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Driving lights.


Tuningdrew
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Does anyone have any recommendations for supplementary driving lights I could fit to my towcar.

We have recently moved house well and truly into ‘the sticks’ and the last few miles of my part-time commute is down some fairly rural B roads. The standard lights on my car are a bit lacking on main beam and I had a close encounter with the prolific fauna last night. Better lights would have picked out the little gaggle of deer far sooner. 

Im not looking to light up the South of England just need something to fill in the dark area directly in front.

Already upgraded the headlamp bulbs which give a whiter light but still have this dark area.

Looking for something subtle, not Carlos Fandango as I don’t want to spoil the lines of the front of the car.

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Unless I am misinformed, supplementary lights are illegal. The only front lights that are permitted are headlights, fog lamps, direction indicators, position lamps, parking lights, daytime running lights and cornering lights. However, you may be able to replace the existing headlamp bulbs with more powerful units.

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On some cars the more upmarket versions have better headlights than the standard version. It may be possible to upgrade to those. If you can find a forum for your car it may be a better place to ask.

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33 minutes ago, Lutz said:

Unless I am misinformed, supplementary lights are illegal. The only front lights that are permitted are headlights, fog lamps, direction indicators, position lamps, parking lights, daytime running lights and cornering lights. However, you may be able to replace the existing headlamp bulbs with more powerful units.

 

More powerful bulbs are illegal also as they are not E certified! Most modern cars do lamp tests and if you fit say 80W bulbs the current monitoring sensors will switch them off.

 

I have never seen anything that says you cannot have 'driving lights' - what used to be called spotlights - although they carry the same power limitation. However you can get lamps with LED bulbs which give out considerably more light.

Headlamps bulbs can be changed for LED units BUT they usually have a regulator and heatsink on the back which means that whilst the bulb may fit the mount what is behind that will take up too much room in the casing for the rear covers to fit.

HID is an alternative but IMSMC they must have auto levelling which the mount into which you fit them will not have.

 

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23 minutes ago, Woodentop said:

Headlamps bulbs can be changed for LED units BUT they usually have a regulator and heatsink on the back which means that whilst the bulb may fit the mount what is behind that will take up too much room in the casing for the rear covers to fit.

 

The LED kit I fitted to the SLK had the regulator separate from the bulb unit and new rubber boots to replace the originals,  so there was no problem with space and the electronics could be secured to a cross-member.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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16 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

The LED kit I fitted to the SLK had the regulator separate from the bulb unit and new rubber boots to replace the originals,  so there was no problem with space and the electronics could be secured to a cross-member.

LED could be the best way to go.

 

LUTZ. Its not illegal to have supplemental spotlights fitted as long as they are only able to be illuminated when main beam is selected.

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1 hour ago, Lutz said:

Unless I am misinformed, supplementary lights are illegal. The only front lights that are permitted are headlights, fog lamps, direction indicators, position lamps, parking lights, daytime running lights and cornering lights. However, you may be able to replace the existing headlamp bulbs with more powerful units.

 

You are indeed misinformed! 

Additional driving lamps are perfectly legal, but they need to be wired into main beam so as not to cause dazzle to other road users. Just look at the front of some trucks that have great banks of additional lights, it’s just that they are less popular on cars these days due to better headlights being fitted 

 

A lot depends on the quality of the optics of any light. The best bulb (light source) is pretty useless unless the reflector and lens are up to the job (Hence the adoption of HID lights with projector lenses)  It is almost impossible to “improve” existing lights for that very reason. Hence the availability of additional “driving lights” 

 

I  changed my car a while back now to one that has adaptive LED headlights, they are simply awesome, phenomenal light output that “adapts” to other road users, when coming up behind a car when in main beam the centre section dims to prevent dazzle but the outer  section stays illuminated to light up the verges alongside, and to the front, of the car ahead of me is just one of the clever things they do. Oh and they are seriously BRIGHT

 

32 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

The LED kit I fitted to the SLK had the regulator separate from the bulb unit and new rubber boots to replace the originals,  so there was no problem with space and the electronics could be secured to a cross-member.

 

Are you sure it was not not an HID conversion rather than LED?  I fitted an HID conversion to a car a few years ago and they had separate regulators for each lamp as they require a very high voltage to work, LED’s only need 12v 

 

I wasn’t aware you could get an  for headlights, but I haven’t looked for any  (could be wrong, wouldn’t be the first time ) 

 

Quick Google search, back in my box :( You CAN get a an LED  headlight conversion kits readily available, Sorry!,

Edited by Mr Plodd

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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A bit off topic, but when I worked for a truck manufacturer we would be bitterly criticised if the MPG obtained was below our 'Quoted' average. On inspection it was often found that the truck had a big light bar with at least 6 big spot lights on the cab roof! You can imagine what this can do to the air flow over the roof!!

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There’s hundreds of trucks out there with extra spotlights, whether fitted between the head lights or mounted high up on the roof of the cab.

if these were illegal DVSA would have a field day pulling vehicles over and fining drivers.

There are even lots of pick ups with spotlights fitted the roll over  hoop behind the cab.

Theres no way these can be illegal as they would be too easy a way for the authorities to make money in fines.

Duncan

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Lutz

The legal system in the U.K. works on the  principle that something is legal unless there is legislation in place that deems it illegal. Unlike France where it’s only legal if there is legislation to say it is.

There is nothing in the Con & Use regulations to make additional driving illegal unless they are not wired so as to only be available for use when the main beam circuit is energised.Unless you know differently in which case please advise me exactly where that legislation is.

 

In respect of trucks with huge bar lights I am pretty confident that if such lights were illegal the nice men from DVSA/VOSA would have pounced upon them long ago! 

 

 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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If DVSA are willing to pull drivers for the slightest thing there is no way they would turn a blind eye to vehicles running about with illegal extra lights.

I’ve tried to upload a picture of a Daf tractor unit with roof mounted lights fitted by the factory.

Surely they wouldn’t be there if they were against the law.

Duncan

E14B6F55-21A5-4BB3-AE55-5E0148E6FCBD.jpeg

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24 minutes ago, DUNCAN123 said:

If DVSA are willing to pull drivers for the slightest thing there is no way they would turn a blind eye to vehicles running about with illegal extra lights.

I’ve tried to upload a picture of a Daf tractor unit with roof mounted lights fitted by the factory.

Surely they wouldn’t be there if they were against the law.

Duncan

 

 

The lights on the top of the cab of the DAF tractor unit in the photo that you posted, are classed as front clearance lights. They are even a legal requirement on vehicles over 2.1m width and they must be located above the windscreen, as high as possible and 400mm maximum from the extreme outside edge. Their size is not regulated, so they can well be as large as a spotlight but their maximum luminous intensity must not exceed 140cd.

Edited by Lutz
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The lights at the top of that Daf are spotlights and only work with the main beam switch.

I assume the clearance lights you mentioned are what is commonly called marker lights which work with the side lights.

As DVSA are a self funding organisation, there is no way on earth that they would turn a blind eye to hundreds of trucks vans and pick ups driving about with “illegal “ lights and surely would be an mot failure on the annual inspection?

 

Duncan

Edited by DUNCAN123
Miss spelling
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Lutz, if you’ve got the inclination, or time there’s a company called Kelsa have a look at their website.

They’re the company that make 90% of the light bars that all these illegal lights are fitted on.

There Facebook page/website has loads of pictures of trucks all with their reg plates clearly visible.

I don’t imagine they would sell these bars if they weren’t fully legal.

Duncan

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Back in the 1960’s, I used to spend my weekend nights thrashing rally cars through the roads and forests of Wales and Scotland.

 

As with all rally cars, mine were always equipped with extra driving lights.  In my case, a pair of Cibie “Oscar” long range (pencil beam) spot lamps equipped with 55 Watt “Iodine Quartz” bulbs.     (Instant daylight!    :D)

 

Even in those days, there were rules governing the use of such lamps whilst on the public road sections of a rally.

 

They had to be wired so that they could only be used with the headlight main beams. Dipping the headlights automatically switched off the spot lamps.

 

In addition, their use on public roads was illegal if mounted below a certain height above road level.

 

In more recent years my towcars were also fitted with a pair of “Oscars” and I think I still have a pair packed away somewhere in my loft! – Ahhh, those were the days!

 

Vin Blanc

Edited by Vin Blanc
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1 minute ago, Vin Blanc said:

 

In more recent years my towcars were also fitted with a pair of “Oscars” and I think I still have a pair packed away somewhere in my loft! – Ahhh, those were the days!

 

Vin Blanc

 

Probably worth a fair few quid now amongst the Classic Car fraternity wanting to run a replica Escort Mexico or similar ! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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LED light bars fitted to the front bumper are very popular these days among 4x4 users. I dont use one so I dont know how far they project, but they certainly produce a LOT of light.

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7 hours ago, Tuningdrew said:

LED could be the best way to go.

 

LUTZ. Its not illegal to have supplemental spotlights fitted as long as they are only able to be illuminated when main beam is selected.

Have a look at this link but beware, some lights and bulbs are E marked for legal road use, others aren't as they are for rally/off road use.

http://www.piaa.co.uk/

Edited by Legal Eagle
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When I changed my C5s six years ago, I immediately missed the superior lighting of the previous HID Xenon headlamps.   In comparison, the halogen lights on the later car were disappointing.    So I found some uprated Xenon-filled H7s to use.   They were good and they didn't appear to annoy on-coming drivers.      When the car went for MOT, the tester told me he wouldn't give me a fail - providing I changed the bulbs pronto.   He also added that they were not safe with the standard wiring loom.   I swapped them for standard 55W bulbs.   The 100W bulbs are still on ebay being sold by dozens of suppliers.   Not until you read the very small print does it tell you that they are not road legal.

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If you think HID are good just wait till you drive behind adaptive LED’s. I would say the step up from HID is equivalent to that from  halogen to HID :D They are truly amazing. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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A lot is mentioned on here about bumper mounted light bars.  Are these actually legal?  I am thinking mainly about collisions involving pedestrians and the rules regarding dangerous bodywork.

A few years ago I was thinking about making and fitting a stainless steel bar to the front of our MH but abandoned the idea because it seemed a bit dubious.

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Hi there I think the law has now changed on headlight bulbs if you car did not have led bulbs then you have to fit what came with the car no upgrade it's part of the new mot rules which have just come out  and as Robert b has said about an a bar at front they have to be deform able incase of accident if is metal you may find it very hard to get insurance on a metal one you could leave yourself open for the insurance company to walk away if you do declare it  as it's not a standard fitment  please read the new mot rules and make your own mind up about the headlights

Regards paul

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I offer my humble apologies to all for persisting in giving wrong information which was based on a friend's experience that I didn't take the time to verify. (It turned out that in his case he had 4 additional lamps and that would be illegal). I have just had a close look at the respective regulation (ECE R48) and under paragraph 6.1.7. it states the following:

 

The high beam headlamps may only be switched on either at the same time or in pairs. If two additional high beam headlamps are installed, then no more than two pairs may be lit at the same time. During the transition from low beam to high beam, at least 1 pair needs to be switched on for high beam. During the low beam function, all high beam lamps need to switch off at the same time.

Edited by Lutz
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37 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

 

The high beam headlamps may only be switched on either at the same time or in pairs. If two additional high beam headlamps are installed, then no more than two pairs may be lit at the same time. During the transition from low beam to high beam, at least 1 pair needs to be switched on for high beam. During the low beam function, all high beam lamps need to switch off at the same time.

So the short answer to the original question is that additional lamps are acceptable but care is needed to ensure that they are legal, in how they are wired, how they are mounted and exactly what are fitted.

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I take a classic car magazine in which there are adverts for LED replacements for all different car lights including headlights. 

When I had my S3 LandRover it  was common to fit them, as they were fitted with small rear lights and indicators.

I replaced  the glow worm sealed beam headlights with halogen units and driving lights wired via a relay to operate with main beam.

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