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MOT rule change LED bulbs in headlights


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Stolen from another forum where this was posted by an MOT tester

The upgrading of existing halogen headlamps with HID bulbs has been a MOT fail for a few years now. However upgrading with LED bulbs was OK. Not anymore! From 11/01/2021 the MOT rules have been updated to make the fitment of LED bulbs ( in existing halogen units) a fail.

I attach the new rule for clarity.

4. Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment

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.'

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Hi Malcolm,

that is very interesting. 

Would it matter that our cars were not originally fitted with Halogen bulbs but plain  filament - the gas no being Haogen.

I'm sure this will create many many questions and concerns.

Roger

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Hi Roger,

 I agree that there will be quite a few questions and concerns. Are they therefore illegal? What is we don't go for MOT (not suggesting that we don't but just wondering)

It appears that the 'sealed beam' type of LED units would be OK, but do they have to be 'E' marked?

Must be because of Brexit...... (as we can't blame Brussels anymore!)

Malcolm

 

Edited by Malcolm Tatton
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Interesting, but on my last MOT (last year) the tester was impressed with my lights, but had no idea that they were LED until I told him.

I won't tell him this year. 

Bob.

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Oh no !  What a pain, just fitted LED lights to my ‘6 and they’re brilliant, do I need to remove them, I MOT my car every year and it’s renewal is “due” in February.........could be interesting..........someone must have way too much time to introduce this stupidity, IMHO of course !

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11 minutes ago, Scotland Director said:

Oh no !  What a pain, just fitted LED lights to my ‘6 and they’re brilliant, do I need to remove them, I MOT my car every year and it’s renewal is “due” in February.........could be interesting..........someone must have way too much time to introduce this stupidity, IMHO of course !

I understand that the revised MOT guidance is effective 1st Feb, so you can get the MOT done before the end of this month without being failed on this point.

...... Andy 

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39 minutes ago, Lebro said:

Interesting, but on my last MOT (last year) the tester was impressed with my lights, but had no idea that they were LED until I told him.

I won't tell him this year. 

Bob.

Err...but it's if the car is illegal when you are caught on the road ? doesn't matter whether you fool a brain dead tester for a bit of paper that gives it a pass or consider it legal yourself because you believe to be ok...if it's illegal when checked they will book you. Exactly the same as it has always been.

Mick Richards

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Just glad that I 'improved' my original sealed beam headlights by simply fitting a Moss relay kit. The difference was significant.

When I have driven in France in the past I have used clip on yellow beam deflectors. Once upon a time all cars in France had yellow headlamps and those with white stood out like a sore thumb. Now no cars have yellow headlamps in France except my TR. How things change. Not sure how French police would react to yellow headlamps these days.

In the interests of originality and simplicity I have stuck with the original lighting as far as possible. Makes life simpler for the MOT. I do have a LED strip in the back of the surrey screen linked to the brake lights though. The original brake lights aren't the brightest which is why I added the LED strip.

The only thing to watch if you are buying second hand sealed beam units is to check they are correct for either left or right hand drive. Several I have found for sale in UK have been for left hand drive cars and dip the wrong way. Some have a little arrow on the front indicating direction of dip. The lens pattern is different as well. They may also have a stamp on the back stating LHD or RHD. 

Keith

 

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9 hours ago, Lebro said:


 

The Highway Code rule 113 says that as a driver you must:
- ensure all sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise
- use headlights at night, except on a road that has lit street lighting. These roads are generally
restricted to a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) unless otherwise specified
 use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226).
Night time is defined as the period between half an hour after sun

 

i always think this is daft. Side light only permitted where there are street lights - typically  in a built up area. !!!

 

it’s the same daftness as not having rear lights on with front daylight running lights. 
 

Edited by Hamish
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I checked on the "vehicle lighting regulations" last night.  They have not changed, and are still dated 1989, so older vehicles (like ours) are still exempt from needing bulbs with EU approval,  so the law has not changed, just the MOT rules which seems inconsistant.

Bob.

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1 hour ago, Hamish said:


 

The Highway Code rule 113 says that as a driver you must:
- ensure all sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise
- use headlights at night, except on a road that has lit street lighting. These roads are generally
restricted to a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) unless otherwise specified
 use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226).
Night time is defined as the period between half an hour after sun

 

i always think this is daft. Side light only permitted where there are street lights - typically  in a built up area. !!!

 

it’s the same daftness as not having rear lights on with front daylight running lights. 
 

Back when I lived in London a very long time ago driving on sidelights was quite normal

Stuart.

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I recollect a PC stopping me at night in my TR2 in about 1963 in a busy street in the West End of London, and telling me to switch OFF my dipped beam headlights! 

These were bog standard TR2 lamps, so nothing special.  No point in arguing that I had the lamps ON so that the crowds wouldn't walk in front of me on the road.

I turned OFF my dipped headlamps, drove about 150 yards on sidelamps, then put the dipped lamps ON again.

Yes, it was legal to drive on sidelamps in built-up areas, but - in my opinion - dangerous.

Of course, with a dynamo (everyone had dynamo then), at speeds significantly below 30 mph one could be discharging the battery - perhaps that was the LOGIC (what?) behind it.

Ian Cornish

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Hi all

my view is that using all sorts of gizmos usually has not proved to work all that well and in the case of lighting, an enormous improvement can be achieved simply by having good wiring, relays and earths in place and good lamp units and modern H4 bulbs. UK rally regulations essentially forbid LED, HID and non road legal hi power bulbs etc (and in any case they will melt the wiring in a TR) so this is why I’ve put a lot of effort in here.

there are some truly excellent 7inch period copy headlight units available for moderate cost, a good selection of ‘clear’ and polycarbonate units with improved reflectors which throw more light forward and a wide selection of road legal H4 bulbs for all sorts of conditions.
 

Having tested lots of different options, I can assure you that you can get very close to the illumination of LED and a little less so HID with the better ‘traditional’ units and H4 bulb set ups. £200 all in will get you all you need and to my eyes a huge improvement.

Taillights and indicators etc are a different ballgame and it’s hard to better the light from LED replacement bayonet bulbs, which I don’t think are covered by this MOT regulation change ?

Regards

Tony 

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I agree with TR4Tony above I have E rated headlight units(original landrover fitment)  and osram H4 bulbs with separate relays for main and dip beam . Again it all comes down to quality items, a major improvement is just making good the wiring and adding relays.      

  

Chris 

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The tail lights take 10W total which is just over half an amp so unless the wiring is very poor there would be no noticeable improvement Keith.  The brake lights take 42W which is 3.5 amps so you might see some minor improvement but really not worth the effort compared to LED bulbs. 

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Tail lights draw a fair bit less current than headlamps, so I would say you probably would not notice the difference.

before I went for LED headlights I fitted relays to power my Osram nightbreaker H4 bulbs, test showed a very slight improvement.

best way to improve rear lights is to replace with LED type.

Bob.

Rob posted while I was typing !!

Edited by Lebro
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Yes, & the ones I have anyway will operate with the same brightness from 9 volts up. 

So, when I had the front of the car off recently, I ditched the relays.

Bob.

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12 minutes ago, Lebro said:

Yes, & the ones I have anyway will operate with the same brightness from 9 volts up. 

So, when I had the front of the car off recently, I ditched the relays.

Bob.

If theyre going to start picking the LED H/lamps on tests then you might have to put them back :(

Stuart.

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We will see.  I'm sure the reason they have done this is because of the huge amount of cheap Chinese H4 LED bulbs available which have appalling beam formation. The good ones (which cost around £70 a pair) have exactly the same beam, & dip cut off as the Halogens they replace.

Bob.

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3 minutes ago, Lebro said:

We will see.  I'm sure the reason they have done this is because of the huge amount of cheap Chinese H4 LED bulbs available which have appalling beam formation. The good ones (which cost around £70 a pair) have exactly the same beam, & dip cut off as the Halogens they replace.

Bob.

Hi Bob,

you may be right on that but the bulbs I have (Nighteye) have an excellent beam spread (as Tim Hunt would attest to) and cost £20/pair.

Any dodgy bulbs should fail the MOT - no need to outlaw them just because they are a different technology.

 

Roger

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One wonders what the legislation would have been if LEDs were available 100 years ago. Anyone with a brain would have designed vehicles with LEDs (which is what they are doing today).

Incandescent lamps lose 90% of the supplied power as heat, (only 10% is usable light). Multiply that 90% by the power of a pair of headlamps and you get more than 100Watts per car wasted. Now multiply that by the number of vehicles driving with their headlamps on and you are talking Megawatts of heat dumped into the environment. There is surely a case for this to be considered very environmentally unfriendly.

LEDs are close to 90% efficient, so the wasted heat is about 10%. Not a good argument for using traditional incandescent lamps. HID and Halogen also waste a similar amount of power to an incandescent lamp.

So in reality, the decision to make LED upgrades illegal for an MOT is based purely on the style of lamp housing. What a senseless decision!

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23 hours ago, Malcolm Tatton said:

Stolen from another forum where this was posted by an MOT tester

The upgrading of existing halogen headlamps with HID bulbs has been a MOT fail for a few years now. However upgrading with LED bulbs was OK. Not anymore! From 11/01/2021 the MOT rules have been updated to make the fitment of LED bulbs ( in existing halogen units) a fail.

I attach the new rule for clarity.

4. Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment

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 almost fell foul of this new legislation. I ordered, and took delivery today, of a complete set of LEDs (all external and internal lights) for my TR4A. When booking it into my local garage to do the job they advised me of this brand new legislation. Fortunately when I contacted the supplier they were happy to take back the headlamp LEDs and refund me in full....they too have been caught out by this new ruling. Full marks for excellent customer service. Classic Car LEDS of Cheltenham, I can't recommend them too highly.

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