Map Light Vs Dome Light (Difference With Table)

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Lighting contributes a lot when driving at night. This is an important consideration for trouble-free driving. Whether map lights or dome lights, both are essential components for any vehicle. If you do not have a phone with GPS, you can choose Map Light. In addition, dome lighting will be a better option for you and your car. However, the map lights are aligned to push the light in a single direction. In contrast to placing dome lights in the middle of the ceiling so that they can radiate throughout the car. Both lights have some similarities and differences. This article will mainly discuss the differences between Map Light and Dome Light.

When it comes to car lights, their importance cannot be overstated. The advantage of dome lighting is that it can give light even when the engine is off. Both lights provide perfect radiation and the radiation levels are almost the same.

Map light vs. dome light with Table

Basis of comparisonMap lightDome light
Definition There are two small lights at the top places in front of the car that is called map lights.Vehicle dome lights are applicable for a truck, bus, car, or automobile.
Bulb placementMap lights are also on the car ceiling but are seated closer to the driver and the passenger.Generally, the dome light source is placed in the centre of a car’s ceiling.
Operation principleIt is easy to operate. Just press the button on the lens and then the light will turn on.These lights are on automatically after you open the car door. 
Functioning The main function is to deliver pilots with an illuminating source to read maps and other instruments.Courtesy light’s main function is to deliver brightening. It helps to fasten the seatbelt easily and enter or exit the car.
Weights 0.634 – 2 ouncesAbout 3.2 ounces
Product dimensionsAbout 5 x 0.6 x 3.2 inchesAbout 4.3 x 0.86 x 2.7 inches
Lights shapeIt can be rectangular, round, or square.It can be round or square.
Lights sizeIt comes in variable length and size.114mm / 4.5”
Key featuresWith a 360-degree lighting angle design, it can illuminate all the parts of a car.Summarized and facile light fixture and the light will work at a proper temperature.
View angle360-degree180-degree
Input voltage12V AC with 5 watts of power.All the courtesy lights will be 12V DC with 5.4  watts or more power.
Light colorClear or white. White color is represented by the maximum number of red, green, and blue in the color model.Warm white or cool white
Luminous fluxAlmost 400 lumensAlmost 320 lumens
Lifespan expectancyUp to 50,000 hoursUp to 50,000 hours
Bulb typeLEDLED or SMD
Price rangeIt is slightly inexpensive compared to one.It is an affordable and reasonably priced bulb considering its quality.

Map light VS Dome light with Features

Interior lighting is essential for illuminating the inside of the car. These allow the driver or passenger to fasten their seatbelts quickly and effortlessly. There are some benefits to installing a courtesy light or map light in a car or anywhere else. However, in this area, I am going to discuss the main differences between Map Lite and Dome Lite. Hopefully, choosing the right bulb will be very helpful.


Both lights have a unique design that blows your mind. Map lights are designed with a 360-degree view angle to illuminate every corner of the car. This design helps a lot to see the objects inside of the car. Map lights are small in size considering dome lights. However, the design of this light is fascinating. On the contrary, dome light has a sleek and simple design that allows you to maintain it properly. This light can be small or large. They are occupying little space.


Both lights are placed on the car’s interior parts. They both are used to provide illumination. However, map lights are used to simplify the reading of physical maps and other files at night. They were originally designed to help with a reading map in dark places.

Contrariwise, dome lights are used to illuminate the inside of a truck, bus, car, or other automobile. They usually come to provide brightness in dark situations. It helps both drivers and passengers to fasten their seatbelts. Plus, it allows you to enter and exit safely from the vehicle.


The placements make a huge difference between them. They are placed in different areas on the car or any other vehicle. Map lights are usually placed on the car ceiling but are mounted near the driver and the onward passengers. They are technically placed on the roof in the front of the car. There are two lights alongside each other. As a result, drivers or passengers have the freedom to choose to use their lights at any time.

In contrast, the dome light is the large light source placed in the middle of the car’s ceiling.

Operation guideline

In terms of operation, both have a unique but easy way. Technically, here, they are slightly the same. But if you look carefully, you can see the difference. However, the strategy of operating map light is easy. You need to press the button on the lens and then the light will turn on.

Alternatively, dome lights typically offer switchable On/Off auto lighting. It automatically turns on and off when you open and close the door. The other tactic is to press the Dimmer Control Panel button to turn on the light.


Both lights illuminate the inside parts perfectly. But still, they have the area to separate them. However, the map lights provide ultra brightness in all parts of the car interior. As you read before, it has a 360-degree view angle that disseminates light everywhere inside the car.

On the other hand, dome light has a 180-degree view angle yet it illuminates with full rhythm. With 12V DC voltage and 5.4 or more watts of power, it provides endless brightness. Furthermore, it has high lighting efficiency with enough lifespan.

Brightness constancy

Brightness is the most vital thing to consider before buying interior or exterior lights. It features a super bright 10-SMD chipset and an all-side lighting angle design that’s sufficient to provide better light. It gives 300% bright light compared to stock lamps. Plus, the latest LED technology ensures no flickering, no UV light emission, and no IR radiation.

On the other side, the dome light is designed concisely and simply but with perfect LED light. With soft and uniform light output it casts less shadow to enhance brightness. The light spreads the brightness evenly in every part.

Body material

Both lights are engineered with quality and improved materials to last long. The dome lights are made of precise fire-resistant PC materials. Plus, the circuit board is made with an Aluminum base. As A Result, it can deliver stable and safe light till the end. In addition, this light is placed on the Aluminum board that protects against high temperatures.

Counters and map lights are built with a high-quality Aluminum body that requires low power consumption. Also, they are perfect at low temperatures.

Luminous flux

In this circumstance, they are slightly different from each other. Map lights have 400 lumens while dome light features 320 lumens. So Map Light wins this feature.

Lighting color and shape

They have a lighting color variant. They come in different colors and shapes. Map lights come in with a white color that consists of several colors. On the contrary, dome light comes in with cool white and warm white color variants.


Dome light can be used for various purposes and places. It is the perfect addition for interior caravan, motor home, and RV interior roof light applications. You can set this light in other indoor decorations. But remember to use this light for dry locations only.

In contrast, map lights come to use as a car interior. But sometimes it can be used in the kitchen or other small spaces.

Price range

Dome lights are energy-saving, environment-friendly, and money-saving products. However, if you look at their pricing you can see the difference. Map light is slightly less expensive than dome light. Considering all the features and quality, the dome light is at an affordable price.

Similarities Of Map light Vs Dome light

After discussing the vast differences between these two interior lights, now is the time to look at their similarities. In addition to the many differences, these lights have some common features. By these features, you can understand in which aspects they provide equivalent performance.

  • Input voltage

Both have the same input voltage in AC and DC units. Dome light has 12 Volts DC voltage with more than 5 wattages. Similarly, the map light has 12 volts AC with 5 watts of power.

  • Lifetime

Life expectancy is also the same. With efficient LED chips, both lights ensure a long lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. Additionally, both have simple maintenance that reduces the probability of re-lamping.

  • Installation

Both have unique strategies to install but the installation process is effortless. Only 3 mounting screws are needed for installation.

  • Bulb types

They are LED lights with a simple design. They both are used to illuminate the inside at night.

Map light – best for the money

Map lights are used to view maps or other documents in dark situations. It is easy to install and maintain. If you are looking for a light that illuminates everywhere in the car, you can choose them. Most importantly, it provides light turning in all four directions. In addition, it enhances the beauty of the car. These lights are also affordable and reliable. These are durable and easily adjustable.

Dome light – best for the overall performance

Dome lighting or courtesy lighting is exciting and bright interior lighting. It is a cost-effective, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient bulb. No matter where you need light, you can simply attach this light without damp places. Courtesy lighting can illuminate the interior of all types of automobiles. The operating principle is as simple as your expectations. So the overall performance is good enough to blow your mind.

Pros and cons of the Map light


  • Easily adjustable bulbs.
  • Long-lasting and long lifespan.
  • Sensational Aluminum body.
  • New LED technology.
  • 360-degree view angle.


  • It doesn’t have a noticeable warranty or guarantee.

Pros and cons of Dome light


  • Versatile applicable.
  • Easy to switch on and off.
  • Energy-efficient and reliable.
  • Affordable pricing.
  • The installation process isn’t so clumsy.


  • It is for only dry locations.
  • Low profile design.
  • Only 180-degree view angle.

Final words

For those who really want to make their reading easier at night, both dome lighting and map lighting are great options. Both efficient and fully grounded. However, they have many strengths as well as some weaknesses. In the end, the two lights are highly demanded and quality lighting in different situations. This comparative article in Map Light vs. Dome Light can help you choose the best lighting to enhance your interior lighting design. Map lighting is good in terms of efficiency and viewing angle. In contrast, dome lighting is good in terms of price and management. So now it is up to you to decide which car to choose.

Read next


Leave a Comment