Does anyone know? It seems really stupid. People spend £100's more to have
Xenons - which are perhaps 100% brighter than "normal" bulbs, yet these
bulbs - which are only perhaps 50% brighter than normal are too bright to be
I am very tempted to fit them and just say sod it. Can anyone shed any
light (lol ;-) on this strange anomaly? And just *why* are they illegal?
The reason they are "illegal" is usually they dont have DOT aproval, perhaps
they are 100watt which will be brighter than your normal 55watt halogen's.
They also may not give out the correct light pattern, although this is
normally done by the lens optic's.
Thousands of car's in the UK run 100watt "illegal" bulbs, and you will find
they are better, but be carefull as the wiring may not be up to it, and you
can find yourself burning out light switch stalks.
I have been using HID/xenon bulbs and ballast's in my Audi for over a year
now< retro fitted>, and the amount of light on the road is amazing, if your
going to upgrade your lights, spend the few hundred quid on a good HID
upgrade kit, you wont regret it.
If you live in the west country, I can show you mine, or give you a number
of a cheap suplier.
I'm thinking of getting aftermarket xenons as VAG parts are doing a special
on them at the moment. I'm v unhappy with the standard headlamps, even with
the best white 100% extra bulbs I can find. I'm wondering where you got your
Here is why they are illegal:
Here are some "blue bulbs" that are not illegal (at least in the US)
though they offer no real benefit.
Yes, Ron you are correct. I just happened to link to a review about a blue
one. But my question was really about the 80w ~ 100w "brighter" bulbs.
(Scott, thanks for the info - a very interesting read.)
But Ron, do you not see the irony in this. The Philips Rallye bulbs (for
example) which are *illegal* in the UK, and less bright than your typical
HID, which *is* legal. Now where's the logic in that? (And its nothing to
do with colour - the Philips Rallye are not blue.)
BTW, I know of and appreciate the benefits of Xenons. My last car had them
and my current one does too :-) But my interest in brighter bulbs is for my
wife's car and it just doesn't make sense spending HID upgrade prices on it.
But £30 on a couple of bulbs might have been worth considering.
Ron, as a matter of interest, would you mind telling us how much your HID
upgrade cost and who did it? I thought they were about £500?
Yup Irony being the keyword, the law is not logical when it comes to
As long as the bulb's are CE approved, then they are tested and allowed in
our cars, blue bulbs Fwiw are not illegal, there are some companies that
make very good one's, vison plus springs to mind by Phillips. It's all to do
with having approval.
A decent kit can cost around 250-300 quid, if you import it from the states,
make sure you get a good quality ballast, Hella/Phillips are the main ones,
there are loads of cheap kits avaialable with seperate starters, avoid these
if you can. The ballast should have the starter built in.
If you retrofit the bulbs then make sure you get a fairly decent bulb, one
that replicates the type of halogen bulb you are replacing, the HID capsule
should be in the same place as the Halogen coil, mine are H7's.
Dont worry too much about expensive philips bulbs, they wont generally last
much longer and cost 2 x more money.
60 quid is about right for a HID bulb, 6000k is the norm, although I run
See above for price, but I fitted my HID's myself, I have fitted them to
other cars as well about 5 now, never had a complaint
Takes about 20-30 mins including dremeling out the rear case.
While UK and US laws *are* different, these sites are done by my good
friend, Daniel Stern, whose knowledge of automotive lighting is
encyclopedic and has no national boundaries. He can and will tell
you, regardless of its 'legality', what is the absolute *best*
lighting system available for your car. His usual recommendation for
the US is 'illegal' ECE systems. He does not hold US federal or state
government lighting standards in high regard. If you wish to have
better lighting and still remain 'legal' in your home country, he can
tell you that as well. Contact him directly if you wish; tell him I
In my own limited experience, I find that simply putting higher
wattage bulbs into Audis is a Very Bad Idea (TM) because of the Audi
engineers' brilliant (no pun intended) idea of putting *all* the power
to the headlights through the light switch instead of using a relay,
or relays, as many other manufacturers do. This means that the extra
current running through the light switch can actually *melt it*.
(Been there; melted that)
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