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Are LED headlights legal? I was thinking of replacing the old style bulbs in my Bedford MW. Just to improve visibility .

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I don’t have the answer but the new MOT rules may give you an answer. HID will be an MOT fail unless they are specific HID headlamps which pretty much means factory OE fit or retro fit. A simple bulb change isn’t enough.

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1 hour ago, Chris Hall said:

I don’t have the answer but the new MOT rules may give you an answer. HID will be an MOT fail unless they are specific HID headlamps which pretty much means factory OE fit or retro fit. A simple bulb change isn’t enough.

HID and LED lights are totally different, to change to LED is a simple bulb change. HID  lights need a transformer and new wiring. As a Bedford MW is MOT exempt I would give LEDs a try, safety over originality anytime.

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It’s more the beam pattern of head lights that fail. If the lens is designed for a halogen and not LED the beam may be blinding to on coming drivers.

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Here’s what I was referring to. I have heard (no evidence to support though) that any MOT exempt vehicle should be still capable of passing an MOT. If it can’t, your insurance may be invalid and the Police may prosecute.

 

 

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LED is different but the MOT rules above (I know this vehicle is exempt) state the light source must be compatible with the lamp. It also states a light source could be a bulb, LED or HID unit. So it could be down to interpretation or some could say it’s black and white.

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You'd be better off fitting halogens. You can buy a replacement lens which then takes a modern bulb. The beam pattern is correct and there is no legality issue. As and when the bulb blows you can get a new one from your local motor factors. All our WW2 trucks have them and it is a standard conversion for my customers' trucks.

 - MG

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I fitted relays in the headlight wiring of my 101. Made the halogen lights brighter and also takes a load off the existing wiring and switches.

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Fitting LED "replacement" lamps (bulbs) into lights that were designed for filament bulbs has a couple of issues. Firstly the source size and distribution pattern of a LED is totally different from a filament bulb so a relector and lens designed for a filament lamp will not give the correct light pattern with a LED. This is particuarly noticable when replacing halogen lamps. The seond issue is legality. This depends on the age of the vehicle. Certainly for any vehicle post 1986 a replacement lamp must be "E" marked, The road vehicle lighting regulation 14 (no LED filament lamp replacements are approved or "E" marked). Earlier than this and it's not so clear, but dazzling another road user is an offence.
Lights designed with LEDs built in can be and are approved. One example is retrofit LED lamps to replace sealed bem headlights. You can get these with "E" marks for vehicles with sealed beam lights or conversions. An example is the Guardian SB1LED, but beware, there are many units out there which are not legal.

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