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Aftermarket HID's and the law

Discussion in 'Motoring Related Discussion' started by The Pan Man, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. The Pan Man

    The Pan Man Senior Member

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    On Both Xmas eve and yesterday in awful driving conditions I was gobsmacked by the number of cars with NO LIGHTS at all (Should be £250.00 fine + 6 Points + 6 months ban automatic), The number of cars with 1 dipped beam only, but far and away the most annoying are the aftermarket HID kits. One lamp pointing up the other down one pointing right one left and the biggest offence of the lot just one lamp pointing anywhere, colours ranging from sort of OK whiteish to purple and all shades of blue inbetween. Where does the law actually stand on this? Is it a case of remove for MOT and then refit to annoy other road users for 12 months or do some actually get pulled for this?
     
  2. Miffy

    Miffy Senior Member

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    What makes you think they were all after market HID? I have these on my car and do not cause any discomfort to other drivers. This has been confirmed by not just friends, but other forum members. Mine have never failed the MOT.

    I also dislike the one light brigade and misaligned dips, but I seem to suffer at the hands of poorly maintained OEM lights.

    The HID I purchased have been designed to work with normal reflector len's. Far from ideal I know, but they do seem to do the trick, both in light output and comfort.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  3. M80

    M80 Senior Member

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    I fitted after market HID's to an earlier 203. It did take careful readjustment to not have lights in the trees.
    I'm with the OP in that recently I'm seeing many single headlight drivers with the one dazzling. It may be they're on full beam to compensate ??
    I'm fairly confident that most of these aren't HID though as the colour temperature is a bit a give away if they are.
     
  4. OP
    The Pan Man

    The Pan Man Senior Member

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    I fitted several motorcycle kits and was always very careful but bikes have a different type of reflector, still need setting up right though.
    Miffy, I'm talking way off, not a little bit or if you want some idea one side of motorway to the other, also the colour there is no way I have mistaken OEM for aftermarket. There is also a clue in the type and age of the car when Xenons would have NOT been an option at any price.
     
  5. Miffy

    Miffy Senior Member

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    Yes, but it doesnt change the fact that there are more OEM lights that are blinding oncoming traffic due to poor servicing than issues from after market HID. At least thats my experience of Motorway driving.
     
  6. Ricardo_e220

    Ricardo_e220 Senior Member

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    I agree with miffy here, it's the missing and poory aligned that are worse, sure you do have the younger corsa types, and an mot only picks up on alignment not ire where the tolerances are tbh.

    It depends on the amount of scatter normally from what is a non projector type light, but this is also down to the quality of the kit fitted and the amount of shielding....

    I have them fitted to my series 2 Elise and they've been on for 6 years without a flash or mot question! They weren't the eBay specials mind!
     
  7. spock500

    spock500 Senior Member

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    Agreed,it's the after market kits fitted poorly causing an issue.

    They are easily spotted due to year of vehicle and type of light being omitted. Big problem too, is the one light in side mirror which for me is worse than those approaching.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  8. Spannaz

    Spannaz Active Senior Members

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    after many years of being in the motor industry, and having tried all sorts of lighting options, biggest problem is the muppet fitting them!!!

    Seems anyone can buy a bulb, anyone can fit one, but most have no idea about beam patterns and headlamp aim. Just because the bulb went in the same way does not mean its actually aimed right or the beam pattern is correct.
    Soooooo many cars I failed on the MOT over the years were for that silly reason, problem is they have been driving around all year blinding everyone.
    With the addition of HID's (yes they are illegal unless your car has automatic headlamp levelling and headlamp washer btw) this just makes it worse. Yes they are bright, but in the wrong reflector they are just damn right dangerous to other road users.
     
  9. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    As alluded to above, the main problem round here is the one light brigade who compensate by using full beam. Oh, and the jackasses who follow one foot behind.
     
  10. OP
    The Pan Man

    The Pan Man Senior Member

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    Miffy,
    "Yes, but it doesnt change the fact that there are more OEM lights that are blinding oncoming traffic due to poor servicing than issues from after market HID"

    OEM will be in the correct type of reflector for the requierd beam pattern and therefore will never be as bad as an incorrectly fitted aftermarket kit, and just to be clear I'm talking about kits not just bulbs, but some of the bulbs are as bad, they can be bought cheaply for a reason then one fails, what is left to say.
     
  11. robfly

    robfly Event organiser

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    Mark , I fail to see the relevance to the OP , of your comment
    Regarding an increase of drivers only putting in £10 of fuel and
    " a lifestyle choice " . On many occasions I have only been able to
    Afford a small amount of fuel to see me through to pay day , could
    You explain your meaning of " life style choice " please .
    Not every vehicle on the road is blessed with a fault notification
    System , and I'm sure most drivers get bulbs replaced as soon as possible .

    Rob
     
  12. M80

    M80 Senior Member

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    Fitting HID lamps of any perceived quality into halogen designed housings must affect the aim. The HID's are longer so it can't aim as it did with halogen.
    To the earlier 203 I fitted the Ebay specials and after careful adjustment I was confident I wasn't blinding oncoming traffic. With the advantage of the height adjuster I would aim down when I didn't need to see distance also.

    With the number of drivers that dazzle me, and in the main these are those with OEM HID's fitted as I have, if I feel my safety is affected I go to full beam so I can see again.
    On low beam I get flashed occasionally by those that feel I'm dazzling. In fact last night it was by a Corsa type with his nearside light out, no wonder he was disadvantaged.
    Then the new 4x4 with their higher headlamps, they dazzle oncoming and behind.

    HID's give great light and that's great when your sat behind them, otherwise they're a nuisance to others. They more often seem to be set high, and can't be lowered. With so many around now you need them to compete and not be disadvantaged.
    They're a improvement to safety for the driver but not so for others, they should aim lower IMHO.
     
  13. Miffy

    Miffy Senior Member

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    My aftermarket HID have a very clear cut off at the bumper height of the car I am following and very straight lines are defined by the beam pattern when I am in a tunnel etc.

    I will concede that there are many cheap HID out there that do cause discomfort to oncoming traffic. But, there are a hell of a lot more OEM lights causing trouble by being misaligned.

    My first HID from el cheapo ebay were terrible and I took them off within 30mins of fitting them. It was at that stage that I looked at a more responsible resolution to getting HID lights. Thats when I came across the the H7R that have a metal shield over the bulb to reshape the light. These were much dearer but seemed worth a punt. I have had them fitted for over 2 years now and can say, hand on heart, that I have not once been flashed by oncoming drivers. And I have passed two MOT with them fitted, and this includes the new testing regs.

    Yesterday I watched a program on TV called Wife Swap, before you all get too excited, its the one where two wives swap the running of a household for two weeks and not my normal wifeswap viewing ;)

    A very hard working woman went into the household of a family who were struggling a little but managing. She said to the husband, btw do you know your headlamp isnt working? he replies, "yes, its been broken for a while but we will have to save up and replace the bulb when we can"
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  14. spock500

    spock500 Senior Member

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    H.I.D. headlights - should they be banned?

    I remembered this from a while back:

    "On last night's BBC 'The One Show', a London cabbie appeared on the show, and he is campaigning against these headlights.
    It was reported that in 2009 there were 365 dazzle-related accidents; three of them fatal.
    His campaign is backed by The Driving Instructor Association and The British Motorcycling Federation.
    Both very responsibly minded organisations.

    The cabbie was introduced to Paul Everitt, boss of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
    He (Everitt) disputed the cabbie's claims; saying these headlights were developed entirely in the interests of road safety. He claims that, if correctly adjusted, they do not dazzle. To the cabbie's comments about the glare, he said all headlights can cause glare.
    The SMMT boss is bound to be biased (IMO), and I would love to have been able to ask him if he accepted that developments sometimes turn out to be retrograde steps. A claim that something is done in the name of safety doesn't guarantee that the outcome is successful.

    Personally, I believe these headlights were developed for cars to be driven faster during hours of darkness, without any consideration of the effects on drivers facing them.

    For a certain breed of driver, it seems that the roads are becoming a battleground to see who can shine the brightest. Assuming that car headlamp designers haven't reached the end of the road in their quest for continuing development, where is this trend going?
    Apart from the fairly obvious fact that even the so-called correctly set up headlamps are causing problems, what contingencies (if any) are being prepared for dealing with the threatening hazards from these headlights due to mal-adjustment, poor maintenance, cobbled-together DIY attempts and blatant misuse."

    http://www.rac.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?12900-H-I-D-headlights-should-they-be-banned
     
  15. Rappey69

    Rappey69 Senior Member

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    Good question and one where the correct answer is somewhat elusive..
    Read on as to why -

    "In the Department's view it is not legal to sell or use after market HID lighting kits, for converting conventional Halogen headlamps to HID Xenon. If a customer wants to convert his vehicle to Xenon HID he must purchase completely new Xenon HID headlamps. The reason for this is that the existing lens and reflector are designed around a Halogen filament bulb, working to very precise tolerances. If one places a HID "burner" (bulb) in the headlamp, the beam pattern will not be correct, there will be glare in some places and not enough light in other places within the beam pattern.

    ok so far - but now comes a reply to a corsa owner from vosa who has fitted an aftermarket kit -


    Reply from Vosa

    Hello,
    i have a vauxhall corsa c 05. I have projector headlamps with a 6000k
    aftermarket hid kit in. My headlamps have been aligned. I would like to
    know are these hids still road legel and will pass an mot in 2012 ?
    My corsa does not have washer and levelling systems as it did not come out
    the factory with them. Thankyou

    Dear Sir or Madam
    Thank you for your email enquiry dated 6th January 2012, concerning the
    above.
    On the basis of the information you have provided, it would appear that
    there would be no problem with the vehicle passing its MOT in 2012. Please
    note that as we cannot see the vehicle, we can only advise in general
    terms.
    Section 1.7 of the Private Passenger and Light Commercial Vehicle
    inspection manual gives the general requirements for headlights (eg similar
    output from the lights, colours, etc) and states that where washers or
    self-levelling systems are fitted on HID lamps they must work.
    HID lamps that have an output of less than 2000 Lumens do not need headlamp
    levelling or washing.
    It is also not possible for an MOT tester to determine whether or not a
    particular lamp is more than 2000 Lumens or not. The MOT test therefore
    uses the lowest criteria that can realistically be applied; so if a
    particular vehicle is fitted with a headlamp levelling or washing system,
    then we consider it logical to assume that it requires it by law and
    therefore it must work.The inspection manual can be viewed online at
    http://www.transportoffice.gov.uk/cr...sandguides.htm


    So could it be projector lenses are ok, but halogen designed ones are not?
    A proper xenon reflector and a projector both have a shield inside which controls the cut off point for the light and both have clear lenses.
    A halogen reflector does not, and also has markings on the glass to aid beam direction for a given focal point.
    A halogen lamp has a filament that is from left to right within the headlight.
    A xenon has an arc that is from front to back so the focal point is different therefore can it really have the correct beam pattern ?

    I,m sure this debate will go on and on and on and --- :D
     
  16. Benzworx

    Benzworx Senior Member

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    Most people running around with one headlamp working is because 90%
    of cars made in the last 10years require the headlamp unit removing in order to renew the blown bulb and this is a lot of work on most makes ,
    hence a hefty price for a simple bulb change !
     
  17. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    Point taken. Post deleted.
     
  18. star

    star Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Unfortunately I see many cars with poorly aligned headlamp aim, with or without HIDS, either thru accident damage or incorrect fitment of bulbs. I cannot count the amount of times I have had to correctly fit an H7 bulb during a service.
     
  19. OP
    The Pan Man

    The Pan Man Senior Member

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    Rappey69, I have to agree that is as clear as mud. However lenses and reflectors designed for halogen can in my opinion never be correct for HID's, Can they?
     
  20. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    The shape of the reflector is not good, neither is the focal point obtainable with the incorrect bulb as the HID lamps are longer than standard bulbs, thats my under standing of it all
     

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