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Thread: Why you can't LEGALLY retrofit HID lights to your non HID car....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Ringwood, Victoria

    Why you can't LEGALLY retrofit HID lights to your non HID car....

    Hey guys, after doing a bit of hunting over the last couple of days, I found this....

    Australian Design Rule 13/00 Installation of Lighting and Light Signalling Devices on other than L-Group Vehicles

    6.2.9. Other requirements

    The requirements of paragraph 5.5.2. shall not apply to dipped-beam headlamps. Dipped-beam headlamps shall not swivel according to the angle of lock of steering. Dipped-beam headlamps with gas-discharge light sources shall only be permitted in conjunction with the installation of headlamp cleaning device(s) according to Regulation No. 45. In addition, with respect to vertical inclination, the provision of paragraph shall not be applied when these headlamps are installed.
    Paragraph 5.5.2 basically says that if a fitting won't work just by fitting a globe, it's not considered a light. (Ie optional driving lights that aren't fitted aren't lights etc).

    And regarding

    Quote However, devices which are adjusted manually, either continuously or non- continuously, shall be permitted, provided they have a stop positon at which the lamps can be returned to the initial inclination defined in paragraph by means of the usual adjusting screws or similar means.
    These manually adjustable devices must be operable from the driver's seat.
    Continually adjustable devices must have reference makes indicating the loading conditions that require adjustment of the dipped-beam.
    The number of positions on devices which are not continuously adjustable must be such as to ensure compliance with the range of values prescribed in paragraph in all the loading conditions defined in Annex 5.
    For these devices also, the loading conditions of Annex 5 that require adjustment of the dipped-beam shall be clearly marked near the control of the device (see Annex .

    So according to 6.2.9, the part of clause that states manual adjustment is permitted, is NOT permitted in the case of HID fitment, ie, manual adjustment isn't allowed. So that means you need to comply with the previous clause, which is shown below:

    Quote In the case where a headlamp levelling device is necessary to satisfy the requirements of paragraphs and, the device shall be automatic.
    Therefore, automatic self levelling is required. (the two paragraphs mentioned refer to the actual specifications for beam angle etc).

    But what about ADR 45?, well that refers mainly to signal lamps, but it does outline the colour variations permitted for lighting. I haven't converted the numbers to easy to understand form, but basically, white has to be white, not blue, yellow or purple. Ie 10,000K HID's are illegal.

    Australian Design Rule 45/01 Lighting and Light Signalling Devices not Covered by ECE Regulations


    45.2.1. Lamps shall be so designed and constructed that in normal use, despite the vibrations to which they may then be subjected, they continue to function satisfactorily and retain the characteristics prescribed by this Rule.

    45.2.2. The colour of the light emitted shall be within the limits of the co-ordinates prescribed in Clause for the colour in question. Colours of Lamps- Trichromatic Co-ordinates

    Photometric blah blah stuff.... Just keep it white (ie under 6500K).

    Then we get to the gas discharge specific ADR's.....

    Australian Design Rule 75/00 - Headlamp Cleaners


    6.1 The headlamp cleaner shall be designed and constructed to clean those parts of the light-emitting surface of the headlamp which distribute the passing beam and the driving beam so that at least the cleaning effect specified in paragraph 7 below is achieved.

    6.2 The headlamp cleaner shall be furthermore so designed that:

    6.2.1 When parts of the headlamp cleaner in the rest position(s) are on the headlamps' illuminating surface, the photometric values of the headlamps, .... blah blah, not more than a 5% reduction in light output..... Paragraph 6.2.1. is not applicable when the headlamp and the parts of the headlamp cleaner referred to in paragraph 6.2.1. form a complete assembly during the approval of the headland;

    6.2.2 During operation, except in the rest position, the mechanical parts shall not cover more than: 20 % of the illuminating surface of a passing lamp, 10 % of the illuminating surface of a driving lamp with no high beam.

    6.2.3 It is able to operate at all temperatures between -10 degrees C and +35 degrees C and to operate satisfactorily at speeds between 0 and 130 km/h (or the maximum speed of the vehicle if it is below 130 km/h); .......... the cleaner shall remain undamaged if exposed to a temperature of -35 degrees C and of +80 degrees C respectively for a period of one hour;

    6.2.4 In normal use, in spite of the vibration to which it may be subjected, its satisfactory operation continues to be ensured;

    6.2.5 It will not be functionally damaged due to water, ice or snow accumulating on it during normal operation of the vehicle, even if the cleaning liquid is frozen; a temporary failure due to freezing or deposit of snow shall not be considered as damage, provided that the device can be made to work again by simple means;

    6.2.6 Elements which may come into contact with the cleaning fluid must be resistant against a mixture consisting of 50 % methyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol and 50 % water;

    6.2.7 Its parts do not hinder the adjustment of the headlamps or the inserting or changing of filament lamps; if necessary, the cleaner or parts of it may be detachable, if they can be removed with simple tools.

    6.3 Parts of the headlamp cleaner which, in the rest position(s) and/or during operation, form part of the external surface of the vehicle, shall meet the following requirements:
    6.3.x. goes on to basically state that there are to be no no sharp or pointy parts, like bonnet scoops but scaled down..... Have a read for the details.

    6.5 In case of approval of a vehicle the following requirements shall also be met:

    6.5.1 Cleaning of all passing (high beam) headlamps shall be compulsory. If there are more than two driving headlamps, the cleaning of one pair of these headlamps shall be sufficient;

    6.5.2 If the cleaner has a fluid container this may be combined with the fluid container for the windscreen washers and the rear window washer.......

    ADR 77 states the following items of interest:

    Australian Design Rule 77/00 - Gas Discharge Headlamps

    6.1.1 Headlamps shall be so made that with suitable gas-discharge light source they give adequate illuminance without dazzle when emitting the passing beam, and good illumination when emitting the driving beam.

    6.1.6 The trichromatic coordinates of the light of the beams emitted by headlamps using gas- discharge light sources must be in the following boundaries:

    limit towards:
    blue: x > 0.310
    yellow: x < 0.500
    green: y < 0.150 + 0.640x
    green: y < 0.440
    purple: y > 0.050 + 0.750x
    red: y > 0.382

    6.2.1 The passing beam must produce a sufficiently sharp "cut-off" to permit a satisfactory adjustment with it's aid. The "cut-off" must be a horizontal straight line on the side opposite to the direction of traffic for which the headlamp is intended: on the other side .....(it can't be too high or low)...... A cut-off extending above a combination of these lines shall in no circumstances be permitted. the case of headlamps designed to meet the requirements of left-hand traffic, the "cut-off" on the right-half of the screen is horizontal.....
    So dazzle and light spill above the horizontal (slightly higher on the passenger side) is a no go.

    (If anyone can convert those trichromatic coordinates to a more 'real world' figure, I love you long time....)

    6.2.5 Only one gas-discharge light source is permitted for each passing beam headlamp.
    So no doubling up of HID globes in your headlights. Levelling is taken care of in ADR 13 above. ('aint the labrynth of ADR's wonderful??)

    And ADR 78 basically goes into the specifics of globe design, specifics on the arc discharge (shape, photometrics etc) but I wouldn't worry too much about that, as long as you dont have blue or purple HID's.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Ringwood, Victoria
    Thread Starter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Users Country Flag
    Make sticky for future queries?
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Brisbane Qld
    There is also an ADR covering Foglight operation that basically says that foglights should be able to operate with park/low or high beam.

    However Mk IVs sold here turn off when high beam is selected!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    AFAIK, it is permissible to retrofit gas-discharge (HID) headlamps so as long as they meet all the requirements of the relevant UNECE (hence ADR) regulations, and that all of the relevant components are approved to UNECE regulations (E-mark). The problem is that meeting all of these regulations tends to cost you $$$.

    I've picked out what must be some of the more frequently asked aspects regarding HID installations.

    Headlamp requirements: UNECE Regulation No. 48 (ADR 13/00):

    6.2. DIPPED-BEAM HEADLAMP Headlamp levelling device In the case where a headlamp levelling device is necessary to satisfy the
    requirements of paragraphs and, the device shall be automatic. However, devices which are adjusted manually, either continuously or
    non-continuously, shall be permitted, provided they have a stop position at which the
    lamps can be returned to the initial inclination defined in paragraph by
    means of the usual adjusting screws or similar means.

    6.2.9. Other requirements

    Dipped-beam headlamps with a light source or LED module(s) producing the principal
    dipped beam and having a total objective luminous flux which exceeds 2,000 lumen
    shall only be installed in conjunction with the installation of headlamp cleaning device(s)
    according to Regulation No. 45.

    With respect to vertical inclination the provisions of paragraph above shall
    not be applied for dipped-beam headlamps:

    (a) with LED module(s) producing the principal dipped beam, or

    (b) with a light source producing the principal dipped beam and having an objective
    luminous flux which exceeds 2,000 lumen.

    This basically means that both headlamp cleaning devices and automatic headlamp levelling devices must be installed, since a typical gas-discharge bulb exceeds 2,000 lumen (typically 2,800 or 3,200 lumen).

    The specifics of gas-discharge headlamps are laid out in UNECE Regulation No. 98 (ADR 77/00).

    Now for gas-discharge bulb requirements: UNECE Regulation No. 99 (ADR 78/00):


    3.9. Colour

    3.9.1. The colour of the light emitted shall be white or selective yellow. Moreover, the
    colorimetric characteristics, expressed in CIE chromaticity coordinates, shall lie within
    the boundaries given on the relevant data sheet.

    3.9.2. The definitions of the colour of the light emitted, given in Regulation No. 48 and
    its series of amendments in force at the time of application for type approval shall apply
    to this Regulation.

    3.9.3. The colour shall be measured according to the conditions specified in annex 4,
    paragraph 10.

    Referring back to UNECE Regulation No. 48 (ADR 13/00), the definition of "white" is given in paragraph 2.29.1 and the extent of further restrictions placed on gas-discharge bulbs is given in UNECE Regulation No. 99 (ADR 78/00), Annex 4, paragraph 10.

    It all basically means the colour temperature should be 4100 K, with a tolerance of between 3500 K and 5000 K.


    This is only but a small sample of an enormous set of requirements that need to met, so unless everything has an E-mark on it, it probably won't be permitted for use on public roads.

    That said, if you're smart about this and don't attract unnecessary attention to yourself, like not buying blue bulbs, aiming your headlamps correctly, etc, etc, then I doubt the authorities would notice - unless they ask you to demonstrate that your headlamp cleaning device is working!
    Last edited by Diesel_vert; 15-11-2012 at 11:58 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Brisbane, Southside...
    Users Country Flag
    I know why they want you to have a headlight cleaning device as dirty lenses will spray the light out in unwanted directions, but honestly they are such a waste of time. Unless you've go wipers like old Mercs, Saabs and Volvos spraying your headlights does basically nothing. Much better idea is to actually keep your car clean in the first place. Even when it's dirty and/or raining I still give all the windows and lights a clean once a week.

    It's simple really. Don't get blue lights.
    Buy quality conversion kits (eg. Philips 4300K). Ebay cheapies are cheap for a reason and that's because they're crap.
    Fit them in proper projector housings. I'll dob you in myself if I find that you're running your fully sik hektic blue blinding bulbs in spread beam housings (I live near Sunnybank, there's a million stupid morons doing this here and quite frankly I'm sick of my retinas being burned).
    Once fitted align them properly, this can't be stressed enough! See my point above about projector housings, fitting them properly is useless if you don't align the lights afterwards.

    If you do all these and keep your lights clean you're not going to get picked on. That is unless you're doing something else that's stupid and you get pulled over and they decide to go over your car and actually know what they're doing and is just not looking for your wicked cannon zorst and sneezing bov.

    At the end of the day if the Honda Accord Euro's Xenons can pass ADRs this just shows how broken and useless ADRs are. I am yet to come across one of these blinding buckets that doesn't burn through the back of your head yet.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Albury, NSW Australia
    Users Country Flag
    Quote Originally Posted by graeme86 View Post
    There is also an ADR covering Foglight operation that basically says that foglights should be able to operate with park/low or high beam.

    However Mk IVs sold here turn off when high beam is selected!
    My understanding is that driving lights are meant to operate with high beam (and hence not within 200m of other drivers), fog lights are meant for low beam or park and only when the driving conditions are poor.

    High beams are uselss in fog anyway as they just bounce the light back into your eyes.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Albion QLD
    Users Country Flag
    Great thread, we might have to steal this for the Mk5 section.
    2002 Volkswagen Bora V5 - 2007 Mazda 3 GT - 1998 Ford Contour Sport - 2010 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0T - 2013 Volkswagen Passat 130TDI - 2015 Ford Escape 1.5 - 2016 Subaru WRX - 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Wolfsburg Wagon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Bairnsdale & Ferntree Gully, Victoria

    saw this while searching another thread... thought it was worth sticking here

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Melbourne, VIC
    Users Country Flag

    So the moral is to steer at the light?
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