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LED lights will fail new MOT rules


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An update to the MOT inspection manual now means classic car owners who have had LED bulbs fitted to their vehicles will fail their test. The new clarification will apply to modern classic vehicles and those who still opt to get their car checked despite already being exempt as a historic vehicle.

 

The MOT inspection manual states halogen units "should not be converted" to use HID or LED bulbs.

LED lights cannot be fitted anywhere else on your historic vehicle unless the bulbs meet ECE standard 128 and ECE standard 148.

However, few bulbs available on the market meet this standard making them illegal on UK vehicles.

The manual said: "Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with high-intensity discharge (HID) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

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Don't forget it has been illegal to use non 'E' marked bulbs for many years which can attract an on the spot fine.

One of the problems with LED indicators is that if following such a vehicle in a dark area at night the human eye is incapable of adjusting to the instant light from an LED compared to the short time it takes a conventional bulb to reach full brightness.

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But most of our old cars and MVs use(d) tungsten non-halogen headlamps, so I guess this rule does not apply; certainly won't apply if commonsense prevails and we have much better lighting at less demand on the charging system.

Edited by matchlesswdg3
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50 minutes ago, matchlesswdg3 said:

But most of our old cars and MVs use(d) tungsten non-halogen headlamps, so I guess this rule does not apply; certainly won't apply if commonsense prevails and we have much better lighting at less demand on the charging system.

Good point and one I should have considered on a forum where many of us run older vehicles. I cannot find any relevant information but am almost sure that the sealed beam type units of 50 years ago were 'E' marked.

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I find this both incomprehensible and depressing. For the last few years I have run a Landrover with good quality LED bulbs in the headlights, and it has passed the MOT beam test without any issues, ergo there cannot be a beam problem. They undoubtedly illuminate the road ahead far better than the original H4 bulbs, they use less power hence are "greener", and I really don't understand what is the argument against them.

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10 hours ago, utt61 said:

I find this both incomprehensible and depressing. For the last few years I have run a Landrover with good quality LED bulbs in the headlights, and it has passed the MOT beam test without any issues, ergo there cannot be a beam problem. They undoubtedly illuminate the road ahead far better than the original H4 bulbs, they use less power hence are "greener", and I really don't understand what is the argument against them.

I think the problem you describe is not one the driver of the vehicle (so fitted) experiences, rather it is traffic in the other direction.   LED lighting in my humble opinion can be a menace on the narrow lanes around here.  The intensity is just "blinding" to oncoming traffic.  

A chum of mine has a new car with LED lights and he tells me that at night he is either repeatedly flashed or other drivers switch to full-beam... I guess as some form of retaliation.  I have to say I am not surprised.  

Dave

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6 minutes ago, steviem said:

If they are good enough for new cars why not older ones too?

I think the problem is LED bulbs in lamps not designed or approved for them, lamps made as or for LEDs and approved should be ok.

My take on it anyway...

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I don't disagree with any of the foregoing, however a good quality LED bulb designed to have appropriate characteristics to replace an H4 bulb, correctly adjusted, and producing a beam pattern which passes the MoT test requirements for headlight adjustment, will not in general dazzle anyone if used properly. Since the introduction of Type Approval it has been illegal to use a light source other than the one the light unit was designed for and type approved with, so technically the only thing that has changed is that now it is an MoT testable item and cause for a failure,  but I am sure that the objection is the technicality that the light is no longer compliant, not that there is necessarily a problem with its performance. 

I do actually think that all car headlights now are unnecessarily bright and only encourage today's "disconnected" drivers to drive excessively fast nearly all the time. I really don't like driving cars at night any more due to the incessant barrage of excessively bright oncoming lights (not so bad in a large vehicle though). Those of us who can remember driving in the 60s and 70s when headlights were useless and your eyes would adjust to the dark will know what I mean.

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Led lights are a menace and should be banned outright in public places. The light source is extremely intense yet the ratio of projected usable light is minimal with no true colour. We have led street lights and they are useless, can't walk anywhere without a torch.. You now have to drive on main beam (halogen thankfully) to see anything on side roads - proof being the main roads locally have gone back to orange sulphur type lights. The difference is 'clear to see'.

Our new night trunkers now come supplied with old style halogen front fog lights under the bumper and spots on top because the oem led headlights and cab top spots  are so bad. You can't necessarily see further with the halogens, but the detail of what is illuminated is far superior and has a greater three dimentional effect with true colour. What looks like a black patch repair in the road with leds will show up as a large pothole with halogen. Chevron boards look like chevron boards whereas the leds just give a blinding white wall of light reflection. Lethal. Don't start me on the strobe effect.

Projector lenses are useless too. And whats the point of Hid lights that flash when they're switched on? Car approaching, goes under some trees, huge flash of light as the auto lights switch on. That second or two while they focus and level themselves could mean the difference to the oncoming car of seeing the cyclist or feeling a bump in the road.

Rant over, feeling better, sorry 'bout that that...

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3 minutes ago, Hair Bear said:

Led lights are a menace and should be banned outright in public places. The light source is extremely intense yet the ratio of projected usable light is minimal with no true colour. We have led street lights and they are useless, can't walk anywhere without a torch.. You now have to drive on main beam (halogen thankfully) to see anything on side roads - proof being the main roads locally have gone back to orange sulphur type lights. The difference is 'clear to see'.

Our new night trunkers now come supplied with old style halogen front fog lights under the bumper and spots on top because the oem led headlights and cab top spots  are so bad. You can't necessarily see further with the halogens, but the detail of what is illuminated is far superior and has a greater three dimentional effect with true colour. What looks like a black patch repair in the road with leds will show up as a large pothole with halogen. Chevron boards look like chevron boards whereas the leds just give a blinding white wall of light reflection. Lethal. Don't start me on the strobe effect.

Projector lenses are useless too. And whats the point of Hid lights that flash when they're switched on? Car approaching, goes under some trees, huge flash of light as the auto lights switch on. That second or two while they focus and level themselves could mean the difference to the oncoming car of seeing the cyclist or feeling a bump in the road.

Rant over, feeling better, sorry 'bout that that...

I could not have said it any better.

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4 hours ago, Scrunt & Farthing said:

I could not have said it any better.

Glad it is not just me. The other design issue is auto dipping lights, they cannot see round corners and constantly blind you until they dip.  In the good old days it was courteous to dip your lights on seeing approaching lights on a bend. 

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My current pet peeve is the "sweeping" indicators fitted to a lot of new vehicles.  Not only are they completely unnecessary but they are hopeless in bright sunlight.  I followed a Golf and an A3 the other day, one with sweeping indicators and one without, and the difference was chalk and cheese.

Andy

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It does seem to me that all of these modern phenomenon's that so vex my driving life have one principle thing in common.   In almost every case the offending vehicle has a knob behind the steering wheel that thinks their right to the road is more important than mine; that stopping distances do not apply to them; that the outside lane is exclusively for their enjoyment and that their stupid fairy-light indicators will in some way impress me to believe that they are richer, cleverer and more important than me.  [and whilst I am at it,  personal number plates that cleverly spell the word "BOSS"].    I have taken to flicking certain vulgar gestures in the direction of any Audi, BMW or Range Rover driver I meet.  It is most cathartic and I commend it to all until the scourge is beaten. 

Edited by Scrunt & Farthing
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Going back about ten years now, we had a batch of VW T5.1 vans delivered. Almost over night we had piles of near miss reports in the office (which up 'till then were almost unheard of) and almost all had one common denominator.

Random vehicle pulling out in front of van when turning right on roundabout.

It didn't take much head scratching to work out why. These were fitted with daytime running lights. These lights were white, 4" x 4", and  21w. The indicator was directly beside it, 4"x3" with a 21w orange bulb. Result - Invisible indicators unless you are viewing from directly in front. Fixed by replacing the drl bulbs with 10w., instant cure. Then we tried some Transits. Oh dear. The drl lights on these are the main beam lights on reduced current! Still the main beam lenses for goodness sake. What are they thinking?

And what's going to happen when the american idea of the 'drl lights going out every time the handbrake is applied' catches on??? More flashing lights than a cheap 70's nightclub.

(Don't let on, but I drive a Range Rover).

Edited by Hair Bear
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To clarify, for vehicles we use.....only vehicles first used after 1 April 1986.

 

Class 3,4,5 and 7 vehicles

For class 3,4,5 and 7 vehicles, the defect ‘Light source and lamp not compatible’ only applies to vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1986.

Should a vehicle be presented for an MOT test with conversions before 1 April 1986 they must not be failed with immediate effect.

Vehicles presented with converted halogen headlamp units first used on or after 1 April 1986 will continue to be failed.

Headlamps must comply with all other requirements of the test and headlamp aim.

The cars and passenger vehicles inspection manual will be updated shortly

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