HID lamps, legalities please

HID lamps, legalities please

Author
Discussion

Babu 01

2,255 posts

154 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
Ean218 said:
Regardless of what any actual legislation may say, here is the advice the DFT intends to give out to testers about MOT changes next year.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/repository/technicalpen...

The long and the short of it is that self-levelling and washers are to be expected with HIDs, OEM or aftermarket, and they should be working.

Absence or malfunction should result in an MOT fail, however there are a few, nicely vague, get out clauses, so at the end of the day it's going to be a case of how well you know your tester.
That document was produced in March 2011, the Testers Manual came out last month and directly contradicts it with regards to HIDs.

I think you will find the Manual takes precedence.

Nigel Worc's

Original Poster:

8,000 posts

143 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
I spoke to the chap who mot's my car today, his advice was don't worry about it, he takes yet another direction ....... HID headlamps are an option on my car, it has projector headlights, headlight wash, and self leveling that can be adjusted down from inside the cabin.

Add to that my kit has CE approval.... he says job done, he wouldn't even give the type of lamp in the headlamp unit a second glance.

I will have the beams tested once the kit is fitted.

Apart from that, I'll let you know if Elroy Blue finds me ....... tongue out

Garvin

3,503 posts

132 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
The whole issue around aftermarket HIDs is confused and the DfT certainly haven't clarified the issue - their 'opinion' on their main web site and the way the VOSA 'technical pen picture' is written is, IMHO, deliberately intended to strongly imply that washers and levelling systems are required without mentioning the word 'mandatory'. When things are mandatory it does not mince its words at all.

In terms of being legal or illegal the situation, as stated previously, has never been tested in court. Again IMHO this is because DfT fear the worst. I assume BiB aren't confident to bring a case as they don't have any firm law that has been broken and so a 'blind eye' is turned except when a 'confident' BiB issues a £30 on the spot fine for, I assume, incorrectly adjusted headlights that dazzle not for the HIDs being illegal which, of course, conveniently avoids any court.

The VOSA 'technical pen picture' pretty much now admits that aftermarket HIDs are legal but now tries to stipulate that washers and self levelling must be present and working as well. The operative word here is 'tries' but doesn't really succeed.

Now, despite the legalities of HIDs, all good PHers will, of course, do the right thing. I offer the following to help inform that decision:-

Why are self levelling systems a good thing? Pretty obvious really in that the brighter HIDs have more 'ability' to dazzle others compared to 'filament' bulb type lamps if pointed too high and so some automatic control on this is a very good thing.

Why are headlight washers a good thing? HID light contains more of the blue light end of the visible spectrum so appear whiter compared to halogens which appear more yellow. Indeed some HIDs operate at temperatures which look positively blue. Now the shorter wavelength blue light is more prone to difraction/dispersion by dirt and debris on the front of the lens. Therefore HIDs, again, have more 'ability' to 'dazzle' others compared to 'filament' bulb type lamps.

The discharge tube of a HID is usually positioned in a longditudinal (front to back) orientation as opposed to the filament of a halogen type bulb which is arranged in a lateral (side to side)orientation. Therefore the light source of a HID bulb is spread over an area completely different to a filament type bulb. Projector lenses are more tolerant of the different spread of light source so the beam shape produced is OK. Normal filament type headlamp reflectors and lenses are not really suited to the different spread of light source from a HID and so the beam shape is much more distorted and can lead to 'dazzle'.

So, IMHO, aftermarket HIDs should only be fitted to projector type headlamps where washers and self levelling systems are fitted to ensure any 'dazzle' is kept to a minimum. Of course, it is up to the individual to make their own decision on these things.


Petemate

1,670 posts

146 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
Garvin said:
So, IMHO, aftermarket HIDs should only be fitted to projector type headlamps where washers and self levelling systems are fitted to ensure any 'dazzle' is kept to a minimum. Of course, it is up to the individual to make their own decision on these things.
A very good post Garvin. Especially this last bit which I have quoted.
I am still waiting for someone to point out that there are many cars with normal reflector headlights with HIDs fitted. You can see them blinding you in your mirrors; mostly small cars. They are the ones that should be done big-time, and that are spoiling it for those of us with projector lights.
My lad, a veritable guru on all things HID, did say that even standard projector lights are a tiny bit different than those designed specifically for xenons, but the difference not noticeable in the pattern of light. Certainly mine project (pun intended) the self same pattern on our garage doors.

14-7

6,233 posts

146 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
Nigel Worc's said:
I spoke to the chap who mot's my car today, his advice was don't worry about it, he takes yet another direction ....... HID headlamps are an option on my car, it has projector headlights, headlight wash, and self leveling that can be adjusted down from inside the cabin.

Add to that my kit has CE approval.... he says job done, he wouldn't even give the type of lamp in the headlamp unit a second glance.

I will have the beams tested once the kit is fitted.

Apart from that, I'll let you know if Elroy Blue finds me ....... tongue out
Yet the HID option will contain different lamp units to your normal ones so will not have a self-levelling system. I don't know why people are struggling. Much like the sounding my horn thread where demicks rained supreme.

Nigel Worc's

Original Poster:

8,000 posts

143 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
14-7 said:
Nigel Worc's said:
I spoke to the chap who mot's my car today, his advice was don't worry about it, he takes yet another direction ....... HID headlamps are an option on my car, it has projector headlights, headlight wash, and self leveling that can be adjusted down from inside the cabin.

Add to that my kit has CE approval.... he says job done, he wouldn't even give the type of lamp in the headlamp unit a second glance.

I will have the beams tested once the kit is fitted.

Apart from that, I'll let you know if Elroy Blue finds me ....... tongue out
Yet the HID option will contain different lamp units to your normal ones so will not have a self-levelling system. I don't know why people are struggling. Much like the sounding my horn thread where demicks rained supreme.
You've lost me 14-7.

All I'm doing is changing the lamps (read bulbs), the rest of the car will stay the same (I don't like typing "bulb" for a lamp, we were given pressups for saying bulb in training, apparently bulbs grow lamps glow)

So ....... I will have HID lamps in my projector style , self leveling with internal control, with wash headlights.

Garvin

3,503 posts

132 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
Petemate said:
.......My lad, a veritable guru on all things HID, did say that even standard projector lights are a tiny bit different than those designed specifically for xenons,........
Your lad is correct which is why I used the term that projector lamps are 'more tolerant'.

14-7

6,233 posts

146 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
Nigel Worc's said:
So ....... I will have HID lamps in my projector style , self leveling with internal control, with wash headlights.
Self-levelling systems do not have internal controls for you to alter hence why they are called self-levelling.



Nigel Worc's

Original Poster:

8,000 posts

143 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
14-7 said:
Self-levelling systems do not have internal controls for you to alter hence why they are called self-levelling.
Other dissagree with you, but anyway ...... it's having them !

GC8

18,781 posts

145 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
Goodwin said:
IIRC the EU legislation regarding HID lights requires a headlight washing device. It does NOT actually specify self levelling systems - what it does require is that the headlights cannot vary from an acceptable aim irrespective of loading within the legal loading limits.
This is correct. There are cars homologated with self levelling rear suspension and sports cars which dont have the capacity to carry passengers or luggage sufficient to affect the lamps aim.

Red Devil

12,041 posts

163 months

Tuesday 8th November 2011
quotequote all
Garvin said:
The whole issue around aftermarket HIDs is confused and the DfT certainly haven't clarified the issue - their 'opinion' on their main web site and the way the VOSA 'technical pen picture' is written is, IMHO, deliberately intended to strongly imply that washers and levelling systems are required without mentioning the word 'mandatory'. When things are mandatory it does not mince its words at all.

In terms of being legal or illegal the situation, as stated previously, has never been tested in court. Again IMHO this is because DfT fear the worst. I assume BiB aren't confident to bring a case as they don't have any firm law that has been broken and so a 'blind eye' is turned except when a 'confident' BiB issues a £30 on the spot fine for, I assume, incorrectly adjusted headlights that dazzle not for the HIDs being illegal which, of course, conveniently avoids any court.

The VOSA 'technical pen picture' pretty much now admits that aftermarket HIDs are legal but now tries to stipulate that washers and self levelling must be present and working as well. The operative word here is 'tries' but doesn't really succeed.

Now, despite the legalities of HIDs, all good PHers will, of course, do the right thing. I offer the following to help inform that decision:-

Why are self levelling systems a good thing? Pretty obvious really in that the brighter HIDs have more 'ability' to dazzle others compared to 'filament' bulb type lamps if pointed too high and so some automatic control on this is a very good thing.

Why are headlight washers a good thing? HID light contains more of the blue light end of the visible spectrum so appear whiter compared to halogens which appear more yellow. Indeed some HIDs operate at temperatures which look positively blue. Now the shorter wavelength blue light is more prone to difraction/dispersion by dirt and debris on the front of the lens. Therefore HIDs, again, have more 'ability' to 'dazzle' others compared to 'filament' bulb type lamps.

The discharge tube of a HID is usually positioned in a longditudinal (front to back) orientation as opposed to the filament of a halogen type bulb which is arranged in a lateral (side to side)orientation. Therefore the light source of a HID bulb is spread over an area completely different to a filament type bulb. Projector lenses are more tolerant of the different spread of light source so the beam shape produced is OK. Normal filament type headlamp reflectors and lenses are not really suited to the different spread of light source from a HID and so the beam shape is much more distorted and can lead to 'dazzle'.
Support for the above from this source.
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/...

Garvin said:
So, IMHO, aftermarket HIDs should only be fitted to projector type headlamps where washers and self levelling systems are fitted to ensure any 'dazzle' is kept to a minimum.
It is no coincidence that the major OEM manufacturers will not officially endorse the vast majority of aftermarket 'kits'.

OEM Technical Dept said:
All halogen lamps are tested and approved with the lens and reflector designed around halogen filament bulbs working to very precise tolerances. The bulbs in these HID kits are not tested with any headlamp. Fitting this 'upgrade' will not create the correct beam pattern, causing glare in some parts and not enough light output in others. Also the gas in a xenon bulb is ignited by a ballast unit, using 27,000 volts, so there is a serious danger of electrocution or melting of any wiring with an untested ballast unit.
Garvin said:
Of course, it is up to the individual to make their own decision on these things.
+1

blitzracing

5,938 posts

175 months

Wednesday 9th November 2011
quotequote all
Why not simply fit some of the new much better Halogens out on the market now (Like the Osram Night breakers for an example). Totally legal fitment with no worries about the beam shape of focus. The prices on Amazon have been pretty good for the night breakers.

Petemate

1,670 posts

146 months

Wednesday 9th November 2011
quotequote all
blitzracing said:
Why not simply fit some of the new much better Halogens out on the market now (Like the Osram Night breakers for an example). Totally legal fitment with no worries about the beam shape of focus. The prices on Amazon have been pretty good for the night breakers.
I have the Osram NB bulbs - they are very good. However - when I am on dip with my HIDs, and select beam (on my car the beams come on in addition to the dips) the Nightbreakers which I have fitted in the beams look a bit yellow in comparison to the dips, though I admit that they are quite bright.

Roo

11,503 posts

162 months

Thursday 10th November 2011
quotequote all
It does make it unclear when one section of government can't agree with another.

This is the requirement for IVA tests as far as HID/gas discharge lights are concerned.



In other words, nothing I bring in to the country with them will pass the test.

Mr2Mike

20,143 posts

210 months

Thursday 10th November 2011
quotequote all
blitzracing said:
Why not simply fit some of the new much better Halogens out on the market now (Like the Osram Night breakers for an example). Totally legal fitment with no worries about the beam shape of focus. The prices on Amazon have been pretty good for the night breakers.
I've fitted these to my Fiat Coupe which have notoriously poor dipped lights; they help a little but they are still terribly bad compared to most cars. They do give a good improvement on the more conventional main beams though.

Unfortunately halogen projector lights are always going to be compromises since the beam shaping is done by blocking light output with a mask rather than re-directing it with a shaped reflector and lens. Obviously the same problem exists with HID, but you have a lot more light to start with.

ThunderSpook

2,714 posts

166 months

Thursday 10th November 2011
quotequote all
Nigel Worc's said:
14-7 said:
Self-levelling systems do not have internal controls for you to alter hence why they are called self-levelling.
Other dissagree with you, but anyway ...... it's having them !
It's quite simple really, if they are "self-levelling" then there is no control to do it manually because they level themselves. What you have are manual-level control headlights which do an initialisation routine when switched on.

Although it's fairly irrelevant anyway as is this entire thread as you had already decided you were having them whether they were illegal or not. Am I right?

GC8

18,781 posts

145 months

Thursday 10th November 2011
quotequote all
Roo said:
It does make it unclear when one section of government can't agree with another.

This is the requirement for IVA tests as far as HID/gas discharge lights are concerned.



In other words, nothing I bring in to the country with them will pass the test.
Yes, for SVA I used to remove HID lamps and fit uk specification halogen lamps, because there wasnt a way to make them legal. Even if you used uk spec HID lamps from identical models then theyd still fail, as they were simply illegal...

Im not anti-HID btw, quite the opposite in fact. I'll retro-fit or use aftermarket lamps too, if theyre fit.

Nigel Worc's

Original Poster:

8,000 posts

143 months

Thursday 10th November 2011
quotequote all
ThunderSpook said:
Although it's fairly irrelevant anyway as is this entire thread as you had already decided you were having them whether they were illegal or not. Am I right?
Not initially, but by the time we'd reached that point I'd bought them.

Nobody can agree if they are legal or not, that isn't just on here, but amongst my mates too.

I'll let you know if they make BMW dipped beam work, it has always been an issue, they appear on to anyone else, they even seem to light things up, but there is no pool of light, so to the driver, especially on a damp night, it seems like you're on sidelights.

I'd settle for simple non projector halogen reflecters, but when I looked for those in 5 inch, they were dearer (and again probably not type approved for the car), than a hid kit.

Mr2Mike

20,143 posts

210 months

Friday 11th November 2011
quotequote all
Nigel Worc's said:
I'll let you know if they make BMW dipped beam work, it has always been an issue, they appear on to anyone else, they even seem to light things up, but there is no pool of light, so to the driver, especially on a damp night, it seems like you're on sidelights.
Are you simply after more light output or a change in the beam pattern?

Nigel Worc's

Original Poster:

8,000 posts

143 months

Friday 11th November 2011
quotequote all
More light output, pure and simple, but I've no wish to have coloured lights, and no wish to dazzle anyone, and, I'd much rather be legal than not.

If my BMW headlights were as good as the smart for two jobbies my wife and daughter have, I'd be delighted.