LED Bulbs in Halogen Lights

Soldato
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...are now explicitly mentioned in some amendments made to the MOT testing manual yesterday.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-ins...ssenger-and-light-commercial-vehicles/updates

4.1.4 Headlamps - Compliance with requirements - Changed sentence from 'Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with HID bulbs. If such a conversion has been done, you must fail the headlamp.' to 'Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with high intensity discharge (HID) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. If such a conversion has been done, you must fail the headlamp.'

I'm sure this update will please some and irritate others :p
 
Soldato
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Presumably if halogen headlamp unit with LED from factory, then it isn't classed as converted? The new Fords come with Halogen units, with LED bulbs from factory.
 
Soldato
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I thought it was already not allowed.

But youll only fail if the beam pattern is wrong. They still cant take the bulbs out to confirm they arent halogen on an MOT.
 
Soldato
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Presumably if halogen headlamp unit with LED from factory, then it isn't classed as converted? The new Fords come with Halogen units, with LED bulbs from factory.

If it has LEDs in it from factory and not halogens, then it's not a halogen headlamp? :confused:
 
Soldato
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If it has LEDs in it from factory and not halogens, then it's not a halogen headlamp? :confused:

I'm probably getting confused between the terminology are halogen headlamp units referred to in this instance the reflector types? As in if it has halogen bulbs with projector unit then it's fine to fit HID/LED bulbs?
 
Soldato
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I'm probably getting confused between the terminology are halogen headlamp units referred to in this instance the reflector types? As in if it has halogen bulbs with projector then it's fine to fit LED bulbs?

No Halogen means it was designed for halogen bulbs, could be reflector or projector type.
 
Soldato
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No Halogen means it was designed for halogen bulbs, could be reflector or projector type.

Ok cheers, they must have redesigned the headlamps to comply with fitting the LED bulbs in that case. They do look the same externally, as far as I can tell, but must be different internally.
 
Man of Honour
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No Halogen means it was designed for halogen bulbs, could be reflector or projector type.

A shame it takes no account of lighting systems designed for both. The headlight unit in the E39 is a projector unit for both Xenon and Halogen.
 
Soldato
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Indeed - if like e39 the headlamp unit out of the factory can accept a halogen or xenon(with appropriate ballast) that sound like a legitimate change.

Post brexit we/uk could UK-mark some led bulbs, as legitimate halogen bulb replacements - finally a brexit bonus, ( no driving in the eu though)
 
Soldato
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Not sure the EU would be able to do anything as the car wouldn't be registered there. A bit like tuning mods in Germany and Belgium, illegal but they can't enforce it on forign cars :p

It will be even more difficult for the EU to fine/chase people now unless there is some agreement in place to share data. Like the old days when you could simply go home and there was FA they could do.
 
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Soldato
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Seems rather too vague. There are cars that have HID lights in bog-standard reflector enclosures, and cars that have halogen bulbs with projector lenses. There are also cars that have HID lights but no washers, and halogen lights with washers.

Unless the tester is particularly nerdy and clued up on the finer points of lighting technology and what was and wasn't available on a particular model, I can't see them paying any attention beyond the usual beam pattern and colour checks.
 
Soldato
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It isn't difficult to spot an aftermarket HID install - and if one is spotted, it fails. It's that simple really.

They can't confirm it has LEDs though. One of my cars obviously has retrofit LED sidelight bulbs (they are WAY brighter than halogens), the tester didn't care.
 
Soldato
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They can't confirm it has LEDs though. One of my cars obviously has retrofit LED sidelight bulbs (they are WAY brighter than halogens), the tester didn't care.

Don't think there are any issues with bulb types outside of headlamps specifically - retrofit LED sidelights don't fall foul of any particular MOT clauses I don't think?
 
Soldato
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Don't think there are any issues with bulb types outside of headlamps specifically - retrofit LED sidelights don't fall foul of any particular MOT clauses I don't think?

No external lighting is allowed to be retrofitted. They are all sold as "internal" lighting, not road legal and none are E marked.
 
Associate
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There are also cars that have HID lights but no washers,

I don't think this is correct. That has been a requirement from the very start of HID implementation on cars.

HID headlamp unit requirements
Therefore a HID headlamp unit sold in the aftermarket should:

  • be type approved to ECE Regulation 98 as a component
  • when fitted to the vehicle should enable ECE Regulation 48 to be complied with (although no government inspection will take place)
  • comply with RVLR as far as “use” is concerned
In practice this means:

  • the headlamp unit (outer lens, reflector, bulb) shall be type approved to ECE 98 and be “e-marked” to demonstrate this. That can only be done by the headlamp supplier - Hella, Valeo, etc - who must test the headlamp in an independent laboratory
  • once fitted to the vehicle it must have headlamp cleaning and self-levelling (which can be for the headlamp or can be in the vehicle suspension - some expensive estate cars have “self-levelling suspension” and that is adequate). Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam
  • the headlamp must be maintained in good working order, kept clean, and aligned/adjusted correctly in the same way as any other headlamp
Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence to supply, fit or use vehicle parts which are not legal.

In summary: it is not permitted to convert an existing halogen headlamp unit for use with HID bulbs. The entire headlamp unit must be replaced with one designed and approved for use with HID bulbs and it must be installed in accordance with the rules stated above.
 
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