Automotive LED headlight bulbs illegal?

moeckl

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Messages
2
Hello.

I'm new to this forum, please excuse me if I sound misinformed. I've read here and on other forums that LED headlights bulbs are illegal. I'm sure it's been gone over many times before but could someone explain it again. I myself run LED headlights and and wondering what's makes the illegal and what makes people hate them so much. Thanks in advance.


Chris
 

harro

Enlightened
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2009
Messages
894
Location
Northern Victoria, Australia
If they are a retrofit in a housing designed for a different light source ( most likely halogen ), design rules in your country would almost certainly prohibit the fitting of anything other than the standard fitment bulb. Not to mention things regarding focal length, reflector design, actual size and shape of light source and how its orientated in the housing etc etc.
You can generally do better with an upgraded version of the bulb for which the housing was originally designed for, eg Philips Extremevision 100's or 130's in place of std. halogen bulb.
The one downside with this sort of upgrade is generally a reduced lifespan with the better bulb, but, hey, nothing that a spare pair of bulbs in the glovebox couldn't fix.

:popcorn:

Cheers,
Mike.
 

Alaric Darconville

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 2, 2001
Messages
5,377
Location
Stillwater, America
I've read here and on other forums that LED headlights bulbs are illegal.

If they are "bulbs" designed to plug in where a filament bulb or HID capsule are supposed to go (for example, if it's a headlamp designed for a HB3 bulb, and this is an LED "bulb" that's on the same base, then, yes-- that's illegal.

I'm sure it's been gone over many times before but could someone explain it again.
Use the search function.

I myself run LED headlights and and wondering what's makes the illegal and what makes people hate them so much. Thanks in advance.

Are these the factory LED headlamps? Like on Lexus LS 600h, 2010 Toyota Prius, 2014 Corolla, and certain Cadillac Escalades? Those aren't illegal.
Are they aftermarket LED headlamps? Like the J.W. Speaker Model 8700 or the Truck-Lite 27270C? Those aren't illegal.
Are they LED "retrofits"? Like described in this post? Those are illegal. Take 'em out.

We don't hate the legal ones. We hate the illegal ones because they can get people killed.
 

moeckl

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Messages
2
What is it that make the "LED retrofits" illegal?

If they are "bulbs" designed to plug in where a filament bulb or HID capsule are supposed to go (for example, if it's a headlamp designed for a HB3 bulb, and this is an LED "bulb" that's on the same base, then, yes-- that's illegal.


Use the search function.



Are these the factory LED headlamps? Like on Lexus LS 600h, 2010 Toyota Prius, 2014 Corolla, and certain Cadillac Escalades? Those aren't illegal.
Are they aftermarket LED headlamps? Like the J.W. Speaker Model 8700 or the Truck-Lite 27270C? Those aren't illegal.
Are they LED "retrofits"? Like described in this post? Those are illegal. Take 'em out.

We don't hate the legal ones. We hate the illegal ones because they can get people killed.



Chris
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
Hello, Chris. Welcome to the board.

It is unsafe and illegal (throughout most all of the industrialized world) to put the wrong kind of light source into a headlamp, and here is why: Headlight beams are not simple spots or floods, they are actually very complex, with intricate requirements for a variety of minimum and maximum intensities at a long list of angular points within the beam. The whole optical system (light source, reflector/s, lens/es, bulb shield) works as a system to produce beams that meet the requirements. Each headlamp is designed, engineered, tested, and certified/approved to give acceptable safety performance with one specific kind of light source -- a halogen bulb, an HID bulb, or an array of LEDs. Putting a different kind of light source into the headlamp, other than the kind it was designed for, ruins the headlamp's safety performance. The wrong amounts of light are sent in the wrong directions. Some areas have not enough light, other areas have too much light, and the result is very unsafe, each and every time. And this is true even if you think you can see OK with your LED-modded headlamps. You really need to get the "LED bulbs" out of your headlamps and put the correct bulbs back in; even if you manage to luck out and not get ticketed, and even if you are OK with risking your own injury, death, and property damage, your modified headlamps create an elevated risk of injury, death, and property damage for everyone you share the roads with, and that's not acceptable. You really need to get the "LED bulbs" out of your headlamps and put the correct bulbs back in (or, depending on what kind of headlamps they are, there may be legitimate/safe upgrade bulbs, but in any case they will always only ever be of the same basic type, i.e., halogen, that the lamp was designed for.)
 

m4a1usr

Enlightened
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
884
Location
Washington State
If you go and reread my response to the OP you will see I never made my comments about LED Lights inclusive to replacement lamps. I only spoke of replacement headlights.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
If you go and reread my response to the OP you will see I never made my comments about LED Lights inclusive to replacement lamps. I only spoke of replacement headlights.

You will need to pay better attention to keeping your replies on-topic.
 

hawkingled

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
1
Each headlamp is designed, engineered, tested, and certified/approved to give acceptable safety performance with one specific kind of light source -- a halogen bulb, an HID bulb, or an array of LEDs. Putting a different kind of light source into the headlamp, other than the kind it was designed for, ruins the headlamp's safety performance.

...there may be legitimate/safe upgrade bulbs, but in any case they will always only ever be of the same basic type, i.e., halogen, that the lamp was designed for.)

Then how about one LED bulbs design which can give the same lightspot shape with halogen bulbs but higher brightness ?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Optical Inferno

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Messages
242
Location
Niagara Falls ON. Canada
Then how about one LED bulbs design which can give the same lightspot shape with halogen bulbs but higher brightness ?

Such a light source does not exist...yet. Don't be confused that an LED is a point source, or that you can use an off the shelf optic to create such an effect.

There are LED "filament" looking leds on the market now (see Edison Optoelectronics), but they are not a true filament and do not have the same output (I have a couple and they have other issues as well).
 

Alaric Darconville

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 2, 2001
Messages
5,377
Location
Stillwater, America
Welcome to the CandlePowerForums, hawkingled
Then how about one LED bulbs design which can give the same lightspot shape with halogen bulbs but higher brightness ?
There aren't any-- and certainly not any where the LED is mounted such that the mounting surface itself doesn't immediately mean that there won't be giant shadows. Even a double-sided LED mount means that the emitter is some thousandths of an inch away from the center, moving it far from the lamp's focal point.
 

ImagioX1

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
54
Then how about one LED bulbs design which can give the same lightspot shape with halogen bulbs but higher brightness ?

Most halogen bulbs ( with the exception of the few that have a shield under the filament) emit light 360 around the bulb. The single LED bulbs will emit light 180 degrees at best. No way the light distribution remains the same like this.
 

Alaric Darconville

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 2, 2001
Messages
5,377
Location
Stillwater, America
Most halogen bulbs ( with the exception of the few that have a shield under the filament) emit light 360 around the bulb. The single LED bulbs will emit light 180 degrees at best. No way the light distribution remains the same like this.

Actually, filaments emit light very nearly in a sphere around the filament, which is measured in steradians. A sphere is 4π steradians, the filament's own unlit, or more dimly lit, ends means that the sphere of light emitted is not complete-- but it's still more than just 360 degrees since the light is output in solid angles, not just disc around the equator, perpendicular to the filament's axis.

An LED that emits "180° at best" will be about 2π steradians.

(If π doesn't render correctly, that's the small Greek letter "pi", or about 3.14158265.)
 

ImagioX1

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
54
Actually, filaments emit light very nearly in a sphere around the filament, which is measured in steradians. A sphere is 4π steradians, the filament's own unlit, or more dimly lit, ends means that the sphere of light emitted is not complete-- but it's still more than just 360 degrees since the light is output in solid angles, not just disc around the equator, perpendicular to the filament's axis.

An LED that emits "180° at best" will be about 2π steradians.

(If π doesn't render correctly, that's the small Greek letter "pi", or about 3.14158265.)

Exactly. I didnt mean for it to be taken as a simple "disc around the equator" as we all know that filaments emit light in more directions than that. But I was trying to keep it simple for the sake of keeping it simple. Without a dome LEDs will emit light, at best, in a half sphere around the bulb in the direction its pointing. Filaments, as you say, will emit light nearly 360 degrees around the bulb in all directions.
 

Alaric Darconville

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 2, 2001
Messages
5,377
Location
Stillwater, America
Exactly. I didnt mean for it to be taken as a simple "disc around the equator" as we all know that filaments emit light in more directions than that. But I was trying to keep it simple for the sake of keeping it simple.

Sometimes, "keeping it simple for the sake of keeping it simple" complicates things. It leads to people making errors based on things having been made overly simple.

Filaments, as you say, will emit light nearly 360 degrees around the bulb in all directions.
Filaments, as I say, will emit light nearly 4 pi steradians. :)
 

ImagioX1

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
54
Wow I learned something new here! Never heard of steradians before so I googled it and it is the correct angular measurement for a sphere as Alaric said. Thanks for correcting me on that Alaric.
 
Top