly the socket too. Needless to say, you need to avoid using the wrong type of bulb. For an Avalanche, stay away from CK bulbs.
Does the Polarity (Direction Bulb Inserts into Socket) Matter when Installing?
Generally speaking, yes, the polarity does matter. Luckily, most bulb manufacturers have a fail-safe in the bulb that prevents any damage if the bulb is inserted backwards. Therefore, after inserting a bulb in the socket, plan on checking the function before putting everything back together because you may need to take the bulb out and turn it around if it doesn't work. Also, some manufacturers make bulbs that will work at either polarity and this will become more common in the future.
Will My New LED Lights Hyperflash (Flash or Blink Erratically)?
Any time you put LED lights into a vehicle that was originally intended for something else, you stand a high chance of encountering a problem known as "Hyper Flash". The bulb will flash very fast or blink randomly.
LED bulbs take considerably less electrical draw (amps) than old fashioned bulbs and also have much less electrical resistance (ohms). This can be a good thing because it frees up that available power for other things like a pounding audio system. However, that normally high electrical resistance is also what tells your vehicles computer that there is a bulb attached to that socket and functioning. When a normal bulb burns out, the computer sees that the resistance is no longer there and will flash the turn signals much faster than normal to tell you that you need to replace a bulb. This can also happen when using a LED bulb because the computer doesn't see enough resistance and still thinks your bulb is burned out.
This potential problem stands true for the Chevy Avalanche but there are two ways to resolve it. You can either install "resistors" into each socket wiring (definitely the more difficult option) or, you can simply replace the antiquated "Flasher Module" in the dash with one designed for LED bulbs. Replacing the flasher module easily allows you to use LED bulbs for the entire vehicle without worrying about hyper flash. See below for more information on the flasher module.
Avalanche Front Lights: DRL, Turn Signals, Side Markers, Parking and Headlights
For the front, there are three areas to consider separately...
- Headlights (Housings, Projectors, Retrofitting, HID vs LED and Body Cladding)
- Fog Lights / DRL (Housings and Bulbs)
- Remaining Lights (Bulbs for Parking, Turn Signals and Side Markers)
Avalanche Headlights (Housings, Projectors, Retrofitting, HID vs LED and Body Cladding)
For the purpose of this article, we're assuming that you have an Avalanche with body cladding (the plastic panels along the lower portion of the vehicle). If you have a non-cladded model, then your options for headlights are nearly endless and you can easily find aftermarket housings on sites like Amazon.
The best option for replacing headlights in a cladded Avalanche is to retrofit your existing headlight housings with projectors and HID bulbs. While it is a little expensive, the end result is amazing. You will have massive light output that is extremely focused forward and down, out of the eyes of oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, to date, there are not any aftermarket housings available for cladded Avalanche owners. If you want projector lights, retrofitting is your only real option. Do yourself a favor and watch this video on how to retrofit your Avalanche headlights:
Here are the main components of the headlight retrofit build:
Keep in mind that if you do not want to alter your current stock headlight housings, you can purchase a new stock set for the retrofit:
Fog Lights / DRL (Housings and Bulbs)
Your fog lights and daytime running lights (DRL) are both located in housings at the bottom of your front bumper cladding. In many of the Avalanches I see (including mine) these housings are broken. So, if you are in need of fresh, new housings, you can find them here:
Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
The DRL bulb (and also the same for the reverse lights, mentioned later) is the 3157 type. I use the "JDM ASTAR" LED bulbs because they have worked great for a long time. They are unbelievably bright with a really nice 6000k color (hint of blue). Here is the bulb information:
The fog light bulbs are the H10 / 9145 type. As with the rest of the bulbs in my truck for the last few years, I have had really good luck with the JDM Astar brand. For fog lights, use the yellow "JDM ASTAR 2400 Lumen" LED bulbs. Here is the bulb information:
Remaining Front Lights (Bulbs for Parking, Turn Signals and Side Markers)
Parking Lights / Turn Signals
On the front of the Avalanche, the parking lights are also turn signals. They are the 3157 type bulbs. I use the "JDM ASTAR Super Bright 3157 with Projector Lense" LED bulb. They are an amazing amber color. Here is the bulb information:
In addition to the primary turn signals, the Avalanche also has tiny side markers that also function as turn signals. They are the 194 type bulbs, which are also the same for the rear license plate (mentioned below). I use the "JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright 30-EX 194" LED bulb. Here is the bulb information:
Avalanche Rear Lights: Brake, Parking, Turn Signal, Reverse (Backup) and License Plate
The rear lights are fairly straight forward. There are three bulbs in each rear housing and they are all 3157 type. There are also two tiny 194 type bulbs for the license plate:
- One 3157 Bulb is Brake / Parking
- One 3157 Bulb is Brake / Turn Signal
- One 3157 Bulb is Reverse (Backup)
Brake / Parking and Brake / Turn Signal use the SAME Model Bulbs
For each rear tail light housing you will need two red 3157 LED bulbs (4 total for all rear brake / turn / parking). I use the "JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright 3157 Brilliant Red with Projector Lense" LED bulbs. They are a vibrant red that cuts through the housings very well. Here is the bulb information:
Reverse (Backup) Lights
As mentioned above in the "DRL" section, I use the same bulb for the Avalanche reverse lights (3157 type). I use the "JDM ASTAR 1200 Lumens 144-EX with Projector Lense" LED bulb. They are unbelievably bright with a really nice 6000k color (hint of blue). Here is the bulb information:
License Plate Lights
As mentioned above in the "Side Marker" section, I use the same bulb for the Avalanche license plate lights (194 type). I use the "JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright 30-EX 194" LED bulb. Here is the bulb information:
Flasher Module and Hyperflash Resistors
Let's get back to the topic of the flasher module. Hidden in the drivers side (lower-left) portion of dash, you can find the flasher module. This little guy is easy to find and easy to replace (just requires removing a couple screws on the lower dash cover). I highly recommend replacing the stock module with a LED capable flasher module because this one fix will resolve hyper-flash issues for all of your external LED lights. I use the "Novita LM487 Flasher Module" and it has worked perfectly for years. Here is the flasher module information:
The other option, if for some reason you do not want to replace the stock flasher, is to hard-wire resistors into each light socket that you will use LED bulbs in. Keep in mind that if you go this route, you will need to plan on always using LED bulbs in the future (or remove the resistors for use with traditional bulbs). Using traditional bulbs while also using resistors will head up the wiring and potentially cause damage to lights, housings and sockets. If you want to use resistors, these have worked well for me in the past:
Replacing all of your external lights in your Chevrolet Avalanche can seem like a daunting task but most of the work is figuring out what bulbs to buy. Hopefully I have helped clear up any questions you may have had.
Please note that everything in this article has been in reference to my own 2004 Avalanche 1500 4x4 and if you have a different year/make/model you will need to double-check part numbers and bulb types for your specific vehicle.