The law around classic cars and LED lighting

While for the vast majority of road users, it’s illegal to retrofit their vehicles with LED bulbs, for classic car owners, the story is different.

The MOT inspection manual states: “Existing halogen headlamp units on vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1986 must not be converted to be used with high intensity discharge (HID) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. If such a conversion has been done, you must fail the headlamp for light source and lamp not compatible.”

Therefore, pre April 1986 vehicles are not subject to these restrictions, and subsequently, drivers can fit LEDs to their classic cars if they so wish.

Fitting a classic car with LEDs produces excellent light coverage of the road ahead and so allows drivers to see much farther. While not every classic car driver will agree with fitting their car with LED lights, as it’s not in keeping with the time period, it’s undeniable that there are clear benefits to fitting them as pre 1986 lighting technology is significantly behind where it is today.

With more than 110 years in the automotive sector, renowned lighting specialist, OSRAM, has been there while these classic cars were in their heyday and is therefore, incredibly knowledgeable about these cars.

It’s LED portfolio is large, so can cater for most needs and its LEDriving retrofit offering includes LED bulbs for high and low beam, fog, signalling and interior lighting applications. These retrofit LEDs provide superior brightness and colour temperatures of up to 6,500 kelvin. The product ranges include the newly launched LEDriving HL EASY, BRIGHT and INTENSE for 12V headlight applications, LEDriving FL for fog light applications, LEDriving HLT for trucks and 24V vehicles, LEDriving HLM for motorcycles and LEDriving SL for auxiliary lighting applications. While, all the bulbs in the LED portfolio are marked for ‘Off-Road’ use only, due to the UK legislation, as previously stated, this does not apply to pre April 1986 vehicles.

One of these ranges, the LEDriving HL EASY, is just as its name suggests – easy! OSRAM has manufactured these bulbs as socket based, meaning it has no external driver and it also doesn’t need additional caps or adapters. Drivers can simply take their old halogen bulbs out, and replace it with these LED versions – plug and play!

These bulbs provide an ultra-compact LED replacement for conventional high and low beam lamps with cool white LED light – providing a stylish look, as well as superior brightness, with an optimised high-speed fan that ensures active cooling and maximised heat dissipation.

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