LED headlight conversions

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peterc
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Location: Surrey

LED headlight conversions

Post by peterc »

WARNING.
Converting your headlight bulbs to LED’s is becoming illegal.
Please write to your MP and get them to lobby the minister for transport to get this stupidity stopped.
If they are worried about badly aligned headlights then they should remember that the MOT already checks suitability of the headlight beam. Why pick on the conversion as automatically being wrong just because the bulb has been changed.
We are just trying to make our cars as visible as modern cars which have significantly better lights.

Copy of email from Better Car Lighting.
The pronouncement on January 11th and taking effect from the 1st February is causing uproar in the industry. Nigel Griffith, who runs the White Knight blog and website is starting a campaign to have the ruling reversed and has a meeting with Grant Shapps in the next few weeks. He is asking for as many people as possible to email their local MP to protest.

As you can clearly see, if a ministry trained engineer, using ministry approved equipment can find nothing wrong with the beam pattern, either the decision is silly or that part of the test is pointless. You can easily find an email address for your local MP using Google. If you have friends who have upgraded and then acquired an MOT ( proving the point), then please ask them to email (keeping it brief) Nigel Griffith ( whknight@hotmail.com ) confirming that fact and attaching a pic of the current MOT certificate.

Meanwhile, I have taken legal advice and I am told that if you email your insurance company ( save the correspondence) stating that you are thinking of upgrading as many of the lights on your car to brighter, safer and more efficient LED and asking them whether it will affect your policy and if they are concerned. Then save the answer, which will be based on common sense, not dogma and ignorance. That way are can prove, if asked, your legality. It is not illegal to ignore advice from the DfT to MOT stations.

Peter C
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David Large
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Re: LED headlight conversions

Post by David Large »

Peter, I think it is a remakable event to expect an insurance company to give an answer "based on common sense, not dogma and ignorance." In my experience insurance companies rarely use common sense.
I wish you luck with this however.

David
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simonjrwinter
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Re: LED headlight conversions

Post by simonjrwinter »

"In my experience insurance companies rarely use common sense"

now theres a man who has had dealings with an insurance company!
TR6 (V8) Hawk 289 FIA (V8) Doing my bit for global warming.
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David Large
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Re: LED headlight conversions

Post by David Large »

Simon,

I am currently dealing with an insurance company on a fairly minor event for me and my racecar trailer. I have never had a major event in either a motor or any other situation but some of the things that insurance companies have said to me are to my mind completely illogical and my perception is that all they are really good at is wriggling out of claims.

David
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simonjrwinter
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Re: LED headlight conversions

Post by simonjrwinter »

Doesn’t surprise me at all....
I’m always on at people who say their car is MOT exempt and “doesn’t need an MOT” to get one as I can see being a “home mechanic” and having “no MOT” will be used by companies to use against claims. My TR6 (1971) is MOT’d every year.
Simon
TR6 (V8) Hawk 289 FIA (V8) Doing my bit for global warming.
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peterc
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Re: LED headlight conversions

Post by peterc »

The common sense comment was not mine. That was Gil of Better car Lighting suggesting we might get a realistic reply from the insurance company based on the facts presented e.g. the MOT test checking the headlight alignment.
However the reply I received from the insurance company was as you might expect in that it merely said if the bulbs were road legal and installed professionally they had no issues. PROFFESSIONALY?? I therefore reminded them them that the car was totally amateur built.
Of course the broker then investigated the latest DfT missive and declared that they were not currently road legal so were not acceptable.
Gil suggests that it has not actually become law and is only guidance but my feelings are that its a rather fine line of argument which as you suggest above would be a get out clause for the insurance company.

So even if you are not currently intending to fit LED’s at this time it would still urge you to write to your MP to object. This is a crazy decision to ban upgraded lighting on older cars. I think there was a phrase - Lucas Prince of darkness?
Perhaps include the comment that someone in the DfT believes that classic car lighting decades old is better than the modern LED ones therefore the conversion should result in an automatic MOT failure despite it meeting lighting alignment checks on official DfT equipment. We are only trying to make our cars more visible and therefore safer on todays crowded roads. Modern cars have these lights for good reason so why not allow a classic car to upgrade. I will now have to change back to the halogen to be sure I am not upsetting the insurance status.

Incidentally contrary to the Halfords info which suggest that ALL external LED light conversions are illegal I have checked the DfT advice code and they acknowledge to the use of LED's for rear lights so those of us who have fitted the far brighter and safer rear LED's are OK.

Ref the MOT on older cars Simon I totally agreed. You need a third party to confirm that the vehicle is safe to use on the roads regardless of legislation.

Peter C
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