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testdasi
21st May 2012, 11:46
I have been using my sidelights as DRL and was told LED bulbs can have provide the same level of illumination but lower heat and power consumption and longer lifetime. I was thinking maybe I should just buy the brightest white LED bulbs to replace mine but not sure on the legality of it.

Is it legal to change the sidelight bulbs for white LED bulbs?
By extension, how about LED headlamp bulbs?
And is there any legal limit to how bright the bulbs can be?



PS: I have already replaced all of the interior lights with white LED. They look a lot better and are a lot brighter than the off-white standard bulbs, I think.

Jakg
21st May 2012, 12:40
LED sidelights are perfectly legal, as are LED headlights - but LED headlights are RUBBISH (or at least, the eBay ones are - the "good" OEM ones are amazing but hideously expensive)

Also, LED sidelights will actually use around the same amount of power / make the same amount of heat as they'll have to have resistors to fool the bulb-out warning system...

EDIT - LED Sidelights...

http://i.imgur.com/t1v7l.jpg

T-Cut
21st May 2012, 14:06
The MOT specifies: Two front position lamps must be fitted, one on each side and show a steady white light to the front (or yellow if incorporated in a yellow headlamp)

The car will fail the test if it: Shows a light other than - - -white to the front (or yellow if a front position lamp is incorporated in a yellow headlamp)

In the context of fitting LED style bulbs, it will depend on whether the examiner thinks the light is white or not. Many LEDs emit a high level of blue and some examiners will fail it on that basis. In other words, it's pot luck with the LED sidelights.

There are no LED headlamp bulbs on the DIY market that would be of any practical use.

TC

Galleon
21st May 2012, 17:35
Yellow headlamps? Surprises me the M.O.T. test allows for yellow headlamps. Does that mean that old school French style "selective yellow" bulbs are still legal?

rich17865
21st May 2012, 18:01
My dad's 75 had an MOT recently, it failed first time and one of the fails was on the sidelights being the incorrect colour. The second test at another test station passed the same sidelights.

Incase of any confusion, first test centre MOT cost 25, second test centre MOT cost 50. I think they will fail them if they think they can sell you some more! The second test examiner, when quizzed about this said 'the other guy must have failed them because he is an idiot'.

EDIT: should probably point out he had LED sidelights! :D

pab
21st May 2012, 18:54
I've tried a few of these LED sidelight bulb,the canbus friendly type with the built in resistor.I find them to flicker or fail prematurely,so I have gone back to conventional bulbs..Phillips blue vision or similar give a decent effect.

Parker
21st May 2012, 19:05
I fitted LED white canbus sidelights two years ago in my 1.8, never had a MOT failure and when buying the V6 transferred them over complete with the Xenons. Last well no issues.

suzublu
21st May 2012, 19:06
:wot: Mine's been in ages

Parker
21st May 2012, 19:55
As an extra I had a continuous fault with one of the number plate bulbs not coming on, changed so many bulbs, finally fitted LED and no problems since ;)

T-Cut
21st May 2012, 21:49
I've tried LED sidelights with single focussed emitters and LEDs with multiple SMDs and all the usual variations and I'm now back with filament bulbs. While there is plenty of light emission from LEDs, it's never in the right place for the headlamp reflector. It's never 'full' of light with a LED compared with the ordinary bulb. You can see this by standing in front of the car with each type switched on. The LED only seems to work well when you stand directly in front of the lamps. Move sideways and the reflector loses the light. That doesn't happen with a filament bulb. I think the reason is that the filament is suspended in a small spot in space at/near the focal point of the reflector. It emits light spherically. LEDs emit in focussed or near parallel beams and simply don't have the same lamp filling characteristics IMO.
Anyway, you pays yer money (sometimes silly money) and takes yer choice.

TC

Booza
17th July 2012, 10:53
More fool me for not searching this site for this thread before I wasted my money with Rimmer Bros for LED sidelights (and yes, for silly money) :mad:

The LED lights fitted and look OK (and just as bright) - but the dash shows 'Bulb failure' warning message. Back to the dull yellow filament ones :(

HarryM1BYT
17th July 2012, 11:05
More fool me for not searching this site for this thread before I wasted my money with Rimmer Bros for LED sidelights (and yes, for silly money) :mad:

The LED lights fitted and look OK (and just as bright) - but the dash shows 'Bulb failure' warning message. Back to the dull yellow filament ones :(

That is because what ever LED's you fit on certain lights, must be can-bus compatible. The can-bus monitors the current drawn by these lights and if insufficient current is drawn, the can-bus assumes the lamp has blown. LED's are not only brighter, but they have a much longer working life and draw much less current for the same light output.

You can simply fool the can-bus by adding an appropriate value and rating of resistor in parallel with the LED lamp.

calibrax
17th July 2012, 11:20
LED's are not only brighter, but they have a much longer working life

Theoretically true... but in my experience with the various LED sidelights available, yes they look better and are brighter, but they are nothing like as reliable as normal sidelights. I had to replace one of the the LED sidelights on average once every six weeks. The failure rate is ridiculous. I've switched back to normal sidelights now, as I got fed up of pulling up behind another car and noticing in the reflection that I only had one sidelight working. :mad:

(Oh, and one picky MOT tester failed my LED sidelights for being "too blue"... yet they were white LEDs, no blue at all!)

keithybhoy
17th July 2012, 11:21
I got LED sidelight bulbs from a member on here last year and they look great and ive never had a bulb out warning.Il see if i can find the old PM if i still have it ;)

Clickernick
30th July 2012, 23:07
Probably me as I had a goodly bunch of nice white LED sidelights.

Mine have been glowing well now for well over 18 months and still doing their job well.

Passed 2 mot,s since with not a prob either! 5000 Kelvin or lower is what you need.

neilbaker86
30th July 2012, 23:58
LED sidelights are perfectly legal, as are LED headlights - but LED headlights are RUBBISH (or at least, the eBay ones are - the "good" OEM ones are amazing but hideously expensive)

Sorry but that is completely wrong, LED 'bulbs' which are not ECE marked are NOT legal. Just because a car passes an MOT doesn't make it completely legal to be on the road. It just means it passed the items which they check in an MOT on that day.

If you read the packaging on Philips range of LED bulbs, it will state they are for 'off-road use'. Or sometimes they are described as 'interior lights'.

As can be seen here:
http://www.nbsoft.co.uk/philipsw5w.jpg

Also, under the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence to supply, fit or use vehicle parts which are not legal. So anyone on eBay selling you these as being road legal is in breach of the law.